On December 12, 2013 the international Charter for Compassion (see A global golden rule) gained a new signature, this time a whole nation. With the Botho Declaration, Botswana joins a global movement to bring more compassion into the world. Many cities, organizations and individuals have signed the Charter, but Botswana is the first to commit an entire country to becoming “a compassionate, just and caring nation”.
The Botho Web site explains what the term means:
Botho defines a process for earning respect by first giving it, and to gain empowerment by empowering others. It encourages people to applaud rather than resent those who succeed. It disapproves of anti-social, disgraceful, inhuman and criminal behaviour, and encourages social justice for all. It means above all things to base your thoughts, actions and expectations for human interaction on the principles of Love, Respect and Empathy
They are encouraging everyone in Botswana to become involved, starting with free hugs, acts of compassion and loving family relationships. Like stones tossed into a pond, Botswana sees these acts as rippling outward, cultivating the ground on which the seeds planted by Vision 2016 can grow into a nation transformed by compassion.
The vision is large and comprehensive, and it begins with publicly declaring the intent to fulfill it. Thank you for taking that step, Botswana. You give me hope.