'... feeling empathy for the less fortunate and having the desire to help alleviate their sufferings.'
In other words, it involves two steps: understanding, and action.
'Compassion is an act that takes place between two entities. It can be a compassionate act between two people, it can be a person acting compassionately toward an animal, or it can be a person acting compassionately toward the planet. Compassion can even be an internal act between our dark side and our better nature—acting compassionate toward ourselves. Regardless, it requires an understanding of a person’s or an animal’s or the planet’s or even our own essence, and a willingness to bring that essence into our present-moment awareness.'
- Chater for Compassion
"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion; if you want to be happy, practice compassion."
-The Dalai Lama
Here are some definitions of humane education...
"A process that encourages an understanding of the need for compassion and respect for people, animals and the environment and recognizes the interdependence of all living things."
"to create a more just, humane, and sustainable world for all life through education."
The Institute For Humane Education defines the four key elements of humane education as follows:
Providing accurate information (so we have the knowledge to face challenges)
Fostering the 3C’s: curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking (so we have the tools to meet challenges)
Instilling the 3R’s: reverence, respect, and responsibility (so we have the motivation to confront challenges)
Offering positive choices and tools for problem solving (so we will be able to solve challenges).
“Humane education (HE) is a concept that encompasses all forms of education about social justice, citizenship, environmental issues and the welfare of animals. It recognizes the interdependence of all living things. This is values-based education that:
Develops sensitivity to all life, appreciation of diversity and tolerance of difference
Encourages children to become more compassionate and learn to live with greater respect for everyone
Provides opportunities for children to develop a sense of responsibility and a duty of care for their surroundings and the natural world
Contributes to the development of children’s attitudes and critical thinking skills [and systems thinking skills]
Empowers children to make decisions and take action as responsible world citizens.”
In other words, we aim to educate young people to:
think about others (including animals) and their needs, feelings and suffering
think about the effects of our actions
think about our world and our place within it
- World Animal Protection