Compassion. How important is it in life? How valuable is it? Does it have a cost, and how do you teach compassion to a child? If society promotes a “Compassion Curriculum” in public schools and in our prisons, could we prevent the tragedies of Columbine, Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook? Can we alter the pattern of gang violence in our inner cities? Let’s counteract our media’s emphasis on violence to our youth.
Lately, volunteering is promoted by our schools, but a more encompassing “Compassion Curriculum” needs to be established. Local and national heroes should be invited to speak in schools. Veterans, community-service workers, those who protect and defend the public and those who champion social-justice initiatives should be invited to speak or teleconference. Projects of compassion need to be assigned with lessons on people who changed the world for the better. The epidemic of depressed, drug-dependent children is growing. Let’s direct America’s youth in a positive direction, take our eyes off test scores and measure what really matters: our relationships with others.
Isn’t it more important to encourage tolerance and compassion in our children rather than allow them to develop into emotionless, competitive, self-centered citizens in a society that eyeballs little boxes all day long? Is this the American dream?
Innovation and use of technology, as well as social interaction, is key to creating compassionate, caring adults and leading them to satisfying careers focusing on America’s economic and social well-being. America has so many great teachers to teach this. Let’s think outside the box.
The vision of our nation may become extinct without compassion and tolerance of all religions and cultures and promoting the best in each.