Why is it that in our day and age, even though we can feel so connected through the internet and social media, there is still so much divide? Things like racism, Islamophobia, or homophobia are still so prevalent in our world even though now more than ever we have access to so much information and stories. Too many people are still hiding within their little groups and not reaching out into the world or wanting to meet people different from them. Of course, humanity as a whole has made immense strides towards unity and equality, and yet we do still have so much more road to cover.
So how can we turn things around? How can we start to bridge those gaps existing in our human race and create a better world for tomorrow?
I believe that to make this world love again we need more empathy and compassion. We need to teach the next generation about all of the people and cultures around the world and that we are all human alike and part of one family on this Earth. No more can our borders be dividers and our religions barriers for communication, we need humanity to open up it’s arms again and embrace everyone with understanding and empathy. This is the only way we can all work together to achieve peace.
“An open heart is an open mind.” -Dalai Lama
I have been a traveler my entire life, growing up in different countries and learning different languages. This lifestyle gave me immense insight into the different ways that people from other cultures live. By being exposed to so many different languages, religions, and cultures, I grew up with a deep sense of connection to people around the world because I was able to experience first hand their cultures and traditions.
When we aren’t exposed to other cultures and beliefs of the world, we can become suspicious or angry at people who are different from us because they are just numbers or statistics, not real people. Just meeting people face to face can change our perception of an entire culture because we put a real human face to it and connect with them.
“The way to change others’ minds is with affection, and not anger.” -Dalai Lama
Empathy and compassion are some of the most important qualities in our lives. Without them we could not relate to people or feel that tug in our heart to help those in need. In the Power of Kindness, Piero Ferucci explains how “empathy has been necessary to our survival since prehistoric times: Human beings can thrive only in community. And that is impossible if they cannot read the emotions and intentions of others…Empathy is what is missing most, and what would most help resolve age-old, dangerous racial problems and prejudices. That is why it is so important at this time. ”
I believe that teaching empathy to the next generation starts with every single one of us. We all have a role in demonstrating compassion and empathy for others and inspiring other people to do the same. In schools, we need more discussions on compassion and empathy for other cultures and a basic education on other places around the world. I had the privilege of traveling to so many countries at a young age, but not everyone can. Change needs to start with the kids who are the future leaders of this world.
“My wish is that one day, formal education will pay attention to the education of the heart, teaching love, compassion, justice, forgiveness, mindfulness, tolerance, and peace. This education is necessary from kindergarten to higher-level schools and universities. I mean social, emotional, and ethical learning. We need a worldwide initiative for educating heart and mind, in this modern age.
At present our educational systems are mainly oriented towards material values and training one’s understanding. But reality teaches us that we do not come to reason through understanding alone. We should place greater emphasis on inner values.” -Dalai Lama
Our generation needs to be the one to learn from our past as a human race and not repeat the past mistakes over again. We cannot let hate win as it has before and we can be the ones to turn things around. Yet we need more empathy and compassion deep in our hearts to make a radical change and make this world a better place.
Are you ready to change the world with compassion?