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Hero caring skills

In this module our focus is on developing compassion and empathy for oneself and others. Heroic behavior will not occur if a person does not care. Caring about oneself is not the same thing as being selfish. Unlike selfishness, true self-care is noble. A child who stands up to give a speech with trembling knees or admits to a wrongdoing, knowing unpleasant consequences will follow, is motivated by self-care. These children are essentially saying, "I want to be proud of myself and gain recognition from others as an honorable, strong person." This behavior is quite different from the child who gorges himself on cookies meant for the entire family or steals money from his brother to buy something for himself. Both actions are more an expression of self-hate than self-care.

Heroic behavior will not occur unless a person cares. Children learn to care by having someone care about them. Indifference to suffering that originated in a lack of love and care at home is extremely difficult, if not impossible to change in a school setting. Schools provide a social laboratory in which children learn to nurture and be nurtured by others outside of the family.

Of course, children will want to discuss heroic action when these matters are raised. Keep in mind that we are gradually building a knowledge base that leads to action. As much as possible, keep the focus on the elements of heroism that make the behavior possible.

Key ideas and actions
1. Caring is of fundamental importance for heroic behavior.
2. Have compassion for the suffering of others.
3. Protecting one's self-respect may take courage.

Caring activities (grades 4-6)
1. Tribal cruelty
2. Would you care?
3. Caring for myself


maphttp://www.ksu.edu/wwparent/programs/hero/hero-care.htm--Revised June 15, 2005
Copyright © 1996-2005 Charles A. Smith. All rights reserved.