Beyond Common Sense Gun Laws ...The Law of LOVE
Happy June All! There is still a whole lot going on in our world and we sometimes need a reminder that it's not only okay to feel good, but that joy, happiness, gratitude, compassion, enthusiasm are high vibe-ing feelings, and help to lift not only our spirits, but the spirits of those around us! The world truly could use MORE JOY, MORE LIGHT and MORE LOVE!
It's my sincerest wish that asap laws for gun reform are passed, and that we can't imagine what took us so long to collectively agree to their importance. It is a crucial step, though I also believe it's important to realize it's only a piece of the puzzle in the healing and/or transformation of our families, communities, country and world. While I whole-heartedly believe (as I shared in my last newsletter) that it is a step, it can even be dangerous if we mistakenly think it handles the problem. We have children who are feeling alone, disconnected, defeated, shunned and this is all festering into fear, hatred and explosive rage. In turn, they are harming themselves and others. I can't say I know how to get there - but I do believe the answer is LOVE. We live in a fear based world and society and until we move beyond the chaos and see the dis-ease it's causing, and powerfully CHOOSE LOVE we will be helping, but not healing the brokenness. LOVE ONE ANOTHER - in fact it's what Jesus commanded, which means made he made it into LAW. Regardless of your belief in, or understanding of Jesus, LOVE is a not only a good place to stand, it is the place to stand to tap into our true nature, power, freedom and glory! So, LOVE, not guns is the answer -- our teachers, God bless them, should not be armed with guns, but embraced with hugs, embraced by our parents, community members, local law enforcement, first responders, politicians and more. We are counting on them to provide a safe space where OUR children can flourish, grow and learn.
How do we make the conversation and presence of love louder and prouder in every heart, home and classroom across the country? I'd love to see I Love You More in every home and classroom. I wonder how many kindergarten classrooms there are across the country? Maybe I could play a game to get a book to every kindergarten class in Broward county to start? I am open to ideas and do believe gathering fellow Ambassadors of Love is imperative! When I first began this journey on our postcards it said - love is too often assumed and not expressed - love should be heard, felt, affirmed, seen, shown, expressed and MORE! My publisher called me a self-appointed Ambassador of Love - I AM good with that - though my appointment might have been granted by a higher source ;-) How about YOU -- are you and Ambassador of Love? Let's join hearts, hands and minds and together make this world a better and brighter place! I LOVE YOU!
PS...who's that in the opening picture you ask? That's Tyler who approached my table at the Las Olas Farmer's Market around this time last year and told me he was "star struck!" His mom read him I Love You More over and over as a child - he was so thrilled to meet me, and I was equally thrilled to meet him! He bought a signed copy for his mom! MORE of this please! It was June of last year which is PRIDE MONTH -- a good reminder to LOVE EVERYONE - now and always!
This is no time to be lessening the LOVE - so I've gone ahead and extended the signed padded board book set's of I Love You More and I'll Hug You More
The Conversation of Love -- the art of asking questions and listening to one another - a simple yet LOVE-ly idea. There are several companies that have created conversations starters for the dinner table, ride to school, or bed time - but here are a few to get started. It's a fun way for our children to learn more about us, and for us to learn more about our children! It seems simple, though after two recent graduations I asked the grads to share favorite or memorable moments from their years at school - it sparked conversations that went a bit deeper than where we typically land!
Disclaimer -- "Favorite" is one of my least favorite words - so you'll often see me say what is one of your favotite foods, or who is one of your favorite characters. I got this from my nephew TYLER when he was about 4. I aksed him what his favorite color was, he looked at me puzzled, and then burst out with RAINBOW! I thought dang -- I like all the colors too!
Another way to have these conversations and make it into more of a game is to try and guess the family member's answer.
What is one of your favorite movies? What movie did you see more than three times when you were a child?
Would you rather be at the beach, the pool, the lake or in the bathtub?
What smell do you love? What smell do you highly dislike? (you know I'm not a fan of the H word)
Have you ever traveled out of the country? What country or state would you like to visit? Why? Do you know anyone from another country or state?
What song do you love to sing in the car? Do you sing in the shower or bath? (your family might find it fun to know silly things about you)
Do you know how many brothers and sisters your friends have? Are they older or younger?
Have you ever been scared to do something? What? Did you do it anyway? How did you feel?
Did you ever get a bad grade? What about a good grade on a paper, test or project? How did you feel?
Those are some starting points -- let me know how it goes!
** there is a great activity that has been shared on Facebook for the classroom - though parents could modify it to use as well. Here it is added to the blog post...
ATTENTION ALL TEACHERS AND PARENTS
This is an article that needs to be repeated:
Every Friday afternoon Chase’s teacher asks her students to take out a piece of paper and write down the names of four children with whom they’d like to sit the following week. The children know that these requests may or may not be honored. She also asks the students to nominate one student whom they believe has been an exceptional classroom citizen that week. All ballots are privately submitted to her.
And every single Friday afternoon, after the students go home, Chase’s teacher takes out those slips of paper, places them in front of her and studies them. She looks for patterns.
Who is not getting requested by anyone else?
Who doesn’t even know who to request?
Who never gets noticed enough to be nominated?
Who had a million friends last week and none this week?
You see, Chase’s teacher is not looking for a new seating chart or “exceptional citizens.” Chase’s teacher is looking for lonely children. She’s looking for children who are struggling to connect with other children. She’s identifying the little ones who are falling through the cracks of the class’s social life. She is discovering whose gifts are going unnoticed by their peers. And she’s pinning down- right away- who’s being bullied and who is doing the bullying.
As a teacher, parent, and lover of all children – I think that this is the most brilliant Love Ninja strategy I have ever encountered. It’s like taking an X-ray of a classroom to see beneath the surface of things and into the hearts of students. It is like mining for gold – the gold being those little ones who need a little help – who need adults to step in and TEACH them how to make friends, how to ask others to play, how to join a group, or how to share their gifts with others. And it’s a bully deterrent because every teacher knows that bullying usually happens outside of her eyeshot – and that often kids being bullied are too intimidated to share. But as she said – the truth comes out on those safe, private, little sheets of paper.
As Chase’s teacher explained this simple, ingenious idea – I stared at her with my mouth hanging open. “How long have you been using this system?” I said.
Ever since Columbine, she said. Every single Friday afternoon since Columbine.
This brilliant woman watched Columbine knowing that ALL VIOLENCE BEGINS WITH DISCONNECTION. All outward violence begins as inner loneliness. She watched that tragedy KNOWING that children who aren’t being noticed will eventually resort to being noticed by any means necessary.
And so she decided to start fighting violence early and often, and with the world within her reach. What Chase’s teacher is doing when she sits in her empty classroom studying those lists written with shaky 11 year old hands - is SAVING LIVES. I am convinced of it. She is saving lives.
And what this mathematician has learned while using this system is something she really already knew: that everything – even love, even belonging – has a pattern to it. And she finds those patterns through those lists – she breaks the codes of disconnection. And then she gets lonely kids the help they need. It’s math to her. It’s MATH.
All is love- even math. Amazing.
Chase’s teacher retires this year – after decades of saving lives. What a way to spend a life: looking for patterns of love and loneliness. Stepping in, every single day- and altering the trajectory of our world.
TEACH ON, WARRIORS. You are the first responders, the front line, the disconnection detectives, and the best and ONLY hope we’ve got for a better world. What you do in those classrooms when no one is watching- it’s our best hope.copied for hope to save more Children
I borrowed this meme - though if I'd written it might say - I promise not to teach my babies to not love your babies. Babies LOVE - they get it!
Please feel free to download or screenshot and share — tag #lauraduksta #iloveyoumore #ilym and follow me on social! If we see your post we'll for sure repost it!
- End of June - July: Road tripping up the east coast - if you know of a festival, market, camp, school or church I should visit, send me a message!
- June 30th - July 3rd: National Alopecia Areata Foundation Conference in Washington, DC.