CHARACTER-CHOICES while INSPIRING STUDENTS TO CREATE AND ACHIEVE!

SWCTA’s counseling department takes pride in implementing Character-Choices. In an effort to build positive character amongst students and improve the school’s atmosphere, the counseling department will post daily quotes on this web-page. It is our hope that the messages will help students stop and think about their choices in the areas of academics, personal, social, and life decisions that will ultimately create more responsible young adults. Our school’s mission is: To challenge students to attain knowledge, develop character, acquire skills, demonstrate responsible work ethics, and prepare for the 21st Century.

Please take time to visit our site and discuss the messages with your student.

 

Education

In Lithuania they say: Without learning, without eyes.

In other words, without an education you are blind to your unlimited potential. You can’t see all the great opportunities the world has to offer.  As we begin this brand new school year, let’s all make a promise to ourselves and to each other. Let’s promise to work hard, have fun, and keep our eyes wide open to the awesome possibilities that a good education has to offer.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Choices

Every day, we make choices. Some choices are very small, while others are big. A great American statesman William Jennings Bryan once said:  Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice.

Our destiny is basically our destination in life- where we are headed.  Mr. Bryan is saying that our choices determine our final destination…they determine the outcome of our lives.

If you want to create a successful and happy future, pause for a moment today and ask yourself this: Are my choices taking me in the right direction?

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Encouraging Others

You’ve probably heard this over and over again. “Come on! You can do it!” No matter how old we are- we all need encouragement from those around us.  Goethe once said:

” If you treat a man as he is, he will stay as he is; but, if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be, and could be, he will become that bigger and better man”.

Let’s give each other enthusiastic words of support. Let’s expect only the best from ourselves and each other.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Virtue

Virtue is one of those old-fashioned words we don’t hear much anymore.  According to dictionary, it means, “general moral goodness… right action and thinking… uprightness.” In other words, when a person has virtue, she strives to do the right thing with her thoughts, words, actions. They are honest, respectful, and kind.

An American proverb reads; “Unless virtue guides us, our choice must be wrong”

This means that unless we make choices based on honesty, respect, kindness, and responsibility, we make the wrong choices. So let the virtue be your guide.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Choices

Every year farmers around the globe plow their fields, plant their seeds, and then harvest their crops. Their crops feed their families and, in fact, feed families around the world.

Every year these same farmers make a choice. This is what a group of Virginia farmers has to say about it: We have a choice: To plow new ground or let the weeds grow.

So what’s that got to do with you? It’s simple; you have a choice, too. You can plow new ground this year at school, plant seeds of knowledge and wisdom, and then reap all the rewards of a good education, or you can just sit back and let the weeds grow.  “BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”

 

 

Courage

How many of you watch the news on television at night? There seems to be so much violence, hatred, and anger. It’s easy to feel powerless to make a difference in the world.

Robert F Kennedy once said, “Each time a man stands up for what he believes in or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he send forth a tiny ripple of hope”

Today, ask yourself: What do I believe in? How can I improve things for myself and others? How can I make a difference when something is unfair? Remember that each time we choose to act with courage and belief in ourselves and others; we are helping to shape a better world.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”

 

 

Freedom

Greek philosopher Epictetus (ep ik TEE tus) once said something very interesting. He said:

Only the educated are free.

Let’s think about that. If education brings freedom, does ignorance imprison us?

  • Prisoners live behind locked doors, right? Education opens doors to new opportunities
  • Prisoners can’t see beyond the prison walls. Education gives us a panoramic view of the world.
  • Prisoners have little or no choice about what they do. Education provides us with many choices.

An education opens up new possibilities and gives us a broader view of the world around us. Education knocks down the walls of ignorance. Be a good student, be committed to your education, and stay free to follow your dreams.  “BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”

 

 

Goals

Ever noticed how there is a clear goal in every sport? The goal may be to slam a ball through a hoop or to win a gold medal. Either way, serious athletes always have the goal in mind. It motivates them to work hard and do their best.

We all need to have goals in life. Today, we want you to think about your goals for this grading period. Are you planning to make some improvements? What are they? How about your conduct/behavior can it be better? Stop and write down one specific goal.  Then remember this Japanese proverb:  “When you are thirsty, it’s too late to think of digging the well”.

In other words, when your teacher hands you your reports card and your grades aren’t what they should be, it’s too late. You need a game plan now. Set a goal, plan ahead, and then go for the gold.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”

 

 

Character/Honor

We all seem to want more and better… things, that is. We want more clothes. We want more video games, a better IPOD, Cell Phone, Computer, or new TV. We collect stuff like crazy. But, in the end, how important do you think all that stuff is anyway? Is it more important than your character? Your values? Your beliefs? Listen to what statesman Henry Clay says: “Of all the things which belong to honorable people, not one is as highly prized as that of character”.

In other words, the most valuable thing any of us can ever possess is character, and character cannot be bought. It must be earned. So today, start collecting the stuff of real prize winners by being kind, fair, and honest with yourself and others.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Caring for Others

There are times when it’s good to focus only on ourselves-to get to know and understand ourselves a little better and to work toward our own special goals and dreams. But what happens when we spend too much time doing for ourselves and not enough time doing for others?

Famous comedian Danny Thomas spent a lifetime giving time and energy to St Jude’s Children’s Hospital because he wanted rich and poor alike to receive the medical care they needed: He says:  Success in life has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It’s what you do for others.

Today, take a little time to do something special for someone else. Give someone a pat on the back or offer kind words of support. Donate to a food drive- or a clothing drive. Remember: learning t be a truly successful person is learning to be a person who cares about others.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Responsibility/Citizenship

From the time we are small children, our parents, grandparents, caregivers, and teachers try to mold us into successful and caring adults.  Even in kindergarten we are taught simple rules for living: Share with others, don’t hit, and put things back where they belong. These rules are meant to help us develop our character- to become responsible and productive citizens of the big, wide world. But in the end, there’s only so much those around us can do to shape us. We have to pick up the ball and run with it. We have to decide our own character.  A young Anne Frank wrote this on her diary: The final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.

Today, remember this: In the end, each of us must choose to be responsible, caring, and trustworthy. It’s a choice no one else can make for us.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Diversity

Way back in the 1950’s. a basketball shoe was a basketball shoe. They all looked pretty much alike, although they did come in three colors; black, white, and red.

Today, we have dozens of athletic shoes to choose from. And that’s a good thing. It means that shoe manufacturers understand that their customers- not just their shoes- come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. Many of you have heard the old English proverb; Variety is the spice of life

It’s true, you know. Variety makes life much more interesting. Today, be aware of just how unique and special each one of us is and then notice how much more wonderful that makes our world.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Gossip

When we’re having a problem with someone in our lives and we don’t know how to heal the problem, it can be a good idea to talk with someone we trust, like a parent, counselor, or spiritual leader.  But think about this. What’s the difference between sharing our private feelings in order to heal a bad situation and gossiping? Gossiping damages people and relationships; when we say ugly things about someone behind his or her back, or judge them, or point a finger. Sometimes when we gossip, we think we make ourselves look better by making others look bad, but that’s not true.  Greeks say: “When one is not good oneself, one likes to talk of what is wrong with others”.

So remember this: You and your time are much too precious for idle gossip. Instead of gossiping, spend your time focusing on what’s good about you and those around you.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Dreams

When was the last time you saw a rainbow? It’s a wonderful thing, isn’t it? And always a surprise… like receiving a gift you weren’t expecting. But if you think about it, what has to happen before you see a rainbow? It has to rain, right? Now listen to these words from American entertainer Dolly Parton: “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain”.

So if you have a beautiful dream or goal in life… remember this: Don’t be surprised if you have to put up with a few thunderstorms along the way. Keep at it and wait for the rainbow.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Usefulness

Dr. Anna Arnold Hedgeman was the granddaughter of slaves. She became an enthusiastic politician and civic leader, serving in government and community organizations both nationally and internationally. Now listen to what she has to say about a family ritual she enjoyed as a child. She says: “at night you reported on how you had been useful. Useful was always the word…useful to yourself… and useful to life.”

In other words, family members reported on how they had been helpful that day… what they had accomplished… what they had contributed to life. Tonight, before you close your eyes to sleep remember Dr. Hedgeman and ask yourself this: How did I contribute to my life and the world around me? It’s a useful exercise that may bring surprising results.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Nonviolence

There’s an Old Italian proverb: “Who seeks a quarrel will find it near at hand”. In other words, if you are “itching to fight,” the chances are very good that you’ll find someone to fight with… probably someone close at hand. But before someone gets hurts and you do something you wish you hadn’t, hold on a minute.

Next time you are tempted to hit somebody, stop. Take a deep breath. Then take another deep breath. Take a walk, or slam-dunk a basketball, or stand in a closet and scream. After you calm down a little, find someone to talk to—a counselor, a teacher, a friend—and get to the cause of your anger. Remember, if you’re looking for a fight, you’re sure to find one. And there’s nothing cool about being a hothead.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Confidence

Our dreams for the future are important. Think about it. Without a dream, would Thomas Edison ever have invented the light bulb? Would astronauts ever have walked on the moon?

Vasco de Gama was a fifteenth-century ship’s captain. From the time he was a young bout, he dreamed of sailing from his home in Portugal around the tip of Africa to India. It had never been done before. He worked hard to become a great sailor, and his dream eventually came true. Now listen to these words from Henry David Thoreau:

“If one moves confidently in the direction of his dreams and tried to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with unexpected success”.

So today ask yourself this: What are my dreams for the future? Am I moving confidently in the direction of my dreams? Remember: Be a confident dreamer like Vasco De Gama, and your dream may become a reality.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Uniqueness

Imagine this: You are a famous sculptor, and you are standing in front of a huge block of marble. To most people, the marble looks like nothing more than a big rock, but you see something different. You see a magnificent statue inside the marble, just waiting to be revealed. As an artist, you know that your job is to chip away slowly at the marble until you uncover the statue within.

Getting an education is a little bit like that. Every day at school you are chipping away at your rough edges and uncovering the unique and special adult that you will someday be.

Joseph Addison, English writer and poet once said: “What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to the soul.”

Today, remember this: Your education is an opportunity to uncover the unique masterpiece inside you. So don’t be a blockhead! Keep chipping away and stay in school!

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Making a Difference

Listen to these words from Mexican author Dr. Luis Leal: “There are no limits to what a person can accomplish if inspired by faith in human beings and a desire to improve the world.”

Dr. Leal is telling us that when we believe in ourselves and others and we want to make a difference, there is no limit to what we can do.

So you might ask yourself these questions: Do I believe in myself? Do I have faith in my teachers, my parents, my friends? Do I want to contribute to the world? Then remember this: A belief in yourself and others, combined with a desire to improve our world, creates limitless possibilities for good.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Healing the Violence

Listen to what great American educator Frederick Douglass says: “The life of a nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous”.

In other words, for nation to be a safe place, its citizens must to be honest and decent. So if we want America to be safer, less violent country, we have to be more honest, truthful and virtuous with one another. We have to learn to be kinder, more tolerant, and more understanding. After all, a nonviolent country begins with nonviolent citizens. And that’s you, and that’s me.

Today, do your part to help stop some of the violence in our country by simply being good to others.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Work Ethic

Great American historian Charles Kendall Adams studied the lives of many great men and women. Years of research led him to the following conclusion: “No one ever achieves great success by simply doing what is required of him”

Mr. Adams is saying that truly successful people put in a little extra effort. They go the extra mile. So ask yourself am I willing to give a little extra in order to be the best I can be? Follow the lead of great men and women everywhere and get into the habit of doing more than simply what’s required.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Hug Therapy

In an article in Redbook magazine, it was suggested that hugs can help us not only feel better, but enjoy better health. Now listen to what Jo Lindberg, Founder of Hugs for Health Foundation says: “Hugs are the best form of therapy”.

In fact, research is showing that hugs can actually lower blood pressure and cholesterol, help our bodies fight off disease, and calm hyperactive children. So do you want to improve your state of health? Try this” 4 hugs a day for survival, 8 for maintenance and 12 for growth.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Diligence/Success

How many of you are familiar with the word “diligent”? To be diligent means to make a steady effort to accomplish something. If you are a diligent person, you are attentive and you work hard. You take special care when you are working on a task.  A Hebrew proverb says: “Do you know a diligent man? He shall be successful and stand before kings”.

It’s true. Most successful people aren’t just lucky, they’ve been diligent. As Benjamin Franklin once said: Diligence is the mother of good luck.” So remember that diligence gives birth to good luck, so if you want to create a little luck in your life pay attention and do your very best today and every day.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Overcoming Self-Pity

Most of us have times when we feel sorry for ourselves, when we think everyone else has it better than we do.

There’s an Arabian proverb that says: “I thought I was poor because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet”

It’s okay to feel bad about things when times are tough, and it’s good to talk about your problems with someone else. Just don’t feel sorry for yourself too long.  There is always someone less fortunate than you. Think of other things to do to occupy your mind.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Uniqueness

Being a human being is a wonderful thing. We have minds that are capable of great thoughts and imaginings. We have hearts that are capable of great love. We have bodies that can achieve great things. And most important, we have free will. We are capable of making choices.

Ancient Greek philosopher says it this way: “Numberless are the world’s wonders, but none more wonderful than human beings”.

The world is filled with incredible things, but nothing as incredible as we human beings. And each of us matters. Each of us is unique and has something special to contribute that no one else can.  So go ahead, acknowledge what is wonderful about yourself and others.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Kindness

Doesn’t it feel great when someone takes the time to compliment you, to tell you that you’re doing a good job, or that you look really great? One nice compliment can make your whole day. Just a few kind words can make a person feel better all day. So try to compliment at least three people today. You might help these three people feel better all day.

 

 

Optimism

Listen to these words from Professor Dr. David Strutton. He says: “Positive thinking can help relieve stress”. He studied several people and found that people who look at life in a negative way- deal with problems by simply complaining. They don’t take action to help solve them.  On the other hand, optimists- people who view life in a positive way- deal with problems in practical ways, like making an extra effort, getting organized, or getting help.

Ask yourself, “Am I being a pessimist” If so, try to be more positive, get busy doing something about your problem, and maybe the stress will disappear.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Opportunities

There are opportunities on the loose! They’re running everywhere.  Some opportunities are really difficult to recognize. They’re undercover, disguised as problems. Don’t be fooled! “Behind the disguise, if you look very carefully, is always an opportunity”.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Wisdom

When you were a newborn baby and your parents brought you home, did you come home to a small house, or was it a big mansion or maybe an apartment? Was it a trailer home? Were you born in the USA, or were you born in another country? In Turkey they say: “Where you were born is less important than how you live”

Today ask yourself this: How much importance do I place on where I was born? How much importance do I place on where others were born? Am I proud, ashamed, or arrogant of my beginnings? Think to the phrase and try to focus on how you and others are choosing to live. That is what really matters.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Respect

We’ve all heard Aretha Franklin sing: R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Find out what it means to me.” Ask yourself what it means to you? Does being treated with respect mean being treated with courtesy and with dignity? The native people of New Zealand have a saying that goes like this: “Never spend time with people who don’t respect you”.

That’s good advice. If other people treat you bad, walk away. You deserve better, and in the end they’ll respect you for respecting yourself. But if you are treating others with disrespect, try to be more respectful. That’s the way it works.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Staying in School

Archbishop Patrick Flores of San Antonio, Texas understands what it means to be underprivileged. He was raised in a home without running water or electricity. As a child, he was not allowed into certain restaurants, theaters, or swimming pools because he was Mexican-American. But he overcame his impoverished childhood and became a powerful force for good in America.

If you want more from your life listen to his words, “A good education opens doors to a better tomorrow”.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Spoken Words

Someone once said, “You are the master of words yet unspoken. Once spoken, they are the master of you”. This means that who decides what words are going to come out of your mouth is you. So therefore, you are the master of your unspoken words. Others hear what you say for better or for worse. You are in control of those words. So take charge of those unspoken words and think before you speak. Think of how others will interpret or feel with your words.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Love

For many decades, the people of Roseto, Pennsylvania, lived longer lives than other Americans. Researchers decided that the people of Roseto lived longer, healthier lives because they had very close-knit families and a strong sense of community… a strong feelings of brotherhood.

Our school is a community, and together we can make it a community that shares and cares and encourages its members, just like the community of Roseto. Think of this Chinese verse, “When the heart is at ease, the body is healthy”. A little tender, loving care can go a long way toward making us all a little healthier and happier. Be kind to each other.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Self-Awareness

French philosopher Blaise Pascal once said: “Most of man’s trouble comes from his inability to be still”.

So many people are racing around, running in a dozen directions, stressed out and cranky. I wonder what would happen if everyone would just turn off the world for a few moments every day and be still.

Being still helps us to get in touch with our feelings. It also gives us time to think about our choices. So find a few minutes and turn off all the noise and sit and think and just be still.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Virtue

The word virtue is one of those old-fashioned words we should think about making fashional again. Why? Because virtue is a quality we need more of in today’s world. It means honesty and goodness. Thomas Paine once said. “We should remember that virtue is not hereditary”.

In other words, he doesn’t believe we inherit virtue from our parents, but that we learn to be good, by examining the lives of good and decent people around us.

Help make the world a better place by being the very best you can be. And, remember, everybody loses when virtue becomes an old-fashioned idea.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Choices

Oren Lyons is a Native American Elder and a wise man. He understands how the choices we make now ripple out into the future. Listen to what he has to say: “In our way of life, every decision we make, we always keep in mind the seventh generation to come”.

Can you imagine that” What if every time we made a decision, we thought about how that decision would affect our children and grand-children and great-grandchildren?

We’d probably think more about hoe the education we are getting today affects the children of tomorrow. So ask yourself if you are making good choices today and how will they affect your world tomorrow?

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Trust

We’ve all heard the story of the boy who cried “wolf”. He lied so many times that when the wolf was really after him, no one believed him. He lied so much that he suffered a serious consequence.

Aristotle, Greek philosopher once said: “Liars, when they speak the truth, are not believed.”

If we expect people to believe us—or to take us serious, we have to earn that trust by always speaking the truth.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Humanity/Nonviolence

What do we human beings want for the future? Do we want to stop the violence/ Do we want to live in a world that is fair and kind to all people? Most of us would say yes to all these questions. Albert Schweitzer, great humanitarian and scientist says:”Everyone should practice true humanity toward his fellow men; on that depends the future of mankind”.

He is saying that the future of our world depends on everyone’s learning to be fair and kind to one another. So, treat each other with respect, honor each other’s differences, and be kind to one another.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Perseverance/Enthusiasm

Listen to this Judeo-Christian wisdom: “He did it with all his heart and prospered”. When we put our hearts into something- more times than not- we usually succeed. We prosper. Why? Because we give it our very best and we do it with enthusiasm. A great American write once said: “Success at anything requires two important ingredients; Enthusiasm and perseverance”

 

 

Being in Action

Oliver Wendell Holmes was a famous American physician, write, and public speaker. Listen to his words:”The great thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it, but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.”

In other words, it’s important o pay attention to the direction in which we are moving in life, knowing that sometimes things will be easy and sometimes will be difficult. Do not drift away without a goal. Ask for help if needed and pull up the anchor and get sailing or you’ll never reach port.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Being Our Best

As the first vice-president of the United Farm Workers of American, Dolores Huerta spent a great deal of her life serving others by working on behalf of American farm workers. She once said:” We must use our lives to make the world a better place, not just to acquire things. That is what we are put on earth for”.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Say no to Drugs

One of the scariest things about many young people today is that they think they are invincible. In other words, thy think nothing will ever hurt them or destroy them. Many kids truly believe that bad things happen only to the other guy.

But sometimes bad things happen, especially when we get involved with illegal drugs. Illegal drugs are dangerous…period. They destroy lives. And whether you take them or sell them, you will pay a price sooner or later.

A Greek proverb says:”If you play around a beehive, you must expect to be stung”. So, don’t get caught within stinging distance”.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Honesty

In the Philippines they say:” A clear conscience is more valuable than wealth”. Why? Because having a conscience means that you understand the difference between right and wrong. Knowledge of right and wrong is one of the most valuable things you will ever possess. And if you do what you feel is right for yourself and others, you’ll have a clear conscience which is worth more than your weight in gold.

All the money in the world is useless if you have to hurt yourself or others in order to put cash in your pocket. Sooner or later a bad conscience will eat away at any pleasure the money may have given you.  Honesty if the best policy.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Patriotism

Archbishop Desmond Tutu is a leader in the nonviolent fight for freedom and equality in South Africa. Listen to what he has to say: “All of us—black and white together—are of infinite worth. And all of us—black and white together—are made for freedom”.

Desmond Tutu has committed his life to the worthy cause of ending racial tensions in South Africa. So today, whether we are African, Anglo, Hispanic, Asian, or Native American, let’s respect our difference while honoring our common bond as Americans. Let’s be grateful for the freedom we enjoy as Americans and remember that many people around the globe are still fighting for the freedoms we enjoy every day.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Wisdom

Sophocles, ancient Greek write wrote: “There is no happiness where there is no wisdom”. Wisdom is a quality that helps us determine right from wrong. It helps is understand what is good for us and what is not. Wisdom is important because without it, we don’t understand ourselves or the world around us. It’s important to gain wisdom by following the example of those who demonstrate wisdom. The wiser you become, the happier you’ll be.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Respect/Service

Francis of Assisi was a Roman Catholic saint who lived in the thirteenth century. His life was a demonstration of the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. This is how he words it: “Blessed is the man who helps his neighbor in trouble, just as he would wish to be helped in like circumstances”. Every day there are opportunities to reach out and help someone else in trouble, just as we would want to be helped if we were in the same situation.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Self-Awareness

We all want to feel like we belong. That’s what great about joining a school club or participating in sports. We become part of a team, a group. French philosopher Michel de Montaigne says: “The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself”.

Sometimes we get so busy with school, friends, and television, we lose touch with ourselves. We don’t take the time to simply sit, be quiet, and get in touch with our own feelings and dreams. So go ahead take a moment for yourself and connect. You might be better company than you realize.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Education

Do you ever wish you didn’t have to go to school? Most students go through times when they can’t see the value in their education. Listen to these words: “When you feel discouraged or simply lazy, as is bound to happen sometimes, remember the millions of people in the world who have not had your privilege… the right to an education.”

If you answered yes, take a moment to pause and be grateful for what you are receiving here at school—the gift of an education. It’s a privilege millions of people will never receive. Be grateful to be an American student.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Success/Happiness

Abigail Adams was first lady of the White House and the wife of John Adams, second president of the United States. Although Mrs. Adams had very little forma; education, she became one of the most educated women of her time. How? She educated herself by reading, by studying, and by spending time with brilliant people. Now listen to her words, “Learning is not gained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence”.

Mrs. Adams is saying we should look for opportunities to learn and look with ardor, which means with excitement and passion. Every opportunity to learn something new comes with an opportunity for a little more success, happiness, and wisdom.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Education

There are many things we can have taken away from us: A thief can steal just about anything. An illness can take away our health. But there is one thing that cannot be taken from us—ever.

Mexicans have a saying that goes like this: “Education is the only thing which no one can take away from you”.

A good education is one of the most valuable things you will ever possess, and you will never have to worry about having it taken away.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Trustworthiness

When you look at the world and all its problems, do you ever feel powerless to make a difference? We make a difference every day of our lives. Each time we are honest or kind or responsible we are making a difference in the world around us. Think of the words of Leonardo da Vinci: “The position of the earth is changed by the weight of a tiny bird resting upon it”.

You are bigger then a bird and have the potential and power to make many positive changes in the world.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Doing What’s Right

Have you ever noticed how happy it makes others when we do the right thing..like holding the door open for someone who has an armful of books, or helping others when not expected, or just being respectful to parents, teachers, and friends? How many of you have amazed someone by simply doing what’s right, such as handing money back to a cashier who gave you too much change? Now listen to the words of Mark Twain: “Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”

Today, be an astonishing human being and do what we know is right.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Diversity

Have you ever thought about what makes a zoo such a wonderful and exciting place? Maybe it’s because of all the hundreds and thousands of different creatures there, each one unique and special, each one playing an important role in the ecological balance of our planet. Human beings are like that, too. Each one of us is unique and special. Diversity makes the world a beautiful place. French philosopher Michel de Montaigne said: “There never were in the world two alike; the most universal quality is diversity.”

In other words, one of the things we have in common is that each of us is so absolutely unique an unrepeatable, no two alike. Today, honor the beauty in diversity by honoring what makes each one of us so special.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Judging Others

Have you ever watched a smart aleck in action? They’ll laugh if you stumble on your words or stumble down the stairs. They’ll throw wisecracks is they think you are too smart or too dumb, too small or big. In Italy they say: “He who judges others condemns himself.”

People, who put other people down, put themselves down because they lose the respect of others and they also loose self-respect. Usually, they don’t feel good about themselves and don’t have self-confidence so they do it to get attention.  So let’s be respectful of ourselves by being respectful of others.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Friends

The Germans say: “A life without friends is a life without sun.” Life would seem pretty gloomy without a friend. A friend can lighten things up with a little laughter. A friend can brighten your day with something as simple as a smile. They can also shed light on your problems so you can find your way out of the dark places. Cicero, ancient Roman philosopher, says it another way: “What sweetness is left in life if you take away friendship? It is like robbing the world of the sun.”

Today, acknowledge your friend for adding a little light to your life.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Happiness/Success

Where do you look for happiness? Do you look for it in other people? In different places? And where will you find success? Most of you know the story of Helen Keller. Despite the fact that she was blind and deaf, she became a successful writer and lived a happy life. Her handicaps forced her to look inside herself, and this is what she discovered. She said: “Your success and happiness lie in you.”

Regardless of your life’s circumstances, it’s what’s inside you that will determine the outcome of your life. Think about the inner strengths you have and how they can help you create a happy and successful future.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Perseverance

When Evelyn Cisneros started the first grade in the early 1960’s, she was the only Mexican-American in the entire school. She was very self-conscious because she felt so different from the rest. Her mother enrolled her in ballet, hoping she would overcome her shyness. Evelyn began to dream of becoming a ballerina, and at the age of eighteen, her dream came true when she became a member of the San Francisco Ballet.  Over the years, she has spoken to groups of students about the rewards of hard work and determination. She often would say: “Step by step, one can ascend the stairs.”

Be mastering one ballet step at a time. She made her dream come true. You can do the same. Take a step towards your dreams.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Overcoming Fear

Fear can be a very useful emotion. It’s the red flag that goes up when we are in real danger, for instance when we are dangerously close to the edge of a cliff. But fear can also be very destructive. It can stop us from being everything we are meant to be, from doing the right thing, from moving forward in life and making our dreams come true. Henry David Thoreau once said: “Nothing is so much to feared as fear.”

So when you are afraid, ask yourself what are you really afraid of? If you can’t figure it out alone, talk to someone you trust. Try to get to the bottom of your fear so you can determine if it’s a warning flag or simply a big stumbling block along the path of life.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Choices

We are fortunate to live in a country that gives us many freedoms. Freedom is something in which we Americans take great pride. But when a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol, is that person free? When they follow orders from gang leaders, are they free? An ancient Latin poet by the name of Horace once said: “Who, then is free? The wise man who can govern himself.”

In other words, true freedom comes when we are wise enough to make the right choices and take responsibility for our actions. So be wise and govern yourself. Enjoy the freedom to be the best you can be.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Respect

Do you know who comedian Rodney Dangerfield is? Throughout his career, he has played the role of a stumbling fool who constantly whines. “I don’t get no respect.”

Well, guess what? When we act foolish all the time, when we show no respect for ourselves or others, we don’t get respect in return. But there’s another choice. American poet Nikki Giovanni once said: “Deal with yourself as an individual worthy of respect.”

Respect others so they respect you. And when someone is being disrespectful to us, we will have the good sense to know that we deserve better treatment.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Success

Success means different things to different people. Success to some people means making lots of money, driving a fancy car. What does it mean to you? Someone once said: “He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has left the world better than he found it; who has never lacked appreciation of the earth’s beauty, and who has always looked for the best in others and given the best he had.”

Think about what success means to you

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Conscience

Did you know that George Washington was just fifteen years old he wrote down a list of his own rules of behavior? It was a unique list that included rules such as not using bad language, not turning your back on someone who is speaking, keeping your clothes and your fingernails clean, and not strutting around like a proud peacock. His lat rule is probably the most important. It was: “Keep alive in your heart that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.

In other words, it’s important to keep your conscience alive and to listen to it. It is that feeling in your heart that tells you what is right and wrong. So, listen to your inner voice at all times.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Choosing Friends

Earlier we talked about George Washington and the rules of behavior he wrote. He also thought this: “Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your reputation, for tis’ better to be alone than in bad company.”

That’s very true, you know. It’s better to be without company than to keep bad company. Hold yourself to high esteem and keep company with those who respect you and your goals.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Doing What’s Right

We hear a lot today about the decline of morals in our society. Have you ever thought about what it means to be a moral person? According to Webster’s dictionary, a moral human being is one who is able to tell the difference between right and wrong.

American minister, Robert Schuller, says this about morality: “Morality is doing what is right, even when you don’t like it.”

It isn’t always easy to do the right thing. Sometimes it requires great courage.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Making a Difference

Father Edwards J. Lavin once said: “Each of us is called to make the world a better place. Our lives must be creative”. When he says that our lives must be creative, he means that we must create new ideas, new solutions, new relationships, and new ways of making the world a better place. The question for each of us is, do our actions somehow make the world a better place?

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

12/04/15

Overcoming Obstacles

Have you been feeling sad or moody lately? Listen to these words: “If your friend has hurt you or your brightest hopes have been clouded, then up and be doing! Occupation will raise your spirit”.

It’s okay to be sad from time to time, and even a little moody. Everyone has his ups and downs. But if you catch yourself feeling sad and moody too much of the time, talk over your feelings with someone you trust. Then get busy! Do something special for yourself or someone else. Finish a project or go for a long walk.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Doing What’s Right

Confucius was a celebrated Chinese philosopher who lived in the twenty-five centuries ago. Listen to one his rules for living. “Ask yourself constantly, “What is the right thing to do?”

Imagine how different the world would be if everyone stopped before making a decision and asked himself that simple questions. Today, take the advice of Confucius and make it a habit to ask yourself: What is the right thing to do?

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Consideration/Respect

Confucius also said, “The superior man sets a good example to his neighbors. He is considerate of their feelings and their property”.

When we are respectful of the feelings and the property of others, we set an example for others to follow.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Belittling Others

Let’s stop for a minute and look at the word belittle. In this case, the prefix “be” has the same meaning as the word “make”. So the word be-little literally means “to make little or small.” When we belittle something, we make it smaller than it is. We lower its character. Instead of appreciating its value, we de-preciate its value. So, if you are verbally abuse or abusing someone else, we’re be-littling them.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Influencing Others

Leigh Hunt was an eighteenth-century English poet and writer. He was most famous for chumming around with Byron and Shelley, two literary giants. Listen to his words of wisdom: “We need to understand that the conduct of every person affects, more or less, the happiness of others”.

In other words, everything we do and say influences the people around us. And even though we can’t be responsible for everyone else’s happiness, we can do our best to contribute to the happiness of others.

 

Courage/Peer Pressure

Have you ever been dared to do something that could be dangerous? Did you do it, or did you walk away?

Socrates, ancient Greek philosopher once said: “It takes more courage to flee, when necessary, than to die”.

So next time someone dare you to do something you know you shouldn’t ask yourself if this will hurt you? Clearly say no. Anyone who dares you to do something dangerous is not someone whose opinion you should respect.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Conscience

Have you ever been eaten up with guilt> have you ever felt so bad about something you did or said that you couldn’t think about anything else? Huck Finn says: “Conscience takes up more room than all the rest of a fellow’s insides”.

If your conscience is bothering you, talk with someone you trust, and find a way to mend the situation the best way you can. Then remember this Filipino proverb: A good conscience is more valuable than wealth”.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Charity/Love

Do you ever give to charity? You are probably saying to yourself, “Hey I am just a kid”. Wrong, you can give away clothes, toys or shoes that you no longer use. Sending some of these items to the Salvation Army or Red Cross or other local charity groups can be helpful to those less fortunate.

“Charity is never lost… it ever does a work of beauty and grace upon the heart of the giver.”

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Honesty/Integrity

Take a moment and think about someone you know who has a good character, or someone who is honest and kind, someone with a good reputation. Maybe it’s a fellow student, or a parent, teacher, or spiritual leader, or public figure. What’s that person up to in the world? Is he or she serving others, making a positive difference?

The truth is anyone with a good character is making the world a better place. “The noblest contribution which any man can make is that of a good character”.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Helping Others/Service

Menander was an ancient Greek comic, who is considered by some to be the”father of modern romantic comedy.” He wrote more than a hundred plays that were full of humor and surprises. Is he were alive today, he might write screenplays for Whoopi Goldberg, Sandra Bullock, or Tom Hanks. He once said: “To live is not to live for one’s self alone; let us help one another.”

So think about this and step out of yourself long enough to help someone else. Help someone that needs a little encouragement or support. According to Menander, that’s what living is all about.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Positive Peer Pressure

Think about this: All peer pressure isn’t bad. For example, if your peers are pressuring you to do the right thing, then peer pressure can support you. “To be a friend a man should strive to lift people up, to encourage, and to set an example that will be an inspiration to others.”

So today, lift up your friends. Choose friends that also encourage and inspire you.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Friendship/Virtue

Ever noticed how some people have a funny idea what a real friend should be? They think a real friend is someone who allows them to cheat on a test of is willing to cover up for them when they do something wrong. But the truth is that a true friend wants only the best from you. Henry Thoreau once said: “A friend is one who always pays us the compliment of expecting from us all the virtues”.

In other words, a true friend cares enough to expect you to be virtuous, which in a nutshell means being honest, responsible, and kind. So don’t settle for less.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Ending Racism

Faroul El-Baz is an American scientist who was raised in Egypt, and came to the US to earn his Ph. D in geology. He pioneered the use of space photography to locate groundwater and petroleum in the earth’s deserts. He had a great idea:

“Racism comes from fear of the unknown or lack of knowledge and is usually stopped by information”

In other words, when we prejudge others because their skin is a different color or their religion is different from our own, it’s usually because we lack knowledge. It’s easy to be afraid of something we don’t understand. That’s why it’s important that we learn about other races.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Good News

There’s so much bad news on TV, but there’s also a lot of great news. But as a society we  tend to focus on the bad. We see the glass as half empty instead of half full.

Today, look for the good in yourself, in others, and in your surroundings. Focus on what is right.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Doing One’s Best

Every day you make choices. You choose your behaviors, to be honest, or disrespectful. You choose when you do your school work. The choices you make every day greatly determine your success, or perhaps your failure.

Marva Collins, an educator once said; “Success doesn’t come to you- you go to it” . So today go for it. Choose to do your personal best in all ways and at all times.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Being a HERO

Most of you probably never heard of Kevin Blum. He’s just a regular guy with four kids. One night as Mr. Blum rode the train home, a gunman began shooting at the passengers. Kevin Blum led the charge to stop him.  Everyone wanted to make him a national hero, but he turned down offers for fame and fortune. He didn’t want to draw attention away from the real issue: violence and its victims.

“It’s in doing the little things for other people that you can be heroic. It’s about seizing the opportunity to do good every day when it’s there. If you see an elderly person, or somebody in need, and you can assist them in any way, you can do that.”

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Kindness

As a young man walked the beach at dawn, he noticed an old man ahead of him picking up starfish and throwing them into the sea. Finally catching up with the man, the youth asked why he was doing this. The old man responded, “The stranded starfish will die if left until the morning sun.”

Then the young man said, “But the beach goes on for miles, and there are millions of starfish. How do you make a difference?”

The old man looks at the starfish in his hand and then threw it to safety in the waves.

“It makes a difference to this one,” he said.

You can make a difference in the world, one act of kindness at a time.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Self-Responsibility/Freedom

Janet Collins was a prima ballerina and the first black artist to perform on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. She had these words: “There is no such thing as freedom without discipline. The one who is free is disciplined”.

Having self-discipline means having self-control, right? People who are self-discipline don’t need someone else looking over their shoulders all the time and telling them what to do. That is freedom.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Success

There’s an old Spanish proverb that goes like this: “Three helping one another will do as much as six men going it alone”.

Surround yourself with people that are committed to succeeding. When birds flock together, they reach their destination faster and more easily.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Encouragement

If human beings just had as much sense as a goose, we would stay in formation with people who are headed in an uplifting direction.

“Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Sharing Responsibilities

Did you know that when the lead goose gets tired, he rotates to the back, relaxes, and lets another goose take his position? The Chinese understood this wisdom. “No matter how stout, one beam cannot support a house”.

No matter how strong one beam, it cannot support an entire house. Let someone help you. Share the burden, step back, then forward. This will make you a better leader in the end.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Encouragement

A great American businessman in the twentieth century once said: “The way to develop the best in a man is by appreciation and encouragement”.

Today and every day, let’s encourage each other to do our best along the way.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Loyalty

“If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other”.

Surround yourself with friends who will share not only the journey, but also the burden. Choose friends who uplift you and encourage you to do your best. They know the importance of standing by your side.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Kindness

Most of us want to be liked and appreciated by others. We want to have friends who love and respect us. We want our parents and teachers and coaches to like us, too. An American author once said; “Getting people to like you is only the other side of liking them.”

In other words, when we make an effort to be kind and show others what we like about them, they usually will like you in return. So like others as you would have them like you.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Fellowship

A fellowship is a group that meets on equal and friendly terms. The other side of the coins is apartheid. It means apart-nest, while fellowship means coming together.  Archbishop Desmond Tutu said “People are created for togetherness, not for apart-nest and division.”

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Overcoming Obstacles

From one angle, things may seem hopeless… from another, hopeful. In one light, a problem may seem huge and at another light, very small. The French say: What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight. So next time you find yourself overcome by a problem. Talk to someone you respect and trust.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Making a Difference

Have you heard Aesop’s story “The Lion and the Mouse”? It goes something like this. The lion is going to eat a little mouse and he cries to please set him free and cries someday I might be able to help you. The lion thinks that’s an amusing idea and decides to set him free. Not long after, the lion finds himself caught in a net and the little mouse gnaws through the rope and sets the lion free. So, whether you are big or small, mighty or meek, we all have within us the power to be kind. “Kindness produces more kindness”

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Courage/Overcoming Obstacles

How many of you know Greg Louganis is? He’s a world-famous Olympic diver and was the first man ever to win  two Olympic gold medals back to back. He overcame many obstacles on his way to success. He was given up for adoption by his real parents, struggled with a learning disability, and suffered through a great deal of teasing from classmates because of his dark skin and Samoan ancestry. He had difficulties but dared to be a champion. “It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult”.

Today, be daring enough to move past your problems. If you need some help getting past an obstacle, remember there are counselors here at SWTCA who care and want to help you.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Humility

James Garfield was the twentieth president of the United States and was a very wise man, he ones bought a newspaper from a young boy and he bowed very politely. His companion asked him why he had done that. The president replied, “No one knows who’s buttoned up in that jacket”.

Today, remember President Garfield’s humble gesture toward a small newsboy and treat others as if they were somebody special.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Purpose/Uniqueness

At some point in our lives, most of us will ask the question, what’s life all about? Why am I here?

Probably the most accepted answer to that question would be this: We are here to contribute to the world in some positive way, to make the world a better place. That’s why every life is important. Every human being holds the possibility for doing something wonderful in the world.

Charles Allen says it this way: “Remember that you are needed. There is at least one important work to be one that will not be done unless you do it”.

Keep in mind that we need YOU. The world needs the absolutely unique and unrepeatable contribution that only YOU can make.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”

 

Honoring our Elders

Nobel Prize-winning physicist Luis Alvarez and his son developed the theory that the dinosaurs became extinct when a great meteor hit the earth. By consulting with each other, father and son created a very important scientific theory.

Speaking of dinosaurs, have you ever caught yourself thinking that older people are real fossils- you know- too old and useless? Maybe you should think again. Older people can be a rich source of knowledge, wisdom, and understanding.  The Chinese usually say this: “To succeed, consult three old people. So if you are faced with a problem seek the wisdom and consult your elder’s”.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Perseverance

Yo-Yo Ma is a world-famous musician and recording artist of Chinese descent. He began playing the cello at the age of four and gave his first public performance at the age of five. A Peruvian proverb: “Little by little, one walks far”.

He took one small step at a time until he reached his goal. So little by little, you too can get the job done.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Courage

Id B. Wells was an elegant African-American woman with great courage. As the editor of the Memphis Free Speech newspaper, she was a crusader for equal rights at a time when you could lose your life for speaking out against racism. Despite threats against her life, Ida B. Wells is quoted as saying: “I could not keep silent in the face of the almost daily violence.”

Our world continues to be riddled with violence. If she was still alive what would she say to us? She would probably encourage us to speak out by writing letters that express our frustration, concerns, and ideas for solutions.

So today, remember this: You are never too young to make a difference.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Virtue

There are two words you need to understand completely in order to understand our quote for the day. The first word is “cultivate” which means to prepare the ground for the things to grow. The second word, is “virtue,” which, simply put, means goodness.

An Ancient Chinese teacher Lao Tzu wrote these words about cultivating goodness in the world. He said:

Cultivate Virtue in yourself, and Virtue will be real.

Cultivate Virtue in the family, and virtue will grow.

Cultivate Virtue in the village, and Virtue will spread.

Cultivate Virtue in the nation, and Virtue will be plenty.

Cultivate Virtue in the world, and Virtue will triumph everywhere.

Today, cultivate a little goodness in the world. Be honest. Be fair. Be respectful of others. If we all do our part, virtue will win the battle against crime, drugs, violence, and racial disharmony.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Humility

Everybody’s heard the expression, “Good things come in small packaged.” That’s certainly the case with champion flyweight boxer Michael Carbajal. Weighing in at just 108 lbs, he calls himself “manitas de piedra,” little hands of stone. Yet despite his winning a silver medal at the 1988 Olympic Games, people say that Michael Carbajal remains modest and soft-spoken.

Greek philosopher Heraclitus puts it this way: “The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions. “

Today be a really big person, regardless of your size, and let your actions speak louder than your words.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Possibilities

Do you know what a possibilitarian is? According to Dr. Peale, it’s a person who takes charge of possibilities. Listen to these words:

Become a possibilitarian. No matter how dark things seem to be or actually are, raise your sights and see the possibilities- always see them, for they are there.

If you are faced with a problem or a difficulty, remember these words. Look for the possibilities in everything.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Respect

Words from writer Thomas Haliburton: “Suggest what is right, oppose what is wrong:…and if you are not popular, you will at least be respected; popularity last only a day, respect will be passed on to your children,” .

In other words, we should take a stand against things such as stealing or cheating, even if it costs us some popularity points. After all, popularity may last only a day, but learning to respect ourselves and others can last a lifetime. So when you are faced with doing something wrong, don’t worry about making the popular decision.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Doing one’s best

We all like to be encouraged to do our best. It helps us reach a little higher and do a little better than we might do otherwise. It’s great to hear someone say “Go ahead! You can do it!” That’s what good coaching is all about. Booker T. Washington once said: I believe that any man’s life will be filled with constant and unexpected encouragement if he makes up his mind to do his level best each day.”

So encourage one another to always do your best.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Respect

Why do you suppose we human beings have such a fascination with gossip? We spend too much time gossiping about everything and everyone. Some people think it’s harmless. But Lebanese say: “He who gossips to you will gossip about you.”

Today, notice the time and energy spent on gossip and remember this: Next time someone wants to share a juicy gossip with you, put yourself in the shows of the one being gossiped about.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Education

Mary Hatwood Futrell believes in the power of education. Despite the fact that she was a minority woman raised in poverty, she went to college, earned her master’s degree in education and later became the president of the National Education Association. These are her words of encouragement when you are struggling with negative circumstances:

“Don’t allow circumstance to hold you back- even negative ones. You don’t have to let your circumstances define you. You can define yourself, and the best way to find yourself is through education.”

If life has placed you in a difficult situation, don’t let the situation decide who you are or what you are going to be in life. Take every advantage available to you through education.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Dreams/Confidence

When you dream about the future, what do you dream? How do you envision yourself? Do you dream of a great college education, a successful career, a happy relationship, a world where people get along and there’s no violence? How and what you dream is very important.

“It is in dreaming the greatest dreams- Seeking the highest goals that we build the greatest tomorrows.”

If you can’t even imagine yourself doing something great it’s difficult to become what we can’t imagine. So dream of great things for yourself and move confidently toward those dreams

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Honesty with Oneself

For most of us, it’s very easy to be honest. We don’t cheat on tests. We don’t steal. Most of us are honest with the world around us. But what about being honest with ourselves? It’s not always so easy to tell ourselves the truth.

Words of Sigmund Freud: Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise.

You can’t correct a problem until you first admit you have one. So today be totally honest with yourself and take responsibility for your action, and decide to do better next time.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Doing what’s Right

As most of you know, John Wayne was great American actor. He use to say: “There’s right and there’s wrong. You got to do one or the other. You can do one, and your living. You do the other, and you may be walking around but you’re dead as a beaver hat.”

What he is trying to say is that when we go against our conscience and do something we know is wrong, it makes us feel dead inside. On the other hand, when we do what we know is right, we feel alive and well.

Seek advice from those that love you to help you make good decisions.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Making Friends

How many of you have heard of Dale Carnegie? He was a real pioneer in the field of public speaking and motivational training. His book How to Win Friends and Influence People has sold over ten million copies in many different languages.

This was his favorite saying: “You can make more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

In other words, if you want to make friends, start being a good friend to others. Show some concerns for the things happening in their lives.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Principles

Your principles are the rules of living- your beliefs that help us know what we ought to do or not do.  Principles guide us along the path of life, whether our principles are based on our religious beliefs or on the morals we have been taught by our parents or on the values we learn from books and stories.

Principles guide us along the path of life, whether our principles are based on our religious beliefs or on the morals we have been taught by our parents or on the values we learn from other people, books, and stories. Developing a personal set of principles makes it much easier to make the right choice.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Dreams

What dreams are you dreaming for tomorrow? How do you envision yourself in the future? Will you be a winner, a real champion? Mohammed Ali once said, “Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them- a desire, a dream, and a vision.”

Mr. Ali put in many hours of training in the gym, but without his dream of being a champion, he might not have succeeded. If you want to be a real winner tomorrow start dreaming the dream today.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Good Humor

Most of you know who Mark Twain is. He’s the man who wrote the book To Sawyer. He’s famous for his sense of humor.  “The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.”

So next time you’re feeling a little down think about Mark Twain and give his idea a try. Offer a little good cheer to somebody else and notice if… in the end… it makes you feel better and cheers you up too.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Being Beautiful

Have you ever thought about how people see you? I don’t mean what they see in terms of your physical appearance, but what they see in terms of the kind of person you are- your character.

Activist Dolores Huerta says about how she wants people to see her: “I would like to be viewed as a woman who cares for fellow human beings. We must use our lives to make the world a better place, not just acquire things”.

Her actions in the world reflect her principles. Do yours? Being a truly beautiful human being is as easy as being kind, caring, and honest person.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Prejudice

John Donne was a famous English poet who lived during the seventeenth century. He attended Oxford University, but was not allowed to receive a degree simply because he was Catholic. Today, more than four centuries later, religious prejudices continue to divide the human family.

Some of the most famous lines John Donne wrote are these:

“No man is an island, entire of itself; Every man is a piece of the continent, A part of the main.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Honesty

Did you know that when a cashier hands you back too much change and you keep it, the cashier has to make up the shortage from his or her own pocket? That’s right. When you keep money that doesn’t rightfully belong to you, you’ve stolen.

Listen to this proverb from India:

“A thief is a thief, whether he steals a diamond or a cucumber”.

Taking or keeping something that doesn’t belong to you is stealing, no matter how you choose to look at it. You can make excused but the bottom line is this: Stealing, whether it is from a person or a business, is wrong. In the end, somebody has to pay.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Wisdom

Everybody wants to have nice things. We want nice clothes and cars and homes. We want to go to nice restaurants and take fun vacations. These are things many Americans want. For some, it’s the American dream.

Now listen to this old Hebrew proverb:

“Wisdom is better than rubies, and all things that may be desired are not to be compared with it”.

In other words, having all the material things in the world is not worth as much as having the wisdom to tell right from wrong or the wisdom to make smart choices.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Confidence

Somerset Maugham is one of the most popular writers of the twentieth century. He is best known for his novel Of Human Bondage. Mr. Maugham is also knows as a keen observer of human beings and how we behave.

Listen to what he has to say to us today: It’s a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the best, you very often get it.

That doesn’t mean we should turn up our noses at every little thing that doesn’t please us. There’s a wiser way of looking at his words. If you refuse to accept anything less than the best in terms of your performance at school, you’re likely to get the best grade possible.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Opportunities

Problems! Problems! And more Problems!. We’ve all got problems. Who need ‘em? Well, according to Henry J. Kaiser, problems aren’t such a bad thing. He was a famous American businessman who had a big problem: His automobile company failed miserably. Now listen to what he has to say about problems:

“Problems are only opportunities in work clothes”. In other words, when we roll up our sleeves and work our way through a problem, it just might turn into an opportunity. So today ask yourself: What is my most pressing problem?

 

Encouragement

Dr. Edith Irby Jones is a real trailblazer in the medical profession. She is the first African-American to graduate from the University Of Arkansas School Of Medicine and the first woman to head the ninety-two year old National Medical Association. She’s a person of great energy and vision. Here’s what she has to say to us today. “Each day is an adventure, for I am propelled by the deep sense of fulfillment I get when helping others improve their lives.

Each day we are presented with opportunities to help others. It may be as simple as giving someone encouragements in class or giving her a hug or a smile to her get them through a difficult time.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Belief in Oneself

Have you ever been completely misunderstood? Accused of being something you aren’t? or doing something you didn’t?

Listen to what great American educator Marva Collins says: Character is what you know you are, not what others think you are.

We must never forget to think of what’s good and wonderful about ourselves. After all, we show our true character when nobody’s looking. So today, watch yourself. Be the judge of your own character. Be honest. Be kind. Be sincere regardless who’s watching.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Wisdom

Every day we pause to listen to a few words of wisdom. Why do you think wisdom is important? It’s gaining knowledge enough?

Someone once said: Knowledge without wisdom is a house without doors. In other words, without wisdom, all the knowledge in the world may not be very useful.  So when commonsense advice is offered, pay attention and wise up.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Everyday Heroes

Who’s your favorite hero? An astronaut, professional athlete, movie star, senator? Maybe your hero isn’t someone famous. After all, some of the most important heroes of our lives may be everyday people- people who show us qualities or strength and courage.

Sam Walter Foss, American writer and poet, writes this:  In the average man is curled, the hero stuff that rules the world.

So think about a person in your life who demonstrates courage and strength. It can be your mom, dad, a teachers, principal, or spiritual leader. It’s the everyday heroes who rule the world.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Kindness

French female novelist George Sand gave the world many literary treasures. Here she writes about another kind of treasure. She says: Guard within yourself that treasure, kindness.  Kindness is a treasure. It allows us to give more freely, to be a good sport when we lose, and to reach our goals without showing off our success.

Today, notice a real treasure kindness is.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Caring for others

How many of you have heard the expression “a fair-weather friend’? A fair-weather friend is a friendly when things are going well, but not when things get tough. Actually, if you think about it, a fair-weather friend is not a friend at all.

Listen to what John Winthrop has to say about friendship: “We must strengthen and comfort each other. We must love one another. We must rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together”.

In other words, real friends stick together through the good times and the bad. Celebrate when things are wonderful, and work through problems when times are tough.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Goals

We talked before about the importance of setting goals. Setting a goal gives you something to aim for. But sometimes when we are setting goals, we don’t aim high enough. We are afraid of missing the mark, of failing. An American write once said: “In the long run men hit only what they aim at. Therefore, though they should fail immediately, they had better aim at something high.” “Shoot for the moon. If you don’t make it, you’ll still be heading for the stars.”

Today, think about the goals you’ve set for yourself. Then ask yourself this: Am I aiming high enough?

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Confidence

Ann Wang grew up during a difficult time in China. There was a war going on and great political unrest. These difficult times forced him to take on many responsibilities as a child. Despite his difficult childhood, An Wang grew up to become a world-famous computer wizard. He said this about his difficult childhood: “Confidence is sometimes rooted in the unpleasant, harsh aspects of life and not in warmth and safety.”

It would be wonderful if we could experience nothing but warmth and safety during our childhood. Unfortunately, life is sometimes difficult. Wand reminds us that we can learn from our difficulties and gain confidence in ourselves and the world around us.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Positive Thinking

When you sit and think, what do you think about? What goes on inside your head? Do you think positive thoughts? Paying attention to your thoughts can be a very interesting exercise. Some people say that thoughts eventually lead to action.

British statesman, Benjamin Disrael says this about thoughts: “Nurture great thought for you will never go higher than you think”.

How high do you want to go in life? Want a happy relationship, or a great job? Today, pay attention to what you are thinking.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Overcoming Hopelessness

Have you ever felt hopeless about something…like there was just no hope at all in a relationship, or a situation at home or at school? Most human beings experience hopelessness at some point in their lives. American folksinger Joan Baez says this about moving past those feelings: “Action is the antidote to despair”

An antidote is simply a cure or a remedy. Ms. Baez is saying that action is the best cure when we feel hopeless.  If you are feeling depressed and powerless about something in your life, talk to someone you trust, a parent, teacher, counselor, spiritual leader.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Choices-Character

Have you ever been up to bat, struck out, and then gotten mad at the umpire for making a bad call? Have you ever made a bad grade on an exam and then got mad at the teacher for making the test so hard? Listen to what American write Edgar Howe says: “When I am angry at myself, I criticize others”.

Next time you are angry and find yourself criticizing other people, ask yourself this: “Who am I really mad at? Be honest with yourself. Then remember this: It’s easy to blame someone else for our mistakes, but it takes a real strength to take responsibility for our choices and actions. “

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Uniqueness

There are some six billion people inhabiting planet Earth- each person with a different personality, size, shape, and color- no two people exactly alike. This is an awesome thing.

Now listen to the words of a nineteenth-century American preacher by the name of William Channing: “Every human being is intended to have a character of his own, to be what no other is, and to do what no other can do”.

Mr. Channing is reminding you that only YOU can be YOU. No one is, was, or ever will be exactly like you. Today, notice how wonderfully different we all are.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Encouragement

Have you heard of the nineteenth-century novelist names George Eliot? George Eliot was actually a writer by the name of Mary Ann Evans. She wrote the famous novel Silas Marner. It’s a moving story about a greedy old man who is lonely and miserable. He discovers true happiness only when he reaches out to help someone in need. She once said: “Live to make the world less difficult for others”.

Today, reach out someone who is having a difficult time-maybe someone who is struggling with a load of books or homework, or having a difficult time with math. Today give a few words of encouragement to someone in need.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Dream and Vision

We’ve talked before about the importance of having a dream and then putting forth real effort toward realizing that dream. Now listen to these words inscribed in 1730 on a church in England:

“A vision without a task is but a dream. A task without a vision is drudgery. A vision and a task are the hope of the world”.

In other words, to make a dream come true we need a vision- or a goal along with some real effort. Today, keep those dreams alive. It will make your experience at school more meaningful.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Generosity

The Lithuanians have an old proverb that goes like this: “The person who gives is a person who has”.

Giving doesn’t always mean giving away something material, like a present. Giving can mean giving your time, your love, or your encouragement. When you give these kinds of gifts, you haven’t lost a thing.

Today be generous and give.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Respect

Do you know a busybody, somebody who is always gossiping and getting into other people’s business? This takes a tremendous amount of effort.  You can choose to do other things that in the end would make your life a more rewarding and successful. A man named Austin O’Malley once said: “Busy souls have no time to be busybodies”.

Today, keep yourself busy with things that build yourself up instead of tearing others down.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Completing a project/Confidence

Imagine if someone put all the parts and pieces of an automobile and says, “Okay, I want you to put this car together.” That would be overwhelming. But if there were fifty people to help you and each one took a specific job it would make it easier. That is what Henry Ford did. He took a big job and divided it up into a series of smaller jobs. He once said: “No thing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs.” So next time you are overwhelmed with a project or assignment into a list of small jobs. Every time you check off one small job, you are that much closer to completing the assignment.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD.”

 

 

Forgiveness/Friendship

Listen again to this ancient Hebrew proverb: “Who is mighty? One who makes an enemy into a friend?” It’s true. There is something really special about turning anger or hatred into friendship and understanding. President Abraham Lincoln said it another way: “The only safe way to destroy an enemy is to take him a friend.”

Today, ask yourself if there is someone you consider an enemy. Then look for ways to find common understanding, to forgive and let go of the past. 

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Making a Difference

American journalist Kin Hubbard once said: “Kindness goes al long way lots of times when it ought to stay at home.” It’s true. Sometimes it’s easier to be a nice person when we’re out with friends than when we are at home with our family. Why is that” Maybe it’s because we know that our family will love us for better or worse, so we take our bad moods out on them.

If we want a kinder and less violent world, we have to start with a little more kindness in our homes. Do something special for your family when you get a chance.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Opportunities

When you’re in the middle of big challenges, it’s difficult to imagine what good will ever come of it; yet, time and time again people of great wisdom tell us that challenges provide us with opportunities. Actress Cicely Tyson says this: “Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew.”

When you’re going through a difficult time, you can learn a lot about yourself. You can learn how to handle things better the next time.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Self-Awareness

African-American poet Mari Evans has these words for us today: “I have never been contained except I made the prison.”

Let’s think about that. There are many ways that we put ourselves in a prison of our own making; like when we build a wall of hatred around us or when we lock away our feelings. We imprison ourselves mentally when we wall off our minds to new ideas and new possibilities.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Respecting Time

How many of you have heard an adult says:”It seems like just yesterday when you were a baby.” Time passes quickly. It’s amazing how soon the future appears. William Penn, founder of the state of Pennsylvania says: “I expect to pass through life but once. If there is any kindness I can show, or any good I can do, let me do it now, for I shall not pass this way again.”

Today, remember this: You will experience each moment of your life only once. Make the most of them. Show people random acts of kindness. Be good to yourself and others.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Self-Awareness

We live in a very noisy world. Sometimes we turn up the volume to avoid our own thoughts and feelings. American psychologist and educator Sol Gordon says: “Sit down in a quiet place and get in touch with yourself.”

That’s good advice. Knowing your thoughts, your feelings, your dreams, and goals is an important part of creating a happy life. Know thyself!

So today make a promise to yourself. Find ten minutes, turn off the noise, and sit. Be quiet. Discover your thoughts and feelings that you didn’t know you had.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Open-Mindedness

Somebody wise once said: “Minds are like parachutes; they only work when they are open.”

An important part of getting an education is learning to keep your mind open to new ideas, new information, and new possibilities. This doesn’t mean you won’t eventually come to your own conclusions and beliefs; it simply means that you stay open to the idea of gathering knowledge and information.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Success/Making a Difference

When I ask you to name a genius, who comes to mind? Most of you would say Albert Einstein, one of the world’s most famous geniuses. Listen to what he had to say” “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”

We are all valuable as human beings. Each one of us has something valuable to contribute to the world. And it’s perfectly wonderful to want to be a success in life, but what Mr. Einstein probably means is this: If you focus on your value as a person and the value of what you can contribute to the world, it will naturally lead to a more successful life.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Letting Go of Envy

Have you ever heard the expression “The grass is always greener on the other side”? Many times when we look across the fence into someone else’s yard, we think they have it bigger, better, and easier. We get jealous.

That’s really sad because we put so much importance on who has the biggest house, the fanciest car, and the nicest clothes. The truth is, everyone has challenges to deal with and we can’t always know what problems other people suffer. In the end, being jealous of others hurts you the most.

Today, don’t waste your valuable time being jealous of others. Instead, take the time to think about what’s good and wonderful about you.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Kindness

Are you ever too hard on yourself? Do you demand too much of yourself and get mad when you don’t do as well as you think you should?  Sometimes when we’re too demanding with ourselves, we’re also too demanding with others. A German write once said, “Life teaches us to be less harsh with ourselves and with others”

Today, notice if you are placing too many demands on yourself. If you are, take a deep breath, relax, and remember to be kind to yourself and others. A Korean proverb states it like this: “Aim high in your career, but stay humble in your heart”

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

 

Perseverance/Success

Jose Arcadia Limon was an internationally famous dancer of Mexican descent. His dance company toured the world, receiving great applause wherever they went.  He once said: “I have limitations. Things don’t come easily to me… I have to slug it out slowly”

Despite his great talent, Jose Limon had to work hard and persevere in order to succeed. So whether you want success at school or in anything you do remember that things don’t always come easy.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Belief in Oneself/Self-Responsibility

It’s nice to know that others believe in us, that they have faith in our ability to succeed. But what about the other side of the coin? We need to believe in ourselves, right?

General Douglas MacArthur was a man who believed in himself and became a great American hero during World War II. When he was a little boy his mom told him, “You must believe in yourself or no one else will believe in you. Be self-confident, self-reliant and even if you don’t make it, you will know you have done your best.

Sounds like his mom gave him some good advice.  Today, listen to your inner voice

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Happiness

Everybody wants to be happy, right? American journalist William Raspberry had this to day about finding happiness:

“Your best shot at happiness, self-worth, and personal satisfaction- the things that make up real success- is not in earning as much as you can but in performing as well as you can something that you consider worthwhile.”

So today, think about ways you can build your self-worth and gain a little happiness by doing something worthwhile.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Understanding

Do you ever find yourself putting people down simply because they are different from you? Do you criticize them for their actions or their clothes of the way they look? Maybe you don’t criticize them out loud, but you are thinking to yourself, “This person is really weird!” or “What a nerd!”

Most of the time, when we put others down, we don’t really understand who they are or what their lives are really all about. This lack of understanding is what causes so many disharmonies in the world, whether that disharmony is between races, religions, or groups of friends at school.

There’s an old American proverb that goes like this:

Never criticize a man until you’ve walked a mile in his moccasins.

Next time you are tempted to put someone down who is different from you, try putting yourself in his or her shoes first

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Overcoming Self-Pity

We all have times when we feel sorry for ourselves. Maybe things aren’t going well at home. Maybe we’ve lost a friend. Maybe someone else succeeded where we failed. Most human beings have bouts of self-pity.  American poet Maya Angelou says, “Self-pity in its early stages is as snug as a feather mattress. Only when it hardens does it become uncomfortable.”

It’s true. In the beginning, it can really feel good to feel sorry for ourselves…like it feels good to be in a snug bed. But watch out. When we wallow in self-pity too long, it starts to harden around us. Self-pity can become a self-made prison, locking us away from all the real possibilities of life.

Talk to those that love you and then make a list of the things you are grateful for.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Nonviolence

We live in a violent world. Young people are hospitalized or die every day as a result of violence. Perhaps you’ve been touched by violence or maybe you know someone who has.  Pope John Paul II has these words to say to those individuals who act violently: “The cruelty of violence leads nowhere. No good is obtained by contributing to its growth. Seek the roads of dialogue and not those of violence.”

His plea is for us human beings to communicate with each other and to create a dialogue, to talk about the things that concern us all, instead of resorting to violence.

If something is upsetting you and you feel you are angry enough to last out, talk to somebody you trust. Seek the road of dialogue and not violence.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Respect

Do you ever find yourself being a little arrogant with others? How about laughing at others’ weaknesses or faults? Lord Chesterfield once noticed that young people are tempted to show off by making comments about other people’s weaknesses. He says: “You may get a laugh for the present; but you will make enemies by it. Even those who laugh with you then, after thinking about it will dislike you. If you have a with use it to please, and not hurt”.

Today, don’t be tempted to look for what’s wrong in others and then make fun of it. When you do, you lose self-respect and the respect of others.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Golden Rule

Rodney Dangerfield famous words, “I can’t get no respect” Russian novelist Dostoevsky said: “If you want to be respected, remember this: You are capable of treating others as you would want to be treated. You are also capable of being a responsible and caring citizen, and you are capable of honesty and courage”.

Today, remember this: If you allow the Golden Rule and act responsibly… if you are kind and honest and show courage when you need it… you will have all the self-respect you need and others will respect you in return.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Diversity

We live in a country rich in diversity. Some say it’s our diversity that makes America great. Barbara Jordan once gave a speech, here is part of it: “America is strong because of its diversity. Our history tells us this is true. “E Pluribus Unum” was a good motto in the early days of our country and it is a good motto today. From the many, one. It’s what makes us Americans”.

Today, remember this: Our country is strong because of its great diversity, so honor the diversity here at our school. It’s what makes America great!

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Brotherhood

After the L.A. riots, award-winning investigative reporter K.W. Lee was given the Humanitarian Award from the City of Los Angeles for his efforts to bring peace between the Korean-American and African-American communities. He also received a liver transplant. After his surgery he wrote: “My new liver may have belonged to an African-American, or a Latino, or Anglo. What does it matter? We are tangled in an unbroken human chain of interdependence and mutual survival.”

In other words, we are all part of the human family and depend on each other to survive.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Dreams

Have you ever thought about why some people succeed despite many obstacles? Rear Admiral Anthony Watson is one of those people. As a child, he lived in one of the toughest housing projects in Chicago.  Yet, he grew up to become one of only five senior officers at the Pentagon to monitor worldwide events. He had a dream of something better, and he worked hard to reach his dream.

Rev. Jesse Jackson said: “Dreams must be free to flee and fly high… You should never agree to surrender your dreams”.

Today and every day keep your dreams alive and let them fly high! Your dreams can pave the way to your success.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Listening

Do you know someone who’s a good listener, or someone who listens so well that you feel cared for simply because he or she is listening?

We all need to be listened to. It helps us to feel understood. It can also help us work out our problems. The problem is, there are too many talkers in the world and not enough listeners. There’s an old Turkish proverb that goes: “Having two ears and one tongue, we should listen twice as much as we speak”.

Be kind and be a good listener. Every time you see two ears, let them remind you to listen twice as much.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Dreams

What’s the craziest dream you’ve ever had? Have you ever dreamed of walking on Mars? Living under water?

These dreams sound pretty ridiculous, right? But let’s think about it. Many of the things that we take for granted today sounded ridiculous before their time—electricity, holograms. Spanish educator and philosopher Miguel Unamuno once said: “Only he who attempts the absurd is capable of achieving the impossible”.

Keep your dreams alive. Remember that what seems impossible today may be ordinary tomorrow.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Knowledge

There are a lot of thieves in the world.  They’ll take anything of value- your money or your stereo. They’ll even take the jacket of your back. But there are some things that cannot be stolen.

Listen to this message from Bhavabhuti, the great Indian writer and priest who lived in the eighth century.

“Knowledge is a jewel. To have knowledge is to have great riches. It cannot be destroyed by others. It cannot be stolen by thieves. You cannot lose knowledge by giving it away. “

Today, take a moment to be grateful for all the knowledge you are gaining here at school.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Nonviolence

Do you ever wish you could wave a magic wand and end all the problems in our country? Do you ever wish you could stop all the crime and all the senseless killing?

Listen to these words from American clergyman William Channing: “The great hope of society is individual character”.

If we hope to sole the serious problems our society is facing today, we must each one do our individual part. We must build our character muscles by developing a strong set of principles. Be honest, kind, and patient with ourselves and others.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Prejudices

We all prejudge things. Prejudging any person is a mistake, because all human beings are unique and unrepeatable.

Today, if you catch yourself prejudging someone because of his or her appearance or religion or race, remember these words from Henry David Toreau: “It is never too late to give up your prejudices.”

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Gratitude

It’s so easy to take for granted all the little things we enjoy every day.  I am sure that today you are wearing something made out of cotton. Think about it. A whole bunch of people worked very hard so you would have clothes to wear to school today- farmers, field hands, factory workers, retailers, salespeople, and your parents to purchase them.

Be aware of all the people and hard work behind the things you enjoy every day and give little thanks.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

Aspirations/Goals

Listen to the words of Mr. Browning: “Our aspirations are out possibilities”.

If we aim for great things in life they are possible. If you want to be a doctor one thing is for certain, the possibilities are there, but you will never become a doctor unless you aim to be one.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Wisdom

On the second day of each new year, the Japanese celebrate Kakizome. Each family member writes a proverb or a few words of wisdom on a long strip of paper which they later hang up in their homes.

Let’s follow this ancient Japanese tradition and write down your favorite inspirational quote. Write only words that are intended to uplift or empower others.  Then remember this ancient Japanese proverb: “Knowledge without wisdom is a load of books on a fool’s back.”

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Respect/Courtesy

George Washington once wrote down his own personal rules of behavior. This is one of them: “Use no reproachful language against anyone, neither curse nor revile.”

In today’s language, Mr. Washington might tell us that we should not our words to hurt, abuse, or curse others.

We all know that using bad language at school will get you into trouble. Whether on campus or not, think about this: The language you use is a reflection of your character. Respect yourself enough to avoid bad language, and be considerate of others when speaking to them.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Freedom

There’s an old American proverb that goes like this: “If we lose our freedom, we have nothing else to lose”.

Whether we are Jewish, Christian, Muslim, or Buddhist, celebrating freedom is something we should do every day.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Appreciation

You celebrated Mother’s Day a few weeks ago. It is a day set aside to honor mothers, grandmothers, and those who have been like a mother to us. Anne Taylor once said: “Who ran to help me when I fell, and would some pretty story tell, or kiss the place to make it well? My mother.

So remember who mothers you not just on one day a year but all throughout your life. Spend some time thinking about all the little things your mother, grandmother, aunt, or step mom have done for you.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Choices

Are you counting the days? Summer vacation is almost here. It’s time for ice cream, swim suits, bare feet, and summer fun? Just think about all that free time. What are you going to do with all the time on your hands?

Well, here’s our bulletin. We want you to use your time wisely. We want you to make wise choices and exercise good judgment. And because there will probably be more opportunities than usual to get into trouble, we want you to think carefully before you act, and consider all the consequences of your actions. And remember these words from the French: “From a short pleasure comes a long repentance”.

Or from a few moments of fun, you could have a long period of feeling ashamed and wishing you had made a wiser choice. This summer, make choices you will be proud of later. Don’t risk a lifetime of regrets for a few moments of pleasure.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Try Hard/Prepare

You don’t appreciate a lot of stuff in school until you get older.  As you know from school it’s when you have not prepared for the test that you have fear of failing. And if you have prepared, even if you fail, you’ve done your best. Never give up on yourself but try as hard as you can.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Making a Difference

Each of us is called to make the world a better place. Your lives must be creative. We must create new ideas, new solutions, new relationships, and new ways of making the world a better place. The question for each of us is, do our actions somehow make the world better?

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Purpose/Uniqueness

At some point in our lives, most of us will ask the questions, what’s life all about? Why am I here?>

We are here to contribute to the world in some positive way, to make the world a little better. That’s why every life is important. Every human being holds the possibility for doing something wonderful in the world.

Charles Allen says it this way: “Remember that you are needed. There is at least one important work to be done that will not be done unless you do it.”

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Dreams

What are your dreaming for tomorrow? How do you envision yourself in the future? Will you be a winner, a real champion? Mohammed Ali once said: “Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them- a desire, a dream, a vision.

If you want to be a real winner tomorrow start dreaming the dream today.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Honor

Society should use this word more often… HONOR. A person with honor is honest, truthful, and strives to do the right thing. They have dignity and is respected by others. Are you an honorable human being? Ancient philosopher says:”All men have in themselves that which is truly honorable”.

Think about ways you can become a more honorable person, and while you’re at it, think about ways you can support others in being the honorable human beings they are meant to be.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

Respect

How do you like to be treated? Do you like to be treated with kindness, with respect? So ask yourself how do I treat others? Do I treat them with respect, kindness, am I generous? John F Kennedy once said: “Every American ought to have the right to be treated as he would wish to be treated”.

So remember the Golden Rule and treat others as only you want to be treated.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.

 

As you start to plan your Summer vacation don’t forget to think safety first. Do not risk your life by making wrong choices. Think back to all the positive things you’ve learned this year and how much you’ve grown. Have a SAFE and FUN Summer! See you next year.

To our graduating students, Good Luck as you pursue your next career

LAST DAY OF SCHOOL

It’s that long-awaited day- the last day of school! Some of you have made big plans for the Summer, special vacations, trips to grandma’s house, or camping. Some of you may be in summer school or have summer jobs. But, don’t forget to exercise your brain a little. We want you to remember how to use them. Whatever you planned for the summer, remember these words of Joseph Addison: “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”

If you are a graduate and are preparing yourself for college, military, or work never give up on your dreams. You can reach anything you set your mind to do with a little effort.

Have a safe and happy summer.

“BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD”.