Ethics discussion guide


Compassion & community

Objective: Understand the broader definition of community and the personal qualities that help build strong community such as cooperation, commitment, compassion, and respect.

Discussion: Discuss the many forms and functions of communities. Ask students if they participate in any communities where they have seen the positive impacts of giving and sharing. Have students been on the receiving or giving end of these traits, or both? What would it feel like if these were not accepted values of the community, if people didn’t give and share in groups?

Activity: Compassion & communityWhat do you think?

Discussion: It takes more than cooperation to build a strong community. Help students draw the connection between compassion and community. Explain that one must first understand and have compassion for others in order to help address their needs and injustices. Ask students if they know the definition of the word compassion (feeling sympathy for and a desireto help those in need). Ask students to give examples of compassionate acts, or to explain a time they felt compassion for someone. Discuss how belonging to a community sometimes requires taking action to right a wrong or to put the needs of others ahead of your own, and that this takes compassion.

Going further: As a group, choose a community service project to do with your class as a way to bring this lesson into reality.