But what I found most compelling about this particular presentation was his question to the audience. How do we change?
It’s an old question with a long pedigree of distinguished and not-so-distinguished answers. Psychologists, philosophers, anthropologists, preachers, and advertisers alike have all sought to understand the forces that mold us, and then to mold us toward their own aims.
This is true for humane educators as well. The primary goal of humane education is to provide people with the knowledge, tools, and motivation to create a peaceful and humane world. Note that humane education seeks to do more than provide relevant information and skills; it must also instill desire to create a good world and motivate its recipients to be engaged changemakers. We humane educators are in the influence business, attempting to answer the question “How do we change?” so that we can help our students change themselves and the world for the better.
From my perspective as a humane educator, I believe that we change:
- By emulating those who inspire us most (so humane educators must model a positive message as fully as possible)
- Through daily practice and a commitment to live with integrity (so humane educators must provide maps for such a practice)
- When the choices before us include convenient, healthy, and positive options (so humane educators must offer these and work toward their development)
- When we are part of healthy systems and live in healthy situations (so humane educators must help create such systems and situations for our students)
- With support from others who also strive to change for the better (so humane educators must provide such support)
- By pursuing lifelong learning and wisdom (so humane educators must inspire others so that they are passionate about learning)
- When we have hope (so humane educators must offer painful truths about current realities in ways that do not create despair but rather engender enthusiasm for new possibilities)
~ Zoe, IHE President