THE push to develop an empathy and emotional intelligence module for schools as part of the #Stand Together National Kindness Week campaign will resonate with many Malaysian parents, teachers, students and the Education Department, “Push to get kindness in curriculum” (The Star, Feb 24).
With at least 84% of Malaysian children experiencing some form of bullying before they turn 18, the campaign’s objective of inculcating kindness and empathy in children is a most worthy effort that should be strongly supported by all stakeholders.
Schools should not be just for teaching academic subjects. More importantly, schools should teach key values including kindness and empathy to promote a culture of respect among children.
Empathy is about seeing and listening with the eyes of another and feeling with the heart of another. So let’s try to encourage children to bring some comfort into the lives of others every day by being kind and compassionate in their actions, speech and outlook. As their role models, adults must set the right examples by being kind themselves.
Being kind also involves speaking out against cruelty or bullying when you see it. Philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s observation, “what wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?”, explains why even the smallest act of kindness can have a positive impact on the lives of others.
Like the ripples of a stone thrown into a pond, the effects of kindness can be far and wide.
SZE LOONG STEVE NGEOW
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