Saturday, December 14, 2013

Love Wins

"Love wins. This is what we taught her: to honor, to praise, to be loving," - Nelba Márquez-Greene, mother of Ana Grace, one of the children killed last year on this day during the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut
Last year on this date, twenty-six people, twenty children and six adults, were shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School by Adam Lanza, who had previously shot dead his mother. Minutes after the massacre, Lanza took his own life.

Instead of retreating into hate and bitterness, the families of many of the victims have used the unspeakable losses to promote healing rather than revenge. Since their precious daughter loved animals and even made business cards for "Catherine's Animal Shelter" with herself as Care Taker [sic], Catherine Violet Hubbard's family has created a foundation working with The Animal Center to raise funds to build a sanctuary.

Earlier this fall, Catherine was posthumously honored as the ASPCA Tommy P. Monahan Kid of the Year. In an interview with WFSB Channel 3 News, Jenny Hubbard, Catherine's mother, remarked,"We're (going to) create a place where creatures can come and heal and find tranquility, and Catherine is going to be so proud. She is going to be thrilled that we brought her all her animals."

You can download the "I am a Butterfly" icon here and use it as your profile in social media to raise awareness of Catherine's vision.

A therapist, Nelba Márquez-Greene, mother of Ana Grace, decide to put her work counseling troubled individuals on hold to work on community-level initiatives aimed at promoting compassion and connections through the Ana Grace Project. In partnership with the Klingberg Family Centers, Márquez-Greene founded The Center for Community and Compassion with a mission of reducing violence through promoting connections and compassion.
Ana Grace, Photo from The Ana Grace Project
Please follow the example of these families and use the anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings to make a positive impact on your community and your world.
  1. Be kind. Matt Crebbin, coordinator of the Newtown Interfaith Clergy association reminds us, "Kindness is a choice that we all make," (HuffPost). 
  2. Advocate for gun reform. Moyers and Co. provides a primer on how to take a stand against gun violence. Since Sandy Hook, 194 children, with an average age of six, have been killed with guns (Moyers & Co.).
  3. Donate to the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation or The Ana Grace Project.
  4. Practice compassion. If you have children, actively teach compassion to them.
  5. If you are a teacher, consider the Classes4Classes program to promote compassion among school children.
Remember, love wins.


Friday, December 13, 2013

Misadventures at Target

Check out my teaching blog, Real World OB, for a story about my misadventures while recently shopping at Target!

Target Bingo Blog Entry

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Compassion Games

A string of links led me to the Compassion Games, a friendly rivalry between cities to promote kindness within communities. (I am hoping Ithaca will participate one day, maybe even Ardmore!) The organizers of the event outlined four principles of compassion to inspire participants:
  • To cultivate a disposition of loving-kindness and respect in ourselves. 
  • To exhibit that in how we approach each human we interact with. 
  • To commit to the service of others -- in our neighborhood, in our country, even across the world. 
  • To adopt an open-mindedness -- and generative, generous spirit - that leads to creativity in solving the world’s challenges. 
I would never have stumbled upon the Compassion Games if I hadn't been playing SuperBetter and saw mention of the Compassion Games on the app's facebook page. And I started playing SuperBetter because I watched Jane McGonigal's Ted Talk, "The Game That Can Give You Ten Extra Years of Life." (My secret identity is Violet Springs, by the way.)

Watch the talk - you'll be inspired! After you watch the video, be sure to adopt the principles of compassion in your daily life. Undoubtedly, you yourself will gain the benefits!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Some words or phrases are so overused, they become meaningless and/or have lost their connection to their true definition or intention. I really dislike these words and terms, and try to avoid them in speech and writing. (George likes to irritate me by using them more.)

Here are some of my entries in the TOO MEANINGLESS TO USE list:
  • Blindside (perhaps unique to reality TV)
  • Bucket list
  • Just saying
  • Literally
  • No offense/with all due respect 
  • Outside the box
  • Perfect storm
  • Spoilers/spoiler alert
  • Win-win
Much better to be precise, interesting, and individual in your communication! 

What words or phrases would you add to the list?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Quotation of the Day

"Compassion involves both the heartfelt wish that others be free from suffering and the readiness to act on their behalf. It arises from a deep sense of affection for others, coupled with a sensitivity to their pain and the recognition that their suffering can be transformed."

~Brooke Dodson-Lavelle, Training Kids for Kindness
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