A famous quote of Margaret Mead came to mind the other day when a friend related a story to me about children at a Montessori school in Kansas stomping on insects. One of the versions of the quote is this-- "The very worst thing that can happen to a child is to be cruel to an animal and get away with it."
A remarkable ten year old student at the school saw a group of children gleefully stomping on insects on the sidewalk. In order to save the little ones she laid down on the sidewalk to protect them from the kids. Unbelievably the teacher, upon seeing this, criticized the heroics of the girl and stated that it was not the schools policy to make a big deal about such behavior since the victims were "just bugs." Perhaps Nobel Laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer had seen a similar event when he famously stated, "Even in the worm that crawls in the earth there glows a divine spark. When you slaughter a creature, you slaughter God."
This is all the more appalling since Maria Montessori established these schools as places to inspire and teach peace. I personally know two vegan Montessori teachers (and I'm sure there are many others) who are nurturing veganism, kindness and compassion in children.
This week let us focus some of our prayer and thought energy on the teachers of the world who are in a position to encourage and teach either cruelty and violence or compassion and kindness. Their power to influence children's hearts is immense. Let us send support and encouragement to those vegan teachers who are courageously leading the way in spite of criticism and disrespect. And let us also envision those teachers who have allowed cruelty finally finding the courage to stand up for all beings and help instead of hinder the children's innate sense of connectedness with all sacred beings. Above all, let the children of earth be in our prayers always-that they may walk ahead on the groundwork we have laid to create with us a world of freedom and peace where no beings are killed, eaten, or exploited ever again.
Thank you for your faithful prayers and visionary thoughts. Thanks to all of you, compassion is encircling the earth for all beings. Thank you for your devotion to truth, love, liberation and peace for all beings.
With Love, peace, and gratitude from Judy, and Will, Madeleine, and the Circle of Compassion team.
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