Compassion Matters pilot at The Dragon School, Oxford

We are delighted to announce the successful piloting of its Compassion Matters course at the Dragon School during 2017-18 academic year. Entitled simply ‘What is Compassion?’ the pilot opened with a whole school Assembly featuring a film, specially commissioned from the respected Green Lions production company, called ‘Another Way’. The short documentary film looks at the life story of Richard Moore. When Richard was blinded for life by a rubber bullet fired during the Troubles in Northern Ireland, it could have condemned him to a life of thwarted possibility and limited opportunity. Instead, he was back at his old school within a matter of weeks, he went to university, married, had children, became an accomplished musician and, later, a publican. But that was not enough for him and, in 1997, he decided he wanted to give something back. He set up the charity, Children in Crossfire, to bring help to young people who, like himself, were victims of conflict. Since then, it has brought aid to millions of children around the world. But if he has led an incredible life, it was when Richard Moore encountered the soldier who had blinded him that something extraordinary happened. As he explains very simply in the film: ‘I met him, and I liked him’. Thus began an astonishing friendship which has seen the two men participating in reconciliation work as part of the Northern Ireland Peace Process. It was during one of these reconciliation events that Richard Moore first came to the attention of the Dalai Lama. Recognising how the Richard had overcome crippling adversity to do something remarkable for others, the Dalai Lama hailed Richard as his hero and, like the soldier whom Richard befriended, became a benefactor of Children in Crossfire. The DLCC’s film about how one man turned adversity into a source of benefit to literally millions of others had the children of the Dragon School transfixed. It provided the perfect platform for the Form Period, Prep and Circle Time discussions that followed during the course of the week. During their reflection on Richard’s story, the children saw that compassion is more than just a feeling and that it can involve more than one virtue. They saw that, as well as kindness, compassion can exemplify many other values such as forgiveness, courage, determination, generosity and others besides. They also learned that compassion is relevant in every sphere of life, including, for example, science. Following the successful pilot, the Centre will now develop another five modules, each with a specially commissioned film, and each of which will again be trialed at the Dragon school, before offering the complete course first nationwide and then internationally.

A project from the Dalai Lama Centre for Compassion

33 St Giles, Oxford, OX1 3LD