Define compassion: pure feeling. Much more direct than feeling something about someone or something, compassion means sharing another’s feeling with as little selfishness as humanly possible.
Listen to George Harrison’s Bangladesh. In journal, scholars write about how they can keep from turning their backs on suffering, what they have turned away from already, and why. Share if they want.
Dalai Lama: Don’t worry about world peace, worry about internal disarmament. Anger, aggression, and revenge born of the refusal to forgive those who hurt us are motivations for our violence. We must disarm our inner selves by controlling our minds, diminishing our anger so that our sameness as human beings shows itself clearly. Weapons do not fire on their own but require a human to pull the trigger. Turn within and examine what motivates you.
What has happened to our minds that we can no longer understand everything is related? Giving up hope is the only mistake we can make.
Listen to West Meets East. Menuhin thinks music can be a tool for peace. Why might he say this? Agree or disagree?
Read the Goat Lady to get a deeper understanding of kindness.
Why would someone not be compassionate? What gets in the way of compassion?
There are two different ways of being in the world. One way of living comes from feeling that life owes you plenty, so you direct all your energy toward the payback you feel that you deserve. Your life becomes dedicated to your needs and expectations only. Do any of us sometimes live this way?
Would it help us to become more compassionate if we taught ourselves to be thankful for small things as well as large things, day in and day out? Being grateful is the other way of living in the world. It is the willingness to appreciate what you are given and how much life offers you. Part of being grateful is the feeling that it is you who owes something to others and to the earth.
What are some examples of things for which we are really thankful? Ex: I’m thankful for tools of philosophy and want to share them with the world.
Create two columns with “Necessary/Happiness” and “Pleasure/Wants”. Take a mental inventory of the things they own and then discuss the differences.
ACTIVITY: Write a letter of gratitude to someone in your life and actually deliver it.
Homework: In journal: what are some things that you do that might affect people in other countries?