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cartoon of boy with the flu

As a parent, I have tried to teach empathy and compassion to my children. We want to model behavior that will make an impression and reach the depths of human love and kindness.

Sometimes, a teacher can make an unforgettable impact with his ability to open his heart and show his students a lesson that will last a lifetime. For my son, and others, a compassionate and empathetic act will never be forgotten.

It has been a snowy and difficult winter. The Polar Vortex became a part of our vocabulary and people struggled all across the United States in bitter cold, ice storms and record-breaking snowfalls. Along with that, people became sick with colds, viruses, and the flu; all that time indoors may have been too much togetherness.

At the school my son attends, over 60 boys, in the dorm, were sick with the flu. Rising snow drifts and cold drafty apartments did not help anyone to feel better. A teacher with a heart of gold and an empathetic soul rounded up the boys who were still feeling fine. He sent them to the grocery store for ingredients and together they made a huge pot of soup.

The pot was so heavy, that it was carried by two boys, one on each side. The teacher, and his students, went from room to room, and bed to bed. They gave out bowls of soup and stopped to ask each young man how he was feeling and chatted a bit. It was not enough to acknowledge that they were sick; offering comfort in warm food and kind words taught a lesson more deeply than I could in 18 years.

A little creativity, sincerity and empathy can make an impact that will never be forgotten. My husband and I were so touched, and grateful, when we heard the story from our son. As parents, we wonder what trouble our children can get into away from home with unknown influences. This was a teaching moment that made a difference to each student that day, whether they were receiving kindness or sharing it.

What small act of kindness and empathy could you create that would be unforgettable?
A good post reaches for your heart and remains on your mind.

Thank you so much for stopping by! It means more than you know.

charity giving

The current issue of Forbes magazines, dated December 2, 2013, is currently on newsstands. It contains the extraordinary stories of the Forbes 400, the wealthiest, and greatest philanthropists, in the world, and what drives them. The richest men and women in the world are driven to succeed, but also to help others to succeed. It is their heart and nostalgic support for their hometown communities that allow locales to develop and create heroes out of neighbors. Their stories are inspirational.

The Forbes 400 Global Summit was held to combine talents and energies to deal with issues such as global poverty and become catalysts of change. Additionally, they sought to create best practices and gathered intelligence to keep philanthropy growing, thriving and self-expanding. Creating systemic and pattern changes can create more effective methods of collaboration and expansion.

Bill Drayton, founder of Ashoka, expressed his belief that measurement of services was not enough. To create lasting and meaningful change, a habit of teaching empathic behavior will help to reframe the social network and understanding of the power of giving. To create lasting change will require teaching and training future generations the power of empathy. Drayton believes that cognitive empathy is a learned skill and should be taught in the classroom. “Cognitive empathy is necessary to play in the game. When you have a person that has this power, they can become a change-maker.” Drayton believes that this skill, along with technology, will create global change-makers that will be unstoppable.

The success of cohesive planning among similar charities around the world will enable philanthropic efforts to go further and grow farther using the head and the heart.
In this issue of Forbes, Credit Suisse included a 32 page outline and summary of the thoughts and conclusions at the global Philanthropic Summit. The full details can be found here:

Click to access Credit_Suisse_2013_REPORT.pdf

To all of you who read these posts and share the inspiration to do good, share empathy and kindness, I thank you! It means more than you know.

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