“The miracle of gratitude is that is shifts your perception to such an extent that it changes the world you see.” ~ Robert Holden
Posts Tagged With: education
A while ago I woke with a moonbeam shining in my eyes. My mind called out: it’s too early to be awake! It’s hardly into the third hour of the day and I’d hoped to wake when the alarm went off at 7am. But the moon had other plans, shining her beaming light across my face, through the small opening in the window covering. After turning and trying to think of sleep, I laid on my back, eyes open, and heard the lines of a poem running through my mind:
“How the heart mingles with the moonlit hour,
As if the starry heavens suffused a power.”
It’s been a while since I’ve thought of this poem and it took time to remember it all. The beginning was eluding me and, having realized sleep was not returning, I tiptoed to my home office hoping for speed on my computer, and sought out the poem. There it was! The stanza that was eluding me:
“And when, oblivious to the world, we stray,
At dead of night, along some noiseless way,”
This poem, Starry Heavens, is one of my all-time favorites. I hadn’t thought about it in a year or so, and am happy to be woken by moonbeams to help me remember it. Memorized poems need to be occasionally dusted off and recited, even if only for our selves. An audience for this hobby of memorizing old-fashioned poetry is yet to be found in my life, so I’m thankful to share it here.
More prose is wandering through my thoughts this early morning… this time by Galileo…
“I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”
What a beautiful statement, making me think about faith even though the man himself was not known for being pious.
This I learned as I sought more information about a quote I was self-misinformed about, years ago. I was watching a PBS seminar with the always-inspirational Dr. Wayne Dyer, and he shared a quote that had me pause the VCR (like I said, years ago):
“The sun, with all it’s planets revolving around it, can ripen the smallest bunch of grapes as if it had nothing better to do.” ~ “Why then, should I doubt His power?”
I was in my early twenties (a young mom with a VCR) and I wrote down this paraphrased quote and memorized it as I heard it, not realizing I’d misunderstood the pause in Dr. Dyer’s sharing of this powerful quote and I added his own comment to the end of Galileo’s writing. So for years, decades really, I’d memorized this tidbit from Galileo with a Wayne Dyer addition on the end. It is a great quote, and my inadvertent ‘addition’ has brought me great comfort through the years. However I prefer to know the truth, and to know who really said what.
Let’s hear it for research! As I sought info I realized that Galileo was in the ‘other’ camp. I personally enjoy melding science and religion within my own viewpoints and give thanks to live in a time when this is possible but Mr. Galilei did not live in such a time, and his passion for science unfortunately drove a wedge between himself and the primary organized religion of his day. To say he was ‘ahead of his time’ is a gross understatement. [Scroll to the bottom of this post for info on his life.]
Today I woke too early, with a poem about the moon and stars in my mind, and thoughts of Galileo hovering. Then, as I thought of Galileo, I easily recalled a favourite song by The Indigo Girls and have shared it here. As I wrote in a previous post: “It has been suggested that insomnia is linked with creativity.”
This is my ‘share’ today, sent out to any other insomnia wanderers out there, and of course to all my cherished readers whatever time of day you happen to come upon this post. I hope you enjoy and are inspired to relish in every moment of the day that you are alive.
Thank you to YouTube user ‘elmonkey26’ for this excellent video!
Excerpt from GoodReads:
“Galileo Galilei (Feb 5, 1564 – Jan 8, 1642) was a Tuscan (Italian) physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who played a major role in the Scientific Revolution. His achievements include improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical observations, and support for Copernicanism. Galileo has been called the “father of modern observational astronomy”, the “father of modern physics”, the “father of science”, and “the Father of Modern Science.” The motion of uniformly accelerated objects, taught in nearly all high school and introductory college physics courses, was studied by Galileo as the subject of kinematics. His contributions to observational astronomy include the telescopic confirmation of the phases of Venus, the discovery of the four largest satellites of Jupiter, named the Galilean moons in his honour, and the observation and analysis of sunspots. Galileo also worked in applied science and technology, improving compass design. Galileo’s championing of Copernicanism was controversial within his lifetime. The geocentric view had been dominant since the time of Aristotle, and the controversy engendered by Galileo’s presentation of heliocentrism as proven fact resulted in the Catholic Church’s prohibiting its advocacy as empirically proven fact, because it was not empirically proven at the time and was contrary to the literal meaning of Scripture. Galileo was eventually forced to recant his heliocentrism and spent the last years of his life under house arrest on orders of the Roman Inquisition.”
[Images randomly sourced off the internet]
Like so many, I am completely mesmerized by elephants. My blogging friend Sriram Janek captures their essence in his photography with breath-taking talent. I recommend clicking the link to visit his site and join me in being swept away by the power and beauty of these magnificent animals (and others) that he so artistically captures.
Until you visit Sriram’s site for extraordinary ventures through the lens into the world of wild elephants, here’s a collection I’ve gathered from random internet photos. These warm my heart and I hope they will for you too! In marvelling over the wisdom and majesty of elephants we are all connected, no matter how near or far we live from them.
[Images randomly sourced off the internet]
I am offering a loving salute to Norman Rockwell (Feb 3, 1894 – Nov 8, 1978) for the power he demonstrated in all his paintings but especially the later ones after he left the Saturday Evening Post. Thank you Mr. Rockwell for being a strong, quiet, and powerful Warrior For Peace who created art that will forever speak to the heart of issues to be addressed for global peace.
“Do unto others…” For most Americans in 1961, the familiar adage really meant, “Do unto others who look like you.” Norman Rockwell, in his painting Golden Rule challenged that hypocrisy and laid the truth of “the other” smack dab in the middle of America’s coffee tables. Golden Rule appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post on April 1, 1961.
Also in 1961 widower Norman Rockwell married a third time, to retired Milton Academy English teacher and ardent liberal Mary L. “Molly” Punderson. With her encouragement, in 1963 he ended his 47-year relationship with the Saturday Evening Post and spent the next decade painting for the magazine Look where his work depicted his interests in civil rights.
In January 1964 Rockwell painted The Problem We All Live With depicting six year old Ruby Bridges walking to school in New Orleans on the court-ordered first day of integrated schools (November 14, 1960) for a Look story.
A great departure from his previous sweet depictions of American life is the colour study of his finished painting called Southern Justice (Murder in Mississippi). It was for a June 1965 issue of Look and depicts the horrifying image of racism that resulted in the deaths of three Civil Rights workers as they worked to register African American voters.
These are events that Mr. Rockwell immortalized to help guarantee that we will never forget. As we close out Black History month for 2013 let us all do what we can to continue to work towards peace and equality, ensuring barriers are dropped and opportunities are equal for all. As MLK encouraged, judge not by the colour of skin but by the depth of a person’s character.
This post’s title is inspired by the wonderful works of Barbara Coloroso, an inspirational educator on the importance of informed and loving parenting. She has written many acclaimed books on how to become a better parent or educator.
In my on-going celebration of doing all we can to gain skills in becoming better childcare givers, here’s some information, a short video, and books I’ve found helpful in raising happy, kind, well adjusted children. Whether you’re a parent or not, let’s all gain knowledge on how to encourage and support children and teens as they grow into adulthood. This is for us all!
It really does take a village to raise a child and it takes all of us to help build a loving community and a peaceful world. Every single effort is worth it!
Barbara Coloroso is a bestselling author and for the past 38 years an internationally recognized speaker and consultant on parenting, teaching, school discipline, positive school climate, bullying, grieving, nonviolent conflict resolution and restorative justice. She has appeared on Oprah, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN and NPR and has been featured in the New York Times, Time, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, and other national and international publications. Her uniquely effective parenting and teaching strategies were developed through her years of training in sociology, special education, and philosophy, as well as field-tested through her experiences as a classroom teacher, laboratory school instructor, university instructor, seminar leader, volunteer in Rwanda, and mother of three grown children. Visit KidsAreWorthIt.com
She is the author of four international bestsellers:
“Kids Are Worth It! Raising Resilient, Responsible, Compassionate Kids”
“Parenting Through Crisis: Helping Kids in Times of Loss, Grief and Change”
“The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander: From Pre-School to High School, How Parents and Teachers Can Help Break the Cycle of Violence”
“Just Because It’s Not Wrong Doesn’t Make It Right: From Toddlers to Teens, Teaching Kids to Think and Act Ethically”
Parenting With Passion: Barbara Coloroso talks about the importance of listening to kids.
Here are parenting books I’ve enjoyed and encourage checking out:
Kids Are Worth It! Raising Resilient, Responsible, Compassionate Kids ~By Barbara Coloroso
This parenting classic is set to teach a new generation of parents the importance of treating kids with dignity and respect. Rejecting the “quick fix” solutions of punishment and reward, Barbara uses everyday family situations ~ from sibling rivalry to teenage rebellion ~ to demonstrate sound strategies for giving children the inner discipline and self-confidence that will help them become responsible, resourceful, resilient, and compassionate adults. Amazon.ca Amazon.com
Raise Your Kids Without Raising Your Voice ~By Sarah Radcliffe
This book has become a favourite guide for parents. Radcliffe understands the challenges that parents face in the big and small tasks of raising kids. She offers stress-reduced strategies for gaining children’s cooperation, eliminating the need for anger and criticism. Gentle on both parent and child, these strategies can be easily learned and used by anyone. Her communication tools foster love, acceptance and healthy boundaries. And she helps parents cope with the most challenging aspect of childrearing: their own feelings of helplessness and stress. Simple and effective, this is a great book for any parent. View book on Amazon.ca and Amazon.com
How To Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk
~By Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlich
Internationally acclaimed experts on communication between parents and children, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish offer this bestselling classic with fresh insights and suggestions as well as the authors’ time-tested methods to solve common problems and build foundations for lasting relationships. Enthusiastically praised by parents and professionals around the world, the down-to-earth, respectful approach of Faber and Mazlish makes relationships with children of all ages less stressful and more rewarding. Click to view this book on Amazon.ca and Amazon.com
What Do You Really Want For Your Children?
~By Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
If you have children, then you have dreams for them. You want to see them growing up happy, healthy, self-reliant, and confident in themselves and their abilities. But if you’re a typical parent, you’ve wondered if you’ll be able to give them all this. There’s good news: you can. Wayne Dyer shares the wisdom and guidance that have already helped millions of readers take charge of their lives ~ showing how to make all your hopes for your children come true. View on Amazon.ca and Amazon.com
[Randomly sourced images off Google]
When I became a mother I was completely in the dark about being a parent. I was the first person I knew to go through the process of a pregnancy, giving birth and becoming a new parent so I had no role models. I had no idea of what to expect. Therefore I did what I’ve done all my life in such situations: I researched. Whenever I feel unsure of something I look more into it and read all I can about it. I want to see it being done, I want to be around others who are doing it and watch how they do it right. Research has always offered me reassurance.
Luckily there are many role models who adore children and know they’re our precious gift and hope for the future. These wise teachers share their knowledge in books, websites, workshops and courses. There is a wealth of information available to help anyone learn how to understand the importance of parenting and how do give our very best to this life-changing endeavour.
If we want to become a better chef, we make an effort to learn from others. Same with gardening, playing a musical instrument, or any other endeavour. We have to make an effort to learn the best way to do it. So let’s make an effort to learn how to excel at child care rather than just doing what we think works, or the way our parents raised us. Let’s see what new information resonates and works for our lives and our children. Even a few tips we acquire that can help calm quarrels and rivalries, build loving relationships, regain household order and foster mutual respect is worth every effort it takes to obtain the information and the time it takes to do some reading.
No one is born with the knowledge of how to be an excellent parent, and becoming a parent does not automatically make one a good parent. Like stand up comics have sarcastically observed, we have to get a license to drive a motorcycle or car, or to even have a dog, but any fool can have a kid!
Let’s not be foolish with this precious role we’ve been granted as parents (or anyone who spends quality time with youngsters such as teachers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, nannies and babysitters) and get wise by picking up a book filled with the generous assistance of those who want to help. Libraries are filled with books on the subject of raising children into well adjusted and happy adults who will lead our world into the peaceful future we know we all deserve. Let’s make the effort to learn how to raise happy kids because it’s priceless!
Sweet Honey In The Rock (see my earlier post) do an incredibly powerful performance of this amazing piece, Ella’s Song, and I’ve included the video and lyrics for us here. I first fell in love with this song over twenty years ago when I heard it covered by songwriter-singer and activist Holly Near and I adore this original version too. I’ve also included some information about the memorable activist who inspired it: Ella Baker.
Let us be inspired to raise our voices and sing along! Let us rise up and take action for peace and freedom for all the world’s people, for every mother’s child. Let our love light the way. ~Namaste.
Ella Josephine Baker (December 13, 1903 – December 13, 1986) was an African-American civil rights and human rights activist beginning in the 1930s. She was a behind-the-scenes activist, whose career spanned over five decades. She worked alongside some of the most famous civil rights leaders of the 20th century, including W.E.B. Du Bois, Thurgood Marshall, A. Philip Randolph, and Martin Luther King, Jr. She also mentored then-young civil rights stalwarts Diane Nash, Stokely Carmichael, Rosa Parks and Bob Moses. In 1972 she traveled the country in support of the “Free Angela” campaign demanding the release of Angela Davis [John Lennon & Yoko Ono wrote a song in support of Angela Davis called ‘Angela’ on their 1972 album “Some Time in New York City”]. Ella Baker also lent her voice to the Puerto Rican independence movement, spoke out against apartheid in South Africa and allied herself with a number of women’s groups, including the Third World Women’s Alliance and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. She remained an activist until her death in 1986 at 83 years of age.
Ella Baker quotations:
“Until the killing of black men, black mothers’ sons, becomes as important to the rest of the country as the killing of a white mother’s son… we who believe in freedom cannot rest until this happens.”
“Remember, we are not fighting for the freedom of the Negro alone but for the freedom of the human spirit, a larger freedom that encompasses all mankind.”
“The development of the individual to his highest potential is for the benefit of the group.”
One of the best parts of weekends is curling up with a movie and a bowl of popcorn to enjoy some laughs or touching moments. This is an excellent time to nourish our spirit and not fill our minds and hearts with images of violence. Let’s make careful and informed choices before we watch ‘any ol’ thing’.
These lists have been compiled from my own movie-watching experience, as well as from doing research. I have included animated movies because they are some of the best movies ever made, and are certainly not only for children any more.
Rather than including a description I recommend checking any movie at IMDb and Wikipedia. Common Sense Media is a very helpful site for examining a movie before viewing it with children, or to avoid movies with sexual content. Rotten Tomatoes is helpful for those who want to check the common opinions of the masses before viewing (Links at bottom of post). I have only chosen movies above the mid-range of critical reviews on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes (nothing below 70% Positive Ratings at the time of posting).
May we all find something inspiring to watch and enjoy!
Here are two lists of older violence-free movies to consider renting or recording.
75 alphabetical suggestions for movies rated “General” “PG” or “PG-13”:
50 First Dates (2004 US comedy, PG-13, sexual content)
A Beautiful Mind (2001 US Biographical drama, PG-13)
A League Of Their Own (1992 US Drama, Rated PG)
An American Tale: Fievel Goes West (1991, Animated/Family, Rated G)
As Good As It Gets (1997 US Comedy-Drama, Rated PG-13)
Babe (1995, US Drama/Comedy/Family, Rated G)
Back To The Future (1985 US Comedy-Action, Rated PG)
*batteries not included (1987 US Comedy-Drama, Rated PG)
Benny And Joon (1993 US Drama-Comedy, Rated PG)
Big (1988 US Comedy-Drama, Rated PG)
Big Fish (2003 US Fantasy-Drama, Rated PG-13)
Brave (2012 US Animation-Family, Rated PG)
Calendar Girls (2003 UK Comedy-Drama, Rated PG-13)
Chocolat (2000 US Comedy-Drama, Rated PG-13)
Cinema Paradiso (1988 Italian Comedy-Drama, Rated PG)
City Slickers (1991 US Comedy-Drama, Rated PG-13)
Dave (1998 US Comedy-Drama, Rated PG-13)
Departures (2008 Japanese Drama, Rated PG-13)
Dersu Uzala (1975, Japanese/Russian)
Driving Miss Daisy (1990 US Drama, Rated PG)
Edward Scissorhands (1990 US Drama/Science Fiction, Rated PG-13)
ET: The Extra Terrestrial (1982, Drama/Science Fiction, Rated PG)
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986 US Comedy-Drama, Rated PG-13 for language)
Field Of Dreams (1989 US Drama, Rated PG)
Forrest Gump (1994 US Drama, Rated PG-13)
Ghostbusters (1984 US Comedy, Rated PG)
Groundhog Day (1993 US Comedy-Drama, Rated PG-13)
Harvey (1950 Classic charmer, sweet story about tolerance) RECOMMENDED: Thanks eBL!
Home Alone (1990 US Family-Comedy, Rated PG)
How To Train Your Dragon (2010 Animated Family, Rated PG)
Hugo (2011 US Action-Adventure, Rated PG)
In And Out (1997 US Comedy, Rated PG-13)
(#1) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981 US Adventure, Rated PG)
(#3) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989 US Action-Adventure, Rated PG-13)
(#4) Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008 US Adventure, PG-13)
It’s A Wonderful Life (1946 US Classic Drama, Not Rated. Engaging, sweet story)
Jean de Florette (1986 French Historical Drama, Rated PG)
Jean de Florette II (Manon des Sources 86 French Drama PG) RECOMMENDED:Thanks Kozo!
Julie And Julia (2009 US Comedy-Drama, Rated PG-13 for some language)
Kinky Boots (2005 UK Comedy-Drama, Rated PG-13)
Mary Poppins (1964 US Family movie, Rated G) Heart warming frolic for all ages
Millions (2005 UK Family film, Rated PG) Good movie for families
Miss Congeniality (2000 US Comedy, Rated PG-13)
Mr. Holland’s Opus (1997 US Drama, Rated PG)
My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002 US Comedy, Rated PG)
Nanny McPhee (2006 US Family movie, rated PG)
Nanny McPhee Returns (2010 US Family movie, Rated PG)
Ratatouille (2007 US Animated Family, Rated G) For kids but adults may enjoy more!
Say Anything (1989 US Drama, Rated PG-13) Great teen coming-of-age film
School Of Rock (2003 US Comedy, rated PG-13) Good positive message
Shrek (2001 US Animated Family film, Rated PG) Some edgy humor directed at adults
Singin’ In The Rain (1952 US Musical) Often considered the finest musical of all time.
Sleepless In Seattle (1993 Comedy, Rated PG) A fairy tale even teens can enjoy
Some Like It Hot (1959 US Classic, Comedy) One of the wildest romantic farces ever
Somewhere In Time (1980 Drama-Fantasy, Rated PG) RECOMMENDED: Thanks GFS & Patty!
Star Trek (2009 US Adventure/Science Fiction, PG-13) Classic franchise gets new life
Tangled (2010 US Animated Family film, Rated PG)
That Thing You Do (1996 US Comedy-Drama, Rated PG)
The Accidental Tourist (1988 US Drama, Rated PG)
The Blind Side (2009 US Drama, Rated PG-13)
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005 Fantasy, Rated PG)
The Magic of Belle Isle (2012 Drama-Comedy, Rated PG) RECOMMENDED (Thanks Russ!)
The Muppets (2011 US Comedy/Family film, Rated PG) Fun and heart warming movie
The Never Ending Story (1984 US Fantasy film, Rated PG) Not for very young viewers
The Odd Life Of Timothy Green (2012 US Drama, Rated PG) For kids and non-jaded adults
The Princess Bride (1987 US Fantasy-Comedy, Rated PG) Enjoyable, sharp-edged fairy tale
The Pursuit Of Happyness (2006 US Drama, Rated PG-13) Best for over 10yr olds
The Rundown (2003 US Action/Adventure, Rated PG-13) Some non-graphic violence
The Secret Garden (1993 US Family movie, Rated G) May bore kids used to action films
The Terminal (2004 US Drama, Rated PG-13 from brief strong language)
The Truman Show (1998 US Drama, Rated PG) thought provoking for 8yrs and up
The Wedding Singer (2004 US Comedy, Rated PG-13)
The Wizard Of Oz (1939 US Classic Family Drama, Not Rated)
Under The Tuscan Sun (2003 US Drama, Rated PG-13) Sweet adult story; not for kids
Up (2009 US Animated Family film, Rated PG) Wonderful family film for all ages
Waking Ned Devine (1998 Irish Comedy-Drama, Rated PG) Some black humor
Wall-E (2008 US Animated Family film, Rated G) Charming eco-friendly adventure
Whip It (2009 US Comedy, Rated PG-13) Mixes girl power and teen angst
Willow (1988 US Fantasy, Rated PG) Magic-filled adventure for tweens and up
Here are violence-free R-Rated movies (for strong language; some with nudity):
A Fish Called Wanda (1988 UK/USA Heist-Comedy, Rated R)
Almost Famous (2000 US Drama, Rated R)
Amarcord (1974 Italian Classic Drama, Rated R)
Amelie (2001 French Comedy-Drama, Rated R)
Billy Elliot (2000 UK Drama, Rated R)
Garden State (2004 US Drama, Rated R)
I Heart Huckabees (2004 US Comedy, Rated R)
Jerry Maguire (1996 US Drama, Rated R)
Lost In Translation (2003 US Drama, Rated R)
Nobody’s Fool (1994 US Drama, Rated R)
Our Idiot Brother (2011 US Comedy, Rated R)
Planes Trains And Automobiles (1987 US Comedy, Rated R)
Sideways (2004 US Drama, Rated R)
The Full Monty (1997 UK Comedy-Drama, Rated R)
The Trip (2011 UK Comedy-Drama, Rated R)
Wonder Boys (2000 US Drama-Comedy, Rated R)
I have made these lists as much for myself as to share here, as I have only seen a fraction of these so far. And of course these are by no means exhaustive, but are a place to start to see how many movies we can choose from that are free from violence. These are a well-reviewed beginning for us all to create a weekend movie night without worrying about gratuitous, graphic violence and gore flung in our faces. While some on these lists have action and excitement, they’re mostly comedies and dramas that focus on the plights and pleasures of our shared human condition. Please take a moment to check out any movie listed here at these links to ensure it will be the right choice for yourself and your viewing audience. May we all enjoy our entertainment free from violence! Namaste. ~Gina