In my line of “work” as a yoga and meditation teacher, I often say that taking care of one’s own self is not selfish. We have a lot of work to do to bring harmony within. Delving inward is the cornerstone of compassion practice.
But it can be difficult to see the connection between what can seem like personal indulgence (to some) and a more civilized society. Yet, it’s so obvious to me when stories like this surface: more people need exposure to non-dogmatic, contemplative practices that encourage compassion. Even children because they are exposed to the same conflicting cultural messages in the media that adults are, only they don’t have the intellectual sophistication to filter harmful messages out.
In addition to sending money to Karen and punishing the bullies, we should send copies of Thich Nhat Hanh’s book Planting Seeds to the children’s parents and teachers. In the Washington, DC area where I live and teach, one local non-profit seeks to bring yoga and mindfulness to children, YoKid.