Compassionate Integrity Training Final CIT training manual 11-30 - Page 86

Compa ssionate Integrit y Tr a ining A S e cu l a r Ethic s A ppr oac 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 without any intention of favoring one person or group over any other, yet which naturally shines its light more strongly on those who are closer to it. Similarly, even though the people closest to us will experience more of our compassion and kindness, this need not be because of our strong bias toward them or a thought that they somehow deserve more happiness and others deserve less. The Negative Consequences of Bias We will not be motivated to cultivate impartiality and a sense of common humanity if we do not recognize the harm caused to ourselves, our loved ones and our communities common humanity and only see our differences, we are moving toward the possibility of hardened divisions that then justify unfair and unethical treatment of one another. by bias and prejudice. We can easily see how people do not appreciate other people who have a lot of bias or partiality. For example, we do not value judges who exhibit strong bias toward one person or group over another. We do not appreciate it when our supervisor at our workplace exhibits strong bias toward a colleague over ourselves. No one Impartiality would want to lose a job opportunity, for example, because CIT uses the term “impartiality” to refer to the dimin- a hiring manager is friends with the parents of another ishment of strong prejudice or bias (partiality) in favor candidate. In contrast, we do appreciate people who find of one group over another. This does not mean, however, a way to rise above bias and extend their sense of caring that we become neutral or apathetic toward everyone. beyond their in-group. Nor does it mean reducing the positive feelings we have A key step in this skill, therefore, is spending time to reflect for our loved ones. Rather, impartiality in CIT means on the negative effects of bias, partiality and prejudice. We elevating how we appreciate and value others who we can ask ourselves, “What happens to an individual if their once saw as unrelated to us (strangers and those in bias and prejudice grows? What effect does this have on their so-called “out-groups”) to a similar degree of closeness happiness and their relationships with others?” Similarly, through focusing on our common humanity. we can ask, “What happens in a society when prejudice Because of our proximity and familiarity with our near and bias increase? What happens if bias increases between and dear ones, we may still have a different and special two different groups, where they start to develop stronger relationship with them, and this in no way stands in prejudices about each other?” Lastly we can make it personal opposition to impartiality. A useful metaphor here is and ask, “What if bias and prejudice were to increase in the sun, which radiates light and energy in all directions my life?” Then we can go on to ask the reverse of these Ce n t e r for Compa s sion , I nteg r i t y and 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 - 80 -