Fairness begins with personal integrity

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It is not unusual for any person to feel angry when they perceive that something is not fair and especially if they are the recipient of the short end of the decision. In fact, most anger comes from a feeling of not getting what we think we deserve or that someone else is not behaving in a fair way to us. Many are willing to call out “that’s not fair” anytime their needs are not met.

Angry feelings are a normal emotional reaction to having a goal blocked, or we are frustrated by what we perceive to be ‘not fair.’  This month we are considering what fairness is and so the question, does fairness mean that everyone gets the same. All of us can think of a time when we were left out or received less than others around, less attention, fewer accolades, less food. What are the factors that might play into fairness?

To begin with, we understand that every situation is different. Different circumstances, ages, needs to play a part in fairness and many times our point of view may even cloud our opinion. Let’s say there is a team chosen for a competition. Only five people can be on the team, based on the rules – but we want to be a part of that team. How could that decision be made and remain fair, even if some will not be able to go to the competition?

These may be some of the factors considered:

  • Talent
  • Age
  • Effort
  • Time to practice
  • Desire
  • Attitude
  • Favoritism

Which of these appear to be fair or unfair? How would you go about making these choices?

Teaching our children about fairness begins with our integrity to fairness and treating others according to what is needed, deserved and appropriate. There may be times that we give up our personal needs and wants for that of others because it is the right thing to do. When we remove our emotional desire and needs, we can be courageously decisive on the side of fairness.

Gifts of Character: Fairness – The Definition

word of month character

Each month we will discuss one life skill with all of our students. This month’s skill is Fairness. This life skill will be defined in the following ways for our students.

Young students: When everyone has or receives what they deserve and what they need

Older students: Treating others according to what is deserved, needed or appropriate.

We are not your typical after school activity, in fact, we are an education center, working with students on physical self-defense skills while empowering families to bring out the best in our children and ourselves – through the martial arts. We believe every child has 52 gifts in them already. They only need to be taught how to grow and use them in their life. Balanced Life Skills serves parents, teachers, and students to reach that goal.

If you would like to see Joe Van Deuren and Balanced Life Skills at work, TRY CLASSES FOR FREE for 2 weeks.

You are a leader, like it or not – What kind will you be?

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Not every person aspires to be known as a leader or even have the desire to be a leader. No matter if we are five years old or 85 years old it is likely that in some way we are a leader. As John Quincy Adams put it; “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

If you are five years old and you have a younger brother or sister or go to school with students who are younger than you are, you can be sure that your actions and words are being watched and even copied on some level. Some one person is likely looking at you and following your example or dreaming of being like you on some level. So like it or want it or not – you are a leader.

Because all of us fit into that role in our personal or public life the question I like to ask is what or how do I want to be perceived by others. What example do I want to set, how do I want to be known either as a leader by choice or just because others are watching me? Having clarity about the kind of leader you want to be whether, in your family, school, business, or as a mentor or friend will help you to meet all of those occasions on purpose and will give you confidence about being your best self.

The clarity and reminders to yourself of what you aspire too will also create a higher level of happiness in your life. Leadership is not something we may seek, however, given that all of us fill that role in some manner we do want to do so with our best self and with confidence.

Leadership is the opposite of Bossy even with children

word of month character

This month we are considering the skill of leadership at Balanced Life Skills for students of all ages because every one of us has the opportunity to lead others at some point in our world. No matter your age if we look at leadership not as a position of power, but rather as an opportunity to help others and to reach a common goal by working together.

For some leadership is about being the boss. Being a boss is simply a position of management of others and while a ‘boss’ may become a leader there are certain things they must learn to do that will help them be a leader.

For instance, a leader must know how to listen to those around them and be willing to consider all suggestions without favoritism for one person over another. Leaders must invest their time both in the work that needs to be done and in the persons around them. Helping the people around them to develop leadership skills is one of the most valuable commitments a leader can make to those who have committed themselves to the good of the group.

This month we will consider how young people can develop these skills and lead in a way that shows them setting a good example and making good choices for any group of which they are a part. Leadership is an honorable skill that brings out the dignity of everyone around them.

Gifts of Character: Leadership – The Definition

word of month character

Each month we will discuss one life skill with all of our students. This month’s skill is Leadership. This life skill will be defined in the following ways for our students.

Young students: I am a good example & make great choices – so follow me!

Older students: Inspiring people to come together & take action towards a common goal.

We are not your typical after school activity, in fact, we are an education center, working with students on physical self-defense skills while empowering families to bring out the best in our children and ourselves – through the martial arts. We believe every child has 52 gifts in them already. They only need to be taught how to grow and use them in their life. Balanced Life Skills serves parents, teachers, and students to reach that goal.

If you would like to see Joe Van Deuren and Balanced Life Skills at work, TRY CLASSES FOR FREE for 2 weeks.

How to deepen your capacity for compassion

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Compassion, as we noted before, begins with recognizing and giving ourselves the same kind of compassion that we would give to others that we see we can help in their time of need. Learning to be compassionate is a process that can be difficult in the simple moments of the day and maybe easier when there are large disasters taking place.

At the time of writing this post, there is a massive storm that is devastating the Houston, TX area of the United States. Every person that sees the results can feel empathy and may take action. Right here in our community, we may see a traffic accident and not give much thought to the impact on that one individual’s life. Even as a mere accident without too much physical damage to the cars or the people, the emotional impact and how it may affect their ability to get to work may have more of an effect than we may think about.

There is a meditation practice that I would like to share that in your time of reflection or meditation each day you may find will help to deepen your compassion for others. At some point in your meditation say in your head the following words:

For yourself say twice:

  • May I find relief
  • May I find peace
  • May I be at ease

Then think of someone in your life and apply the same mantra to them saying it twice:

  • May they find relief
  • May they find peace
  • May they be at ease

You can follow by taking these thoughts to the world saying them twice:

  • May all beings find relief
  • May all beings find peace
  • May all beings be at ease

These are just a reminder to ourselves to be compassionate with ourselves, those close to us and then the world. Saying these words will build our capacity for empathy and compassion, and you will find your heart growing for taking action to use the gifts you have been blessed with to help others in their need and to be kind to yourself.

To quote the Dalai Lama: “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”