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."
Have you ever wondered how we, as the human race, have gotten where we are? Have you ever hoped that the discord and disharmony would end? Have you ever wished for a better world for your children and your children's children?
If you have, you are no different from me. I would love to change the game and shift the paradigm! I would like to see the day when children stop acting out the US against THEM model that video games, TV and the media exploit.
I heard from so many of you about the nail story and the teaching that went with it that I wanted to share my thoughts in this regard.
The thoughts in the first two paragraph are what I think about, meditate on and pray about. I don't know the answer, but I do know that family and education make a difference. I do know that it takes a village to raise a child!
My nephew goes to a small school in California. The faculty and staff set clear boundaries on unacceptable and acceptable behavior. But it wasn't until a new kid came to school that they were able to see the results of their intention, work and teaching.
The new boy brought his world with him. He had teased and been teased in the previous school and he knew nothing different. It had been a way of life for him.
So on the first day of school, he cornered one of the quieter students on the playground. Then he began doing what he had always done; calling the boy names and shoving him.
Suddenly, as if from nowhere, an entire gang of six boys surrounded him. One of them stepped forward and said in quiet, yet emphatic terms, "We don't do that here."
The new boy was stunned. He winced, shook his head, and tried to understand what was going on. After all, he was not doing anything differently from what he had always done. The six boys stood firm as one repeated, "We don't ever do that here."
It was a game changer! The principal cried when he heard what his students had done. The teachers were thrilled beyond words. And soon the new boy was inculcated into the school's way. He let go of the old behavior and became a fine upstanding young boy.
All this is to say that we can change the game - one child, one family, one school at a time. My nephew's school did it and we can do it too!
"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.
A dear friend of mine, Carole Isis-Sheldon, shared this video with me on Facebook. It is a must-see, and an eloquent statement against bullying. Its time for all of us to take a stand. Please share this with everyone you know.
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.
For those of you who know my work, you are probably aware that I work in the corporate sector. Many years ago the parents in these organizations began asking me to train their children.
As a result, my business partner, Lynne Truair and I formed a non-profit company called World Youth Network International (WYN).
Today, this prevention program as well as our intervention programs are in over 500 schools internationally. Our intervention anti-bullying program is titled Breaking Out of the World Game.
'I just felt that I had to share it with you..."This is the display I organized for our curriculum expo. The year 5/6 children asked that Breaking Out of the World Game be displayed because it is very important for the younger children to learn it.The photos were all taken during St. Luke’s Program. John and I start the Year 3/4 program on Monday at St Luke’s and Thursday at John’s school followed by a parent information afternoon for them.Just to let you know that we are still spreading the good news!!!'
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.