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Blog Posts 2022

Your Children Are Not Your Children

handprints in the background with title "YOUR CHILDREN ARE NOT YOUR CHILDREN"

Your children are not your children

They are the sons and daughters of life's longing for itself

They come through you but not from you

And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you

You may give them your love but not your thoughts

For they have their own thoughts

You may house their bodies but not their souls

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow

Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams

You may strive to be like them

But seek not to make them like you

~Khalil Gibran

During this holiday season, regardless of which holiday is observed, be it Hannukah, Christmas, or Kawanza, or even holidays that have passed, Eid and Diwali, children love and are often a focus in these celebrations. As Gibran implies, in his memorable verse from The Prophet, children are the future. It is our responsibility as adults to provide the love, security, and opportunities they need so they may explore their own thinking and doing. For they in turn will be making decisions that will affect not only their own generation, but future generations as well, not to mention our own age group.

The Charter for Compassion has done some heavy lifting this year in preparation for our approach to serving the next generations. In 2023, you will see a continuation of programs dedicated to working with youth, as they set their own agenda, for dealing with issues that are central to their own needs. In September and most recently in December, we worked with the Foundation of Peace and Compassionate Leadership to begin a new program, Youth Collaborating for Compassion (YCC). During our inaugural sessions, approximately 500 young people from five countries met to explore issues of concern to them, including well-being and trauma. Next year we are joining again to expand this program with the help of Crossing BordersWorld SavvyActionable InnovationsBounce Forward, and Narrative4 among others. You'll see a newly revised program for the Children's Charter for Compassion, a new Map of Co-Creators for schools, the introduction of a Children's and Youth Global Read webinar, and a program on GoldenRuleism. We will continue to offer our monthly Sangha for educators as well as those who are learners to come together to share with one another, regroup and experience the teachings of Thich Nhat Hahn.

How can you help? Your presence as a mentor is welcomed. As a parent, guardian, or family member we hope you will come with a child to the Global Read. As a supporter of the Charter, we hope you will contribute so that we can offer scholarships to teachers that will enable them to participate in compassionate training programs such as SEE Learning, the legacy program of the Dalai Lama, and the Loving Classroom, a program that originated in the Middle East and now is a model for schools in South Africa and the United Kingdom. There is more, and we will share our full program early in 2023. The uniqueness of each of the programs we will offer is that they are based on neuroscience, and are intended to help educators help students become more aware of their potential as contributors to their own behavior and welfare as well as that of others.

A contribution of $50 will train one teacher who can effectively touch the lives of 25-35 children at preschool and elementary levels and upwards of 100 secondary-aged students. We are hoping to enroll a small team of teachers from schools around the world who can become trainers in their own schools. We already have the template created for providing a conduit for educators to communicate with one another, across town, across their nation, and globally. A recurring $10 a month donation can allow two educators an opportunity to change the lives of a hundred students. Help us look forward, not backward.

A Note of Gratitude

We are grateful to each of you who are walking this compassionate journey with us. Heading into a new year brings many reflective thoughts and sentiments. Compassion is serious business. We are thankful that you are with us, as we learn more about the science of compassion, open our eyes to the suffering of the world, and continue to increase our awareness enough to respond to the local needs in our neighborhoods as well as our collective worldwide needs. We are humbled by the many Charter members who faithfully send us a donation to keep our cyber lights on and help us mentor our compassionate initiatives. It is an old but true message, "we could not have done any of it without you." 

​With warm regards,

Marilyn Turkovich