Monthly Peace Challenge: Peace Child

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To help inspire the Bloggers for Peace (B4Peace), we will have a Monthly Peace Challenge. To participate, tag your post with B4Peace and make sure you copy your URL to the Linkz collection. Anyone who completes all twelve Monthly Peace Challenges in 2014 will receive a Free B4Peace T-shirt. Yes, I’ve decided to offer the second annual Bloggers for Peace T-shirt as a prize. I envision a day when we will all gather for a Bloggers for Peace Conference donning our various Bloggers for Peace T-shirts.

Sorry this post is a bit late, but we had some daycare issues this month, which serendipitously gave me the idea for this month’s challenge. Let’s focus on children. How can we teach children to prioritize peace? How did you experience peace as a child? What in your upbringing made you a Blogger for Peace?

20140101-083049.jpgHere are a few suggestions:

  • Post a song, poem, photo, video, or story that will lead children towards peace. Remember the anti-littering campaign featuring the crying Native American? I swear that that commercial is the reason I never litter to this day. Can we create something as powerful for peace?
  • Tell a story about when you were a child and you found/experienced/learned peace. What are your first memories of peace? What images, music, events, people introduced you to peace?
  • Post a practice, activity, tip, or suggestion for parents to raise peaceful children. (You don’t have to be a parent to do this. The Dalai Lama, to my knowledge, has no children, yet he offers advice to parents everyday.)
  • Post photos, images, artwork, poems, songs, or stories by/of/for children that bring you peace.
  • Tell a story about how you would re-parent yourself to make your life more peaceful. What would you tell your 3 year old self to help her find peace in the face of the experiences that are ahead of her?
  • Describe the resources you would give a child to live a peaceful life or make the world a more peaceful place.

Don’t forget to link to at least one other B4Peace post and add your post to the Linkz collection. Here is how:

  • Copy your URL to the Linkz collection. You’ll find the link below. It’s the drunk blue frog smiling for peace. Click on it and follow directions.
  • Go visit this site to read and comment on other posts related to this Monthly Peace Challenge.

 

2013 Bloggers for Peace T-shirt Update:

I have the final count and have rectified overseas mailing problems. Rarasaur and I are finalizing the Peace Cat image, so I hope to order the t-shirts this month and mail them the first week of April. This way, if I don’t get them out in time, I can say, “April Fools!” Sorry, for the delay. Thank you for your patience.

How Many Time Do I Have To Tell You

Lessons on Humanity from a Three Six Year Old

As a parent, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said:

“How many times do I have to tell you…”

Six year old Jett was upset because he had to re-do his homework.

“How many time do I have to tell you that if you do it neatly the first time, you won’t have to re-do it.”

Finally, he got so upset that he threw the pencil and eraser off the desk. I sat calmly and said, “I guess that means no iPad.”

This pushed him over the edge. He started screaming. So I sat down at my desk and started reading blogs. He walked over to me and screamed in my face.

“You better back off, because you are getting Daddy angry,” I said in a calm, but firm voice.

“You hurt my feelings,” he screamed.

“How did I hurt your feelings? I didn’t hurt your feelings; I just tried to get you to do your homework.”

“You ignored me,” he screamed.

“I didn’t ignore you. I just walked away when you started screaming.”

“You were rude to me,” the screams were getting louder.

“YOU WERE RUDE to ME. Don’t you understand that screaming in someone’s face is rude?”

“YOU ARE BEING RUDE TO ME RIGHT NOW!” he yelled as he “stood with fists.”

Suddenly, I flashed back to a post that I published less than 24 hours prior to this argument. In the post, I waxed how Jett’s 3 year old brother taught me to “apologize quickly, even if you were not at fault” and “let others know when they have hurt you.”

Jett and Fox with Buddha

My Teachers

Jett was letting me know that I had hurt him, yet I was refusing to apologize. Three year old Fox was taking a bath right next to the office Jett and I were arguing in. I could hear his thoughts, “How many times do I have to tell you to walk the walk, Mr. Talk-the-Talk?”

I grabbed Jett and pressed his heart next to mine. “I’m sorry that I was rude to you. Thank you for telling me how you felt. I’m sorry I hurt your feelings. I’m sorry I ignored you.”

Jett’s body softened like a stuffed animal. I could feel his heart embracing mine.

“Let’s finish this homework, so you can have some iPad time, OK?”

“OK, Daddy.”

Lessons learned:

  • Calm and collected are not the same as caring and attentive
  • If I want my boys to be compassionate, I have to honor their feelings even if I don’t understand or agree with them.
  • We all need to be reminded of lessons over and over
  • Heart to heart is the best medicine/discipline for raising kids

Heart-Tinted Glasses

heart tinted glassesI’ve always been a judgmental person, so I’ve decided to see the world through heart-tinted glasses. Rather than see people as people, I’m trying to see their heart, not their physical heart, but how much heart they have.

Boy with HeartFor example, although this boy looks disabled, I see him motoring around our library every week. Everything about him reveals a huge heart.

Kids in general have tons of heart, yet we often tend to forget that. We tend to be condescending towards kids, rather than filled with admiration. Continue reading

Slow Down For Peace

fatboyke (Luc) / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to be compassionate while you are in a rush?

When I am in a hurry, I get this feeling like I am leaning forward and I need to keep moving not matter what. When something inhibits my progress I get tense, frustrated, and, sometimes, angry.

My sons seem to slow down on purpose when they sense that I am in a rush. Like many of you experienced parents have told me over and over, our children are here not just to learn from us, but also to teach us.

After numerous episodes of screaming, time-outs, and dragging, I’ve finally learned to slow down. Does it really matter if my son is late to kindergarten? Will it adversely affect my 3 year old’s brain development if he misses one “Circle Time” at his preschool? Continue reading

Honest Kids

Have you ever been called out by your kid when you lied?

“Sorry, we couldn’t make your daughter’s dance recital, but my son had a soccer game.”

“No I didn’t, Daddy. You said that you didn’t want to watch bad dancing and hang around with crazy dance moms.”

“Thanks, son.” Continue reading

Monthly Peace Challenge: Giveaway!

forpeace25jpgWith close to 130 Bloggers for Peace, the number of peace posts continues to expand. I, for one, can honestly say that this experience is changing my life. Reading multiple posts about peace every week from a variety of perspectives inspires me, guides me, and re-minds me to practice peace at all times. I am grateful to all of you for every contribution you make.

To help inspire the Bloggers for Peace (B4Peace), we will have a Monthly Peace Challenge. To participate, tag your post with B4Peace or leave a link to it in the comments below. Also, make sure you copy your URL to the Linkz collection. Anyone who completes all twelve Monthly Peace Challenges will receive a Free B4Peace T-shirt. Continue reading

Action/Reaction: Failure in 2012 and What to Do About It

Hot-Oil-fire

“You will not be judged on what people do to you, but how you react.”–Anonymous

On my bad days, I react to events like water poured on boiling oil, burning everyone in sight, even those trying to help.  You could say I have an itchy trigger finger, ready to attack anything that provokes me with my semi-automatic tongue.

One of the reasons I practice meditation every day is to become aware of exactly when my “fire” ignites. If I can catch a negative reaction when it is just one thought, I can extinguish it before my anger and frustration create a three alarm catastrophe. Like a single matchstick, it is easy to blow out a negative thought with a smile or a breath of gratitude. This practice has quadrupled the number of happy moments I experience daily and changed the course of my life.

But after reading the posts by Mirth and Motivation and Professions for PEACE in response to the Newtown  shooting, I realized that simply responding to external events is not good enough. Continue reading