How Some Kids Say Happy Valentine’s Day

How do kids say Happy Valentine’s Day?  Well, if you’re a kid at my kid’s school you put on a heck of a show assembled in the school gym and tell everyone gathered about other amazing children who risked their life to make a difference for humanity. They spread the news that even this day’s audience could make changes for a better world and showed them some important ways how.

We Day love 2A few of the various social responsibility groups within the school came together to create a mini version of WE Day.  WE Day, is an organization that was begun in 2007 by young Canadian brothers, Craig and Marc Kielburger, who wanted to wake-up children to the idea that even though they are too young to even vote, they can still be an instrumental part in exercising change for each other and for people around the world.  They present a very potent message of empowerment for kids.

The WE Day organization spreads its message primarily through large concert settings, also titled WE Day!  They enlist participation from renowned civic leaders and activists, high profile celebrities, and local students from elementary and middle schools.  They fill stadium after stadium with enthusiastic kids who get informed, empowered, and pumped up to take on the world.  Then they take home ideas and plans to get to work in their own communities.

WE Day love 3The school group that lead the show today were leadership teams from grades 6 to 8 that had gone to WE Day this year. They led and encouraged the assembled by reading stories about social changers, singing songs, playing music, dancing, and informing with various video presentations.

They introduced the students to the stories of 12 yr. old Iqbal Masih  and at the time, 13 yr. old, Malala Yousafzai, two children of prominence because they respectively lost and almost lost their very young lives by standing up for the right to an education.  In fact, it was Iqbal’s story in 1995 that riveted the attention of Craig and Marc and spurred them onto creating social change projects and ultimately the WE Day organizations.

One student presented a powerpoint report on his own family’s visit to Africa last July to help build schools for the children there. The pictures showed how the schools were shambled wrecks of barely there walls and roofs and then the beautiful and solid replacements that now stand in their place.

WE Day loveOther students got up and sang songs by Taylor Swift, some presented ideas on how to be givers of donations or time and showed where it would help. There was even the crazy-talented teacher band who played and sang their hearts out, and proud mom moment here – my son did a drum cover with Hedley song “Anything”.  They turned the lights down and balloon balls went into the air, and the kids were off on a singing, ball tossing, cheering high note.

A lot of effort went into this day of kids wanting to take care of other kids, and kids taking care of kids in real ways that matter to real life day-to-day.  The school administration and staff poured their support into it too.  It made you want to weep and sweep them all up into your arms in sheer joy, pride and gratitude.

Every one of them spoke, sang, danced and played the spirit of their hearts into ours, and as we danced our way out while the teacher band was playing (Brave), I couldn’t help thinking, this is what the day is really about.  This is really Valentine’s Day, this is the heart of We Day.

RL

Ever Been Properly in Love?

During his first year on CNN, TV Host Piers Morgan always asked his guests, “Have you ever been properly in love”?  Of course that always got his guests wondering or reminiscing, and so, I did too.  Forgive me a few moments of sentimentality. It is Valentine’s season after all.

Valentines-Wallpaper- whiteI realize as I’ve got older that I have been properly in love many, many times.  Hey, keep calm and read on, it wasn’t all hormones.  I don’t mean just in the romantic sense that Piers was inquiring about, but with all the wonderful friends that I have known over the years. They may have come and gone, or come and stayed, but I am forever changed by the genuine love grown between us.

It’s the kind of love that inspired countless shared hours of deep laughs, light fun, brilliant thinking and inspiring ideas, and so many fabulous occasions. It is the kind that offers a solid place to lean on while navigating troubles and sorrows.

It’s the kindness of love that draws us to each other maybe for only moments in shared interests and similar stories, or for a quick friendly review of talent or taste.  Of course it has also taken my hand and flipped me flat out on the threshold of deep resonating romance, and then even permanently tied me to the indescribable heart-song of my child.

Love is a song made of infinite notes; it’s a never-ending tune that rises and fades like all dynamics of life.  There are no real endings because even after we’ve moved on, we left the trail of what we gave.

And so,  after all of this, yes, I would get to answer that question, yes. I have been properly in love, many times, maybe always. And, actually, isn’t that really the truth of us all?

Happy Love Day!

RL

Natures VS. Nurturing – If They Really Loved Me and Vice Versa – Couldn’t it Be More Simple?

hearts

We all want to be nurtured.  We all crave that caring sense of love me, pick me, have my back support.  I’ve seen how trouble comes though, when we also expect that nurturing to be presented as we understand it.  Because we are all unique representations of beings with unique expressions in need and gifts, it can be difficult to have those expectations met by others with equal fervor.

People who have already learned how to work around this, need not read further.  For we average folk still treading through the minefields, I luckily have found Donna, a good friend who puts this expectation to bed with a much simpler approach.  I think she’s onto something.

Troubles begin with a line of thought that goes something like this:  If they really loved me, they would know what I want or need, and they would do everything they could to provide it!

I have seen this thought put to action in varying ways; the girl who is angry that her mother didn’t buy a Christmas present that met her interests (guilty), the girlfriend deeply disappointed in her boyfriend’s missed idea of what is a great Valentine’s Day plan (guilty again), the wife who is sad and furious that her husband still doesn’t know her after all these years (divorced, so yeah, kind of guilty).

In each of these cases, the result could have been quite different if one simple effort had been practised  – talking with the object of those disappointments, (the person, not the gifts).  I stress could have, I make no guarantees of would have success for reasons upcoming.

For example, I cannot believe how long it took me to realize that all of my loved ones – family & friends – were not psychics! I don’t claim to have had much of a well-adjusted background to begin with, so I had to learn that I had unfair expectations that they should be able to just know what would make me happy.  Not just for gifts, but for when I was feeling low for whatever reason. Hey, they do it that way on TV all the time! To back-up that notion, I bolstered it with the fact that they were around me enough to know what I pointed out in varying degrees of hints and comment on what I liked, enjoyed, found beautiful, etc., etc., etc.  They even sometimes acknowledged that they heard those comments.  But, did they?

The thing is, I didn’t take into account that maybe they were having thoughts of their own at the same time.  Maybe they were tuned into what was needed at work, or what they should have for dinner.  Maybe they really couldn’t see the beauty in what I was pointing out.  The what really doesn’t matter, the point is there has to be allowance for the fact that no two minds are on the same page all of the time. Maybe they are even more different than the same most of  the time. Ugh, the heartache!

Much like most things in life, we need to simplify this meeting of the minds process as much as possible and/or the ways we can live with them.

For me, this starts with exercising a page from my own belief system in which I declare that I am (already) fully loved, nurtured and supported by the Universe. I believe something like this is a foundation for what is to follow in actual demonstration.  Whatever you choose to do or say as a foundation is up to you, but as all guidelines have said since the beginning of therapies, it starts with what you believe.

We can’t be who we are not, and we cannot demand that someone else change to suit our needs.   Change is a gift that we choose to give, it cannot be taken.  I can guarantee that it will crumble if demanded.  If you want to give the gift of changing something about yourself, then give it gladly, not in resentment.  If a relationship, of any nature, doesn’t work out, it’s not a failure.  I repeat, not a failure.  It was what it was, and another course in life knowledge is under your belt.  The grade you get depends only on how you apply what you’ve learned to the next one.

So it comes back to us. Starting to see the pattern here?  It’s about us being more gentle with our friends, family and lovers. How? Dare I say it?  By lowering our expectations, and letting go of any ‘what can I get out of this relationship’ thoughts.    Instead of demanding superhuman relating abilities, how about expecting only what is absolutely and honestly vital to our sense of nurturing, (i.e. respect, honesty, integrity)?

Taking into account that basic compatibility needs are met, & that you actually like the person, what is really necessary beyond someone simply wanting to give you their love and their best, as they know it?

My friend genuinely lives this way and she has a list of genuine friends longer than the new pope frontrunners did.   She and her man work to provide what is needed, but their true treasure is every moment of family time they share.  No need of fulfillment from the biggest toys life can offer.  She is married 20 years and counting; she couldn’t be more cherished or in love with her man, & family and vice-versa.  I‘d trade the most extravagantly planned Valentine’s evenings for that.

Think about it, we can gratefully accept nurturing in the way our loved ones can give it, and in return, we can gracefully fill in any blank needs  of our own by ourselves. Why couldn’t it be that simple, and why wouldn’t we want to, at least try to, practise it a little?

If someone is giving their love, then thank you Universe because really, how many of us have an over-abundance of people lining up to do that?

RL

(Um, quick note here to my loved ones: you’re still going to remember my birthday & Christmas, right?)

Robyn Lawson c/r 707-1 March 15, 2013