Skip to main content

Compassion for All: 5 Powerful Ways to Teach Your Child to Care and Transform the World

Just the other day, I read a news report about a son who pushed his mother down the stairs simply because he was fed up with taking care of her. She fell sick too often and he was fed up with being the caregiver. I wondered, ''What kind of an environment are we creating for our children? Our actions leave an impact and how can we help create the right impact?How do we teach human values?''


                            FOLLOW MY BOARDS ON PINTEREST

As a parent, the one thing that worries me among many is how to nurture compassion for all in a growing child.  Forget about teaching compassion to a child - how do we start practicing it? For most people, these are lessons learned at home. I grew up seeing my father show compassion to all those who reach out to seek his help. Jokingly I once asked my Dad, ''What if a Pakistani soldier is dying and seeks your help, what would you do?'' He didn't have the slightest hesitation in saying, ''I'd do my very best to save his life. When I took oath as a doctor, I vowed to save human life, my job is not to differentiate between the life of a Pakistani and an Indian, but to save a life.'' 

[DO read: A Dad's Advice to the Daughter He loves]

Brene Brown's book ''Daring Greatly'' defines compassion in a wholehearted, holistic way that appeals to me. She quotes Pema Chodron:

''Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It is a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.'

So, how do we teach compassion as a human value to our children? We don't always need to point to Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa. Nowadays, kids prefer Steve Jobs to any other icon - let's face the reality of the tech-savvy generation that we are dealing with.

1. We can show our children the value of compassion by BEING and LIVING it. 

2. Teach how Nature is full of compassion - the trees that continue to give us fruit even when we human beings don't hesitate to cut them down for whatever reasons. 

3. Show paintings and art around us that embrace compassion in the most realistic way. It can be anything and everything that you see around you through an artistic medium. Every city has art galleries, paintings that depict real-life - use this as a good time to bond and have a good conversation with your child.

4. Read out from books that embrace compassion in its narrative - you can find several instances if you are a voracious reader. Not sure how to get started? Read books written by RK Narayan, Ruskin Bond and Sudha Murty.

5. Stories about our family members that inculcate the feeling of compassion - you can share true stories about grandparents, parents and family members that can be shining examples of how compassion can be practiced daily.

One of my favourite stories is this: This Investment Banker from London left his high flying career to lead a simple life in Puttaparthi.

In case you have such stories of compassion to share, do write in the comments section of this blog post and share it with other readers too. 

The more we can inspire others, the better world we create for ourselves and our children. Do share your stories with me too. 

Comments

Most Popular Posts

The Ugly Truth about Caste in Kerala

Many years ago, when I wrote this post on Kerala's caste system, I had not considered that I would receive such online abuse for writing this or that I would be seen as some one who was trying to insult other castes. The intention of writing is always to share an experience or a perspective, not to insult others.  My experience of motherhood and marriage would be different from yours. When I write about my experience, it is illogical to abuse me because our journeys are entirely different narratives. My life and yours are not the same at any given point of time.

My question is - why do you ABUSE any caste or person here? You are free to disagree but why do you ABUSE? How does that reflect on YOU?

In my article, I shared what trials I went through, without any intention to insult any community.A new book 'Ants among Elephants' written by Sujatha Gidla, who writes about herself as being born 'an untouchable in India' teaches you everything you probably want to know abo…

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra: Meaning, Benefit of Chanting and Who can Chant the Mantra

Mahadmrityunjaya Mantra: Benefit of chanting this mantra nee

There are very few mantras that are as powerful as the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra. Do read my post: Does Mahamrityunajaya mantra really work?Of course, it does but you need to undertstand the meaning and significance of the mantra first.
This mantra is believed to have the power to remove all sufferings, diseases and bestow the one who chants it with good health and long life. It is also believed that constant contemplation of the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra can help spiritual aspirants to overcome the cycle of birth and death.
What got me fascinated about this mantra is something personal.  I learned this mantra from my father but it is my maternal grandmother who chanted it all the time and repeatedly told me of its tremendous power to protect. However, I did not chant this mantra regularly. [ Do READ: THE POWER OF LOVE]
But at the age of two, my son was taught some mantras by my mother who explained what it means to him and he becam…

Amazing Signs You are an Earth Angel

Doreen Virtue’s book, “Assertiveness for Earth Angels” brings to life the reality of Earth Angels in very easy way. It’s an exciting must-read! 

[DO READ: The POWER OF LOVE]

Earth Angels have amazing superpowers in: MusicArtsWriting HealingManifesting miracles for others such as controlling weather conditions and  becoming invisible at will.
[MUST READ: A Dad's Advice to the Daughter He loves]
DO READ: ASK MORE, FEAR LESS.

How to Identify Earth Angels by their Traits
To know whether you are an Earth Angel, take a look at their known traits that are explained in this book:


You have a graceful and compassionate aura that inspires people.Your presence “lifts” everyone to happier spirits – it is proof of who you really are.You don’t judge others but you overdo the “acceptance” bit. So, you tolerate even those who show no respect for boundaries.You cannot stand anyone suffering or being in pain. You are constantly “rescuing people” because it is in your nature to want to see everyone happy in …

Top 10 Skincare tips for Summer

Come summer, and we women worry a lot about how the sun lashes out on our skin. True, skincare tips for the summer are plenty but what about the hushed secrets - yes, those tried and tested family secrets that are passed on from mother to daughters? [ALSO READ: How to NEVER EVER GIVE UP on the spiritual path]

FOLLOW MY BOARDS ON PINTEREST

Here are some that are totally easy to do. Best of all, these are effective and bring on a feel-good factor in the peak of summer.

1. Replace water with rosewater. It keeps your skin luminous and fragrant throughout the day. It's a good toner too.

2. Cleanse your skin by combining these ingredients - honey, milk, rosewater/rosepetals and turmeric. Add a dash of olive oil and yes, it feels wonderful.

3. Almond oil body baths are a must-have! You will smell delicious all day. This summer, skip all those body lotions & moisturizers! You will love the way almond oil pampers your skin all day!

4. Use a mixture of almond oil and olive oil for your fe…

Balanced diet for ladies: Eat according to your body’s age

Experts say that as years roll by, your body’s ability to absorb nutrients decline, so it is even more important to formulate a balanced diet and eat according to one’s age.

The following age-specific information (excluding the details given under ‘Expectant Mothers’) is a summary from an article I read in the popular UK food magazine called Delicious and the article is titled “Eat your age: Wise up to your changing needs.” It is written by Anna Montague and published in  March 2011. 

[READ: Why Salad is Good for you ]


FOLLOW MY BOARDS ON PINTEREST

Balanced Diet during Teen Years Iron deficiency is seen as a predominant condition in most teenage girls and this trend is increasing. Teenage girls are not getting enough iron from their diet.

200gm of low fat yoghurt every dayLean meat, fish, pulses and eggsDried fruitsLeafy vegetablesFresh fruitsSay no to sugary drinksHaving a daily sufficient calcium intake is important for girls as it is like having ‘bone in the bank’ for the future.
Balanced…

Why Om is powerful and important

Summers are here and I love to bask in the sunshine. We all do, don't we, especially after a brief spell of gloomy, dark winters? The last three months have been challenging for me on the path of Sadhana - many slip ups that I am not proud of. These are gentle reminders to maintain steadfast self-discipline. 

You may wonder, ''Why should one be disciplined on the spiritual path?"



FOLLOW MY BOARDS ON PINTEREST


Can you study any subject and master it without exercising discipline? Whether you are a doctor, a lawyer, a stock exchange broker or a blogger, can you accomplish important milestones without sticking to a certain level of discipline in the way you work? The most successful people across all spheres of life are known to be highly disciplined.

As Swami often points out, even sports, which is meant for enjoyment, cannot have champions unless they are highly disciplined. If you are a blogger, don't you ensure a certain degree of discipline in your approach to findi…

Why chant Ramayana during the month of Karkidakam

For Keralites across the world who follow the Malayalam calendar, today marks the beginning of the month of Karkidakam. This month, which, decades ago, was known and slightly feared for its torrential rains and negative impact on the health, wealth and well being of Kerala's rural community. 
Why chant Ramayana during Karkidakam To ward off the negative energy unleashed by Nature and its possible repercussions on one's family's overall well being, the wise elders introduced the timeless tradition of every family reading the Ramayana as an oral, spiritual tradition. Thus, it goes without saying that for Keralites who embrace these traditions, the act of reading the Ramayana is as much a spiritual cleansing as it is a kind of tradition they can pass on to bond with their loved family members, particularly children.
In the Ramayana, there is no 'preaching of principles' but you are taken through the Avatar's journey as a human being. Lord Rama depicts how a man shoul…

A Book Review: The Test of my Life by Yuvraj Singh

Yuvraj Singh’s book ‘The Test of My Life’ has been summed up accurately by ‘Master Blaster’ Sachin Tendulkar in two words – ‘Pure Inspiration.’ I can’t think of a better word for this book.
Yuvraj Singh’s ‘The Test of My Life’ takes us through a tumultuous, personal account of Yuvraj’s life as a cricketer and cancer survivor. The best and most interesting part is where Yuvraj talks about his ‘deal with God.’ He told God something on the lines of ‘Take my life but give us the World Cup’ and it almost became true in his life, according to Yuvraj. All of this is just an icing on the cake. There’s so much to learn and look forward to in Yuvraj’s book. You should buy the book - it's pure inspiration. ABSOLUTE HONESTY Throughout the book, you will marvel at Yuvraj’s honesty. It isn’t easy to write so openly about a difficult childhood because of parents who couldn’t get along with each other. It isn’t easy to confess how one’s parent would throw ice cold bucket of water on an early winter m…

A Dad's advice to the daughter he loves: Be yourself, remember you are special and treasure your strengths

Just a week ago, Dad gave me a very emotional pep talk at the Bangalore airport. The good thing is that whenever I feel emotionally vulnerable or stressed out, I replay Dad's conversation. It lifts me up and instantly brings a huge smile to my face. That's my Dad - yeah! 




As a teenager, Bangalore used to be one of my favorite cities though the garden city was not as ''global'' and ''vibrant'' as it is today. It was a pretty cool place to go shopping for stylish accessories, not that I could splurge and go crazy with shopping but I could do so on a limited budget. So, I used to look forward to our summer trips to Bangalore, from where we would head out to Whitefield. 

The busy, broad streets, the scent of street food and the vibrant atmosphere had always perked me up every time I reached Bangalore. Be it heading to Puttaparthi or Whitefield, my parents and I have traveled to Bangalore so many times that it became a kind of ''routine'…

Gayatri Mantra as Panchamukhi: Get it right or let it go

Most people do not understand the importance of chanting the Gayatri mantra because they are not aware of its power. It is only when I began to read Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's teachings that I learned how sacred and powerful the chanting of the Gayatri mantra is.
The Vedas represent the breath of God. The Gayatri mantra is the very basis of the Vedas. Try not to undertake chanting the Gayatri mantra as a light endeavor or as a hobby. It has to be chanted with faith, discipline and purity of mind and body. Be steady with your sadhana if you want to reap the spiritual dividend associated with the Gayatri mantra  and never once hesitate once you decide to do it.
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba said that the Gayatri Mantra is referred to as Pancha Mukhi, the Goddess with five faces that represent the five pranas or life forces. Here's more on it.


Chant the Gayatri Mantra correctly: Pause Five Times Here are some important things to keep in mind while chanting the Gayatri mantra:

1. Wh…