Are You a Caring Person?
Remember, caring is not just a way of feeling, it's a way of behaving!
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If you are using the video, ask the first question before viewing.
1. A lot of people say that teenagers are self absorbed and don't care about anything but themselves. Do you agree or disagree?
2. How do you feel when people show that they really care about you? How do you feel when you do something really caring for someone else?
3. In what ways is this a caring world? In what ways is it uncaring? What could each of us do to make this a more caring world?
4. When someone is uncaring how does that affect friends, school and community? Give examples.
5. Agree or disagree: It's uncool to be a caring person. Why, or why not?
6. To what extent would you inconvenience yourself for another person?
7. Do you agree with the student who suggested that caring means putting ourselves second?
8. Would you give money to a stranger on the sidewalk who asked for spare change? Why or why not? Would it make a difference if the person were a) a mother with child, b) very old, c) from a different culture? What does giving money to a stranger have to do with caring anyway?
9. At the beginning of the program Dr. Mike read a letter from Benjy, who said he had learned that listening was a greater act of caring than throwing coins in a cup. Why do you think he felt that way?
10. How could Dr. Mike's advice about listening help solve Roberto's problem?
11. How did the story of Gillian and her day camp make you feel? What did you learn from it?
12. Do you agree with Gillian that everyone can make a difference?
13. Is it realistic to think that the average teenager could make such an impact on the community, or is Gillian just a special case?
14. Can you choose to be a caring person, or do you have to be born that way?
15. Agree or disagree: By performing caring acts, we become caring people. Explain.
16. One student said, Caring needs a government that works. In our country, do government programs show caring for people in need? Do you think we can pass laws that will make people care? Why or why not?
17. Explain the quote from Kahlil Gibran, "You give little when you give of your possessions. It's when you give of yourself that you truly give."
18. What does caring have to do with the quality of your character?
19. Do you disagree with any of the ideas presented in this video?
To find elementary and middle school teaching guides on Caring and related topics,
1. Describe the most caring thing anyone has ever done for you. What effect did that have on you?
2. Dr. Mike reported having heard from one 11th grade student: "I didn't ask to be born. I don't owe anybody anything. Why should I care about you? Why should I care about anyone?"
3. Write a thank you note to someone in your community who did something very caring. Or, write a thank you note to a historic figure, for instance, Florence Nightingale, to thank her for what she did.
4. Watch a movie or TV program, and then write about how the actions of the characters demonstrated either caring or uncaring. Write a critique of an uncaring character, suggesting how he or she could have been a more caring person.
5. Write about a real or an imagined experience in which you performed a random act of caring, and the results it produced.
6. Imagine that you have just inherited $20,000, and you want to spend it all to help other people. What would you do with it, and why? What effect would it have on the people you would be helping.
Other teaching guides in this series:
1. Have your students visit this web-site <www.goodcharacter.com> and click on "Opportunities for Action." There they will find opportunities to become involved in community service projects and other activities that involve acts of caring.
2. Divide the class into small groups. Have each group develop a list of do's and don'ts for caring behavior. (See our checklist at the top of this column or page 5 in the video discussion guide.) Have them make oral reports to the class addressing the following questions: What happens when people live in accordance with these guidelines. What happens when they don't? In what ways do caring and uncaring behavior affect our community and society?
3. Service Project: Have the class or groups plan a service project. Consider having them help younger children learn something valuable, or going and visiting senior citizens. (For suggestions and help with planning a service project go to "Great Web Resources for Teachers" on this website, where you will find several service learning resources listed.)
4. Brainstorm ways to make your school environment more caring. Create a list of recommendations, and place them in your school newspaper or on a poster. Find a way to deal with the cynics who will sneer at the whole idea.
5. Write two headings on the chalkboard: Caring and Uncaring. Take turns listing things under these headings. Then discuss what it would kinds of efforts it would take to move all of the items from the uncaring column into the caring column.
GOOD CHARACTER IN SPORTS
Are you an athletic coach or recreation director? Would you like some ideas to help you develop the virtue of caring in your athletes? Then click here for Caring & Sports.
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