Compassion is not merely a feeling state; deep compassion moves people to action. The best educators are full of passion for their work and compassion for their students. Compassion is what inspires teachers to nurture the mind, body and spirit of the whole student. Dr. Louis Cozolino, a scholar in the social neuroscience of Education, contends that as human beings “we are not survival of the fittest; we are survival of the nurtured.”
Students and adults alike need to feel as if they truly belong in a school community. In order to belong, a student must be known and feel known, with a depth that (1) transcends categories: recruited athlete, scholarship kid, international student, legacy, and (2) transcends identifiers: race, gender, class, sexuality, ability. Inclusion cannot be accomplished by words and intentions. Like compassion, inclusivity requires action.
Achieving and sustaining wellbeing is the ongoing challenge of living and learning together in a shared community. Schools value the wellbeing of students and adults by supporting practices that nurture the mind, body and spirit of all members of the community and by building the social and emotional capacities to deal with success and failure, closeness and conflict.
When we struggle to feel compassion for others, fail to be inclusive and fall short of wellbeing, as we inevitably will, curiosity helps us discern the barriers and opportunities before us. Curiosity creates expansion while certainty fosters narrowness. Curiosity is the antidote for polarization.
Ultimately we want to set goals, work collaboratively and accomplish stuff. By using compassion, inclusivity, wellbeing and curiosity as our methodology, we make sure our productivity is aligned with our values.