Compassion and Forgiveness

By Kendra Johnson and Kaitlyn Kuntz


How do organizations teach youth about compassion and forgiveness?


Compassion: (Noun) a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering

Forgiveness: (Adj.) the act of forgiving

Forgive: (Verb) to grant pardon for or remission of (an offense, debt, etc.); absolve.

In Today's Society...

Century of Compassion

Non-profit organization formed June 12th, 2006

  • Teach the Principle of Active Compassion:
  • Having a compassionate manner continually throughout every day
  • Allows people to react in a positive way instead of defensively
  • People learn to realize when someone's having a bad day
  • Switch thoughts and actions beyond tolerance to completely understanding and connecting with another person
  • Every small act of compassion can make a person's day, week, or life
  • Think about caring for other people as a super power
  • Taking responsibility for actions can make a big difference

Basic Beliefs:

  1. Even the smallest act of compassion can have a large and long lasting impact
  2. Every living being commonly struggles or suffers in some way
  3. We each make the decision whether to dwell on our own suffering or to shift our focus toward relieving the suffering of those around us
  4. Relieving the suffering of others generates positive attitudes and feelings, both in ourselves and others
  5. If enough people engage in the practice of compassion it has the potential to change the world
  6. By lifting up others we lift ourselves up


Bethany Joy Shafer

5th grade student voluntarily came up with ideas to help others in her community:

  • Filled bags of toys and clothes
  • swerved meals to homeless at Thanksgiving
  • made and delivered cards and letters to nursing homes
  • made Valentines cards for veterans and the Veterans Hospital
  • takes her dog to visit patients in nursing homes
  • gave some of her clothes to a young girl in her church
  • goals of becoming a lawyer one day


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How Schools Teach Compassion and Forgiveness

In The Crucible...

Why Is It A Theme?

In the play, there is a very apparent lack of forgiveness and compassion in their town. John Proctor, in particular, struggles with the idea of forgiveness and forgiving himself for his sins. This is the root of a majority of Salem's problems.

John and Elizabeth

  • It was understood John had an affair with Abigail before this play took place
  • *During that time, penalty was death
  • Kept a secret from everyone, though his wife found out
  • John felt guilt and ashamed
  • Elizabeth was reluctant to, but forgave him
  • Feelings were still harsh
  • John had a hard time forgiving himself
  • Ended up staying closed off from Elizabeth because he still felt shut out

*Eyewitness to History, 2005

"You are not God Elizabeth! Can you not look for some goodness in me?" (Act 1)

"John, it come to naught that I should forgive you, if you'll not forgive yourself...It is not my soul, John, it is yours." (Act 3)

Lack of Compassion & Forgiveness

In this play, the presence of more compassion and/or forgiveness would have eliminated a number of problems.


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Why do we read it today?

  • It is based off of our country's history
  • To use our past as an example
  • Learn from it
  • To see how escalated things can get when emotions get the best of us