Where Does Compassion Start?

inspired by Karen Armstrong's Charter of Compassion

Music by Ron Klusmeier
Words by Shirley Erena Murray
Tune Name: TWIDDY

Lyrics as Poetry

Where does compassion start?
How does compassion grow?
Her seed is at the heart
of every faith we know:
compassion honors others’ place,
dethroning self with willing grace.How does compassion thrive
in worlds of greed and grief?
Her goodness stays alive
through those of strong belief:
compassion, luminous and clear,
outshining wastes of war and fear.Where is compassion’s role
in cultures, or in creeds?
At center, with the soul
who feels another’s needs:
compassion brings the touch of friend,
a bandage that will bind and mend.Dynamic is the power
that heals, restores and gives,
connecting at the core
with everyone who lives,
transcending culture, colour, race,
compassion builds the house of peace.


Words by
Shirley Erena MurrayCopyright © 2009 by Hope Publishing Company
Carol Stream, Illinois • USA

Comments About Song

From Shirley Erena Murray: “This text is a response to the Charter for Compassion and was written in November 2009.”


From Ron Klusmeier: “I set these words to music almost immediately after receiving them from Shirley in May 2010. At that time, I knew nothing about Karen Armstrong’s Charter for Compassion until learning about it from Shirley. For more information, visit “charterforcompassion.org”:http://charterforcompassion.org.”

Audio Sample: Vocal

Verse 1 sung by David Moddle and accompanied by Ron Klusmeier

Season, Theme
or Subject

  • Acceptance
  • Compassion
  • Diversity
  • Equality
  • Heal, Healing
  • Interfaith
  • Justice, Human Rights
  • Lent
  • Love
  • Neighbour
  • Peace

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