Tuesday, 27 May 2014


Rudyard Kipling, a late 19th century author and poet wrote the poem "If"  in 1909 as advice to his son.   The power of the four eight line stanzas still deeply resonates today for men and women both.  It encompasses, in a beautiful way, the essence of social and emotional learning.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!

If children learn they are all in this together, they may be more inclined to take care of each other.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Einstein's Thoughts on Compassion

Albert Einstein, born in Germany in 1879, is widely known for his genius in scientific and mathematical achievements.  In 1915, he completed his General Theory of Relativity, and in 1921 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.  What may not be so widely known is Einstein's propensity for profound observations on life and on living.  Below is one of my favorites and ties in to the articles about teaching children and students how to be compassionate, cooperative, collaborative and communicative.  It is another way of looking at the reason and need for SEL skills.

"A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space.  He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.  This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.  Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."

If children learn they are all in this together, they may be more inclined to take care of each other.

Next, and lastly for this series, watch for Rudyard Kipling's poem "If".