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BLS helping Lighthouse Shelter

This morning a group of Balanced Life Skills parents and students got together and prepared lunches for the clients of the LIghthouse Shelter.  We finished so fast that when some folks arrived the work was already done and the lunches were delivered.  The spirit of giving of our time, talents and resources is strong in our school.  In talked about charity in the month of August and are following it up with discussions on Leadership in September. 

Leadership is when we take an idea or a cause that we are interested in and engage others to achieve a common goal.   I was so happy that some of the volunteers this morning suggested that we should help out with lunches for those in need more often.  I believe that we will be able to do accomplish this goal with the action of our students and parents. 

If you would like to share in this work, email Balanced Life Skills and lets see if we can schedule a time, once a month, to assist those in our community who need our help.  Thanks to our helpers this morning for the quick work you made of our project this morning.


Charity: acting on our desire to help others

Have you ever noticed that sometimes it takes a natural disaster to move people to open their hearts to give to others.  We saw this great outpouring in the hurricane that destroyed New Orleans, the Tsunami that struck in Indonesia, a fire that strikes a neighbors home, a disease that hurts a child.  But when we take the time to be aware of the needs of others, even when there is not a tragedy involved, and give of our things, talents or time, we not only make the world a better place, but we also are helping ourselves.

Philanthropy is about making the  world a better place.  I have noticed that when I speak to children about this idea of giving to others without expecting anything in return that they are a bit quiet at first.  It is like they are absorbing it and trying to grasp the concept.  Then they many times want to act on it.  Just this week I have heard of our students setting up a lemonade stand to raise money for a cause.  Others have been talking about things that they could create – and give all the money to a cause. 

As parents the example we set in giving, using our talents and time to the advantage of others, will have a long term impact on our children.  What can you do to make a difference with an individual, in your community, or in the world?  Every good act – Every act of kindness is charity.


Using time and talent is good citizenship

The most valuable thing that we have to share with our communities are our time and our talent. The theological author, Richard Whatley once said, “A man is called selfish not for pursuing his own good, but for neglecting his neighbors.” All of us have some talent, whether we are young children or adults. The question we can ask ourselves is, how can I use my time or talents to help others in my immediate community, or in the larger more distant communities.

They may be simple ways of using our talents like reading or performing a play or playing an instrument. It may be helping to build a house or some other renovation. It could be walking a dog or simply picking up trash in a park. None of these require any more than our time and our talent.

If we can help our children see that time and talent is just as valuable or more, we will be guiding them to to become great citizens of their community and of the world.


An easy way to avoid bullying

This week we talked about using respect in the way we speak to others.  We all know that the words we use and the tone of voice we use speaks volumes in the way we are perceived.  If we use words that show good manners, we are perceived as being respectful.  If we complement others on a regular basis we are perceived as respectful.  I mentioned to many of the children that using those two ways of showing respect may at times be the difference in being bullied or being perceived as a good guy (gal) and not bullied.  Of course this has to be the way we do things all the time and not just when we are trying to escape a bad situation.  Especially in regard to giving complements.
I encourage all of us to be free with and willing to see the value in others, notice their talents, or efforts and then tell them.  It will make them feel good and us too.


Gratitude makes us feel good!

I cannot tell you how many people I have talked to, who with all the things in their life that look like success are not very happy.  How sad.  We really are not on this earth that long to spend our time doing things we don not enjoy or being unhappy.

How do we get beyond that though?  I am like most of you, not really so much about the use of chemical ways of feeling better, like some may tell us to try.  Here is what I have found and this is certainly not a new idea or even my own.

Before starting your day ask yourself – “What do I feel grateful for about myself?”  This is a way of reminding yourself about your resources, strengths and talents.  At the end of the day ask yourself, “What did I do today that I feel good about?”  Sometimes it is good to write these down, so we can go back and look at them and see how we have grown.

This will help us not to have tunnel vision on our problems which sometimes occurs when when feeling depressed or stressed.  When we practice this we feel better, the world looks better, and we notice that others want to be around us more.  Gratitude will bring peace, joy and happiness to your life.

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