Teaching this compassion is probably the most effective way to rid our school of bullying. Compassion cares, listens, stands up for those who can’t, and gives support to those in need. We don’t need bullying policies in schools – we need compassionate behaviors.

The root of the word compassion is “passion”, and passion is defined as pain. To be com-passionate is “to be with someone’s pain”. When we stop to listen, assist, and serve others in need we experience harmony in our families, schools, and community. Compassion uplifts a person in need as well as the one providing the lift. Compassion, like physical and academic skills, is something that is not fixed, but rather can be enhanced with training and practice. If we fertilize our child’s mind with compassionate ideas and provide experiences to practice this habit their brain will wire this way. Amazingly, it appears that it only takes a bit of practice (3-20 times) to develop the neural pathway.  Here are a few key principles for fertilizing compassion:

  • Expect help
  • Outlaw name calling
  • Point out heroes
  • Monitor media
  • Speak with good purpose

Most nightly news shows save the best stories for last by reporting on episodes of human compassion at the very end of the newscast. Watch these with your kids and have a discussion about the purpose and power of compassion. Here are a few other ideas to help teach our kids this critical habit:

  • Heart – Allow your child to serve a family member who isn’t feeling well.
  • Mind – Read stories about compassionate characters.
  • Body – Do chores for a neighbor in need.
  • Soul – Discuss times that you were on the receiving and the giving ends of compassion.

“Our human compassion binds us the one to the other – not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.” Nelson Mandela

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”  – Dalai Lama

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Almond Acres to host annual fundraising dinner and auction

PASO ROBLES — Almond Acres Charter Academy is hosting its 5th Annual Fundraising Dinner and Auction Gala event at CaliPaso Winery and B&B Saturday, May 6 from 5:30-10 p.m. The Annual Fundraising Dinner & Auction helps raise essential funds, which go to AACA’s educational programs, facility improvements, and teaching resources for the following school year.  Last year’s Gala event was a tremendous success, raising nearly $50,000 in funds directly applied to the 2016-2017 academic year.

This year, AACA has new goals and stronger needs for materials, technology, and resources to further their students’ achievements. With the success of this year’s event, AACA will highlight their Fund-A-Need goals and gift their students with materials, field trips, and hands-on experiences to help them grow. It will be a great evening to meet everyone involved with this wonderful school and a tremendous networking opportunity within our community.

How can you help? Donate an item or a unique experience for our silent or live auction, choose a sponsorship level, send an in-kind Angel Donation, and share our event with friends and colleagues. Visit to download a digital sponsor form and see all of our participating sponsors.

If you would like to attend the event, participate as a sponsor, or donate to the live, mobile, or silent auctions, contact Victoria Schmitt at To purchase tickets, visit For more information, visit or call 805-467-2095.

Via: Paso Robles Press


Concentration is our habit of the week! It’s a simple thought with profound effects. Concentrating on the use of our intelligences leads us to great success and happiness. To concentrate is to focus our attention. With knowledge being doubled every 18 months, what should we be concentrating our attention on? How about what is true and admirable? When our thoughts are concentrated on these things we act like these things. When our thoughts are focused on yuk and the negative in life so, too, will our heart, mind, body, and soul be. Listening to positive music, reading great stories, speaking kind words, and finding the best in people – these things  provoke joy, compassion, and peace in our lives.

Just like feeding our bodies healthy foods, healthy thoughts nourish our hearts and minds. Concentrating on these things improves our well-being and guides us toward happiness and achievement.  Concentrating is a mindful choice to focus and center ourselves on what is right and good. Habituating healthy thoughts will habituate a healthy life. Generally, smart people don’t react to life; they make a conscious decision to think smart. It is an intellectual character trait that can be nurtured in children. Here are a few ideas:

  • Heart – ask your child to concentrate on the sounds within nature. Listen intently for the various sounds of animals and plants.
  • Mind – examine the stories that you and your child are reading and talk about the traits of their favorite characters and why they like them.
  • Body – provide concentrated practice in an effort to improve a physical skill. Throwing a ball, following a dance step, shooting baskets, etc. are basic concentration habits. It takes hundreds of attempts to get good at such a task.
  • Soul – ask your child to listen to a piece of music and to identify the various instruments being played.

“Sow a thought, reap an act. Sow an act, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap a DESTINY.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” – Saint Paul

“What do I mean by concentration? I mean focusing totally on the business at hand and commanding your body to do exactly what you want it to do.” –  Arnold Palmer

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