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common ground with NIGH, Nurses & Midwives everywhere…

The ‘Charter for Compassion’


“…We urgently need to make compassion

a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world....

Born of our deep interdependence — compassion

is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity…”  



The Charter for Compassion


This brilliant image reflects the above words of the ‘Charter for Compassion’ — “a clear, luminous and dynamic force” and the global inclusiveness central to this Charter’s aims. Accessed from Wikimedia Commons ‘Rainbow Circular’ — from photographer Andrzej Barabasz who shot this photo in the sky above the Indian Himalaya mountains — and used with the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported


When historian and author Karen Armstrong won the TED Prize in 2008, she asked TED to help create and launch a ‘Charter for Compassion’ that could become “an active force in the world.” She dreamed of a global community where people could live together in mutual respect, peace and harmony. From Armstrong’s vision and TED’s outreach, 100,000s submitted suggestions for such a charter online. Then a council of 18 people —  who represented six major world religions — shaped the official ‘Charter for Compassion’ which is featured with many voices in the video to the right of this text >>

Since then, groups from many sectors — including Health, Business, Education, Peace / Non-Violence and Religion / Spirituality — have developed leading-edge programs based on the text of this Charter. To learn more and to sign the Charter yourself, click HERE.  



Highlighted at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

 during our ‘2010 International Year of the Nurse’…

Photo of the vast, majestic arches above and beside the main Nave of National Cathedral — where this Service — to commemorate nursing globally — took place. From NIGH’s Archives, by photographer Dionne Sinclair, of the NIGH World Board of Directors.

In April 2010, the ‘Charter for Compassion’ was highlighted at a ‘Commemorative Global Service Celebrating Nursing’ celebrated at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. This Service— attended by a 1000 people who filled the Cathedral to over-flowing — became one of the global highlights of the ‘2010 International Year of the Nurse — Florence Nightingale Centennial.’ All of the attendees received a ‘Keepsake’ glossy, four-color 12-page 'Service Leaflet' featuring the ‘Charter for Compassion’ on its back cover [See graphics & download below].

In collaboration with the Nursing Honorary Society, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) and other nursing leaders from around the world, the Nightingale Initiative for Global Health (NIGH) co-hosted this Service and designed the ‘Keepsake Leaflet.’ We had already seen the relevance of the Charter’s mandate for inter-faith understanding and global inclusiveness. And, we had connected-the-dots between the Charter's aims and nursing’s fundamental practices, worldwide.

Florence Nightingale’s similar global vision for nurses was for Compassion-in-Action service to ALL peoples — regardless of race, culture or religion. With NIGH, we could see the significance of sharing the ‘Charter for Compassion’ with our colleagues who were celebrating this Service. As well, we sensed the possibilities of the Charter reaching a growing number of nurses & midwives — more than 30 million estimated worldwide — who are NIGH’s key target audience.

We had found a ‘common ground’ in the aims of the 'Charter for Compassion’ with the Compassion-to-Action already at work — since Nightingale’s time — through the service of nurses and midwives worldwide. See Service Highlights >> The first five minutes of this Service reflect a powerful, inspired Processional of Global Nursing Leaders — watch the Service online >> who carry Banners reflecting the eight United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the compassionate work of nurses & midwives to achieve these Goals. The National Cathedral — itself — is also notably-aligned to aims of the ‘Charter for Compassion’ — as a sacred place welcoming all peoples from all religions and perspectives.  


‘Keepsake Service Leaflet’ Back Cover Design for the

‘Commemorative Global Service Celebrating Nursing’

Choosing to feature the ‘Charter for Compassion’ — in its entirety — on the Back Cover of the ‘Keepsake Leaflet’ shared with the thousand attendees of this Commemorative Service, the growing team of the Nightingale Initiative for Global Health joined with others — from many sectors — to embrace this way of being in the world.

‘Keepsake Service Leaflet’ Front Cover Reflects the Florence

Nightingale Stained-Glass Window at the National Cathedral


A Florence Nightingale Stained-Glass Window was installed, in 1938, in the North Transept of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. by the Reynolds, Francis & Rohnstock Stained-Glass firm from Boston.

Six scenes depicted in this Window are also featured, here on the 'Keepsake Service Leaflet' Front Cover of the ‘2010 Commemorative Global Service Celebrating Nursing' at the Cathedral.

The frames reflect six outstanding scenes from Florence Nightingale's life — her nursing service during the Crimea War, her design of the St Thomas Hospital in London, her famous book, 'Notes on Nursing,' her works to improve Hospital Nursing and Nursing Education, as well as her inspired Childhood.

You can download the full 'Keepsake Service Leaflet' HERE. The printing and distribution of this publication was generously donated by Gannett Publishing's Nursing Spectrum.