Compassion and Education: The Spirit Within
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” Dalai Lama
Our society has been trained to think of many endeavors as having discernible ends. In education, one literally attains knowledge by degrees, punctuated by ornate pieces of paper that can be hung proudly on walls. For anyone who understands the difference between knowledge and wisdom, an education is always a work in progress; information and how to make sense of acquired information must always be seen in relation to an ever-changing world and an ever-changing self. It is naive to say that one “has” an education. It is more accurate to state that one is constantly in the process of educating oneself.
The same is true for compassion. One does not become compassionate. As the Dalai Lama states, compassion takes practice, and that practice must never stop. Those who claim they have reached a state of compassion are most likely the first to begin to lose the sense of compassion as a progressive verb than a noun. A person who tries thoughtfully and sincerely to combine a lifelong dedication to educating the self while practicing compassion may indeed be on the path of wisdom.
It is with this understanding and acknowledgment of the intrinsic and vital link between education and compassion that we have created this TEDx event. We hope that you will be able to listen to those who are living examples of compassion and education in action. We hope that this event will be the beginning of all of our next steps on our paths. We hope that you will be able to let your spirit within emanate toward others, since we are all ultimately on the same path and we need each others’ help now more than ever.