Educating Children about Compassion can Help us Live Longer
The central motivation for the founding of Compassionate Essentials was to promote the interdependence of the individual with the entire world and its inhabitants. We hoped to open the eyes and hearts of our readers to this human interdependence. We believe that participating in the sales of Fair Trade products will improve the world by giving more people the opportunity to practice
The scientific community is now shedding new light on the importance of compassion and its benefits to human wellbeing. With the establishment of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University, the world is coming to understand that the greatest sense of human fulfillment comes from being connected to others and helping them, not from achieving, receiving or attaining as economists would have us believe.
- boosts our health and life span
- makes us happy
- makes us happier than buying things for ourselves
- makes us more attractive in romantic situations
- uplifts everyone around us
- spreads out to others as a chain reaction
- aids in allievating anxiety and depression
- is natural to human beings, beginning in childhood
- helps us make better use of our time
- is good for society, community, and the world
“I truly believe compassion provides the basis of human survival, the real value of life, without that there is a basic piece missing. We cannot be happy ourselves without thinking about the happiness of others.” His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet
Because of his beliefs concerning compassion, the Dalai Lama played an important part in the founding of CCARE, when he donated $150,000 from his book sales to fund the institute’s establishment.
It’s not surprising that training individuals in compassion involves “loving-kindness” meditation, derived from traditional Buddhist practices. However, educational institutions such as Western Washington University have developed compassion-cultivation training courses. This program involves empowerment and instilling a feeling of safety, connection, assurance, emotional and behavioral self-regulation, and social skills.
On a global level, the Charter for Compassion has been affirmed by more than 89,000 individuals, communities, and schools. One of the organization’s most successful programs has been in Pakistan and Jordan where groups have teamed up as the Compassionate School Network whose basic tenet is that “compassion is a skill.” The program introduces compassion skills: generosity, humility, mindfulness, empathy, gratitude, self-compassion, action, Compassionate Essentials hopes that all individuals will realize the benefits of cultivating compassion and will practice compassion in their daily lives. One way to do this is to purchase Fair Trade goods that ensure the well being of farmers and artisans worldwide and facilitates the upward mobility of women in countries where the practice is unknown.