Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Too Much Violent Death, Not Enough Empathy

Such a run of violence - 13 people killed by a lone gunman in upstate NY, a father kills his 5 children then himself in WA, 3 policemen killed in a gun battle in Pittsburgh. It's tempting to politicize these tragedies, and we've already been bombarded with the requisite gun control arguments that come hand-in-hand with this kind of news. I could spend a few minutes writing about how these events would have been avoided if we had a cabinet-level Department of Peace in our federal government that could have taught the perpetrators how to resolve their conflicts through nonviolent means. But I'm not going to do that. It's just too sad.

Instead, I'm going to take hope in a recent article from the New York Times on how the skill of empathy is being taught in some schools in New York. These fortunate students are going to "get it" from an early age, and I'm thinking it's the sort of lesson that will stick with them for life. These kids are going to be much less likely to settle their grievances with gun fire. Check out the story...


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