Although compassion is a cornerstone of every major faith in the world, it is also a secular and universal human value. Compassion is essential to our safe and caring schools and community.
Compassion gives us the ability to feel with others and brings us into the presence of something greater than ourselves. It helps us to address the issues that we face both locally and globally. Compassion is fundamental to devloping socially responsible citizens who can address the global challenges we face.
In March 2012, Karen Armstrong engaged Vancouverites in 12 Days of Compassion. She spoke at "Compassion in Action", an Intergenerational Forum with invited Vancouver students and their significant adults.
Karen Armstrong was awarded the TED Prize in support of her call for the creation of a "Charter of Compassion" (2008), a document now endorsed by such dignitaries as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and the Dalai Lama. As a speaker and writer, she asserts that all major belief systems embrace the core principle of compassion.
Watch these videos to learn more about Karen Armstrong's Charter for Compassion:
Charter for Compassion
TED Talk Speaker Karen Armstrong
RESOURCES FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING
Secondary Lessons Plans about the Charter for Compassion
- The Charter for Compassion
- Lesson on the Charter for Compassion
- Lesson on Karen Armstrong
- Rubric for Charter and Karen Armstrong Lesson
- Ideas for English Language Arts Curriculum Connections
- Digital Expression Lesson: Is Compassion Necessary? (SD # 44)
- Digital Expression iMovie-Making Rubric (SD #44)
Additional Secondary Lesson Plans for Exploring the Topic of Compassion
Other Compassion Resources
This book can be found in all Vancouver school libraries. (It can also be ordered from Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House.)
BC Youth (ages 12 to 18) reflect on giving, receiving, witnessing, observing, listening, accepting, action, courage, hope and understanding compassion.
For a set of discussion questions, click on the book cover.
Acts of Kindness
In Spring 2011, Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl from UBC partnered with Dr. Sonia Lyubomirski, University of California to research the effects on children performing Random Acts of Kindness.
You can download a copy of Kind Acts Ideas for Elementary Students by clicking on the heart picture to the left. And downoad a copy of Ideas for Parents and Teachers for Encouraging Kindness in Children.
LINKS FOR EDUCATORS
Here are additional links that may be helpful in engaging with students on the topic of compassion in action:
A Network for Grateful Living - Experience, deepen, and share the power of living gratefully.
Watch Louie Schwartzberg on TedX with Brother David Steindl-Rastl:
Charter for Compassion Home Page - learn more, connect with others, take action
Charter for Compassion Translations - over 30 languages available
Children and Youth Compassion Bibliography - annotated list of books
Compassion Project - Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House - learn about an innovative project in our community
Daily Good - inspirational website that promotes positive and uplifitng news from around the world
Dalai Lama Center Speakers Series - explore video/audio recordings of leaders who speak about education of the heart, related research, and the development of compassion
Greater Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life - groundbreaking scientific research into social and emotional well-being from the University of California, Berkeley
Greater Vancouver Compassion Network - committed to furthering compassionate engagement and conduct in our communities.
The Hawn Foundation - learn about the MindUP Program and lessons about optimism, gratitude and generosity
Institute of HeartMath - Dedicated to helping people establish heart-based living and global coherence
Kindness Foundation - offers tool kits for schools on respect, compassion, generosity, integrity and others
VB Learn - Vancouver Biennale Open Air Museum website and Heart, Mind, and Body Awareness Lesson
COMPASSION CONTENT CREATORS:
Lisa Pedrini, Social Responsibility Coordinator - Retired
Peggy Bochun, District Fine Arts Coordinator - firstname.lastname@example.org
Banner Photo courtesy of nojhan