A dear friend of mine lives in Pittsburgh, Pa. and recently told me about the "One Kind Word" program out of the Family Resources for Western Pennsylvania. The mission of Family Resources is to prevent and treat child abuse by strengthening families. The Family Resources has this innovative program that has measurable impact in preventing abuse. An entire family are victims when abuse occurs. The "One kind Word" program is effective to provide parents and other caregivers support they need to raise healthy, happy children.
So how does this work? Before one approaches a situation one should remember the next three steps:
1. STOP...and Recognize that this could be a situation in which you may be able to help. Is the parent Overwhelmed? Preoccupied? Or Angry? If the the situation you are observing makes you stop and take notice, then chances are that you could do something to help.
2. Take a Moment... and Get Ready to step in. Do whatever you need to remain calm, take a deep breath, smile or think about what you might want to say or do.
3. Try "ONE KIND WORD"... by connecting with, distracting or assisting the parent or child. You can make a difference just by saying OneKindWord, or by showing a kind gesture. Your actions may be all it takes to help a parent get through a difficult experience with their child and stop a situation from getting worse.
Three simple steps are to CONNECT, DISTRACT, ASSIST!
Also, if you feel concerned for your safety they suggest to STEP AWAY from the situation and seek help.
You can make a difference by using ONE KIND WORD!
If you want more information go to www.onekindword.org
The first book I read by Munro Leaf was his classic children's book The Story of Ferdinand, which was published in 1936. The story is of a gentle and peaceful bull. I was reading it to a group of students and came across his book How to Behave and Why. I thought this might be a good read with how bewildered some parents are now a days with the Internet, grades, sports and drugs.
I believe the book is meaningful for people of all ages. The timeless message if followed can guide children on how to behave. The two big questions that are asked are: Are most of the people I know glad that I am here? and Am I glad that I am here, myself? So, Munro Leaf states if you answer "YES" to those questions most of the time, you have learned how to behave. Also, you will probably live a happy life. Everyone has to learn to get along with people whether black, white, American, Chinese, a different religion from someone else or a girl or boy. Munro's four main things you have to do if you want to get along with people are:
You have to be HONEST
You have to be FAIR
You have to be STRONG
You have to be WISE
This is not easy! If you are Honest and tell the truth, people will trust you. You can lose friends fast if you lie. I think this is really important. What do you do with someone who doesn't tell the truth? People get really mixed up when they tell lies. Being Honest is the most important rule of living a happy life.
Number two is being Fair. Friendly people seem to find it easy to be Fair. Munro states that the secret of fairness is sharing. This may be difficult for some people, and they find themselves left alone and unhappy. Have you played a game with someone and they can't lose? So we see that through life a Fair person usually is a friendly person and a happy person most of the time.
Number three is to be Strong. Strong not like a gorilla with muscles but having a clean, healthy mind and a clean, healthy body. So how does one do this? I believe one practices good regular habits of health to be strong.
Number four is about being Wise. If we are Honest , Fair and Strong, it wouldn't be hard to be Wise. We get along with people when we have polite manners, like saying "good morning", shaking hands, saying please, eating quietly without grabbing or quarreling, and by never acting as though we were the only person in the world who counted. Munro refers to living with other people as being like sailing together in a boat. Being wise is being respectful
So I have to agree, if we all learn to be Honest, Fair, Strong and Wise then we will learn "How to Behave and Why".
The famous motivational Victorian lecturer Russell H. Conwell wrote the essay Acres of Diamonds. This story has inspired me and many other people. Russell H. Conwell delivered this story more than 6,000 times between 1877 and 1925. He was a minister and a former newspaper correspondent.
The story is about the life of a Persian farmer named Ali Hafed who sold his farm and decided to travel the world. Ali left his family to find his fortune. Ali looked everywhere for diamonds and could not find any. He eventually took his own life as a homeless pauper. The farm he sold was lovingly cared for by the new owner. He was grateful for every inch of dirt and blade of grass. The new owner had a wonderful family that supported and loved one another. While the new owner was caring for his land he crossed his stream and noticed a flash of bright blue and red light on the bottom of the stream. Weeks later a visitor noticed the brilliant rock that sat in the farmer’s living room and asked the farmer about it. He told the farmer he believed the rock was a diamond. The visitor was right about the rock, which turned out to be one of the world’s largest diamonds. The simple farmer became wealthy beyond his dreams because of his discovery right in his own backyard of acres of diamonds.
We all have acres of diamonds in our lives waiting to be discovered and mined. One of my diamonds is Grosse Pointe Unitarian Church. I discovered this diamond in my backyard over 25 years ago. Will GPUC be one of your diamonds? Will you look for the opportunities for personal success, happiness and inspiration at GPUC? Will you make new friends and share GPUC with your family? It really is as close as your own backyard.
“Your diamonds are not in far distant mountains or in yonder seas; they are in your own backyard, if you but dig for them.” –Russell H. Conwell
On Sunday, April 24, 2016 , GPUC will be celebrating Earth Day. We will be looking at our seventh principle: "Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part." I was looking for a book for our students and came across "The Curious Garden" by Peter Brown. From the jacket of the book it reads; "One day , a curious boy named Liam is out exploring his drab, gray city when he comes across a struggling garden. He decides to help the plants grow, never imagining what he is starting. As time passes, the garden takes on a life of its own and spreads across the city, changing everything in its path. Bit by bit, the city is transformed, becoming a lush, green world." What a beautiful magical story about a boy's dream. It helps us have hope that the efforts of one small boy could help change the world.
Maybe our students can't all start a garden but there are so many other activities that you as parents can teach them to help change the world. Some ideas are to use reusable containers and bags, try home composting, teach your children about Fair Trade sources, ride your bikes to school and church and teach your children how to buy food in bulk. You could also be like Liam and plant a garden that would spread through your community!
This year marks the 46th anniversary of Earth Day. We at GPUC and my own family are taking action to make our planet a viable place for all people to live now and into the future.
The wonderful thing about being a Director of Religious of Education is receiving so much joy from the children and parents at our church. When I ponder about the joy I have for children, I think about the book The Joyful Child by Peggy Jenkins, Ph.D. The book is about children for adults to read. The Joyful Child helps the reader expand his or her awareness of the discovery of joy for children and it helps adults grow more in their own inner joy. The new ideas in this book provide a new approach with some possible new results. One of the quotes shared by the author of this book is written by Dr. Schuller. His thoughts echo mine. He says: Often we hear the question: How do you treat people? A far more important question is: How do you treat ideas?
Treat them tenderly...They can be killed quickly.
Treat them gently...They can be bruised in infancy.
Treat them respectfully...They could be the most valuable thing that ever came into your life.
Treat them protectively...Don't let them get away.
Treat them nutritionally...Feed them and feed them well.
Treat them antiseptically...Don't let them get infected with the germs of negative thoughts.
Treat them responsibly! Respond! Act! Do something with them!
Treating ideas in the above manner will help children and adults feel better about sharing their ideas positively.