In this post, Mandy Neff, author of the newly published children’s RE curriculum, With Justice and Compassion, shares some of the background story behind the curriculum.- Ed.
My mother escaped as a teen during the Hungarian Revolution. I grew up hearing her stories of running from soldiers, a long wait eating thin soup in a refugee camp, and finally several demanding years of learning English with the family that adopted her here in the US before she was naturalized. I knew her immigration was no small thing. But despite the difficulties, she was welcomed into a new culture when she arrived. She was one of the lucky ones – and I have benefited from that.
After several years of Buddhist studies, I have learned the power of the Metta, or lovingkindness, meditation for myself. Through its repetition of the same words for yourself, then a loved one, in ever-widening circles until you reach someone you consider an enemy and have to send them lovingkindness, it is a profound tool. As a Religious Educator, I am always searching for ways to teach compassion and respect to our children and youth. This was an ideal tool to give them. (more…)