ancient Buddha statue at the Freer GalleryFrom Confucius to Oprah, people have preached compassion for centuries. But how often is it put into practice? Karen Armstrong believes religion should advocate for compassionate living, but often doesn’t.

Armstrong admits compassion isn’t a very popular virtue. “People often prefer to be right,” she says. And though she offers these 12 steps, it’s not a get-compassionate-quick scheme. “This is a struggle for a lifetime.”

(READ the book excerpt, and LISTEN to the interview at NPR News)

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