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2.28.2003

Mr. Rogers, We'll Miss You  

As my friend Esme wrote today, the world is a different place without Mr. Rogers. He was truly a "guide for good," one of the world's best. He helped millions of children feel loved and care for, and helped millions of adults love and care for the children in their lives. In his honor, I'm reposting an excerpts from two previous entries in the last few weeks:

"The Giving Box from Mr. Rogers....[is] a little book with stories of generosity from different cultures [that] comes with a pretty little "giving box" that children can use to collect coins to donate to others. Idea: engage the kids in picking a different cause to give to each month."

"Also on the PBS site... is a really helpful article from the venerable Mr. Rogers, Helping Parents, Teachers, and Caregivers Deal with Children's Concerns About Violence in the News. One of the best tips: anytime there is a scene of violence and danger, you can always point out the helpers, e.g., "Look at the people who are helping the people who were hurt."*********************Categories: Giving, Advocating, Learning

2.26.2003

March Virtually Against the War 

From the MoveOn.org Web site: "MoveOn.org is hosting the online headquarters for the Virtual March on Washington on February 26th, sponsored by the Win Without War Coalition. Please join us NOW for the march. So far, more than 200,000 individuals have signed up to make more than 400,000 phone calls and send 100,000 faxes to Washington -- to their Senators and the President."

"Hundreds of thousands of constituents from across the country are sending the collective message: Don't Invade and Occupy Iraq. Every Senate switchboard will be lit up throughout the day with our message -- a powerful reminder of the breadth and depth of opposition to a war in Iraq. Media can visit the "antiwar room" online to monitor this constituent march throughout the day."

"We need your help NOW to make the Virtual March a reality. You can (1) prepare a free fax for transmission, and (2) make phone calls to Congress. Faxes are very easy and phone calls are the most effective. Do both or do whatever you can."*********************Categories: Advocating

2.23.2003

Resources for Parents in Troubled Times 

As a parent, I know how hard it can be to help kids cope with current events and issues such as terrorism and war. I've scanned lots on the Web and found these sites to be among the most comprehensive and helpful:

*AboutOurKids.org is a child and adolescent mental health and parenting resource of the New York University Child Study Center. This is packed with great information. Note especially:
--A War in Iraq: Tackling Tough Issues With Kids and
--Helping Children Feel Safe in Unsafe Times


*PBS Parents has lots of good stuff, some of it age specific. Also on the PBS site, though not in the parents' section, is a really helpful article from the venerable Mr. Rogers, Helping Parents, Teachers, and Caregivers Deal with Children's Concerns About Violence in the News. One of the best tips: anytime there is a scene of violence and danger, you can always point out the helpers, e.g., "Look at the people who are helping the people who were hurt." Let's pray we won't need to use this advice in the coming weeks.*********************Categories: Living, Learning


2.18.2003

Stand Up! 

Are you an upstander? Someone willing to stand up to those things that are terribly wrong in the world (say, a war in Iraq)? You might find yourself a more inspired one after reading the Swarthmore College 2002 commencement address given by Samantha Power.

Power recently wrote a book, A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide. Here's an article about Rwanda that she wrote for the Atlantic Monthly.*********************Categories: Living, Advocating, Learning

2.15.2003

"Bush, Play Golf, Not War!" 

No War in Iraq: Millions marched around the world, thousands of them in Chicago, carrying signs with slogans such as "Bush, play golf, not war!"

Interestingly, as of early Sunday morning, I could find no articles online from either of the city's two dailies, though I did find a report from ABC7Chicago.com and, best of all, there was a very descriptive article in the New York Times. The Times article mentions an anti-war marching band as well as Buddhists with lotus blossoms. Courtesy of my friend Pete, photos of both those groups -- and more -- are included in the aforementioned link "Bush, play golf, not war!".

One of the points of the march was to show solidarity with Pakistanis and other immigrants who are being treated like criminals (i.e., being asked to "register" with the government) simply because of their race or religion. The march took place on Devon Avenue in Chicago, which is at the heart of several immigrant communities: Pakistani, Indian, Jewish, Croation, Russian, Assyrian, and others. (Naturally, it's also the home of some great restaurants and interesting stores.)*********************Categories: Advocating

2.10.2003

Conservatives, Too, are Against the War 

The last few days have seemed overwhelming. Aside from the mundane pressures of work and parenting, there's the specter of war in Iraq and the threat of terrorist attacks in the U.S. And it's all twisted: I have no doubt that we are more vulnerable to an attack as a result of our march to war, but at the same time, it's hard to believe that the government isn't overstating the threat as a way to scare people into supporting the war. Plan to go an anti-war rally this weekend. They'll be held around the world. And in the meantime, consider these anti-war views, some from conservative sources:

Military Families Speak Out includes original content as well as several links to anti-war veteran's groups, including Veterans for Common Sense.


The Libertarians at Cato Institute are mostly against the war.


Did you catch the ad, "A Republican Dissent on Iraq", published recently in the Wall Street Journal? I found a PDF of the ad only on the Web log of Libertarian Lance M. Brown, who discusses how the ad was actually "sponsored" by the left-leaning (but, in my opinion, wonderfully savvy) TrueMajority. Brown wonders why the Republicans wouldn't set up their own Web site as a more effective way of winning over other conservatives to the cause. In any case, check out the platform of TrueMajority.


Or, see the text of the Republican anti-war ad on the Web site of Anita Roddick, the Body Shop founder and socially-responsible business executive. Hers is another site with good information on a variety of causes, including human rights and the environment.*********************Categories: Advocating

2.08.2003

Teaching Kids to Give  

Teaching kids to be generous and compassionate is one of the best things we can do to promote a just and peaceful world. The Money Savvy Pig (tm) is a new transparent piggy bank with four marked compartments for your kids' cash: saving, investing, spending, ...and donating. It comes with tips on how to teach kids to manage money wisely. The site also sells a curriculum for teachers and youth workers, and includes notes on how to obtain federal funding for it under the No Child Left Behind Act

Another good resource is the The Giving Box from Mr. Rogers. A little book with stories of generosity from different cultures comes with a pretty little "giving box" that children can use to collect coins to donate to others. Idea: engage the kids in picking a different cause to give to each month. Note: GuideforGood earns nothing from sales of the Money Savvy Pig (tm), and only a small referral fee if you buy something after clicking through to Amazon.com from this site.********************Categories: Giving, Learning

2.07.2003

Let Every Voice Be Heard 

Polls show that support for the war has gone up since Colin Powell's speech. Has your anti-war voice been heard? Contact everyone -- the President, your U.S. Representatives, and your U.S. Senators -- through firstgov.gov and contact them in every way you can: phone, fax, e-mail, and letter. Depending on the medium, the pols figure that for every message they receive, an additional x number of people feel the same way as the caller, writer, etc. Public policy experts have told me that, usually, the pols consider the methods that are more difficult to use, e.g., writing a letter, to count for more opinions than the ones that are easier to use, e.g., e-mail.*********************Categories: Advocating

2.05.2003

Care2 to Save the World? 

While searching for an e-card for the Lunar New Year, I came across www.care2.com, which bills itself as the "Yahoo" for people who care about the environment. It offers free e-mail, e-cards, access to a store with eco-friendly products, tips, news, petitions, and alerts. Some of the content was not strictly eco, but it was in keeping with a progressive agenda. It was a refreshing combination of practical information, advocacy, fun, and free stuff.*********************Categories: Living, Advocating

2.03.2003

Where There is Despair, Hope 

Our hearts are with the families, friends, and colleagues of the crew members of the space shuttle Columbia.

Lord,
make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred,
let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

St. Francis of Assisi



********************Categories: Learning, Living, Advocating

2.01.2003

Start the New Year Off Right 

Chuc Mung Nam Moi! Happy Lunar New Year! Many people call it Chinese New Year, but since it's celebrated in countries other than China, it's actually more accurate to call it the Lunar New Year. In Vietnam, the Lunar New Year is known as Tet Nguyen Dan, which literally means the first morning of the first day of the new year. Tet is a celebration of spring, a time of hope and optimism, and the equivalent of the 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and New Year's all rolled into one. This is the year of the goat in Vietnam (but the year of the sheep, or ram, in the Chinese zodiac.)

The Vietnamese are very careful about what they do on Tet as they believe that events of this day will determine their luck for the rest of the year. Why not start your new year off right by contributing to a humanitarian aid project in Vietnam? Click here for the projects in Vietnam of the very fine adoption and humanitarian organization MAPS International. As an adoptive parent, I have personal experience with MAPS and can vouch for their ethics and effectiveness. All of the MAPS projects in Vietnam are worthy, but see especially the center to help kids who are diagnosed with HIV and AIDS, and who are thus more likely to be abandoned. (When babies are given for adoption in Vietnam, it is usually because their mothers, often single, are extremely poor and unable to care for the children.). Your donation can help spread the new year's spirit of hope and optimism.********************* Categories: Giving, Learning

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