ju mao

writer, founder of a free libary in a migrant community

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How to train our children and adults in compassion?

I had experience to train children in compassion, i also want to hear your idea.

The situation in our country is: while most people are too foucs on the results of exam and study text books in school, students don't be nurtured to have compassion, and care about other people and things. This very dangerous to our nation.

It's same to adults. I found the more volunteer job i do, the more compassion i have.

I create a free libary for children in a migrant community, encouraging children to be volunteers to help other students is for training them in compassion, i see it's a long term work.

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    Feb 16 2012: Compassion comes about by actively seeking out real face-to-face contact with real people, rather than virtual contact with imagined people.

    I think that the subtle visual and audible signs we see in others of how our actions affect them (body language, facial expression, voice intonation etc) is the beginning of how we see whether our own actions are acceptable or not. This is one of the ways children (and adults) learn empathy and compassion.
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      Feb 16 2012: I agree Allan,
      I believe we are all like mirrors, reflecting back and forth to each other all the time, and when we are mindful of our reflections, and the reflections of others, we learn and grow with the experience:>)
  • Feb 16 2012: ju Mao,

    Nihao ma? hey! We are neighbors... In a way! I live in Suzhou!

    If my young kids do something Which hurt someone else, I will always ask that simple question: " how would you have felt if someone had done this to you?"

    I think also the more unconditional love you get as a child the more compassionate you are likely to become. The more compassion people show to you, the more compassion you will be likely to show too.
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      Feb 16 2012: Dear Manue,
      My mother used to ask me the same thing, and I asked my children the same question as well. I agree that compassion can be contagious....IF....we open our heart and mind to the possibility. It CAN be a cycle that we create in ourselves, which ripples out to those around us.....or not.
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        ju mao

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        Feb 16 2012: Hard means to build something from nothing, i had this free libary for a year and a half, but still feel high pressure.
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          Feb 16 2012: Building something new and very useful takes time and energy. Hopefully, you are enjoying the process as well?
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    Feb 16 2012: Excellent point ju mao!! Compassion is priority over all else....Without compassion, it does not matter how much anyone studies or how hard anyone works. Power without compassion, always ends up being meaningless.
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      ju mao

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      Feb 16 2012: Thanks! It takes time, and free libaries need lots of people do something.
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    Feb 16 2012: Hello Ju Mao,
    The best and most effective way to teach anything, in my opinion, is to "BE" what we want to "SEE" in our world, and it appears that you are doing it with your projects:>) Simply "training" people to be compssionate may not work so well, because compassion needs to have feeling. Genuinely imagining ourselves in someone else's situation with compassion and empathy brings us closer to others and to our "self". It is pleasurable to experience compassion because I think/feel that we are all connected, and to recognize that connection on many different levels feeds the soul...in my humble opinion. By reaching out to others, we are also reaching into ourselves and getting to know our "self" on more levels. I would not deny myself that gift:>)
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      Feb 16 2012: Ju Mao, Colleen has it right. Compassion is a great philosophic virtue in almost every religion. It litterally means "suffer together with". If Character can be defined as what we do when no one else is looking then we can say the golden rule in the christian religion ( Do unto others as you would have them do unto you ) is the teaching tool for compassion. As Colleen states, be a role model. Not every effort is a success. However, if you touch one person and that person influences two, etc .... I do not know your religious preference, and do not need to, but within the writtings there must be a parable extolling virtues. Place the one dealing with compassion over the door of your library. Do not discuss it. By your actions and the reminder of the sign I feel that some will be reached. Good luck. You are doing great work.
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        Feb 16 2012: Thank you Robert,
        I would just like to say, that I do not embrace a particular religious belief, and I do not think/feel that one has to, in order to feel compassion. I firmly believe in the philosophy to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you". I totally agree with you that it is by our actions that we teach:>)
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          ju mao

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          Feb 16 2012: It's very hard. how about we create lots of chances for people do care about others? More people are possible to connect.
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        ju mao

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        Feb 16 2012: Thank you Collen and Robert.
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          Feb 16 2012: Ju Mao,
          What do you percieve to be "hard"? I percieve all of us to be connected, so I do not percieve the recognition of this to be difficult. We are more the same than different. However, if we focus on our differences, rather than our similarities, it might make recognizing our similarities more difficult? The more we care about others, the more we care about ourselves....the more we care about our "self", the more we care about others.
          It is a wonderful cycle, as Manue has pointed out on this thread and elsewhere:>)
  • Feb 16 2012: A free library - that's cool!
    You've made a good start.

    Talk to the kids honestly. Don't *tell* them how to live, show them how to live.
    Don't hide your faults or mistakes - be fully human. Share your worries & happiness with them.
    Keep your eyes open for someone they can help, & then ask them to help them if you think they can do well & learn from it.

    Yes, people need more than just good exam scores.

    P.S. I hope Ai Weiwei is okay. I have heard no news of him lately.
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      ju mao

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      Feb 16 2012: Thank you very much ! Yes, i should keep my eyes open for help.
      Now i am working on managing two small free libaries in beijing.
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      ju mao

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      Feb 16 2012: he is doing well.