(For related context, please read: LOVE: a 4 Letter Word Mothers (Should) Use!)
Any TRULY WORTHWHILE COMPASSIONATE Endeavor is no easy task!:)
Let me preface this post by openly acknowledging: I highly value Education. I highly value Literacy. I highly value Teachers. I highly value the Classroom. (THANK YOU TO ALL TEACHERS working very hard to educate! Where would any of us be without your love, dedication and hard work. We would be no where well.)
Over the years, the notion of literacy has evolved. The conventional concept limited to reading, writing and numeracy skills is still in wide use, as well as the notion of functional literacy which links literacy with socio-economic development. But other ways of understanding “literacy” or “literacies” have emerged to address the diverse learning needs of individuals in knowledge-oriented and globalized societies. ~www.unesco.org
A superlative education (in my view) involves *agape (unselfish) love literacy as well as compassion literacy.
*Here is 1 description of the Greek term Agape Love contrasted with Phileo Love:
“The definition of agápe, as given in Strong’s concordance, contrasts it with the verb philéo, which is affection as for friends. Then it says that philéo is “chiefly of the heart,” but agápe chiefly “of the head,” and defines agápe as, “the judgment and the deliberate assent of the will as a matter of principle, duty and propriety.” “So it is love based on principle, involving primarily the mind, not one’s emotions. It may or may not include affection and fondness. It is not unfeeling and cold. Yet it is not ruled by feeling or sentiment, but is guided or governed by principle.”
I also understand agape application to mean: a person does good (well) to the object of his love because it is the right (correct) and (well) good (unselfish) thing to do.
This superlative agape education (literacy) equips us to make sound, logical, intelligent, evidence-based, compassionate, non-selfish decisions that do not endanger or harm ourselves or others. Decisions that benefit (not just short-term but long-term) ourselves and others. Decisions that benefit: All Breathing–Fragile–Life (aka Family) upon our beautiful planet Earth!
We learn accurate knowledge and practical wisdom. We learn cooperation and not competition. We learn peace and not war. We learn to value/respect All Breathing–Fragile–Life whether that life is in animal form or human form. We treat all life with dignity. We respect planet earth and do not ruin it. We learn non-partiality. We treat all life in the manner of love and respect with which we wish to be treated. We openly acknowledge and appreciate others’ strengths. We look at the beauty in all life, peoples, races and nationalities, backgrounds, cultures. We learn compassionate giving and not just taking. We learn we are not superior to others. We are different and non-comparative. We are all works in progress throughout our entire lives. We each need encouragement, guidance and on-going compassionate education to continue progressing along our wellness path.
Ted Turner, founder of CNN, comments about his work with a number of talented individuals from various nations: “Meeting with these people was an incredible experience. I came to see those from other countries not as ‘foreigners,’ but as fellow citizens of the planet. I began to view the word ‘foreign’ as pejorative and created a rule within CNN that the word could not be used either on air or in conversation around the office. Instead, the word ‘international’ was to be used.”
Early and on-going compassion education is VERY important. Parents are first “compassion” teachers, mentors and examples for their children.
For example, some may be taught at home or in school at an early age that their culture/ethnicity/gender/language/country/region/neighborhood/school, etc….is “THE BEST” and/or possibly worthy or deserving of more…than others who are so-called less than best/inferior, etc.
Cultivating compassion means riding self, mind and heart and behavior of any prejudices and partialities or thinking/believing one is superior.
As differing works in progress with differing skill-sets, we all want similar things: Happiness, success, peace, longevity, health and wellness. Life is a gift. All life is a gift to appreciate, help and not harm. We learn life and living is interdependent. We learn our decisions big and small either positively or negatively impact our immediate family, neighborhood, community, school, state, country, planet. We strive to conserve and not consume. We strive to appreciate and not waste. We strive to build and recycle. We learn forgiveness and tolerance not apathy nor indifference. Patience and positive-focus-on-strengths takes us far long-term.
However, our personal understandings and definitions of certain terms are subjective: happiness, success, peace, longevity, health, education, literacy and wellness and ways of achieving these goals may differ greatly. A superlative education (in my view) teaches us to live life with a purpose and not just a plan. For example, please notice this excellent illustration I read:
“Imagine that two men are each preparing to take a trip by car. One maps out a specific, detailed path to his destination. The other has his destination clearly in mind, but he also knows many alternate routes. He is prepared to adjust his course as necessary to deal with any contingency. In some respects, the different approaches of these two men illustrates the distinction between a plan and a purpose. A plan might be compared to mapping out a detailed path, whereas a purpose may involve having in mind a goal but not necessarily one specific manner of reaching it.”
We are each learning self-control and self-discipline aka self-compassion. We each make mistakes in our journey of life-long learning and living requiring adjustments, tweaks and flexibility. We each learn something new every day and strive to move positively forward. When we fall, we do not stay down. We get up. We try. We do not give up!:)
Learning is a life-long-progressively-individualized-paced-immeasurable-growth. We learn in the womb until we take our last breath. As unique breathing-fragile-life, we each uniquely learn and grow in ways peculiarly our own. We crawl, cruise, walk and run: when we are ready. The speed, distance, race set before each of us varies greatly. Thus, our capacities and skill-sets, abilities, potential for growth and achievement vary greatly. We learn and grow: physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually along our life’s path at our individual intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical pace and space.
In my view of education: I highly value Compassion Education. I highly value Love Literacy. I highly value Teachers of these. I highly value the classroom which is a broad term. A classroom doesn’t necessarily mean an indoor room with a bunch of desks. Institutional learning/education has its place and purpose, organization and structure. In a broader sense, our global-community is our classroom. Also, our classroom and teacher is our beautiful earth (and all things that make up our earth) and not only a digital picture of our planet we Google.
PLEASE! join me for Part 2: in the mean time for continued reading, ruminating and application aka mind transformation, please see:
photo-word-family-on-yellow-background-high-resolution-d-imageavailable at Shutterstock