Chap Chat

October 16, 2010

Thank You Water

Filed under: Blogging @ 10:04 am and tagged ,

This year’s Blog Action Day is about ‘Water’, so that’s what I am here to talk about…

When I heard about this topic, it immediately brought to mind the lack of water – fresh, clean, drinkable water – for so many people in our world. In fact, this lack of clean water is killing too many people, and especially children, who don’t have the ability to resist the germs being spread through their water.

What I would like to focus on here is an Australian organisation I have heard about who are using their business to provide safe drinking water to many places that currently don’t have any.

This company is called Thank You Water. It started a few years ago when 5 young Australians realised they could make a difference in someone’s life by providing clean water… They did that by starting up their own bottled water company, which uses 100% of the profits from the sale of the bottles to fund projects in countries where they don’t have access to clean water. Their projects have already made a difference to over 1,000 people – and they have only just started!

You can read more about what they are doing on their website: http://www.thankyouwater.org

You can also watch a clip from Sunrise about the project at: http://au.tv.yahoo.com/sunrise/factsheets/article/-/article/7902602/thankyou-water/

This story just proves to me that if you have something that you care deeply about, you too can make a real difference! You don’t have to be older, you don’t have to be rich… You just have to be passionate enough to really care…

What are you passionate about? Is there something that you wish you could change? Go on… You Can Do It!

:-)

Change.org|Start Petition

September 28, 2010

Empathy?

Filed under: Problems,Self improvement,Skills 4 Life @ 1:13 am and tagged ,

Empathy… What is it? It sounds a bit like sympathy, so maybe it’s something like that perhaps? Actually, it is similar…

To sympathise with someone you may feel sorry for them, and understand that they might be going through a sad time.

To empathise with someone you tend to actually almost feel their pain, perhaps having suffered through something similar yourself.

So why is empathy important?

One of the biggest problems I see in many schools is the ‘B’ issue – Bullying… It may not be as obvious these days -  perhaps not so many punch-ups on the oval, or nasty name-calling in the playground, but it is there possibly worse than ever…

And how is it happening? Via the written word… I see it on an almost daily basis on Facebook; and I hear students talking about the text messages they receive on their phones… These are often very hurtful and nasty comments, perhaps made on the spur of the moment but later regretted… Or perhaps not regretted? Therein lies the problem perhaps…

Empathy… The ability to feel someone else’s pain.

Has someone ever said something nasty about you, and it made you feel all horrible inside – probably a mixture of hurt and anger, especially when you know it isn’t true?

Have you ever said something nasty about someone else, maybe even just as a joke? Have you ever then thought about how that person might be feeling about it?

It is so important for you to learn to empathise with others, because if you can learn to feel their pain, you can then learn to stop yourself from causing it… Or perhaps even allowing others to cause it – Do you laugh when your friends cause someone else to feel bad?

The next time you think about writing something nasty about someone (even as a joke), try to think about how you would feel if someone said it about you… Sometimes we react because someone else said something bad first… Does this make it right then if you just retaliate? There is an old saying that says, “Treat others the same way as you want them to treat you”. If you can live by such a simple rule as this, perhaps you won’t feel so much anger and hurt, because more people will respect you in return and therefore treat you well…

Learn to build up, not tear down… So much more can be done if we learn to encourage, not discourage. In fact, have a think about how great you feel when someone says something nice about you… And maybe you can make someone else feel that way too…

Shalom :-)

August 3, 2010

It’s been a while…

Filed under: Blogging,Self improvement,Skills 4 Life @ 11:24 pm and tagged , ,

I was just noticing the date on my last post, and can’t believe it has been over a year! Time has gone by, and I have neglected you… Tut, tut… But I am back now! And hope to keep it regular…

My role at school has changed this year… I had a baby! And bub now comes to school with me. I love this opportunity to show off my gorgeous little man, but it makes it harder for me to spend one-on-one time with those that might need it. What I do like about this, though, is the joy he brings to so many others – just by smiling!

I especially love the innocence that comes with a baby. There is no deceit, no lies, no hatred or anger, no judgement about what you look like or how you sound, no holding a grudge if you make a mistake… There is only love. You had that innocence once – we all did. When did we lose it? Who told us we should try and deceive others? Who told us to feel such anger, such bad feeling towards others?

It is something we gradually learn as we grow older… How much we feel and show the bad may depend on how much we are reminded to love.

How about you try to re-learn your innocence this week! Practice by trying to always tell the truth, by showing love instead of hatred, by not judging the behaviour and looks of others, by not holding a grudge if someone makes a mistake…

So next time you look at the smile of a baby, remember how innocent you once were.

And most of all, practice love…

And you will be amazed at how much love is shown you in return.

Shalom :-)

April 30, 2009

Leave it at the Gate!

What does it mean to “Leave it at the Gate”?

Most of us have issues at home that we need to deal with. These issues can strongly affect our thoughts and actions every day. But sometimes we let these issues interfere with other things in our life…

When we come to school (or go to work), we need to learn how we can put these things aside… It doesn’t mean the issues aren’t still very important; but what is important is learning how to differentiate between time and place. There is a time and a place for everything, and sometimes what we are dealing with in our home life is not appropriate to deal with at school (or work).

For example: This morning I was really tired. And when I get really tired, I get really cranky… And because I was really cranky, I got really upset with some students who were doing the wrong thing… Was it appropriate for me to get really upset with them, just because I was in a bad mood? No. It was appropriate that I deal with their wrong behaviour, but it was not appropriate for me to be really upset with them. I didn’t “Leave it at the Gate”!

Sometimes when we have problems at home, we ‘bring’ them to school with us. When that happens, we might act up in class, fight with a friend, or even bully someone else… It doesn’t mean you have to ignore your problems, or you can’t think about them; what is important is learning how to deal with the emotions that build up inside of you.

If you can’t leave your problems ‘at the gate’, find someone you can talk to – a friend, counsellor, guidance officer, social worker, teacher, chaplain… anyone you feel safe with, who can help you just by being a listening ear. If you are able to talk through your thoughts and feelings, it can help you to deal with them… and it might just save you getting into more trouble than you deserve!

Shalom :-)

 

March 23, 2009

A sense of belonging…

Where do you belong…?

When I was younger, I found it very hard to ‘belong’ to a group… We started moving around just when I started high school. In Grade 7 it wasn’t so bad - It was my first move; I was reasonably confident in myself; and it was to a smaller school in a smaller town where everyone tended to join in together. In Grade 8, I went to three different schools in three different towns… This was much harder. By the third school I had lost my confidence and my ability to ‘make friends’. I didn’t know how to start a friendship, I didn’t know how to just join in with another group. I was very much an ‘outsider’…

 I guess that my biggest problem was the fact that I didn’t really have much confidence in myself – I have always been surprised when others want to be friends with me, as my low self-esteem makes me assume that I am not worth knowing… Although this is not true, it makes me portray a different person to others than who I really am. A friend at school later told me that at first she thought I was a snob, because I didn’t seem to want to play with them… I certainly wasn’t a snob, I just didn’t know how to join in…

Eventually I was asked to join a Youth Group… This gave me a group to be a part of, and I finally made some friends and felt like I belonged. I finally gained my confidence back, and now I try to look out for others who seem to be on their own.

Do you belong? It is really important to be part of a group. If you are part of a group, you are never truly alone…

If you are not part of a group now, there are many options. Some people belong to a sporting group, but this may not be for you. There are several youth groups which run locally (for those in my region): Midway Point, Sorell, Carlton, Primrose Sands… some are run by the council, some by community members, some by churches. If you would like to be part of a group, but don’t know how or where, just ask me and I will help find somewhere for you.

Do you belong? I hope so…

Shalom :-)

 

November 4, 2008

Mind your language!

What is it about swearing that sets some people off? For some of you ‘swear’ words may be part of your normal language – especially if it’s all around you at home and with friends. If this is the case for you, then it may be confusing when teachers and other adults seem surprised or shocked if you use ‘inappropriate’ language. So, if swearing is so widely used, why do people get so upset about it?

 Over the next few weeks our school is looking at inappropriate language. It’s all about learning when it’s okay to use it, and when it’s not.

Some inappropriate language is never okay. When words are used in an abusive manner, or to deliberately offend, this is not okay. There is a tendency to use offensive language and name calling, especially when fighting amongst friends, which can be hurtful and demeaning. There is a saying that goes “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me”. This is a misleading saying, because I have seen many people hurt by what their ‘friends’ have been saying about them.

How do you react when you are feeling hurt? Do you retaliate with more name-calling in return? Before you react, have a think about what you are wanting to say and do. Would you feel hurt or demeaned by it? There is another saying which says ”Treat others the way you would want to be treated” – you may have heard it said differently – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. In other words, if you wouldn’t like to hear certain words said against you, or if you would feel hurt if you were treated in a certain way, don’t do it to other people.

Mind your language, and think about your behaviour. What would you think of you if you were listening in to yourself…?

Shalom :-)

October 15, 2008

Make Poverty History!

Wednesday 15th October 2008 is a worldwide Blog Action Day. The idea is to have as many people as possible writing on the one topic. This year’s focus is Poverty.

An organisation I am very passionate about is Micah Challenge. This group supports the Make Poverty History campaign, believing in the need to follow a passage in the Bible from the book of Micah which says: “And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). Make Poverty History is an organisation which is calling on Governments around the world to fulfil promises (called Millennium Development Goals) they made in 2000:

We will spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanising conditions of extreme poverty, to which more than a billion of them are currently subjected.

The Millennium Development Goals are:

Goal 1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
• Goal 2. Achieve universal primary education
• Goal 3. Promote gender equality and empower women
• Goal 4. Reduce child mortality
• Goal 5. Improve maternal health
• Goal 6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
• Goal 7. Ensure environmental sustainability
• Goal 8. Develop a global partnership for development

So who are Make Poverty History? The following quote is taken from their website:

Make Poverty History is a non-partisan coalition of more than 60 aid organisations, community and faith-based groups. We call on all political parties to take the following steps needed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals:
• increase Australia’s aid and ensure it is used effectively
• make trade fair
• drop the debts of poor countries
• help poor countries keep their governments accountable, and
• tackle climate change in developing countries.

To fulfil our part in these goals, Australia would need to invest just 50c per $100 of our wealth in overseas aid. We are nowhere near reaching our target, with less than 30c per $100 being invested. Therefore we need people to Stand Up (see the Make Poverty History website) and make a difference. The clip from Micah Challenge (http://au.youtube.com/watch?=IaegS_1IADI) talks about how you can make a difference. Just one person can make a difference. But what is great is when many ‘one persons’ join together.

If you would like to Make Poverty History, or if you would like to learn more about it, it’s all there on the Internet…

You can make a difference if you really want to. Will you Stand Up and Make Poverty History? I will…

Shalom :-)

Source: http://www.makepovertyhistory.com.au/index.aspx

October 3, 2008

You can’t judge a book by its cover…

Filed under: Skills 4 Life @ 1:56 pm and

Have you ever heard this term before? Do you know what it really means? It basically means that you can’t judge a person by what you see.

Over the last couple of weeks we’ve been looking at first impressions. Even though you can’t determine what someone is like just by looking at them, we all try to do it anyway. As soon as we see someone for the first time we decide what we think of them, before we get to know them properly.

That is why it is so important to be aware of our behaviour at all times. There is always someone watching, making an opinion of us even without knowing us. Is this fair? Not really, but it happens anyway.

As you go out, think about the fact that people are watching you and making an opinion of what they think you are like. Are they liking what they see, or have they already decided you are not worth knowing?

You can’t judge a book by its cover, but sometimes you can get a pretty good idea…

Shalom! :-)

 

August 29, 2008

Goal!

Filed under: Skills 4 Life @ 12:45 pm and tagged

These last few weeks of term we have been discussing ‘goal setting’ – the importance of understanding what it is you would like to achieve, when you would like to achieve it, and how you are going to go about it.

Unfortunately for me, I have always hated setting goals – it’s just not my ‘thing’… Unfortunately for me, this has also left me floundering at times when it was important to achieve something by a set time or for a set purpose.

Today I had a goal – to finally ‘fix’ my blog avatar, and to write my new post… And I managed to do both! I also had other goals I had to achieve today, which included writing reports and making phone calls. So the first thing I did was to write myself a list of what I wanted to achieve. Now, I always know that I should write a list of things, because otherwise I tend to forget what I have to do; but, of course, I usually don’t… But because we’re working on goals I decided I had to set myself an example and actually do it! And lo and behold I have managed to achieve most of my goals for today!! I can recommend writing lists, because it feels so good when you can tick them off as you go…

You may not yet know what it is you want to be ‘when you grow up’; in fact, you may not know what you really want to do next week! And that’s okay – for now… But it is important to start thinking about your dreams for your future. What do you love doing? What are you passionate about? You can do it – you can achieve your dreams (well, within reason…). They will only stay dreams if you choose to let them.

Choose today to set yourself a goal – it may be that you want to save up for something special; or it may be you would like to improve your schooling somehow (marks, behaviour); or it may be a dream of becoming an AFL star! What is your goal? What is your dream? You can become the person you would like to be…

Dream on!

:-)

July 28, 2008

Be a good sport!

Filed under: Skills 4 Life @ 2:57 pm and tagged , , , ,

With the Olympics coming up in the next few weeks, our minds tend to turn more towards sport than perhaps they normally would… But what do we see as being important when we look at a sporting event? Is it the winning that really counts? Or is it the way the game is played…?

Have you ever won something, but you had actually cheated to get there? Or perhaps had treated others badly in the process? Or maybe you just played for yourself rather than involving the whole team? Is winning really so important that we should ignore the rules, or other teammates, or the ‘spirit’ of the game just so we can walk away with glory?

I used to be very competitive – I love to win! In the same way that most people feel really good when they win. But over the last few years I have realised that I feel much better about myself if I can play fair, and even help others to win sometimes. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be the winner and striving to get there. But if you really want to feel good about yourself, play fair and look out for others. Encourage those especially who are struggling – even if they’re on the other team!

If you can spend some energy being an encouragement to those around you, you will end up being not only a winner in everyone else’s eyes, but you will feel good about yourself. And then you can strive to win with a clear conscience…

Go on, be a good sport!

:-)

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