Archives For education

teacher who is wise leads you to your threshold Gibran

Then said a teacher, ‘Speak to us of Teaching.’
And he said:
No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge.
The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, among his followers, gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness.
If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.
The astronomer may speak to you of his understanding of space, but he cannot give you his understanding.
The musician may sing to you of the rhythm which is in all space, but he cannot give you the ear which arrests the rhythm nor the voice that echoes it.
And he who is versed in the science of numbers can tell of the regions of weight and measure, but he cannot conduct you thither.
For the vision of one man lends not its wings to another man.
And even as each one of you stands alone in God’s knowledge, so must each one of you be alone in his knowledge of God and in his understanding of the earth.

 

Khalil Gibran self portrait c.1911Lebanese artist, writer and poet Kahlil Gibran‘s novel from 1923 “The Prophet” has been translated to over forty languages, has sold over 100 million copies, and has never been out of print. Click here to view it on Amazon. According to Wikipedia, Kahlil Gibran is the third best-selling poet of all time, only behind William Shakespeare and Lao-Tzu. [This paragraph to this point was previously shared in my post On Children]

On the right is a self-portrait he painted in 1911. Click image to visit source on Wikipedia.

My own copy of ‘The Prophet’ was given to me as a cherished gift from my brother-in-law nearly thirty years ago. It has since been read repeatedly and is wonderfully worn. I recommend it for every library so that all may read and enjoy its poetic wisdom. Namaste. Gina

[I cannot recall where I found this bright poster-image and give loving thanks to the maker of it. I will immediately add the source if/when I locate it. As always, I welcome any info in my comments.]

Norman Rockwell - Do Unto OthersI 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.

The-problem-we-all-live-with-norman-rockwellAlso 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.

Murder-in-Mississippi-Southern-Justice-1965A 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.

Reference sources: Chronogram.com and Wikipedia.com

 

Kids Are Worth It!

02/24/2013

nothing you do for children is wasted 450This post’s title is inspired by the wonderful works of author 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.

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. 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”

.
Barbara Coloroso talks about the importance of listening to kids:

Precious Resource

02/23/2013

Mother and Daughter Reading TogetherWhen 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.

playing for change imageIf 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!

children laughingLet’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!
.
.

[Unable to locate image sources. Notify of info: sidebar link to Messages.]

martin-luther-king-jr i have a dreamWhile Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is celebrated on the third Monday of every January, which is next week, I want to acknowledge and celebrate this incredible ‘peace warrior’ on the day of his birth.

It was 84 years ago today in Atlanta, Georgia that his mother, Alberta Christine Williams King, gave birth to her second, a boy. He was welcomed into the world by her, his father Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr., and 17-month old sister Willie Christine King, and when he was 18-months old he became a big brother to Alfred Daniel Williams King. The King’s middle child grew into a man who generated change and improved the world.

Here is a wonderful description of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:
Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the pivotal leaders of the American civil rights movement. King was a Baptist minister, one of the few leadership roles available to black men at the time. He became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955–1956) and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (1957), serving as its first president. His efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. Here he raised public consciousness of the civil rights movement and established himself as one of the greatest orators in U.S. history. In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other non-violent means.
King was assassinated on April 4, 1968. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Jimmy Carter in 1977. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a national holiday in the United States in 1986. In 2004, King was posthumously awarded a Congressional Gold Medal. [source: GoodReads]

.
While he was an American, his work went beyond borders and boundaries. He is a beloved icon the world over. This is from Wikipedia:

One place outside the United States where Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is observed with equal importance is in the Japanese city of Hiroshima under mayor Tadatoshi Akiba, who holds a special banquet at the mayor’s office as an act of unifying his city’s call for peace with King’s message of human rights. The City of Toronto, Canada, is another city that has officially recognized Martin Luther King Jr. Day, although it is not a paid holiday, and government services and businesses remain open.
In 1984, during a visit by the U.S. Sixth Fleet, Navy chaplain Rabbi Arnold Resnicoff conducted the first Israeli Presidential ceremony in commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, held in the President’s Residence, Jerusalem. Mrs. Aura Herzog, wife of Israel’s then-President Chaim Herzog, noted that she was especially proud to host this special event, because Israel had a national forest in honor of Dr. King, and that Israel and Dr. King shared the idea of “dreams”. Resnicoff continued this theme in his remarks during the ceremony, quoting the verse from Genesis, spoken by the brothers of Joseph when they saw their brother approach, “Behold the dreamer comes; let us slay him and throw him into the pit, and see what becomes of his dreams.” Resnicoff noted that, ‘from time immemorial, there have been those who thought they could kill the dream by slaying the dreamer, but – as the example of Dr. King’s life shows – such people are always wrong’. [source: Wikipedia]

.
martin-luther-king-jr stick with loveThis excerpt from the 1967 Massey Lectures suggests that the admiration Canadians had for him (and forever will) was mutual:

“It is a deep personal privilege to address a nationwide Canadian audience. Over and above any kinship of U.S. citizens and Canadians as North Americans, there is a singular historical relationship between American Negroes and Canadians.
Canada is not merely a neighbour to Negroes. Deep in our history of struggle for freedom Canada was the North Star. The Negro slave, denied education, de-humanized, imprisoned on cruel plantations, knew that far to the north a land existed where a fugitive slave, if he survived the horrors of the journey, could find freedom. The legendary underground railroad started in the south and ended in Canada.
The freedom road links us together. Our spirituals, now so widely admired around the world, were often codes. We sang of ‘heaven’ that awaited us, and the slave masters listened in innocence, not realizing that we were not speaking of the hereafter. Heaven was the word for Canada and the Negro sang of the hope that his escape on the underground railroad would carry him there.
One of our spirituals, ‘Follow the Drinking Gourd’, in its disguised lyrics contained directions for escape. The gourd was the big dipper, and the North Star to which its handle pointed gave the celestial map that directed the flight to the Canadian border.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr. [source: McGill]

.
If you have not already visited the official website of the foundation continuing his legacy and his work, I encourage you to do so. The website for the King Center is well organized with so much to read and learn about. Enjoy!

Official Website: http://www.thekingcenter.org/
Established in 1968 by Coretta Scott King, The King Center is the official, living memorial dedicated to advancing the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Our programs and partnerships educate the world about his life and his philosophy of nonviolence, inspiring new generations to further his work.

Imagine World Peace

01/11/2013

~ Imagine Our World At Peace ~

John Lennon ImagineJohn Lennon’s song IMAGINE is so popular because it resonates within us. It touches our soul, our psyche. The response to this song is rarely, “Oh, it’s okay I guess.”  We more commonly hear, “That’s my favourite song of all time!”

It has become an anthem of sorts. An anthem for World Peace. And we need an anthem about peace now more than ever.

We need to remember how important, how essential it is that we practice acceptance of perceived differences. We need to realize how this one step is critical to creating lasting peace in our lifetime. This year. Right now.

Let us move beyond the schoolyard manner of thinking and acting upon the outdated belief that ‘my religion is better than your religion’ or ‘my geographical location is more important than yours’ because these attitudes only keep us frozen in archaic battles.

chicago fire 'Mouch' actor christian stolteAs a fan of Dick Wolf, I’ve been enjoying his latest addition: Chicago Fire. In one episode we observe a secondary character named ‘Mouch’ express his intense hatred for Canadians when a couple of fire fighters from Toronto visit the station. He could not stand to be in the same room as they were. Towards the end we learn how he had fallen for a girl from Ontario through a website, and sent her money to come to Chicago, but she was a cruel person who scammed him and broke his heart. Through this one event, in his humiliation and heartbreak, he’d written off an entire country, dismissing with disgust anyone with that nationality.

It felt like a pretty good example of one way that exclusion, even racism, can begin to fester in a person’s heart. And everyone who allows these types of wounds to grow while refusing to forgive a larger group of people based on the actions of one or a few, are contributing the problem.

I choose to be a part of the solution. I choose to focus on peace, and the best way for me to foster a peaceful world and make a real difference towards world peace, is by ever deepening the love within my own heart. Peace within individuals grows outward to become peaceful communities, cities and nations. Peace in our hearts is the primary thing we all can do towards creating world peace.

i-dont-see-any-borders-do-youAs John Lennon invites us to imagine, what if there were no countries? No borders? I don’t feel borders. And I don’t see borders on our globe. To me, I feel like a resident of the continent of North America. And on a larger scale, as OAK at Only Abundant Knowledge wisely states in her blog, I am an Earthian and to be human is enough.

There is only one race: the Human Race. And I feel as much compassion, love and concern for my human ‘kin’ in Toronto, Aurora, and Newtown, as I do for my fellow ‘kin’ in Delhi, Sudan, and beyond. In my prayers, I feel deep compassion and love for all my fellow residents of this planet, and do my part to send my highest light towards these places where people are hurting and are filled with sadness.

I like to imagine the world at peace as John Lennon dreamt of.

I like to imagine a shift in consciousness, when enough of us on the planet pray for and believe in peace, when the angry ones suddenly wonder ‘what are we even fighting for?’, put down their weapons, and reach out with aid for others who they can now see as their ‘kin’.

And yes, that may make me a dreamer. To which I say thank God for John Lennon and his eternal anthem for peace, and for helping all of us dreamers know that we’re not the only one.