“Would you mind if I took this off?” she asked. Boy 412 shook his head. That’s what mothers were for. To fiddle about with your hat.
Grimble sighed. He was going to miss these two. He might miss their questions most of all. It felt so luxurious to be able to ask and answer questions. He had once thought the sweetest taste in the world was that of a freshly killed vole, but now he knew differently. The sweetest thing was a question on the tongue.
The Giggle Book Award goes to: Ninja Bunny by Jennifer Grey Olson!
This is the story about a young bunny who gets a copy of How To Be A Super Awesome Ninja and proceeds to follow the first 10 rules. The results are mixed but most of them result in rather funny failures.
Finally, the little bunny finds himself facing a truly dangerous situation in the form of a large angry bear – with nothing but his book and a broom. It looks bad until all of his bunny friends show up and help him scare off the bear.
This moment of teamwork based success inspires the bunny to toss away his book and rewrite the rule list:
“Ninja Bunny’s 1: A super Awesome ninja needs super awesome friends.”
Rex Hohlbein started allowing homeless people use his office as a place to hang out during the day. This grew into a small and semi-official drop-in-center service where people could come to get out of the weather or pick up needed supplies.
That alone is admirable. Yet, what really stood out to me was the way this project got started because Rex took the time to get to know individuals. He didn’t just set up a charity, he started building relationships with poverty survivors and the network of donations grew out of those relationships. That is truly worthy of admiration.
King Neptune beamed and hugged his smallest child. “My Minnow,” he boasted to he entire kingdom, “is a daring explorer!”
–The Mermaid and the Shoe by K.G. Campbell
Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live. And unselfishness is letting other people’s lives alone, not interfering with them.
It is not selfish to think for oneself. A man who does not think for himself does not think at all.
A red rose is not selfish because it wants to be a red rose. It would be horribly selfish if it wanted all the other flowers in the garden to be both red and roses.
Regina Calcaterra went from surviving an abusive mother and the foster care system to a career in law and politics. Her life is detailed in the memoir Etched In Sand, which I highly recommend reading.
This woman is a tough survivor who has made the best out of the absolute worst. She is also an excellent example of the fierce loyalty children have toward siblings – and just how positive that bond can be.
Ms. Calcaterra also regularly acts as the keynote speaker at various events and I would love to have the opportunity to attend one of these speeches.
The freedom Dividend is an extremely important concept. When people are freed from slavery – or extreme poverty – the entire community is transformed for the better.
Kevin Bales, an internationally recognized expert on modern slavery and freeing people from slavery explains the concept here:
In helping to build sustainable freedom for survivors of slavery, we see that in addition to personal liberation, there is a significant Freedom Dividend – a range of social and economic improvements that occur with the removal of individuals and groups from slavery. This freedom dividend is seen in a number of dimensions, including:
- educational participation in girls and boys,
- increased family incomes and payment of wages,
- initiation of family asset formation
- improved access to health services,
- improved status and greater safety from violence of women and girls
- increased political participation,
- reduced corruption at the local level in terms of access to legal justice and in delivery of social and development services (such as access to water).
In addition, because former slaves are able to participate alongside other citizens in using public services and in local economic activity, there are improvements in social integration.
These benefits are most directly experienced by the former slaves, and they also directly affect the families of returning trafficking survivors. It is also believed (though not so far rigorously tested) that increased incomes and more efficient work practices of people coming out of slavery lead to a general upward spiral in local economic activity (including the incomes of those families who were NOT held in slavery). Also, to the extent that groups of people coming out of slavery achieve changes in government behavior, improvements in rule of law, and reduction of violence against women, this benefits a wider group of citizens.
That night at bedtime Mom and Dad told me how proud they were.
“I’m proud of you too,” said a voice from the doorway.
“Grandma!” I said. “I’m sorry I told you not to be a ninja!”
“No,” said grandma. “I’m through being a ninja anyway.”
“What?” I cried. “You’re just going to be a regular old grandma?”
“I didn’t say that,” she said.
“I’m going to be a pirate instead.”
Happy Day of the Ninja!