ALTERNATE TITLE: How do we Effectively “Teach” Self-care, Empathy and International Mindedness? [FREE BOOK FOR 5 DAYS]
One of the perennial discussions in education is defining the foundational purpose behind what we do.
Are we preparing children for functioning in our human world or, perhaps more altruistically, helping them live their best lives in their own unique ways?
I’ve answered the question, for myself, on one way to support the latter proposition. I have done so first and foremost as a parent by taking responsibility for documenting a path for my daughter; a sort of illustrated trail of breadcrumbs if you will. It was a labour of love on my part. For readers, dare I say, fellow travelers, it involves taking personal responsibility for:
- adjusting behavior
- committing to self-care
- developing empathy, and
- applying consistency and resilience in developing character and understanding, first hand, the human world and our place in it
It all starts with a simple question. What do you know about life?
Not so much what opinions do you have but how much time have you spent contemplating the big questions and considering what the greatest minds have had to say on the subject throughout history? What is your “philosophy of life” and on what do you base it?
Have you one?
Whether you are teaching TOK, Values, Elementary or your own child, much of what we “teach” is through example, intentionally or not. With a subject as big as this it permeates who we actually are and how we engage with life. Are we ready to address these questions and help build a better future if we remain bogged down in the day-to-day and nothing else?
Many of us are sleepwalking through life.
It’s not our fault.
It’s all our fault.
No one taught us that living is an action so few of us have ever considered the art of the thing. It’s not really a topic in school. Our friends aren’t doing it. Our families were raised the same way.
Lucky for us, however, throughout history some exceptional humans have left clues. We need to live intentionally before it’s too late. We need a different path. In discovering the threads and insights across cultures over centuries, we not only gain a better sense of human reality but the fact that it is the same whenever, or wherever we are.
We all wish to impart the best to those in our care. This is why I have written this book based on my own decades of investigation and contemplation. It is here to share the first love of my life with my daughter, my search for meaning.
This is your invitation to join us.
You won’t find a more comprehensive overview of the history of thought on this topic laid out so simply and thoughtfully to support you and yours in the development of your very own philosophy of life in easy to grasp lay terms. Just read and enjoy or, better yet, follow the exercises included to take your class, your child or yourself even further!
The idea being that we can go a mile deep with one source or, as a source of discussion and reflection, go both a mile deep and wide by spanning more time and more people with a categorized approach weaving examples throughout history in the layout of a guidebook.
Books are the quietest and most constant of friends;
they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors,
and the most patient of teachers.
― Charles W. Eliot
And this is important stuff. It is essential that we tackle these questions in our quest for satisfaction and growth.
Life can be tough.
At some point, we are all touched by loss and disappointment. We have all been let down by people and circumstances. People we expect to act with integrity at some crucial juncture fail us and we need to pick ourselves up and make sense of it all.
This book is crafted to set readers down a path to realizing their very own philosophy so as to live an authentic, more meaningful life and embody the integrity we would all like to see in others. We’re thrown into this world to find our own way but we aren’t alone. This book is testament to this notion. We don’t have to learn everything from scratch. This is a gift of our humanity.
This book is a timeless collection of thought from some of the greatest minds that ever lived. It spans centuries and cultures and, never academic or dry, even touches upon how pop culture often holds clues on how to live better. I include pop-culture because, in this search, everything is sacred. You don’t need to be a sage or philosopher. If any human can do it, any of us can. There are clues to be found. Don’t lose them.
But this is no mere compilation of platitudes and affirmations.
This book is many things – part compilation, part kitschy artwork and 100% something to carry around with ease, flip through at any time for inspiration and enjoy as an entirely non-academic enterprise.
But, again, this is no mere collection. It’s a memoir of sorts as well. A veritable “finger pointing at the moon,” a record of my own search for meaning and an exercise book to help others develop their own philosophies.
After all, what kind of a father would I be if, after decades of reading, experience, travel and searching, the best I could produce for my daughter was a collection of the thoughts of others? Let’s consider this a philosophical trail of breadcrumbs to help navigate the wonderful mess that we call life. I have included a considerable number of quotes. They follow no particular order other than what fit the narrative. Some sections have less than others. Some, near the end, are nearly all quotes as part of the ongoing exercise that is suggested throughout that you take note of which speak most directly to you.
Are you seated comfortably? Then we shall begin.
NOTE: I believe all attributions are correct. The point, however, is the insight behind them.
I do not profess that what you will read in these pages is an academically rigorous or fully comprehensive account. It is, however, the most concise overview I am aware of as it comes to philosophy treatments for lay people.
This book will expose you to a wide array of perspectives and ideas, some of which will have a real impact on you. Others you may already have come across. It will suggest certain ways of assimilating these ideas into your own personal philosophy of one while others will present themselves to you in ways unique to yourself.
It will be entertaining.
It will be educational.
As always, it will be up to you and those you share it with if it means anything at all.
Please comment below. I want this to be the start of the conversation.