The other day I was in my home office. (Which happens to be a big walk in closet. This is because I visualized the exact home that I am living in today, but I forgot to ask for an office. Oh the power and precision of visualization!)
Anyway, I happened to look up as the wind blew my closet door shut. There, swaying to and fro, on the back of the door was the lei the young people gave me as a going away expression of their gratitude.
It was a lei of stars and each star bore a message - a sharing about what each had gained from the Breaking Out of the World Game Program. (If you read my blog a few months ago, Put Downs Are Like Nails In A Fence, it was the anti-bullying program that we did with these students.)
I had read the messages months earlier when I first received the lei. But I fell into a few moments of deep reflection as I viewed the stars swaying back and forth on the windblown closet door.
I stopped what I was doing and took the lei from the door. I carried it into the living room, sat in my favorite chair, and began to read, once again, the messages from the young people I had worked with.
In life, we decide who we want to be. Then we begin to act in accordance with that decision. Yet there is often little or no feedback from those whom you have loved and served.
Sometimes we need that, or at least I do ... and there it was, written on stars, the gifts our students had received. The messages and the wisdom they shared touched my heart.
Here are just a few (5 out of 25 to be exact). I share these with you as they were written and unedited:
- Thank you Auntie Trin, You taught me about the world game and the power of our sub conscious. I will use the wisdom you gave me to my children and their children after. Peter Agcunas
- Dear Auntie Trin, Thank you for teaching me that put downs should never hold me back from achieving a goal. Ralph
- Auntie Trin, I have learned to control myself how to achieve goals and how to stop bullying around us from you. Thank you, Jana
- Dear Auntie Trin, Thank you for teaching us valuable lessons about life. I’ve always learned how to plan my goals but never learned how to deal when things didn’t go as planned. Thank you for all your insight about life. Sincerely Chanel
- To Aunty Trin, Thank you for turning me into a young adult and helping me realize I can achieve things, even when things go wrong. Love Diane
As I read these I realized just how incredible the next generations is. I could feel their wisdom of the ages in their words. And I could sense how much their lives would contribute to the communities in which they will eventually come to live as adults.
The other gift I received from the lei of stars was a reminder of the importance of saying 'thank you'. Those two words are an expression of gratitude that serve as a bond between ourselves and others. They also serve as an inspiration for us to keep doing the things that add value to people's lives. It is a form of paying it forward.
So I called my mother after completing this to thank her for being my mother in this life, for all she gave to raise me and point me in the right direction, and for all she continues to do today to support me. It felt good to say thank you and I know it meant a lot to mom... after all, the lei meant so much to me!
Please share your thoughts on your life and how you are paying it forward. What are you grateful for in your life and to whom... Share your gratitude with them today ... and I would love to hear about your experience of it!
- How can we help teachers and principals be more successful at achieving their outcomes?
- How can we support the emotional and social literacy (EQ and SQ) needed to stop bullying on our school campuses?
- How can we support educators and schools in developing or enhancing a community of caring on their campus?
- How can we make all of this affordable and really easy to access for everyone on the campus?
And the 180 Power Pak was born! It is easy to access for everyone at an unbeatable price point, with parent videos, lots of activities, e-seminars for admin and teachers and ongoing support during the course of the year.
Teachers are loving it! Here's what they have to say:
"Having activities, stories and quotations at my fingertips is totally great!"
"The curriculum with the social emotional components is just what I needed."
"I used to spend time looking for activities and stories to support social learning and now I can instantly access these and they are grade relevant. Good stuff!"
And a principal recently said:
"Thanks for the e-seminars - especially the one on building a collaborative school community. I used it to engage my entire faculty in creating our plan for the coming year."
"Only Hurt People Hurt Other People!" I was speaking about bullying to a group of young Karate students in the Kickstart program. "And words," I continued, "have a powerful effect! Our words can either hurt or help people."
"In fact words are like toothpaste. Once they come out you can't take them back!"
"How many of you have ever teased someone, put them down?" All the hands in the room went up. Even the parent visitors hands shot into the air. "None of us are exempt," I added. "How many of you have ever stood by while others teased or taunted another person?" All hands went up again.
"I'd like to read you a story," I said. The students sat riveted each reflecting inwardly on their behavior as I read the story below about a father and son.
That was my close for the day in the anti-bullying program. I returned 10 days later to find that the highly creative team of teachers and karate trainers had created a direct experience for the students. Students were asked to write something negative they had said to someone and nail it into a piece of wood that the educators had brought to class.
The day I returned the students were given the opportunity to pull their item out of the wooden post and notice the holes that were left behind. "It's like a hole that mean words leave in the heart even when we apologize," said Eric, one of the instructors. "And remember," he added, "Happy people help people!"
This pictures you see on this post are photos captured that day. A great big heartfelt thank you to Jennifer Tamayo, Eric, and Bennett; I am so grateful to be working with you and proud of you as a teacher team. For the video in the photo below, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tcTYSdN7hs&feature=plcp or view it here by clicking the play link in the second shot.
If you are viewing this blog post in a reader, you may be missing out on great stories, quotes, videos, photos and content. To see this post on the blog, please visit http://www.trinidadhunt.com. To learn more about the anti-bullying program, Breaking Out of The World Game, visit http://www.End2Bullying.com. If you would like to add your comment to this post, please visit the blog, click on the blog title, and scroll down until you see the area to enter your name and comment.
I had a wonderful afternoon visit with our certified Australian trainers for the anti-bullying program, 'Breaking Out of the World Game'. Principals John Faulkner & Louise McKay have done over 12 trainings so far and are gearing up to train more schools in the Victoria district.
It's been a long day for me traveling, speaking, and teaching.
But it's been a far longer day for the parents of the two young people in the Ohio shooting that lost their fight for life today.
I cannot imagine the agony of the longest prayer and deepest asking a heart can bear that a parent would do at the bedside of their child.
I never had children of my own. But to have a child, to dream of that child growing up, to send my child to school one day and then meet the doctor at the hospital in a fight for the life of my beloved son or daughter and feel the powerlessness that they must have felt...
To not be able to stop the hands of time as they slowly pulled my child from my arms and watch in unimaginable horror as my child slipped through the veil beyond my reach... Is beyond where my heart and mind can go.
I ask myself, "How could we not have seen it coming?" "Didn't anyone notice something, anything that might have signaled that something was wrong - something was out of kilter?"
We all need to be better at reading the symptoms, signs and signals. They were there. It's time to take a stand.
One more time a tragedy has hit our nations schools. The shooting of 5 students by A young boy who had been bullied makes every mother's heart break for the loss.
This is a tragedy of major proportions...for the children who were shot, for the child who will not see the light of another day on Earth, and for the student who saw this as the only means of expression.
My heart cries out, "Could this tragedy have been prevented?"
We need to get to the root of issue. Bullying is not an isolated incident! It doesn't happen one time and cause this kind of a reaction.
Up until now, I said that, 'Breaking Out of the World Game' (our anti-bullying program) is an intervention program. Maybe our intervention program needs to be called a prevention program and taught as part of the required curriculum in every school.
Let me say this in another way. Is it time to make an anti-bullying program a prerequisite in every school? If we have come to this, let's admit it and take a stand as parents and concerned community members. Let's not lose one more child to our paralysis. Let us act on behalf of every family in America.
It starts with the little abrasive things that we do and say to each other and builds up on daily. If not curbed it turns into teasing and taunting and mental and emotional abuse.
We cannot turn our backs any longer. It is you and I as adults who are on trial here.
I am asking for other voices... your voice to join the call. This is dedicated to our children and our children's children that they may grow up to live a full life.
My prayers go out to the mother's and families involved. But are we not all involved? Are we not of this nation and this world? Let the sacrifices stop. For every sacrifice belongs to us if we do not take a stand.
Here I am with this decision to be a sentinel at the gateway of consciousness, a mighty commitment indeed! And I suddenly found myself knee deep in the sludge that lies at the base of a new creative mountain.
I was going into the video studio to do a series of demos for our anti bullying program, Breaking Out of the World Game. And I was in a panic. I felt like a total failure. I didn't know my script (which I have taught in nearly 500 hundred schools).
Like the Magic Eight Ball where words keep surfacing out of the black ink, my feelings and thoughts exploded out of the dark onto my mental screen. My world spun out of control. "Not good enough!" "I can't do it!" "I feel lost." "Where do I start?"
Here I was touting mind management and I couldn't even manage one thought. What happened!? I hit the wall and I found myself back in my own ground zero.
The only viable thought in the whole thing was really, "Where do I start?" But it took me a while to get there.
When I finally did get there, I took a proactive stance. I went back to the creativity template I had burned into my mental hard drive 30 years ago.
- Preparation - Engage in the process. Be willing to concentrate fully on the subject. Struggle with it. Visualize it. This feeds everything into the sub-conscious mind. (In my case I had to review the material and think deeply about how to do the video without an audience.)
- Incubation - Let it all go. Relax. Change the subject. Play and sleep usually work for me. (In this case, I went to bed. I was going into production the next day.)
- Breakthrough - This usually comes as an 'AHA' experience, like Archimedes 'Eureka'! This breakthrough cannot be forced and arrives in its own time.
In my case, I got up on the day of the shoot and I was in 'the zone'. I had an extremely successful day in the video studio.
But I could have done it without all of the panic and the negative self-talk. I could have had more wisdom about it and caught it by the tail before it caught me.
I was reminded of Ashley in The Operator's Manual for Planet Earth. I had fallen asleep and lost the plot again!
I've recommitted to my initial goal. Staying awake on Planet Earth is a challenge, especially when the old deep habits kick in!
I'd love to hear you experiences.... I'm going to keep tracking mine and sharing the experience!
My deepest apologies to all of you parents and teachers who were with me for those two wonderful evening events in Melbourne. That you all came out to discuss the issues we are addressing for your children and for the three schools involved was inspiring. Parents are often tired after a full day of work and though that might have been the case with you, all of you showed up and stayed for the full evening.
I am currently working in two >schools with anti-bullying programs. And I have just received a call to speak on bullying and cyber-bullying in the schools on a radio broadcast.
I have been working in schools with my anti-bullying program for over 10 years now. And I recently wrote a post entitled, How Many - How Long? Yet bullying continues to escalate everywhere and by every means - both in person and in cyberspace.
I caught this on MSNBC last night and I was moved to tears. I knew then that I had to share it with you.
Joel Burns is to the point. His plea to the children is poignant. Bullying has reached a tipping point. We adults must take a stand against it. We must talk to our children and speak to the youth in schools.
Together we can start a movement. Let us hear your voices now, for the sake of all children everywhere. Joel Burns