Influenced as I am and have been since my early career as a school teacher that the focus of our basic educational pursuits should be both academic and attitudinal, I was recently impressed by a publication I chanced upon in my daughter’s home in Toronto (she herself is a School Superintendent with the Toronto District School Board). It is titled: “Roots of Empathy”, subtitled: “Changing the World Child by Child” and written by Mary Gordon.
The following reviews of the book provide a good synopsis of its essential messages which I firmly believe are quite deserving of attention by our own Guyanese educational, community and political leaders and parents:
“Every so often in the life of a civilization, there comes a book that can literally change the way we are in the world. Roots of Empathy is such a book—-With violence, anti-social behavior, bullying and aggression among our young children escalating at a frightening rate, it is clear that we need to develop a new understanding of childhood”.
“—- In clear and lively language, Mary Gordon introduces us to the wisdom of babies and shows us how they can teach us —-and our children—what it is to be human—I have learned that the human capacities for empathy and respect must be fostered from earliest childhood to reduce violence in the world and build a truly civil society”.
“This book describes the extraordinary value—probably the best program of its kind to support optimal early childhood development and to help communities build tolerant pluralistic democratic societies”