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Cultivating CQ In Schools

Spoke to a big group of school principals in Pune today, on the topic of "Compassion Quotient."  All educators are clear that kids in this era are disconnected -- which is leading to many problems, ranging from bullying to depression to attention deficit.  However, what educators don't know how to do is cultivate the antidote of compassion.  The crux of my thesis went like this: we have turned schools into assembly lines of manufacturing, but growing compassion requires gardening.  Consequently, we try to manufacture compassion and that's a losing battle.

Across various cities, this is a topic that is resonating with educators. Originally, today's gathering was supposed to be an intimate circle of 20 folks, but they shifted the venue, and someone said that close to 100 schools were represented in the room.  Two nuns drove 4 hours, one way, to join the circle because their head nun had joined a similar circle in Mumbai and immediately incorporated a lot of changes into their schools.  In ServiceSpace, everyone sees an exemplary island of possibility -- and while not everyone may have the conditions to grow such a farm, we can all certainly experiment with a rooftop garden.

During the Q&A session, lots of inspired comments and ideas emerged.  Sheetal tagged everyone with a Smile Deck.  Folks started sharing stories of compassion that kept building on each other -- and one principal then offered how she has a graduating class of 237 students, and she has decided to hand-write a personalized gratitude letter to each one of them!   

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"Service doesn't start when you have something to give; it blossoms naturally when you have nothing left to take."

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