If you haven't yet taken the time to view Karen Armstrong's presentation below, I'd encourage you to do so. It's about 25 minutes long and touches on many of the important issues facing us all. (Hat tip to my sister Liz for suggesting the video, and to this anonymous commenter for suggesting Ms. Armstrong's work more generally.)
In her talk, Ms. Armstrong uses a story from the Iliad to underscore the importance of sympathy and compassion. It just so happens that I watched the movie Troy last night and was moved very much by that very scene as dramatized by Peter O'Toole and Brad Pitt.
If you're not already familiar with the story or have not already watched the movie, the setup for the scene below is that the great Greek hero Achilles (Pitt) has just killed the great Trojan hero Hector in battle. After killing Hector, Achilles drags Hector's body behind his chariot and back to the Greek camp.
Under the dead of night, the king of Troy, Priam (O'Toole), sneaks into the Greek camp and begs Achilles to return Hector's body.
Watch the clip on YouTube here.