Visual Learners!

A Life Lesson

According to a news report, a certain private school in Washington was recently faced with a unique problem.

A number of 12-year-old girls were beginning to use lipstick and would put it on in the bathroom.

That was fine, but after they put on their lipstick, they would press their lips to the mirror leaving dozens of little lip prints.

Every night the maintenance man would remove them, and the next day the girls would put them back.

Finally the principal decided that something had to be done.

She called all the girls to the bathroom and met them there with the maintenance man.

She explained that all these lip prints were causing a major problem for the custodian who had to clean the mirrors every night (you can just imagine the yawns from the little princesses).

To demonstrate how difficult it had been to clean the mirrors, she asked the maintenance man to show the girls how much effort was required.

He took out a long-handled squeegee, dipped it in the toilet, and cleaned the mirror with it.

Since then, there have been no lip prints on the mirror.

There are teachers … and then there are educators.

By Shahnaz Zafar

When Death is Real

A Very Dead End

It’s been the worst day of violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since 1967. The scenes from there look like something directly out of a horror movie. Bodies without parts, parts without bodies. Hundreds are dead, and more than 800 are wounded as of the latest count.

This isn’t fake blood, or plastic mannequins that we’re seeing on the screens in front of us. These are real men, women and children, with real families and real homes. Or at least they used to be.

The question is, how do these things happen? And what are we as parents and educators to do?

Here are two steps we can take to begin making some change in our world:

Step 1.  Stress the commonalities among human beings. Let’s teach our children to focus on ways we are the same instead of ways we are different. When we see what connects us all as humans it quickly becomes much more difficult to hurt one another or think of others as enemies. By rehumanizing people instead of dehumanizing them, we can stop seeing one another as ‘targets’ and start finding our brothers, sisters, friends.

Step 2.  Reduce the violence our children are exposed to on a regular basis. Our children watch TV, go to movies, or play video games where aggression is the main objective, and then we wonder why they don’t feel anything when real tragedies occur. As a society we’ve allowed them to become desensitized to brutality, and many have now gained a false image about how hostility really turns out.   Unfortunately for many there’s a very blurred line between fantasy and reality. The ‘good guys’ don’t actually ride off into the sunset with hardly a scratch on them, and there is no reset button to press to start the game all over again when your guy dies.

There are many reasons for why our world is the way it is today. Let’s decide right now that we’re going to teach our youth to live better among one another than our generation does now. Together we can do it.

By Sonia Dabboussi