Compassion and Kindness
(Summer 2010 - Volume 23, Number 2) By Angene Wilson
Students can define and practice compassion and kindness. (Maybe these two words offer good themes for the end of the school year or the beginning of the next. Perhaps they can set a tone after exams and as summer comes. Or perhaps they can provide a template for considering what are important values and actions through a whole school year.)
Article in Summer 2010 WorldView Magazine:
- “Letter from Lesotho: Compassion in Action” by Kaye Thompson
- Random Acts of Kindness Foundation website: http://www.actsofkindness.org/
Begin with the following quotation from the Dalai Lama – “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” Ask students what that means and to share examples.
Then show students picture of Kaye Thompson in Lesotho from her blog at http://kayeinlesotho.blogspot.com and ask them to read her article from WorldView Magazine, “Letter from Lesotho: Compassion in Action.”
Ask “What are her three examples of compassion in action shown by people of Lesotho? Why does she find them breath-taking?” (Be sure students know where Lesotho is on map.)
Challenge students: “We can learn about compassion from others, including those in other countries, as Peace Corps volunteer Kaye has. We can practice compassion right here in our school and community – and out in the larger world. Kaye uses kindness as a synonym for compassion, and so does Roget’s Thesaurus. Here’s the challenge: How can you practice compassion and kindness this summer? How can we practice compassion and kindness in the coming year?”
Note: If you need ideas to jumpstart a discussion or the creation of a list, visit the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation teacher’s guide at http://www.actsofkindness.org/classroom. World Kindness Week for 2010 is November 8-14 and World Kindness Day is November 13. One way to put kindness into action toward another part of the world would be to sign up with the Peace Corps Partnership Program at http://www.peacecorps.gov/donate/.