Near and Far Enemies in LD Practice

#Becomingeducational You’d think we’d let you relax…

Now that summer’s here – and oh so hot!!! – you might think that we at #becomingeducational might leave you alone – let you rest and recoup, regroup…

But no! We’ve just spotted this excellent blog post from Helen Webster (@scholastic_rat) on the ‘near and far’ enemies of Learning Development.

‘Far enemies’ are a Buddhist concept – and indicates those qualities that prevent us from living an harmonious life. Far enemies are easy to spot – with hatred very obviously far from charity or love.

Helen points out that ‘near enemies’ are worse – for they can be so so close to the quality that we want to develop: contempt is obviously an enemy of empathy – but ‘pity’? Hmmmmmm

Through an examination of near enemies Helen holds up a very clear and troubling lens to LD practice.

See what you think.

All the best,
Sandra & Tom

rattus scholasticus

Buddhism (unexpected opening, bear with me!) discusses four states or virtues known as the Brahma-viharas, the Four Immeasurables, cultivated through meditation: Loving-Kindness, Compassion, Empathetic Joy and Equanimity. Each of these has an antithesis, of course – a ‘far enemy‘. The far enemy of loving-kindness is hatred; that of compassion is cruelty.  Empathetic joy – joy in the joy of others – is opposed to jealousy, and equanimity is the inverse of craving. These are easy to spot. However, each of the Four Immeasurables also has a ‘near enemy’– something that looks so much like the quality we strive for, but really, really isn’t it. The near enemy of loving-kindness would be a possessive affection, that of compassion would be condescending pity. Empathetic joy’s near enemy is perhaps a conditional, sentimental pride, and indifference can be mistaken for true equanimity.

It’s a useful idea in the…

View original post 898 more words

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