Are we nurturing the right qualities in school?

I had an educator in one of my workshops tell me that some recent research showed students today have 40% less empathy and compassion than their predecessors of 15 or even 10 years ago.

I truly deep in my heart hope the research is wrong!  I truly hope that we as people are not facing such a troubled future. But it startled me into thinking.  If the research is only 1/2 true, if the students of today are even just 20% less empathetic and compassionate than their predecessors, this is a staggering thought.

It requires some pretty deep consideration about what we are doing and where we are going in education. Maybe we need to ask ourselves a few questions that will help us hit the reset button on our educational computers:




  • What does it mean to be a human being?
  • What does it mean to be truly human?


  • Are we nurturing the right qualities in school or are we serving the intellectual mind beyond all else?

I’m not saying that intellect isn’t important.  It is really important!

But maybe it’s not the simple number on a test or the numerical score of the Intellectual Quotient that is the be all end all of our educational process.

Maybe it is more to do with IQ as the Quality of our Intellect – how we use our minds and how we think.

Maybe it is what we do with our lives and what we contribute of ourselves to society and what legacy we leave… maybe these are better measurements of our humanity and of our success.

No numerical score can ever measure that.  No number can place me on the Dean’s list of Life.  I have to live it to be there.

And the questions above have guided my actions and tempered my words making me a better human being – a more compassionate caring individual – as I progressed through the seasons of my life.

And if I might be so bold, maybe these questions can help us rethink and reinvent our educational process so that it more closely aligns with the long walk of life rather than the shorter sprint through the halls of learning.

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