Christmas Jar project

I have been moved by the stories I have heard this season about the use of the ‘Christmas Jar’ by families in communties around the United States.  I would like to propose that we start our own tradition at Balanced Life Skills with all of our classes.  The concept teaches a number of lessons that are valuable for all of us.

One lesson is how a little bit of action on a daily basis adds up to a total that yields great results.

Second lesson I draw from this is an awareness we can develop of the needs of our neighbors and the satisfaction we gain by taking action to be kind to others.

Third lesson is taking a moment each day to contemplate what we are grateful for that day.  I would suggest that taking a moment to consider all we have to be thankful for would reduce the desire we have for wanting more. 

I added a page to our site – Christmas Jar Project.  If anyone in our community would like to join in this project please do so on a personal level or with us.  What a great way of practicing kindness.

Courtesy: Definitions

Each Month we define and discuss a word of character development with all of our students.  This month the word is Courtesy.  It will be defined this way.

Young students:  Courtesy means “I am thoughtful, polite and kind to others.”

Older students:  Courtesy means showing respect kindness and consideration for others.

Appreciation: with respect

Showing respect is just one way of demonstrating our appreciation. When we think about our home, our school, nature and the environment, and the people in our lives we can see that showing respect is an important part of demonstrating appreciation.
You have heard me comment before about not doing things out of fear or anger. This is one of the areas that we can practice that. Respect is treating others the way we want to be treated. How can we show respect for our home, school, environment and the people in our lives?
When I think about this I think about how we care for our possessions. Do we maintain our home? Do we contribute to the neatness and cleanliness of our home, office or school? We live in such a throw away society that it is easy to think that we can just replace this or that. But what if we did not have that kind of resources. How would we treat our possessions then? How would we treat the environment or our bodies, if we recognized that while it does a real good job of healing itself, that we can show how much we value it by taking care of it to the very best of our ability.
Even our friends and neighbors. Do we value them for who they are and demonstrate our respect for them by the way we speak and the kindness we show them. Are we on time for appointments, do we listen deeply when conversing with them, or do we value our own opinion more? Thinking about the impact we have on others with the words we use with them, is another way of being aware of showing appreciation for our companions.