Showing posts with label kindness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kindness. Show all posts

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Movie Review - Wonder

If you are looking for an inspirational, feel-good movie the whole family can enjoy this holiday season, look no further than Wonder.  This film has everything that leaves a moviegoer satisfied—characters you actually care about, themes that matter, and a happy ending.  You might shed a few tears, like I did, but they will be the kind of tears that make you feel something beautiful.

Based on the runaway best-selling book by R.J. Palacio, Wonder takes us into the life and times of August Pullman, a ten-year-old boy born with the kind of severe facial deformities that cause most everyone he meets to respond to him in ways that are very painful.  The movie follows Auggie as he makes his grand entry into the public life of a fifth-grader after previously being home-schooled.  Anyone who has ever been the new kid at school will be able to relate to Auggie's experiences with bullies and the extreme distress of not fitting in.

The movie's storyline is revealed to us as the main characters take turns presenting their perspectives.  I don't always like this cinematic or literary technique, but it works well in this movie.  It is a very effective way of telling the stories within the story and it helped me form bonds with each character.  Getting to briefly run around inside the heads of the supporting characters fleshed out the movie's themes and made them multi-dimensional.

Choose Kind

We are introduced to Wonder's guiding principles through the precepts of Auggie's English teacher, Mr. Browne.  Choosing kindness, a major theme, is unveiled early in Mr. Browne's classroom via this quotation by Dr. Wayne Dyer:
"When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind."
The mark of an exceptional movie, at least for me, is what happens when I step out of the theater after the closing credits.  Last night, upon arriving home, I found myself spending hours online learning more about Treacher Collins Syndrome (Auggie's condition), the Choose Kind movement inspired by Wonder, watching video interviews with families affected by this syndrome, and reading up on how R.J. Palacio came to write Wonder.

Nurture Kindness

This movie is one that will impact me for a very long time.  As a former teen who was bullied for merely being the new kid at my middle school, I have never forgotten the misery and deep pain caused by that experience.  It shaped who I became as a teacher and continues to remind me that we each have an awesome responsibility to nurture kindness in young people.  If I leave no other legacy as a teacher and human being than that of planting seeds of kindness and compassion, I will feel as though I did something meaningful with my life.

I encourage you to take a child or grandchild to see Wonder.  My gifts to young people this Christmas will include the book Wonder, along with related journals and t-shirts that promote the Choose Kind message.  It is just one of the many ways I intend to celebrate the hope and wonder of the season.











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Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas - The Needed Power of Faith

Faith is the bird that feels the light and
sings when the dawn is still dark
FAITH

The greatest gift we can give or are willing to receive is Faith.

Faith holds the secret key to the universe.

Think of all the things we treasure but cannot see: Those untouchable, intangible valuables that matter most and ultimately hold the power of good to shape our world.

Love - We feel it, we know it's real but we cannot touch it, bottle it, sell it, or earn money from it. It's the biggest, richest gift anyone can receive and it comes straight from faith in ourselves that it exists.

Compassion - We all matter. Every single soul on earth matters. No one is greater than another and the gift of compassion shows we have faith in and believe in this untouchable energy.

Hope - Without hope, we cannot have faith. Even though hope in our hearts is not visible to those who walk by us, our body language, our energy and our demeanor have the power to pass along the gift of hope. All of it, unseen, yet felt. One life touches another every single day.

Like butter and eggs, the years blend together. Before we know it we've lived through over 50 or more Christmases. No matter the number we've had, each one blends into the other and over-time, our traditions shape us and our family.

Our children and extended family are the carriers of our roots, and passing along even the smallest sense of tradition in today's crazy-busy world has more value than decades ago.

This year, let us pass along the greatest gift, especially to our children ... the priceless Gift of Faith.

Enjoy this beautiful song by Tim McGraw, Humble & Kind - Song Review can be found here, and most of all....

Merry Christmas xxoo







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Sunday, November 6, 2016

When You Have An American Heart - A World of Good

Find American Heart by Faith Hill Here
And More Inspirational Songs About America Here

Stand Beside Her and Guide Her

"From the small town Friday night lights, to the Broadway neon burning up bright, We're all the same and it's in our veins, A spirit that you can't keep down, A fire inside that'll never burn out if you are the owner of an American Heart" (Lyrics from American Heart by Faith Hill)

America The Good Representing a World of Good

The inspirational song by Faith Hill, American Heart, reminds us about not only the good in America, but also in people who proudly call themselves members of the free world.

Free speech, compassion, human rights and the collective good remain a constant work in progress and as a Canadian, like my brother and sister Americans, I'm blessed to be a part of it.

As people of earth, our diversity along with our sameness are the weights that create the balance. It's cliche, but it really is our differences that teach us and our common ground that unites us.

As an example, even with a physical border between Canada and the USA, the earth doesn't shift when you place a foot on one side or the other: Stand on one side, or stand on the other, I'll venture a guess our aspirations are fundamentally the same; those being prosperity, peace and the pursuit of happiness.

We all know Canadians and Americans share the longest peaceful border on planet earth. This speaks loudly about the people who inhabit both sides of this man-made invisible line.

The most successful friends on the planet have earned a few bragging rights and the Oscar should go to the people of both countries, not our governments. For it's the people who set the pace in a free country; it's people who push governments one way or another, and in a free world governments reflect who we are.

Belting out the lyrics of American Heart, Faith Hill sings these inspirational words 'We're all the Same'. The song is speaking to the soul that makes up America. Today I'll push these worthy sentiments forward to encompass my own country, and even further out to wrap these words of hope around the planet.

When times get tough, play Faith Hill's song American Heart full blast:

Cause it beats like a drum down in New Orleans
Sings like a Motown Melody,
It dreams like California,
Bigger than a Texas sky,
it Bleeds,
it Scars,
it Shines when Times get Hard,
and you can't break an American Heart..

(Lyrics from American Heart)



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Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Art of Tolerance

Get For All Good on a Pillow
The Virtue of Tolerance: Making an Effort with Empathy, Kindness, Goodness and Grace

Getting Better, with Tolerance.
A personal saying 'Kindness breeds Tolerance' ...Tolerance requires an accepting mind and a willing participant. It's not a spectator's virtue. To see life from another person's perspective suggests that we are attempting to live outside of ourselves, to mentally travel the journey of another soul.
This world is our home, we all live here, and we all deserve the best from each other.
Below you'll find a few of my works on Tolerance, Perspective, & Self Awareness.
I hope all your flowers grow

TOLERANCE



Hold my hand
then judge me
Or better
Feel my sameness,
Look me in the eye
then tell me I don't matter
Or better
See I am you,
Sit at my dinner table
Sharing food and conversation
then tell me I'm not worthy
Or better
Understand my hunger is like yours,
Take a walk with me
then hate where I live
Or better
Understand my plight,
Watch my children play
and tell me they are expendable
Or better
Love them as your own,
As I hold your hand
Look in your eyes
Eat at your table
Walk with you
Understand your plight
And watch your children play
I know I want to be better too
by Barbara Tremblay Cipak

PERSPECTIVE
From Your Perspective
What do you want me to know about you
I'm interested in your life
You're journey is my teacher
I'm wrong about so much
How can I make your day better
Show me what I can do
I am a willing spirit
by Barbara Tremblay Cipak

SELF AWARENESS


I can't judge you
I'm too busy judging myself
I can't hate you
I'm too busy learning about myself
I can't envy you
I'm too busy competing with myself
I can't expect anything from you
I'm too busy expecting the best from myself
I can love you
By loving myself
by Barbara Tremblay Cipak, Copyright

COMPASSION



Youtube Channel - DragedaPoemsLyrics
Drageda.com




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