Saturday, November 15, 2008

Compassion + Action

“We can’t do something about everything,
but we can do something about something.”

Marta Donahoe, Program Director
Clark Montessori Junior/Senior High, Cincinnati, OH
Excerpts from
"Doing something brings out the more noble parts of who we are, brings us closer to our most authentic selves. It reminds us that we are all connected in the mystery of life and spirit. Serving brings both hope and compassion into the realm of education. That is why I believe that it is important to help students connect to service projects and to understand the difference between helping and serving. Helping means seeing life as broken or helping those less fortunate, while serving is a healing act, an act of joy between equals.

Our schools are microcosms of the world community and as such, our task to widen our circle of compassion has far-reaching implications. I am reminded of Parker Palmer’s wisdom, “If you ask what holds a community together, what makes the possibility for relatedness possible, the only honest answer I can give brings me to that dangerous realm called the spiritual. The only answer I can give is that what makes community possible is love.” How else do we prepare children to take their place in society? We talk about the events of the world as if they really matter. We create a safe place for the expression of truth. We encourage ideas in the context of hope and compassion. When we do these things with love, the love of learning and the love of the learners, it makes powerful medicine for children and for this world."

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