Name of Activity: Kindness in World
Date and Venue of Event:
- 15th May: Dr. Kalmadi Shamarao High School, Primary Section, Ketkar Road,
- 16th May: Dr. Kalmadi Shamarao High School, Baner
Kind of Activity: Indoor activity
Arun Wakhlu (Charter of Compassion)
Bhushan Patil (Annadata)
Objective of Session :
- Explaining kindness challenge to those participants who were new
- To get a feedback of parents about the one month Kindness Challenge (May – June 2019)
- Raising awareness of participants that practicing kindness is one of the steps towards becoming mindful.
- Understanding Compassion and action for Compassion
- Raising awareness of participants about 3 types of connections which are important for compassion (self, other people & Nature)
- Raising awareness of participants about how can we make Pune city a compassionate city by focusing on 3 major aspects – connection, conversation & co-creation
Activity Design: Experiential focusing on-
No of Participants 67
Presentation by the resource person, demonstration & discussion
During the camp that took place in May 2019 at Garudmachi, parents had been given a 21 days kindness challenge which involved doing one act of kindness daily and setting an example in front of the children.
21 days’ kindness challenge experience:
- Visting orphanages
- Visiting homes for the elderly
- Making children aware of the important roles played by domestic help, watchmen, street cleaners, etc.
- Visiting a rural school
Presentation by the resource persons, demonstration & discussion on Kindness in the World
What is Compassion?
The session started with understanding the meaning of ‘Namaste’. ‘Namaste’ means saluting the ocean of compassion that lies within the other person. With this understanding, participants were asked to look at each other and say ‘Namaste’ from their heart.
The discussion then went on to understanding the meaning of compassion. Compassion is a natural condition of human beings. But it gets lost because of contamination with unnecessary toxins. One of the most important lessons for compassion is that there is no place for ‘I’ or ‘Me’ in nature because ‘I’ or ‘Me’ don’t exist. We are not separate beings. We are deeply interconnected with nature. Even the molecules that we breathe were a part of someone else’s breath some moments back. So Compassion is connecting with each other and with nature and being kind to everything that we see around us: people, plants, animals, insects and trees.
We feel happier when we are compassionate because:
- We drop judgments
- Accept others as they are
- Get connected to each other
On the other hand, when we get stuck on an island three things happen:
- We get disconnected from people
- We get disconnected with our feelings and inner guidance
- We get disconnected with our body
The resource person mentioned the ‘Charter for Compassion’ – a world-wide charter which every individual could sign.
Compassion in Action
The best way to teach children compassion is to set an example.
Poorna Pune (How can we make Pune city compassionate city?
After this, the resource person gave a brief introduction to ‘Poorna Pune’ – a movement to make Pune a compassionate city. The movement is a part of the wider global movement which brings the Charter on Compassion to Life.
At the end of the sessions, participants were asked to discuss in groups and make of list of what could do to make Pune a compassionate city.
- If every one of us becomes compassionate, we can make Pune city compassionate.
- Compassion requires empathy and presence. Mindfulness is to be present in ‘NOW’.
- If you want to be mindful, you have to be a good listener. To be a good listener one should be silent from inside. If you are at peace from within then only you can listen to others.
- If you are compassionate, it will improve your physical as well as mental health and will give you peace of mind.
- Life is like Echo, whatever you give/spread, you will get it back. So spread happiness / kindness and you will get it back.
Mindful Eating: Safe Food (Presentation by Mr. Bhushan Patil and Shubha)
The resource person put forth the concept of Mindful Eating and Safe Food.
‘Food’ is connected to all aspects of living. In the present times we are so busy that we don’t have time to cook, to choose the vegetables that we are buying consciously and with full knowledge of how they are grown and how much chemicals are used to grow them. Thus, what we eat does not help us. In fact it causes us harm.
- Mindful eating involves being aware about:
- How food is produced (understanding the level of contamination)
- How food is cooked
- How it is consumed (whether we are paying attention to the food in front of us or whether we are distracted while eating)
- And how the waste is disposed
Safe Food: What is Safe Food?
- Food that is safe for the consumers
- Food that is safe for the producers
- Food that is safe for the soil and microorganisms
- Food that is safe for all components of the eco system
Many times, the food that we buy from the market is not safe. For example, vegetables and fruits grown off season are grown using a lot of chemicals are hence not safe for us and for the environment. The chemicals that we use go to the river and enter through the water in the food cycle again.
The best way to stop this practice is to stop demanding fruits and vegetables off season and consume only those that are available seasonally. This way farmers will not have to go out of the way to meet the consumer demand. Another option is to grow our own food to the extent possible.
The resource person was a part of ‘Annadata’ an organization spreading awareness about Safe Food. Participants were introduced to the activities conducted by ‘Annadata’ and the ways to get involved
The following Messages were passed on to Parents
- There is no place for ‘I’ or ‘Me’ in nature because ‘I’ or ‘Me’ don’t exist. We are not separate beings. We are deeply interconnected with nature.
- Compassion is connecting with each other and with nature and being kind to everything that we see around us: people, plants, animals, insects and trees.
- Everyone has an ocean of compassion inside them and we need to salute it. This is what, ‘Namaste’ means.
- Compassion connects us to others, makes us happy and spreads happiness. When we are stuck on an island we are disconnected.
- The best way to teach children compassion is to set an example.
- Parents became aware of the experience during kindness challenge. Following are the outcome of the discussion
- Kindness challenge gives a sense of responsibility
- All family members are benefitted due to kindness deeds
- Kindness deeds done for household helpers, underprivileged children, surprised them.
- Children also get involved and like to be a part of kindness challenge
- Parents understood that kindness is a step towards becoming mindful.
- Parents became aware that unless one is at peace, one cannot be a good listener.
- Parent understood that the compassion happens when
- You give time to yourself.
- Try to understand other people, make connections with other people stronger
- Spend time in nature
Parents became aware that to make Pune city compassionate, everyone needs to contribute. They can choose area of their interest and start working on how they can contribute. Parents with same area of interest can come together and form a group, get help from others and start contributing.