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Carter Harkins

Chief Storyteller, Harkins Creative

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How Do We Teach Children Compassion and Empathy?

Joan proposes that if compassion is so good for us, why don't we teach it to our children? But how is this done? What are your ideas? What has worked in your experience?


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    Sep 15 2011: First thing is first. We are born wanting to belong.
    If we are not nurtured and cared for from the very beginning it will have to be taught and thus those who will be taught to learn how to be empathic may only be able to imitate compassion — (cannot dismantle their personal identities into a bigger and more connected self) or worse, they will have no ability for it at all, subsequently leading to the inevitability of the various forms of violent behavior that we are all so familiar with.
    The goal should be to maintain our innate soft wired capacity for compassion, that is found in our structural constitution, from the very start.
    The next goal is for economic democracy. To create environments that are conducive to meet everyone's needs and represent our highest natures.
    Schools should teach cross cultural appreciation and the relativity of cultures institutionalized values, comparative religion (especially eastern thought like Taoism), Ecology, and so forth. Schools should encourage students and teacher to collaborate more than they do now and once again, enrich the focus towards a highly interdisciplinary curricula.

    I could go on, but I think I made my point. Thanks.

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