Compassionate Integrity Training Final CIT training manual 11-30 - Page 137

Compa ssionate Integrit y Tr a ining A S e cu l a r Ethic s Appr oa c h to C ulti vat ing Pe rs on al, S o ci al and E n vir on me n tal F lo u r i shing T he themes of Series I and II are greater compassion direct violence, we often find that there are structures for ourselves and others. The question now that allow that violence to occur. The institutions and becomes, “How do we move that compassion laws can be seen as “structural violence,” because they into the world to bring about lasting change?” This support and perpetuate violence, inequality and injustice. highlights another important question, “Is compassion For example, if there is a law that allows men to beat their enough?” It is clear that to take constructive action to wives without punishment, then we can clearly see a address problems in organizations, society and the world structure that will allow, condone and perpetuate direct at large, we will need a sophisticated understanding of the violence. Similarly, the institution of legal slavery in the problems at hand. United States and the institution of apartheid in South Africa are examples of structural violence, because they are systems that allow for injustice, violations and violence. Direct, Structural and Cultural Violence Analyzing to the level of structural violence shows the If we have cultivated a degree of impartiality and a sense importance of reforming institutions when they are of common humanity, then when it comes to a systems level, we will wish to promote the greatest flourishing for all. Clearly one of the things that prevents flourishing is compassion and well-being. An analysis of systems reveals one individual harming the interests of another, but also in deeper ways. 85 If we examine instances of repeated It is the beliefs and values of society that condone, approve or tolerate institutions such as slavery, apartheid or mass harm and violence, which are directly opposed to both that violence and harm can happen not only directly by destructive. But what allows those institutions to exist? incarceration. This is the level of “cultural violence,” which makes structural violence possible. Cultural violence is the values, ideas and beliefs of individuals and society, which may be conveyed through religion, ideology, popular Ce n t e r for Compa s sion, I n teg r i t y a nd S e cu l ar E t hics | L ife Uni ve rsi t y | M ar ie t ta, G e or g i a - 131 -