These days everyone is talking about bullies. We have bully rallies, bully defense classes in school and the shame of bully blogs. But I want to share with you an episode of Anti-bully behavior.
My husband, my kids and myself own a self defense and fitness business where for the last 25 years we have taught children and teens how to protect themselves, and how to look out for others. We don't do competitions, we don't give out trophies. We work on building confidence and respect in the kids we teach. We also work on family or in the secular world it would be called 'team' building. But since my family teaches kids as a 'family' we call it family building. Each child in our class is encouraged to think of each other as brothers and sisters and we watch out for each other.
So yesterday in class we had a young boy come in who normally attends class on a different day so he did not recognize any of the kids in the class he walked into. For most children this is not frightening, but for this young man it was. My daughter who is a head instructor and myself talked with him, trying to make him feel comfortable. But it wasn't until we convinced him to sit down in the group that a very beautiful thing began to happen. The other children sensed he was upset and immediately came over to sit by him, introducing themselves and smiling and asking him his name. Now, this was not prompted by my daughter or myself, we just sat by his side. Each of these kids were concerned and took the problem upon themselves to solve. In five minutes he was talking with them, laughing and joining in the class.
Never was there a snicker at him crying or being upset from any of the students. There was an instant compassion that met him at the door of the workout room. The instructors never said a word to the rest of the class. We didn't have to. The other students knew what to do. It was beautiful to experience.
God gives each of us the capacity for compassion and if we nurture it right it grows and blossoms and gives to so many others. It was the greatest lesson we all got to take part in that day.
Despite my initial first week of Lent, I did manage to keep my Lenten resolution this year: Keeping my temper while driving! The first week was extremely hard as I documented here and I went through an entire bag of Milky Ways! (read my earlier blog to find out why I was eating chocolate during Lent.)
But it really is true if you keep working at breaking a habit for several weeks, you will eventually break it. And I did! I began to calm down during my drives, I was even praying for other drivers and myself to be a courteous driver. And, I am happy to say, did not have to resort to any more bags of Milky Ways! (my hips thank me for that too!)
I learned a Lenten lesson that you can change your personality if you try hard enough and have a good reason: all the sinning I was doing by getting angry in my car! So, trying to do positive things should work the same way, keep at it for several weeks and you are becoming a more positive person. It's worth a try!
Happy Holy Week to all my friends/readers out there and a very blessed Easter! Remember that God loves us no matter what, but we have to work on ourselves, getting better, mastering the humanness in ourselves by praying, receiving the Sacraments and most of letting God in our lives!
God bless all of you!
Sitting in the airport last night waiting on my son who was coming back from visiting his sister in California, I got to enjoy watching "homings" again. Homings are what happens when family and friends are waiting for loved ones to cross from the 'restricted gate' area of the airport into the commons area. It reminds me of what we have waiting for us when we reach the end of life here on earth and are greeted by our Heavenly Father in heaven, big open arms, a huge smile and a "welcome home!" on His lips!
This week we've buried four parish members and since I cantor at most of the funerals I've been there to 'sing them to heaven.' And though those times are extremely sad, I'm always reminded that we are all headed toward our final home someday and I'm so very grateful for the faith God has graced me with. Without it I could not face singing at funerals or let my children go off on airplanes half way across the country. Faith gives me trust, hope and 'homings' to look forward to.
During this time of Lent, our joy may be little more subdued, but it should still be there with us because we have God's welcome waiting for us some day as believers! Welcome home, good and faithful servant!
I couldn't help myself in commenting on her blog about my Lenten attempt to give up my road anger:
This Lent I decided I really needed to work on my Driving Etiquette – in other words, I would not get angry at other drivers, no matter what, I would not yell and scream or even mutter under my breath that they were being jerks no matter how many horns blared at me, fingers, near misses and selfish driving acts I was the ‘victim’ of. In exchange, because I knew this was going to be a monumental task for me to undertake – I’m very much a MommaBear because all my kids are on the road driving with these crazies too – I thought I would lift my usual ban on chocolate for Lent. I thought I may need the balance of candy to outweigh me staying calm and happy in my car. So far week two of Lent has seen me eat an entire bag of snack size Milky Ways to appease urge to get out and upbraid the selfish driver running the red light, all the drivers going way to fast for road conditions after a 13 inch snowfall, and the honkers who think I’m stupid for waiting an extra second when the light turns green to make sure those red light runners don’t hit me! I feel guilty about the candy but so far I have stayed calm in my car. I am reconsidering a better exercise program to work off the candy