One reason for being in Toronto was to check in on Roots of Empathy http://rootsofempathy.org/ and attend the first day of their annual Research Symposium.
Roots, founded by Mary Gordon, is an evidence based intervention that enables children to develop deeper empathy for, and with, others, a greater ability to navigate and understand their own feelings and develop better pro-social skills. It has been able to show that its program has long lasting results in reducing negative behaviors, such as bullying, and promoting well-being and positive social interaction.
At its heart is an opportunity to engage with a young infant from four months (over a period of eight months) and their mother in ways that enable them to see and better intuit a child's developing range of responses and emotions and through that identification be helped to better understand their own and of the people around them. A process beautifully shown in this recent short BBC film https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/…
In the week that the IPCC published its latest report on climate change accompanied by apocalyptic soundings from some and widespread apparent indifference from many especially mainstream media and politicians, I decided to read Charles Eisenstein's new book, "Climate: A New Story".
Upfront I will confess to liking Eisenstein's work and loving his 'voice' - clear, engaging, balanced with that rare quality, humility, standing among people rather than apart or above, trying to figure life out in its complexities and compromises. A place from which hard-won wisdom comes.
Let us imagine, he asks, we buckle down to tackling emissions. We accelerate the renewable energy revolution, up go the panels, the windmills, the dams. We plant trees, lots of trees. We eat less meat and tuck into all the varieties of soya cunningly disguised. Will we arrive at where we want to be?
Maybe not. The world may end up disfigured, the beauty we sought to preserve sequestered under &…
"When I was thirteen, my mother learnt to meditate and she changed. She was calmer, more resilient, increasingly willing to learn new things like learning to drive; and, most importantly less likely to go off the handle at something I or my brother had done! I was impressed, so much so that, when she suggested I learnt, I did.
I sat there, twice a day, practising diligently, waiting to notice a similar change, I was going to burst forth from my anxious shyness, bloom in confidence, become popular, shoot to the top of the class; and, win my first significant other!
It did not happen quite like that. I enjoyed the actual practice. I quite enjoyed having a secret since back then you did not re…