Thank you, Charlie!

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This is a book of love and appreciation for the countless contributions of Charlie Barker to the Charter for Compassion and the global Compassion Community.

We love you, Charlie!

Gard Jameson

Arun Wakhlu

Shane O’Connor

Stephanie Paulmeno

Babalwa Ngcongolo

Ole Kjörrefjord

Barbara Kaufmann

Pam Lewis

Saïd Majdi

Tom Williams

Renée Athay

Mérida McCarthy

Steve Kramer

Marilyn Turkovich

Lynn de Vree

Craig Cline

Greg Fischer

Pattie Williams

Rakhee Sharma

Huseyin Peker

Rev. Thomas Gibbons

Jeff Genung

Kate S. Roach & Diane Berke

Michael Karlin

Kristin Norton

Todd Porter

Susan Soleil

Felipe Zurita

Cliff Krcha

Laura Burgis

Kate Trnka

Lesa Walker

Ann Helmke

Yaffa Maritz

Cristina Gonzalez

Anum Mulla

Debbie Ling

Lynne Reeder

John Sellwood

Layton Blaylock

Therese Hartwell

Olivia McIvor

Barbara Homann

Robin Kanarek

Poem for Charlie by Arun Wakhlu

Charlie, my brother, this has been an extraordinary journey with you!

As a Naval Officer, I salute you, friend! You have helped launch SS Compassion, with a global reach. This ship is capable of enduring heavy seas and has the ability to break through fields of icy obstacles, including fear and animosity.

Its crew is dedicated, courageous, and capable thanks to your leadership.

Its mission is most noble: To alter the course of culture on our planet in a sustainable and nourishing manner.

Its destiny is to find port only after it has achieved its mission of bringing peace on Earth and goodwill to all!

Thank you, Captain Charlie, for your steadfast commitment to this mission. We know that your influence will help guide this vessel long after you have departed planet Earth!

We shall be with you always!

Godspeed, brother!

Dear Charlie,

Words cannot express the depth of gratitude and admiration we hold for you. As you approach the end of your remarkable journey, we wanted to take a moment to appreciate the incredible impact you have made as a member of the board and your unwavering dedication to compassion.

Throughout your life, you have been a shining example of commitment and integrity. Your presence at every meeting, recently donning your oxygen support, has been a testament to your unwavering determination and your refusal to let any obstacle hinder your passion for making a difference. You have shown us what true strength and perseverance look like, inspiring us all to rise above our own challenges and continue striving towards our goals.

But it's not just your physical presence that has touched our hearts. Your unwavering commitment to the health and wellbeing sector has been nothing short of extraordinary. Your expertise, insights, and unwavering belief in the power of compassion have shaped the path we walk on today. Your contributions have made a lasting impact, bringing hope and healing to countless lives.


Beyond your professional accomplishments, you have also touched our souls on a personal level. Your genuine kindness and compassion have always shone through, reminding us of the importance of connecting with others on a deeper level. Your capacity to see the inherent worth and beauty in every individual has been a profound source of inspiration, reminding us to treat others with love and respect.

You have touched my life in a profound way, leading me to write the article "Awakening Compassion for One Wholesome World." Your example of wholeheartedness and your unwavering dedication have motivated me to make a difference in my own way, to spread compassion and kindness wherever I go.

As you approach this next chapter of your journey, I want to express my deepest wishes for you. May your days be filled with an expansion of peace and joy, and may you always remember your oneness with the wholeness, grace, and abundance of life. Your impact will continue to ripple through the lives of those you have touched, and your legacy of compassion will live on in the hearts of all who have had the privilege of knowing you.

Thank you, Charlie, for being a beacon of light and an embodiment of love. Your LIFE as Love in Full Expression has made the world a better place, and for that, we are eternally grateful.

With heartfelt appreciation and love,


For some, heart work is hard work, For our amigo, Charlie, this seems not to be the case,


His authentic, true, and compassionate self, written proudly and potently all over his kind face,

I've enjoyed our chats a huge amount, from Texas, to here in Spain, Charlie's selfless curiosity, he listens, he shares, we gain, From kindness programs across our globe or ambitious movement feats, His aspirations and deep desires have inspired so many, off our seats, His determination and doggedness combined with joy, for what's to come,

It's given me a lot of hope, to walk the talk, no need to run,

Thank you, friend, for all you've done, for all your planting and your sowing, Go raibh mile maith agat (1000 thank you's) for believing in our community, a community now growing,

May the roads rise-up to meet you, friend, and the wind be kindly at your side, may the rains fall softly and plentiful upon all your fields and may you be at peace for your onward ride.

With love,


Dearest Charlie,

I am grateful and blessed to have known you even for this relatively short time. You are an inspiration and a living example of the principles you hold dear as a man and a physician. How lucky were your patients and the family members with whom you've shared your life?

I am honored to follow in your path, having been chosen by you to co-lead CFC's Healthcare Sector with Debbie Ling. We will guide the healthcare sector towards the goals and principles you cherish. I can never fill your shoes, but I can walk in your footsteps and follow your lead. Thank you for your gracious and valuable mentorship and support. My heart soars with peace and joy knowing that you and your loved ones are together in loving support as you journey into God's embrace. I know your faith brings you peace and comfort as you move from this earthly realm into the next. I will always remember you and your grace and courage. I take comfort in knowing that you will eventually be looking down over all of us as we complete our own journeys to join you at God's gates.

Godspeed my friend. You will live in my heart and mind forever. I believe that one is never gone as long as there is even one person left to remember them. By that standard, you will be here, remembered by all of us from around the world, for a very long time.

Dear Charlie,

While I have known you briefly, I want to share my appreciation for the warm welcome and embrace I have received from you since joining the Board of Trustees.

You have been generous and intentional about including, encouraging, and recognizing me in our meetings.

Our conversations gave me the impression of a person deeply committed to the work of justice, and it has been inspiring to see your dedication and passion for making the world a kinder, more accepting, and fairer place for every person. The world is a better


place for having you in it.

Thank you for your labour of love, and the legacy that you've cemented through your work.

With gratitude,


Dear Charlie,

I want you to know that you have made me feel welcome to the Charter for Compassion, more than anybody else.

You ALWAYS offer thoughtful replies with recognition for my point of view, regardless of whether you agree or not. And you are ALWAYS enthusiastic and passionate about what you care for.

This is contagious. You spread joy and inspire us all to be the same. Thank you for seeing me and lifting us all with your positive energy.


“The board” can seem a distant, aloof and unapproachable entity to employees or volunteers in an organization. So many times, an organization fails or implodes from the inside because decision-makers are not listening and something critical is missed. At the Charter for Compassion, the open-door leadership philosophy has been forged by Charles Barker who values every single member of the Charter family. Charlie has never held himself superior to the minions who, busy behind the scenes, labor to hold the Charter together. He’s been the embodiment of supportive. He’s almost a father figure to us.

I have been affiliated with the Charter for Compassion since soon after its inception. I lived and breathed the Charter for many years. I met Charlie when the Charter was struggling with its identify and was floundering from leadership that didn’t measure up to promises that were mostly image and no substance. Blaming others or Charter pastwork and circumstances became an excuse for not getting anything done. I had been approached to agree to something I was uncomfortable with leaving me questioning its integrity—something I’d never before encountered at the Charter. If integrity was in question, that would eventually reflect on the integrity of the Charter for Compassion and everything it stood for. For those of us outside the inner circle, the deception was clear and we were heartbroken. We weren’t sure the board was going to be able to see past the shiny surface to the deliberately tarnished hidden interior.

Charlie made himself available and chose to seek out feedback from the steadfast members who had a long-held vision for the expansion of the Charter. As he asked for my feedback, I remember saying to Charlie: “Here’s the bottom line for me: I have always suspected that the Charter is more significant than anyone realizes. I see the trajectory for the Charter having the eventual potential to create a critical mass on this planet. I believe the Charter is the instrument for a leap in consciousness, critical mass and evolution and a default to compassion for every interaction on the planet. We are the scaffolding; the structure needs to evolve from the framework. We can’t see how it will evolve from here, but I know it will.”

I told Charlie I believed that the Charter would provide the tipping point for us to foster and create pan-stewardship with the potential to save the planet from certain implosion. I sincerely believe that. Still do. If I didn’t know that on a very deep level, I would not be here.

Charlie listened and he read the tea leaves saving the Charter from dismemberment. It was a tenuous time, and the Charter could have easily dissolved. Because it was on Charlie’s watch he didn’t let that happen. We are far beyond that stalemate, and we are here and healthy because of Charlie’s open-door policy and professional and personal leadership. He is a beloved leader. Charlie is the glue.

I think that I met Charlie in person in 2018 at the Charter’s CIT training in San Antonio.

Before that, we had chatted on the phone, and he was always helpful, wise and supportive as I began my role as Board Chair of Compassionate Houston.

As a result of these early experiences with Charlie as a mentor, both I and Compassionate Houston became more connected and involved with the work of the Charter, and we placed new emphasis on incorporating the Charter document into our annual events and on supporting the organization as much as possible.

From my participation in the POWR in Toronto later in 2018 through all aspects of my Compassionate Integrity Training involvement and invitation to gather with Texas Compassionate City leadership for collective sharing and action, Charlie has been an illuminating guide. He offers a broad, wise, patient perspective that is never ego-based, and he is a living demonstration of equanimity. I thank Charlie wholeheartedly for all he has done for me and Compassionate Houston and is always doing to spread compassion everywhere.


Charlie Barker's legacy of compassion is one that will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on all those who have had the privilege of knowing him. I first met Charlie at a meeting of the Richardson Interfaith Alliance, where he spoke passionately about the importance of empathy and understanding in today's world. From that moment on, I knew that Charlie was a leader in the field of compassion, and he became a friend and mentor.

To me, Charlie has been a constant source of inspiration and support. As the founder of Compassionate DFW, his tireless efforts have been nothing short of remarkable, and his dedication to creating a more compassionate world is truly inspiring. Charlie's work has helped to foster a sense of community and understanding not only in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but throughout the State of Texas and at the international level as well through his work with the Charter for Compassion.

Charlie has been an unwavering supporter of my own efforts to promote compassion and empathy in our city. He has been a constant source of guidance and encouragement, and his wise counsel has helped me to stay focused on my goals even during the most challenging times.

When I think about Charlie's legacy of compassion, I am struck by the profound impact that his work has had on so many people. His dedication to creating a more empathetic and understanding world will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on those of us who have had the privilege of working with him.

I will always remember Charlie as a kind, compassionate, and selfless leader who truly embodied the spirit of empathy and understanding. His legacy of compassion will continue to inspire us all to strive for a better world, one where kindness and understanding are guiding principles of our daily lives.

Charlie had been answering the call of compassion his entire life. So, it was natural that he came to Louisville in 2013 to formally declare his lifetime commitment to compassion.

Since first becoming involved with the Charter and compassionate cities, Charlie has never looked back. He is the embodiment of humble service.

I am a better person because I know Charlie and the world is a better place. We have shared ups and downs, tears and victories but he has always been the steadfast example for me of how to live and love and how to leave a legacy.

Your friend,


Charles, you are the person who models offering support with grace and generosity. I think of how often I asked you to lean in and support CIT facilitators-in-training with their curricular engagement assignments, even in cohorts you were not leading. You always said yes, donating hours and energy to lifting others in their learning experience. I have witnessed you encouraging and inviting deeper understanding among your mentees in kind and clarifying ways. Your legacy includes many of us in the Compassionate Integrity Training family.

Now, you are offering a new grace and generosity, allowing us to be a part of your life as it moves into another dimension. Your candor and assessment of your impermanence are inspiring and filled with love. You touch all our lives with your service and courage to leap forward into the next adventure.

We love you,

Dear Charlie,

It's been such a pleasure to have met you! All the way since 2018 in San Antonio during the CIT course! Then again here in Monterrey for the Encuentro Mundial de Valores. To me, kindness emanates from your heart, surrounding you in an aura of light that not many people have. To me, you have been an example of care and compassion, being delicate in your manners, and patient in your ways.

It's amazing to learn from you! Your passion is contagious! You are an example to follow! Just by watching you, even from a distance, your persistence, your honesty, your humbleness, your faithfulness, your curiosity, your tenacity... all adjectives I'm sure many others will coincide with me when remembering you!


You've also infused the Charter for Compassion with your special touch: your essence and heart are present everywhere, helping us create and mold -like a sculpturesomething so intangible yet real. To the moon and back, that's an image -or phrase- that comes to my mind whilst writing these words; that's how you seem to love everything around you and Life. You've subtly become a light I can look to when I search for an answer within my heart.

Thank you so much for so much!

Dear Charlie,

Up until today, I had only known you from a distance during our staff/volunteer meetings. Now I have shared space with you in our breakout rooms for our strategic planning, and have had a chance to connect with you on a much deeper level. For that I am most thankful.

I keep hearing stories of how you have contributed your wonderful gifts to the Healthcare Sector as well as to the Charter as a whole. You leave quite the legacy! I am grateful for your dedication as well as all the time and energy you have shared with our wonderful organization. I am delighted we have now had a chance to engage directly with each other. I am touched by your beingness, your sense of compassion, and your beautiful spirit.

I wish you tranquility, strength, blessings, and love on your journey.


Hi Charlie. Well, here we are again thinking about the next steps.

I equate so much of who you are and what you do as the work done by an earth mover. As the mover, you are the machine that is moving forward to cut a path.

There you are, looking back to see if you've achieved what you thought needed to be done deciding that maybe there is a need to make another pass, redirect the machine to pat down the excess, move the rocks away and make things safe.

You are orchestrating each move carefully, keeping in mind who will use the path, looking for comments and agreement from others. Even willing to make adjustments. Compassionate action has and continues to be the guiding force of Charlie's earth mover. Without your tenacity, insistence on revisiting, and revising, where would we be with the bylaws, the resolution, the expansion of CIT? You've been at the forefront of many issues and accomplishments of the Charter. Your involvement with URI and Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons has been met with as much passion as you have exhibited in your work with the Charter. You've re-launched the Health sector and brought in new partners to accelerate the growth. All of this is done with determination and, as you would say, with discernment.

That is the work, but what do we most admire, respect and cherish about Charlie? It is the honesty, kindness and humility that you bring to all interactions. Is this not the core of compassion? We have many ways to measure distance from one point to another: climate change, air travel, earth rotation; but not generosity of spirit. You hold the key to true accomplishment in this arena.

Dear Charlie,

While we've never met in person, I feel as if I know you. Your warm presence during meetings we've shared, Global Read and EdNet presentations is an inspiration and your energy and commitment to the Charter for Compassion is such an example. Thanking you for being a beacon for me, and many others, I'm sure.

I send you love!

*** ***

I first "met" Charlie by phone; on Feb. 13, 2023, talking with him for 45 minutes. He said he'd committed to the work of the Charter about 14 years ago.

He described the education of kids as "his thing" these days that youngsters are worthy of our primary attention and that we must start their education as early as we can.

I was impressed with Charlie's "speaking from the heart." He was gracious in sharing his idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis affliction with me. I said it was indeed commendable, despite his having to deal with this major health issue, that he remained personally committed to promoting and expanding the work of the Charter.

So, while I regret the too-brief interaction I had with Charlie, I'm very glad I at least got the opportunity to "meet" him, and learn where his big heart was still taking him -- "for" benefit of the Charter and its newly developing GoldenRuleism Team, under Shane's direction.

I think Susan Soleil capsulizes what I'll close with: "We want to honor the hard work and heart work Charlie has done to support the Charter, Compassionate Cities, and other tasks that he took on over the many years that he has been involved."

Well said, Susan I couldn't agree more. A ginormous THANK YOU! for the high-level "leadership in compassion" you've given the Charter for so many years, Charlie.

My very best wishes to you and yours.

Every so often someone appears in your life that carries a spirit of compassion, whose only interest seems to be the nurturing and inspiration of others.

I am struck by that image when I think of Charlie, a steadfast soldier for making the world a better place. Charlie is "in the arena", always trying and always believing in the goodness we know about and excited about more that will be discovered and developed.

The Charter for Compassion was central to making compassion a guiding pillar for my city of Louisville. I am deeply appreciative for Charlie Baker and the essential role he plays in helping people discover the oneness we all share through the human values of compassion.

Thank you, Charlie!



My lasting impression of Charlie is him being a constant presence in the Charter Monday meetings.

He is always very constant, always offering perspectives, and always with humility and care.

He has definitely impacted the work of the Social Justice sector in several significant ways. He follows the work of the sector and offers affirmation of the offerings. He connected me as sector lead with both Todd Porter and Belay Reddick. Charlie knew that both would be assets to the Social Justice team. And indeed they were!

Charlie sensed that what they offered would initiate, deepen, strengthen, and expand the work of the sector.

Charlie also invited me to several meetings around compassion work in prisons. As a result, I was connected to individuals who, though they were not members of the Social Justice sector, were doing very important cultivation of compassion.

What i have written is a small part of the contributions Charlie has made to the Charter for Compassion and to the world as he lives, breathes, and shares his compassionate self.


I would love to honor Charlie for all of his dedication to the Charter for Compassion.

Wishing you peace. Warmly, Rakhee Sharma Education

*** ***

When I first met Charlie, I was blown away by his kindness and dedication to making the world a better place.

He quickly became a role model of a faithful person, showing me what it truly means to live by faith, compassion, and generosity.

Charlie could have easily kicked up his feet and enjoyed a peaceful retirement, but instead, he chose to spend his time spreading love and kindness to those around him.

Despite his declining health, Charlie has never lost his passion for community service and commitment to the Golden Rule.

Charlie is truly a living example of the Charter.

Whenever I talk about the sufferings of good people, even far, far away, his big heart shows its compassion and love through the tears in his eyes. His selflessness, compassion, and generosity inspire those who know him from our community and me. When I introduced him to a young student from Turkey who needed help finding a place to stay, he opened his home and accepted him as a part of his family.

Another thing that struck me about Charlie was how much he valued his family. Despite his busy schedule, he always made time for his wife, Conoly, and his loved ones.

I remember how excited he was to involve his grandson in his passion for community service, organizing projects and conferences they could work on together.

Charlie actively passes on his values of kindness and compassion to future generations.

Spending time with Charlie is always a joy; whether hanging out at my place or his, I always leave feeling uplifted and motivated to be a better person, eager to work hard for the common good. I'm so grateful for the memories we've shared.

As Mr. Fethullah Gulen suggests for all, Charlie's heart has a chair for everyone to sit in. His legacy of compassion will continue to inspire us all for years to come.

Thank you for this opportunity.


It has been my privilege to have known Charlie Barker for 15 years, as both his pastor and as a close friend. One of my favorite memories of Charlie’s passion occurred many months following Karen Armstrong’s splendid TED talk. The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) signed the Charter of Compassion, along with many other mainline denominational bodies.

Charlie had served as an elder in other congregations that he and Conoly had attended and was elected to the office again here at St. Barnabas Presbyterian Church in Richardson. Having been appointed the elder in charge of Outreach, he wasted no time in establishing CASC (the Compassionate Action Sub-Committee, of which I was also a part) and urging the Session (the governing body of local Presbyterian churches) to vote on sign the Charter of Compassion.

Not only was the vote unanimous, but his encouragement extended to the elders individually. Charlie had Minutes for Mission encouraging the entire congregation to sign the Charter as individuals. Gathering a small group of us to serve as the board, Charlie launched Compassionate DFW and prodded us to begin the work of making the

Charter known to mayors, city councils, local non-profits, and social justice organizations.

Without question, Charlie is one of the finest people I have ever known. He has served as a leader and example to all who know him!


Charlie, I remember our first meeting at a cafe in Dallas. We immediately recognized our shared interest in contemplative practice and compassionate action.

Please know that your legacy of love lives on in the many lives that you have touched and through the ongoing work of the Charter for Compassion.

You are light, shine on brother!




Having you in the very first ProSocial Spirituality cohort was such a blessing to us all.

Your thoughtful engagement and your genuine desire to learn, grow, and contribute in meaningful ways meant more to us that we can express.

Thank you for demonstrating what it means to behave in prosocial ways while deepening your commitment to the spiritual path every step of the way. Your powerful, palpable faith and wide-open heart are a rare combination.

As Wayne Teasdale wrote in The Mystic Heart: “We have been given the gift of life in this perplexing world to become who we ultimately are: creatures of boundless love, caring, compassion, and wisdom.” Yes, indeed! Thank you for proving that to be true.

Much love to you and Conoly and to all of your family and friends. We love this Zoom photo of the famous "Cohort 01"!

Blessings and prayers,

Dear Charlie,

I remember the moment I met you in San Antonio almost five years ago in your first CIT course. You immediately struck me as someone who already embodied everything it means to have compassionate integrity. Your combination of loving kindness, compassion, equanimity, and strength shone through and drew me to you. From that first meeting until today, you have been a steadfast supporter of CIT and our collective mission in the world. Thank you for always being a guiding light for CIT, an inspiration to me, and a dear friend.

With lots of love and hugs,

Dear Charlie,

It has been such a pleasure and honor to work with you over these past few years. I always enjoy your depth of knowledge on all things medical, ethical and naval combined with your light heart, sense of humor and commitment to making the world a better place.

You get a GOLD STAR!

Much love,


Dear Charlie,

I am so grateful for the ways in which my needs for connection and collaboration have been met as a result of knowing you. Your attentive listening on our first meeting in 2017 led to my connection with Steve Miller and United States Christian Leadership

Organization, a partnership that continues to grow to this day. I’m grateful for your support of our White Ally Toolkit sessions with David Campt in early 2020 and for supporting those sessions with your presence and by making St.B’s building available to host.

I'm grateful for the ways your example has inspired me to grow my own practice of compassion. As you have encountered CIT, developed your facilitation skills, and imparted those skills to others, I’ve enjoyed watching you grow. Your life already filled with accomplishment, you’ve continued to feed your own curiosity and grow your capacity to serve those around you. I’m grateful for your always-open invitation to join you in those pursuits because it meets my needs of inclusion and accompaniment (even


though I don’t always take you up on the offer :))

I’m grateful for your investment in the Charter for Compassion, both locally and globally. Your generosity is apparent in the ethos of openness and welcome in both organizations. Thank you for welcoming me into both of those circles and creating the space to offer my gifts there.

I guess I could sum all of this up by saying I’m grateful for you, Charlie. My life is better from you being in it. None of us know for sure what comes after this life we’ve been sharing. Mr. Rogers (a fellow Presbyterian, if I remember right) once said, “There is a loving mystery at the heart of the universe, yearning to be expressed.” I’m convinced whatever is next is the full expression of that loving mystery. If that’s the case, I suspect you’ve prepared well to live into it.

Until we all partake in that loving mystery together, may God speed all your journeys and fill with joy and peace.

Dear Charlie,

This is a little note of gratitude for all of your big heart work over so many years! Thanks for being the champion of compassion locally in Dallas, Fort Worth, and Texas. And thanks for lending your time, talents, treasure, and testimony to the global work of the Charter for Compassion! This organization has benefitted from your vision, leadership and tenacity! I think only a handful of people are aware of the hours and months and years that you have poured into your passion for compassion. I have seen you in action from the edges and I greatly appreciate your tireless dedication to your family and


community, to love and compassion, to the Golden Rule, and to your faith in humanity and in God.

It has been a great pleasure to work with you over the years. I am in awe of your generosity of spirit and your desire to be in service to others. I am also in awe of the grace and courage you are showing me as you prepare for the next journey.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

I will always love and appreciate you, Charlie!

Dear Charlie, Thanks for everything. For every conversation, Every lesson, Every moment.

I appreciated your guidance and companionship from day 1 and valued your input and direction.

Your created ripples of compassion wherever you used space, and loved being a witness to that, and being part of those ripples you spread in this surface we call life.

What a crazy, sad blessing and opportunity to say goodbye this is. All I can say is say (or write) is thanks. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You added so much happiness and compassion to this world.

You will be remembered and missed. A lot.

Thank you, my brother.


I love Charlie Barker. He’s the ‘real deal’. I was fortunate to have Charlie as one of the facilitators when I attended CIT in Las Vegas. For the ensuing two years, he mentored me via telephone calls, emails, letters, and zoom visits.

Thanks to Charlie, we were able to begin a non-profit to support and enable indigent veterans, inmates, and their families attend CIT. Charlie moved from embodied understanding of CIT. Charlie is the best of humanity.

Compassion in the flesh, humility personified, and the servant of servants. When I grow up, I wanna be like Charlie Barker.

Dearest Charlie,

Thank you for being a champion of compassion. Our work together has been the most meaningful leadership work in my experience to date. When you called me to invite me to the board, I remember walking in my backyard while you spoke:

If not you, then who?

If not now, then when?

Manifesting greatness requires regular folks to step up to create it

Health and Well-being and Community are what we must work together towards

With the North star of compassion.

So with your leadership ask, I accepted and here we are years later doing the work of the call.

I came to Dallas to meet you and the museum group and we spent a few days together with that group. Look what you have done in DFW. I am humbled and grateful for the holy spirit and universal love that brought us together in this moment of time. I am so

Cliff Krcha
CIT in prisons and Corpus Christy

happy to have invested myself and resources into that effort. Compassionate DFW is a shining star of hope.

My favorite memory is buying you and Conoly anniversary dinner in Toronto!!

Peace my friend and brother in Compassion!

Much Love, Laura


Hey Charlie! I first met you in Toronto at the Parliament. We didn’t get to talk much that week, but I was lucky enough to be able to get to know your amazing wife, Conoly. She told me all about your Compassionate Dallas-Fort Worth event. I was grateful to have my proposal accepted and make the trip down there to talk about the Compassion Tree Project.

It was so gracious of you and Conoly to invite me to stay in your beautiful home! It was here that I really learned how special you are! Conoly and I had a great time when you were busy with all of the things you involved yourself in.

It was fun packing up food with you both with the local Indian coalition.

It was easy to see how involved you were in your community and beyond.

And then…we went out for Mexican food (smile): I ordered a Modelo… and turned you onto them. And now I can’t have one without thinking of you

After I told you about the Compassion Tree Project in Cameroon, I learned that Compassionate DFW donated to support the Cameroon project.

I know I have you to thank for that. So, thank you!

You hold a special place in my heart, as I’ve told you before. You always will! I know that this isn’t how you wanted life to be for you in the end and I’m sorry. But


know this, SO MANY people have been blessed by knowing you and being a part of your world, if even a small part like I was.

I love you, Charlie! When the time comes for you to take your last breath here, travel well, my friend. When it’s my time, I’ll look you up…and we can tip another Modelo. Salud!

Heartfelt Love and Appreciation for You, Charlie:

I remember the first time we met. Marilyn Turkovich was visiting Dallas/Fort Worth and invited me to drive up from Austin to meet with you both. We coordinated our busy schedules and scheduled a time and place to meet.

In driving to Dallas from Austin, I got stuck in a 3-hour traffic jam due to a tall truck colliding with a bridge on the freeway. I grew up in Texas and have lived here most of my life and this is the first and only time I have been stopped for so long on the freeway. Much to my regret and profuse apology, I missed our meeting time and arrived just as you were saying good-bye to Marilyn. However, I got the chance to meet you and it was such bright spot in my day. You were kind, thoughtful, and compassionate. We had common backgrounds as physicians and immediately connected on multiple levels. It was so refreshing to see your excitement in championing compassion in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Since that first meeting, you have mobilized and grown Compassionate Dallas/Fort Worth and have taken on leadership roles in the Charter for Compassion. You’ve always been a gracious role model for me in our compassionate cities work. I can always count on you to walk the talk.


I remember attending some of your Compassionate Dallas/Fort Worth conferences. Over the years, you’ve brought together so many great partners in compassion. Thank you, Charlie, for inspiring me and others – locally, nationally, and globally.

The attached photo is from the September, 2019 conference.

I’ve always been moved by your presentations at these conferences, when you’ve shared your personal stories of compassion with honest emotion.

Most recently, I so appreciate your efforts to bring all the Texas Compassionate Cities together in a response to the tragic elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Your calm and inspiring leadership has been a key ingredient in moving us forward. Even when you’ve had to miss some of our meetings, we always feel your presence and know you are with us.

When I think of what brings life meaning, it is you, Charlie. You and Conoly are beautiful souls. You have worked hard to help bring about a more compassionate world. You have welcomed me into your home and into your hearts, always sharing your uplifting

outlooks on life.

When scientists say the universe is always expanding, it is true. In each of us there is the ability to start a never-ending and expanding ripple effect based on what we do in our lives. Your legacy, Charlie, is a forever growing and expanding legacy of love and compassion carried forward by those whose lives you’ve touched.

Thank you for your treasured friendship.

As I recall, we first met at a conference on business and compassion in Louisville. I wondered, who is this guy from DFW??! The conversations were so fundamental. It was as if we were all at beginning points. Now, some days it seems we’ve come so far and other days, well, it’s yet another new beginning point. All said though, the Charter would not be the amazing work that it truly is without you. The same can be said about my own life. You have added beyond the sum total. You have increased the greater good. You have helped bring healing to so many lives in your commitment to compassion. I hope and pray that you know you are deeply loved and appreciated. Because you are. Simply because you are you.

Forever your friend,


Dearest Charlie,

When Marilyn invited me to join the charter board of trustees again, it was knowing you were on the board that made it an easy decision for me to say yes. You inspire me with your earnestness, warmth, grace, authenticity, courage and deep commitment to “walk the talk” of Compassion both personally and as part of the Charter’s mission for cultural transformation.

I mostly appreciated our partnership in emphasizing the importance of cultivating compassion “from cradle to old age” with a special focus on parents, young kids, and Early Education.

Your legacy will live on, reminding us daily that with faith, good will, and determination everything is possible.

Much love ❤️


It is an honor and a privilege to know Dr. Charles Barker: as founder and president of Compassionate Dallas, and part of the Executive Board for Charter for Compassion.


Several years ago, he was one of our speakers in the Worldwide Meeting on Human Values event, where he spoke with great sensitivity during the 10th celebration at the Gala dinner.

It was a great honor to share with him, and his wife Conoly, a country walk, where I enjoyed their beautiful presence.

It has always made me wonder, how is it that a medical doctor with all the experience in the field of medicine, with emphasis in preventive medicine and bioethics, could be that interested in promoting, through his example, his simplicity, his experience and his wisdom, the value of compassion? And, how he does this also in his family-life, in his professional work, and in his social work.

And it is through his teachings, with his incredible organizational capability whilst we participated in different committees in the Charter, I realize he has taught me many lessons, that I am very grateful for, from the bottom of my heart.

I thank you Dr Charles Barker for this, and for all the achievements that have come from your example, your work and dedication. And I thank God for working together as brothers and sisters in Spirit.

I bless you, your life, your family, and your transcendental work.

For my dearest Charlie,

What an honour it has been to have known the truly beautiful soul that you possess. I think back to the first time I heard your name, and it was when Marilyn extended the honour to me of writing letters on your behalf for deeming Christchurch a Compassionate City for their compassionate response to the Christchurch Mosque attacks, and for asking Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to accept the Charter’s


Humanitarian Award for that year. I look back at that now, and realise it was no coincidence that the first time I was introduced to your name was through such a noble feat – one filled with compassion and love, much of what I have come to know of your beautiful essence over these years.

It has been the privilege of a lifetime to share space with you and hear and be inspired by your remarkable stories of deep compassionate impact and world views, most of which were through our monthly CIT Seminar sessions, some of these particular sessions with your presence and words have shaped such meaningful thoughts in my mind, and much like your guidance full of wisdom to me, I carry them in my heart everyday. It is difficult to express in words my respect for the wonderful human being you are and just how grateful I am to have had the blessing to cross your path on this life journey, and serve alongside you on the Charter’s board. Playing a small role in taking forward your legacy through the Charter is a gift that I am endlessly grateful for.

Perhaps there is no truer reality than the one that this journey is a mere test for us human beings, one in which upon completion our souls will be rewarded for all the good that we aspired and managed to do with our time. Having had the honour of bearing witness to the person you are – I know deep in my heart that your soul is one of the most exceptional ones that will Inshallah be divinely rewarded for all your countless and meaningful acts of service. I truly believe that this is all that we as humans can hope to achieve as we transition from this life journey, and get ready to meet our Creator where our souls will live the eternal life, and are promised to be reunited with all those that we love. What a

blessing that you are surrounded by Conoly’s endless love and strength, and all of ours too.

I pray for your beautiful soul to find divine love, peace, and reward for all the commendable effort you have made to make the world a more compassionate place. I take inspiration from your generous and compassionate heart and way of life, and if I achieve even just a fraction of it in my lifetime I shall count myself lucky.

Thank you my dear brother for guiding me with so much loving compassion. You are a cherished divine blessing to us all.

My prayers for you continue every single day. Until we meet again in the afterlife my dear brother Charlie. In much gratitude, love, and prayers,

Current CFC Board Member ***

I only met Charlie in early January 2023, however he made a huge impression on me. We were both interested to support the Charter for Compassion Healthcare Sector. In the blink of an eye, Charlie had roped me into a number of meetings with various influencers and organizations. He was determined that we attempt to achieve something lasting and worthwhile. It did not take me long to work out I was in the presence of an exceptional person who had was completely dedicated to service to humanity. His combination of passion, dedication, humanity, integrity, spirituality, generosity and vision was something that is rare to get in one individual. He was a breath-taking combination of warm loving heart with an incisive analytical mind. We quickly became friends and his example is something that will stay with me always.


Dear Charlie,

I remember meeting you at a number of global Charter events and being inspired by your commitment to the work of the Charter both globally and in your own community. Your lovely smile and chuckle will stay with me always. Sending lots of love to you, Charlie, from Australia

Best wishes,

Thank you, Charlie,

Thank you for the generosity of spirit that enables you to share this news with others. It is the most precious of gifts that you share and i acknowledge that with gratitude. You have allowed me to say what might otherwise have been left unsaid, that you’ve touched my life and made a difference for so many others.

You are still giving peace, brother, and gentle journey towards love.

With gratitude and respect.



I want to thank you again for all you did to bring my documentary, Community First, A Home for the Homeless, to Dallas. I could tell during that experience what a genuinely nice and caring person that you are. And, from all the accolades that you have received and testimonials from others, it’s obvious that anybody who has had the pleasure to know you feels the same.


I will always be grateful for the wonderful support you provided to me and director, Layton Blaylock for his film about Community First in Austin. Your concern for the homeless and spreading the word about the solution Community First presents was so appreciated. You have touched so many people in so many ways, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to know you even briefly.

Sending prayers,


Dear Charlie,

This is Barbara Homann with Compassionate Houston. I first met you two years ago when I took advantage of the pandemic and online learning by enrolling in a CIT course, followed by a CIT Facilitator class. And it was during the practicum part at the latter one, that I had the pleasure of experiencing Charlie live! I heard about you previously from Pam Lewis, but now, I was "sitting" in class with you. And what a treat it was! You were that fresh breeze, no matter if your comments were pointing to an area of improvement or a big thumbs up. I was always looking forward to your unique way of connecting and your excitement when any of us came up with something brand-new or included a contemplation in our show&tell facilitation.

Charlie, you are a jewel. A compassionate jewel. I was so very fortunate to have you as a judge in my class.

With deep gratitude for a remarkable compassionate trailblazer!

Dearest Charlie,

I am not sure there are words that can adequately express the loss our world will experience as you leave us. There will be a gaping hole without your enthusiasm, Inquiring mind and positive presence. The first time we met in person was at the 2018 Parliament of World Religions in Toronto. Since then, I have served on the governance


committee with you and have been in a multitude of meetings and courses over the years where you always shared authentically faithfully demonstrating your core value of living the Golden Rule.

Charlie, you have unwaveringly been a beacon of light and love to the Charter with your commitment to making this world more compassionate. You may be leaving physically, but your light and legacy will forever stay with us.

Go gently knowing you have made a significant difference friend.

Peace be with you.

Dear Charlie,

I think of you, I pray for you, and I am honored that we met via Zoom to discuss a variety of topics together. I wish we met at an earlier time, but I am grateful that Steph and Marilyn suggested that we speak.

Every time I see your review of my book on Amazon, I smile from ear to ear. I think about your experience as a physician, serving in the military, and the love you have for your wonderful, devoted family. You are indeed a blessed man. You have made such a difference in so many lives. Please know how loved and respected you are. You have impacted many lives. What a gift that is.

You will always be in my thoughts and never forgotten. I send you love and prayers.

With love and the greatest respect,


Prayer for Charles Barker's Journey

Infinite Love and Light, Source of Pure Joy and Delight, We come before you with reverence shining bright. For Charles Barker, as he prepares to depart, May his transition be embraced by your eternal heart.

Surround him with boundless Love so true, Guide him gently as he bids this world adieu. May his journey be filled with peace and grace, As he reunites with your eternal, divine embrace.

In the arms of Infinite Love, may he find rest, And be forever dissolved in pure bliss, truly blessed. As he transcends to realms beyond time and space, May his spirit be uplifted to your sacred place.

We trust in your eternal care, O Source Divine, To guide Charles Barker's soul as it starts to align With the infinite wisdom and love that resides, Within the depths of our One Eternal Self's tides.

In this sacred union of souls, we unite, Offering our heartfelt prayers, shining so bright. May Charles Barker find eternal solace and peace,

In the embrace of Infinite Love, never to cease.

Infinite Love and Light, we surrender our prayer, For Charles Barker's journey, we deeply and sincerely care. May he dwell in the radiance of your eternal Light, Forever immersed in joy, serenity, and delight.


Prayer by Arun Wakhlu

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