Making A Difference
The Peaceful Parenting Newsletter
A free e-mail newsletter from Naomi Drew
Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time.
Marian Wright Edelman
You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. . . You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
One of the most powerful things we can do to nurture hope in ourselves and our children is to reach out beyond our usual sphere and make a difference. How and where we do this is a personal decision, but what matters most is that we each do something. We are all very busy, but if every single person made making a difference a consistent part of their lives, we would turn the world on its head.
Each time we perform acts of compassion and service, we light a candle that
illuminates the people we reach out to, and casts a glow on our own souls.
My fondest wish is that the spirit of compassion that was ignited on
September 11th be re-ignited now, with regular people like us reaching out
more than ever to make this world a little more peaceful. Each time we do,
we help the world heal.
Through the accumulated acts of care by people like us and the children we
are raising, the callousness and violence in our world just might begin to
Love and peace,
Exercises For Making a Difference
EXERCISE 1: Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Ask yourself these questions: How can I best make a difference in the time I have here on earth? Is there a way I need to reach out that I have not been aware of before? What is the legacy I might leave? See what comes up, and then write about it.
If you feel like there is a grand purpose you are drawn to, but you discount it, think about this: sometimes we stop short because we are afraid to fail or we feel we are not up to the task. Yet everyone who has ever accomplished anything of value has risked failure. A wise person once said, if you are not failing enough, you are not taking enough risks. Nothing is wrong with failing, but it is a horrible loss to never have taken a risk.
We each have a unique path, and every time we move forward in the face of fear, doubt, or self-invalidation we begin to find it. As we travel along this path and find ways to make a difference, our sense of peace increases.
What touches your heart? Is it children in poverty, homelessness, hunger, gun violence, war? Whatever calls out to you most is where you can start thinking about making your unique difference. The world so desperately needs your participation.
EXERCISE 2: What issues most call to you? Start thinking about this and write down whatever comes to mind. Ask yourself what you might do to start making a difference in an area you are concerned about? Have your children do the same thing. No age is too young to start.
When we step out to make a greater difference, we set the wheels in motion for our children to do the same. By our example they see the value of giving. Hope expands for each of us every time we give.
Not sure what to do? Check out these websites:
Want to volunteer but dont know how? This website has tons of information on volunteer work and provides an online database where youll find opportunities by zip code, category, and date.
Another site that will help you find a place to volunteer. Theres a database of service roles. Click on "resources" to find information for kids under 18 who want to volunteer.
Network For Good
Helps you volunteer, speak out, donate, and make a difference in the environment, education, health, human services, peace and other international issues.
Race to Peace
This is actually part of my website LearningPeace.com. If you are interested in creating peace in our world and want to find some very specific ways to begin, this is a good place to start.
DID YOU KNOW?
Are you aware that buried in the newly signed No Child Left Behind law is a new provision that requires all public secondary schools to provide military recruiters not only with full access to the school our children attend, but also with the names, addresses, and phone numbers of every student. Schools that refuse to give out this previously confidential information face a cutoff of all federal aid.
Please alert your PTA and other parent groups. If you are concerned, contact your local legislators.
Upcoming Hope and Healing events:
- Nov. 19, 9:30 A.M. - Princeton Day School Annual Book Fair, Princeton, NJ. Book signing and sale. Contact me at email@example.com for more information.
- Nov. 20, 6:30-8:00 p.m. Talk and signing: Peaceful Parenting in an Uncertain World. At: Foundations Behavioral Health,Community Service Center - Community Room, 833 E. Butler Ave.Doylestown, PA. Free and open to the public. Sitting available for kids 1-10. To register call 215-345-0444,
- Nov. 23, Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Drive, New York, N.Y. New York. A Conference for Justice and Peace (full-day) . For registration information call 212.870.6740. My talk is at 10:45.
- Nov. 26, 8:00 - Workshop and signing: Creating Peace in a Violent World. Free and open the public. At Saraswati Yoga School, 415 York Rd. , New Hope, Pa. 215-862-4520
- Dec. 4 - NJ State PTA Convention. Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City,1:15 workshop - Creating Peace, Hope, and Healing in Our Lives and Our Childrens. For information E-mail Joanne Corrado firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dec. 5 - Staten Island - Violence Prevention: It Begins in the Home at the New York Center for Interpersonal Development - Workshop and signing 7:00- 8:30. Contact Adam Berner at AJBerner@aol.com for more information.
If your organization or school would like to schedule a workshop or speaking engagement, you can reach Naomi at email@example.com.
Naomi Drew is the author of four books, all available through LearningPeace.com:
Peaceful Parents, Peaceful Kids (Kensington Publishers)
Learning the Skills of Peacemaking (Jalmar Press)
The Peaceful Classroom in Action (Jalmar Press)
Hope and Healing: Peaceful Parenting in an Uncertain World will be released in September of 2002 (Kensington Publishers)
Peaceful Parenting is a free bi-weekly service. Please share this newsletter.
Copyright 2002, Naomi Drew, All Rights Reserved.
This content may be forwarded in full, with copyright/contact/creation information intact,without specific permission, when used only in a not-for-profit format. If any other use is desired, permission in writing from the author is required.
Love and Peace to All of You.