solutionary

Are People by Nature Peaceful or Violent? Is This the Right Question?

Zoe Weil is a blogger for Psychology Today (PT), and twice a month we share her blog posts here. Enjoy! We humans have a penchant for either/or choices. Whether in politics (red vs. blue, capitalist vs. socialist), religion (heaven vs. hell, Christianity vs. Islam, etc.), or framed in the media (jobs vs. the environment, Left vs. Right), we…

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Blog: Creating the Space for Conversations

Creating the Space for Conversations With Young People About Compassion for Others

by Abby Power Can we have an open dialogue with our children and students about what is happening in the world today? I say yes! Children have an extraordinary capacity for critical thinking when given the opportunity to practice it. I have found that there are three main areas that help in creating a space…

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class

5 Simple Tips for Creating a Compassionate Classroom

by Samantha Gentrup As teachers get ready for the school year, we have to decide what our classrooms will look like and what our rules and procedures will be. We essentially have to create our classroom culture. What can we do to make sure we build a classroom of kindness and compassion for all beings?…

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protestors

5 Assumptions We Should Try to Make About Everyone

by Marsha Rakestraw The recent US election has highlighted a significant divisiveness. And the media and social media have been awash in hate speech and arguments, calls for healing and moving on, judgments, ideas about next steps, and assumptions. Usually when we make assumptions about others, they’re not positive ones. We tend to make split-second…

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blurry crowd of people walking on the street

5 Minute Changemaker: Pretend You Know (and Care About) Everyone

by Marsha Rakestraw The other day, as I was driving home from the dog park, I was following an SUV that stopped in the midst of a turn to let a pedestrian cross the street. Apparently the pedestrian and the people in the SUV knew each other, as they waved heartily and spoke briefly to…

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cultivating compassion

Practices for Cultivating Compassionate Communication Skills

by Marsha Rakestraw Sometimes I have a dream in which I run door-to-door in my neighborhood. I bang on the door until someone answers, and then I grab them by the shirt and scream at them to stop doing things that hurt other beings and to start being compassionate RIGHT NOW! Fortunately, I have better…

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kids in classroom

5 Minute Changemaker: Speak the Good in Others

by Marsha Rakestraw My 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Leddy, had us students do something that I have never forgotten. She called it a “car wash.” Every week one of us would be the “car,” and the other students would form two lines in front of the car. Zigzagging from one side to the other, the…

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kindness

14 Children’s Picture Books About Kindness

by Marsha Rakestraw Kindness seems like such a simple quality, but unless we’re taught to be kind to ourselves, other people, nonhuman animals, and the earth, it won’t become an integral part of our humanity. Reading and discussing children’s picture books is a great tool for helping children embrace kindness for others as a daily…

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heart

Caring When Caring Hurts

by Shannon Finch I admit it, I am sensitive. As a child, people thought my sensitivity was cute. As I got older, my sensitivity often exasperated my family. People teased; it wasn’t malicious, but it was patronizing and hurtful. I started to think that sensitive people were weak, whiny, and self-indulgent. Sensitive is defined as…

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Caroline Crane

I Am a Humane Educator: Caroline Crane

IHE M.Ed. graduate Caroline Crane grew up near Detroit, Michigan. She earned her undergraduate degree and became certified to teach elementary education. She then worked for several years as a vet tech for the Humane Society of Huron Valley. And since 1994 Caroline has been the vice president of education for the Humane Society of…

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