Our uniqueness, our individuality, and our life experience molds us into fascinating beings. I hope we can embrace that. I pray we may all challenge ourselves to delve into the deepest resources of our hearts to cultivate an atmosphere of understanding, acceptance, tolerance, and compassion. We are all in this life together. Linda Thompson
We live in a world – a very different world – A world where children and people in general are rambling around with so many darn “problems”, you would think that we would all realise the absolutely dire need for more compassion, respect, and general acceptance in society - but sadly this does not seem to be the case. Sometimes, people truly can be so very unkind to others, often not even considering the consequences and damage that their glibly delivered words may have on the recipient.
With regards to adults, there is not much you can do to “change” somebody who is obviously uninterested or consciously callous. I think the only hope in that regard would be if that particular individual was suddenly placed on the receiving end of such cruelty, to a point that it made them open their eyes and question their own actions – but even that pushing it in many cases.
The younger youth on the other hand are still learning, budding and steering their way around what is or isn’t socially suitable, what is basically right and what is wrong, so there is PLENTY of opportunity for parents, friends, family members, teachers and other adult individuals to have a positive influence on the lives of all our “little people”. My opinion is that some people are naturally more compassionate than others, but this does not mean that it is a characteristic that cannot be cultivated.
At my son's school each class (from what I have gathered) has at least one or two special needs kids in it which is brilliant as my sons entry level understanding with school and mainstream society is one where acceptance and understanding of others, irrespective of differences - is actively encouraged and commended. Although, I am not only strictly referring to compassion towards people with special needs, I do believe this is an incredible starting point for developing it as a natural disposition. Being taught to understand and befriend children with special needs is a remarkable way to get them to understand just how very diverse everyone is, but that nobody is any better than the next person.
If you ask me - we are ALL special needs in one way or another… Yes, we ALL have special needs… an individual and completely unique personality which is comprised of its own particular “requirements”. Compassion, Acceptance and Respect are three attributes which go hand in hand and all play key roles in developing the groundwork of character. And yes, this should be actively practiced and encouraged at school too, but the reality is that it all starts at home and what you are teaching your kids.
No, this is not a one dimensional subject. It is apparent in all facets of life and needs to be taught to kids in all these areas too. It stems from the superficial stuff like possessions, right through to the deeper emotional side of things. If I were to highlight one aspect that I would say should be focused on first and foremost, as I believe that if this was exercised a little more in today’s society it would in itself make a huge difference already – and that is, the fact that materialistic possessions are NOT how you determine whether a person is worthy of your respect or not.
Where there is no human connection, there is no compassion. Without compassion, then community, commitment, loving-kindness, human understanding, and peace all shrivel. Individuals become isolated, the isolated turn cruel, and the tragic hovers in the forms of domestic and civil violence. Art and literature are antidotes to that. Susan Vreeland
There are way too many kids (and adults) who classify others based on worldly possession and/wealth and it is so profoundly wrong! It really is just SO ridiculously SHALLOW and is categorically NOT the perspective that we should be allowing to develop in youngsters. Yes, in a materialistically driven world, this is no easy feat – but we CAN make an effort to balance it within their own sphere of existence – and so we should.
In addition to this, our children should be taught compassion, acceptance and respect in ALL other areas of their lives. When someone is feeling down, you lift them up – you don’t kick them down further or stand on the hands that hold their last remaining grip! When someone has less than you, you share – you don’t mock or demean. When everybody else is scornful or mocking, you don’t join in - you do whatever you can to end it! Different is not wrong. Our uniqueness as individuals is something to be celebrated! We are ALL equal and have our place and purpose in life. I could go on forever, but in all honesty – the list would be endless as there is always some way shape or form that you can offer another person compassion, acceptance, respect and most importantly… LOVE!
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” ― Albert Einstein
Until next time...
Much Love from Cape Town, South Africa xxx
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