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  • Writer's pictureMereware

The Power of Compassion by Goodwin Lamb

Emma was a young professional woman who lived in a big city, amid the constant hustle and bustle of life. She was always on the go, rushing from one meeting to the next in pursuit of success and achievement. It was important for her to climb the proverbial “corporate ladder”.

One late evening, Emma hurried home through crowded streets, her mind consumed with thoughts of work and deadlines. Her thoughts were suddenly interrupted when she stumbled upon a scene that would change her perspective forever.

"Emma's Awakening"
The Power of Compassion

A homeless man lay crumpled on the sidewalk, his face contorted in pain as people hurried past with their eyes averted. Unable to ignore this man and his plight, Emma stopped. She knelt next to him and comforted the man, offering words of comfort and hope. She called for help and dialed emergency services.

Paramedics arrived to tend to the man's injuries, Emma stayed by his side, ensuring that he received the care and support he so desperately needed. She watched him being whisked away to safety. Suddenly, a sense of warmth and fulfillment washed over her. Praying that she had made a difference in someone's life, from that day forward, Emma vowed never to turn a blind eye to those in need. She promised herself to prioritize her life and always extend a helping hand to anyone less fortunate. She continued on her journey through life, though she carried with her the spirit of the modern-day Good Samaritan, a beacon of hope and compassion in a world often overshadowed by indifference and apathy.

Lesson Plan: The Power of Compassion: A Lesson Inspired by "Emma's Awakening"

Objective: Students will explore the theme of compassion and its transformative power through the story of Emma's encounter with a homeless man.

Grade Level: High School (6th-12th grade)


  • Copy of the story "Emma's Awakening"

  • Whiteboard and markers

  • Worksheets with discussion questions (optional)


Introduction (10 minutes):

  1. Begin by asking students to define the term "compassion" and discuss its importance in society.

  2. Engage students in a brief discussion about the challenges faced by individuals experiencing homelessness and how society often responds to their plight.

Reading and Analysis (20 minutes):

  1. Read aloud the story "Emma's Awakening" to the class or have students read it silently.

  2. After reading, facilitate a class discussion using the following questions:

  • How does Emma's busy lifestyle influence her initial response to the homeless man?

  • What prompts Emma to stop and help the man?

  • How does Emma's perspective change after helping the man?

  • What impact does Emma's act of compassion have on her?

  • What lessons can we learn from Emma's experience?

Group Activity: Empathy Circle (20 minutes):

  1. Divide the class into small groups.

  2. Assign each group a discussion prompt related to compassion and empathy (e.g., "How do you think the homeless man felt when Emma stopped to help him?" or "What are some ways we can show compassion in our own lives?").

  3. Instruct students to take turns sharing their thoughts and experiences related to the prompt while others in the group listen attentively.

  4. Encourage students to empathize with each other's perspectives and ask clarifying questions.

Reflection and Application (15 minutes):

  1. Have students reflect individually on a time when they witnessed someone in need and how they responded.

  2. Ask students to write a journal entry or short reflection on how they can incorporate more compassion and empathy into their daily lives based on Emma's story.

  3. Encourage students to share their reflections with the class (optional).

Conclusion (10 minutes):

  1. Summarize the key points discussed during the lesson, emphasizing the transformative power of compassion.

  2. Encourage students to remember Emma's story and consider how they can be agents of change in their communities by showing compassion towards others.

  3. Remind students of the importance of prioritizing empathy and understanding in their interactions with others.

Extension Activity (Optional):

  • Invite a guest speaker from a local homeless shelter or community organization to discuss the challenges faced by individuals experiencing homelessness and ways students can get involved in helping.

  • Assign a creative writing task where students write a short story or poem about an act of compassion inspired by Emma's story.


  • Assess student participation in class discussions, group activities, and the quality of their reflections.

  • Monitor students' understanding of the concept of compassion and empathy throughout the lesson.

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