A monthly e-zine of the British Institute of Sathya Sai Education www.ssehv.org.uk
Welcome to the December 2005 issue of our monthly e-zine.
Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to send Season's Greetings to all our readers and wish everyone a very Happy New Year.
Developing the 'Morality Quotient' in Children
Based on excerpts from a speech given this year by Dr. Art-ong Jumsai, former NASA Scientist, and founder of the Institute of Sathya Sai Education, Thailand.
Priority to Values
On the other hand, if instead of that construction, the teacher tells them that the farmer has a son to whom he gives seven cows because he loves him very much, in addition to helping subtract, it will develop the value of love in the students.
Person Who Loves Cannot Be Violent"
Love is the basis of all human values because someone who loves himself and others will have inner peace that leads to rectitude and peace. 'The person who loves cannot be violent' is a common phrase used in SSEHV.
SSEHV follows the principles that education should form and strengthen the following values in the child: illumination, duty, devotion, understanding, character, action, gratitude, integrity, unity and nobility.
Interaction with The Community - A Must For Every School
It is important for schools to be in constant interaction with the community. Parents and society should be attentive to what happens in schools. They should know the teachers and know how they are teaching the classes, what and how they teach.
All the information the children receive is stored in their memory and remains in the subconscious, so if they are treated badly, when they are grown that information will come to the surface and they will want to take revenge or treat others badly. On the contrary, if children receive love, respect, gratitude and other values, as adults they will treat others in the same way.
By Example - The Best Rule
The mission of the Sathya Sai philosophy is to educate to transform, under a system that advocates the development of all human potential, strengthening character and the personality of the student and to renew their individual and social commitment.
- An Inner Journey
Graduates of the schools that promote this philosophy are outstanding because they become men and women with unity of thought, word and action, living lives guided by human values. They are sensitive, loving, truthful and happy; respecting the environment and able to develop their own potential. They are also committed to their personal, family and social development.
Did you know that last year the UK charity, Parentline Plus, took over 100,000 phone calls from parents concerned about issues ranging from bullying to underage sex?
In a report published by the organisation, most of those who rang said that their children's behaviour was the biggest problem. But the charity said because parenting is "so private and intimate" parents were unwilling to admit publicly how difficult it can be.
"As a result, many feel unable to ask for help which could make significant improvements to their lives and the lives of their children," the report said.*
In today's busy, stressful world, good parenting - which requires time and patience - is not always easy . Parenting should be seen as a skill to learn rather than an instinct we are born with.
The SSEHV Parenting Course is designed to provide parents and parents-to-be with practical values-based skills to make the home a happier and more secure place. Through a mixture of presentations and experiential activities such as role play, discussion, inner reflection, games and silent sitting, participants are encouraged to explore their inner motivations and the forces which influence the behaviour of their family members. Students are able to experience each of the five Human Values and gain an understanding of their fundamental importance for parenting, and indeed for all human relationships.
The workshop is carried out in a non-threatening environment where participants are encouraged to take part to the extent they feel comfortable. Frequent breaks and group activities enable every participant to interact and establish strong personal relationships.
The course consists of seven sessions of 2.5 hours each which take place over seven consecutive weeks on either a week or week-end day, or three full consecutive days, particularly at the same time as children's Holiday Schools. If you would like to organise a Parenting Course in your area, please contact Pamela Nash. A minimum of ten participants is required.
you to all those who responded to this call for help in last month's issue.
We now have people collaborating on this vitally important project who
are based in many countries around the globe including Zambia, Mauritius,
France, Belgium, Mexico and the USA. It is wonderful to think that so
many people in so many places are generously giving their time and skills
and in so doing, forming a human values chain around the world. Sometimes
it's easy to think that we live our lives in isolation, but in fact the
practice of human values and the supply of safe drinking water in any
part of the globe affect all of us. This really is a global project!
The African Institute of Sathya Sai Education, TAISSE, is currently working with UN HABITAT to provide SSEHV to schools, teacher training colleges and community and government organisations in 15 African countries, as part of UN HABITAT's 'Water for African Cities' programme. By deploying values education at the grass-roots level, problems affecting access to clean water - including pollution, corruption, theft, waste and poor hygiene - can be effectively tackled, thereby helping to alleviate water shortages and water borne diseases which cause so much suffering in many of Africa's poorest nations.
This mammoth undertaking is generating an enormous quantity of written material in the form of feasibility studies, training manuals, workshop reports, etc. As half the countries involved in the project are French speaking, there is an urgent need for translators who are fluent in both French and English and able to translate in either direction.
you have excellent written French and English, and would like to help
this extremely important project by giving a few hours a week to help
with translation, please contact Jo Pratt on firstname.lastname@example.org
or tel: +44 208 699 6566.
Information Sharing Corner
Welcome, to what we hope will be a regular new feature of this Newsletter. We often receive emails from people who would like to use this monthly e-zine to request help from others on human values/teaching related projects in different countries. We start with a couple of such requests received from readers in Canada and India. Please email your requests to email@example.com , and we will do our best to publish them.
Ranji Gupta from Canada, has contacted us, seeking information and ideas about teaching time management to children aged nine to twelve years. If you have any material that would be of use to Ranji, please contact her via email to: Rajni.Gupta@pwgsc.gc.ca .
We have also received a request from Vijaya Lakshmi (firstname.lastname@example.org), in India, who would like to obtain any teaching material on the topics of purity, patience and perseverance. He would be pleased to hear from anyone who can help in this regard.
Training Update: 2006
The following courses are confirmed for the early part of 2006. Please email the named contact next to each, if you would like further information, or to participate.
Foundation Training - Stratford, East London: 11th, 18th, 25th February, 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th March. Contact: Pamela Nash .
Easter Intensive Foundation Course - Broadstairs, Kent: 1st - 6th April. Contact: Pamela Nash .
Parenting Course - Leicester, 5th & 19th March, 2nd & 23rd April, 7th & 21st May. Contact: Michele White .
"Found one!" Timmy yelled holding up his find to show the others.
"'Bout time Wow! What a whopper!"
Timmy held the chestnut in his hand. The sun caught the deep brown surface and it shone beautifully. It almost looked good enough to eat.
"Bet that'll be a champion. Well done, Timmy, lucky you!"
Timmy smiled at his brother and stuffed the large conker into his coat pocket. The others had found a lot of conkers. Some even had bags full. All of them were eager to win the annual school conker championships. Every year some children tried to find ways of making their conkers harder, to withstand the continuous knocking from others and so become the champion, the strongest conker of all. Some children tried to dry or bake their conkers and others even tried to drill holes into them and fill them with cement. However, they never won. It was realised that the only true champion conkers grew naturally and they were the biggest and ripest ones to fall from the tree.
Tim sat down on the tree roots leaning his back against the trunk. His hand held the conker in his pocket. He could feel the smooth surface against his fingers and he knew that his conker was special.
Two bigger children joined the group. They had already been and collected conkers, but they wanted some more.
"Let's see what you've got," one demanded. He peered into the bag that was offered up for his inspection. "They're not worth anything," he scoffed, "Is that the biggest you have got?"
"Well Timmy found the biggest. He's got it in his pocket."
Timmy watched as the boy walked over towards him scowling.
"Show me," the boy said, leering down over him.
Timmy held the conker in his clenched fist. He knew that the boy was a bully and if he took the conker out from his pocket the boy was likely to snatch it from him.
The boy glared down at Timmy, a flash of anger on his face. For a moment everything was tense and still, then to Timmy's relief the boy relaxed. "Suit yourself," he said turning to his companion with a shrug. "This kid has found a whopper. There must be more than one, so let's find the others."
"But Si. We've looked everywhere."
The larger boy scowled again. "Then they must be on the tree. Come on. Let's knock them down."
He hunted for a large stick and began to jump up at the overhanging branches, lashing out at the conkers still hanging from the tree.
Timmy jumped, startled. With his back against the tree trunk he was sure that he had felt the tree shudder.
The bigger boy began to get more frustrated. The conkers were beyond his reach and because they were not properly ripe, were stuck fast to the branches. He decided to try a new tactic and, gathering stones, began to hurl them at the tree.
Tim jumped again as he felt a deep rumble beneath him. He could feel the pain of the tree as energy rushed through the tree trunk leaving his back prickling with heat. He flew to his feet.
Surprised by his outburst the boy stood still in amazement. Timmy went red in the face but something within him was stirring him to take action and speak his truth.
"You're hurting the tree. Don't you realise that this tree is a living organism and is sensitive to pain?"
boy gathered himself together. He didn't want to lose face through being
shown up by this slip of a child and so picked up another stone. "Yeah,
right! Sure this lump of wood has got feelings!" He threw back his
arm ready to launch his missile.
A sudden gust of wind blew around the tree. It blew through the leaves causing them to move and rustle and around the branches causing them to creak and clap together. The entire tree appeared to come to life, one moving mass of energy and sound.
The boy stood still in amazement.
"See," said Timmy. "Just because the tree doesn't talk like you and me, just because it doesn't walk and move around them same way we do, doesn't mean that it isn't alive and has feelings."
Timmy felt his conker grow hot in his hand, he took it out from his pocket and reluctantly held it out to the boy. "Here. Don't hurt the tree anymore. You can have my conker."
The boy looked down at Timmy's intense face and at the beautiful conker in his hand. Part of him wanted to snatch it. He could see that it was a special conker and was bound to win all the school tournaments. However, he shook his head.
"Thanks, Tim, but no. It's OK. I had no idea." He looked up at the tree which once again stood motionless and held out his hand to the trunk. He felt the rough bark etched with markings of growth and he studied the gnarled trunk that reflected the tree's history and experiences. As he focused on the tree, the boy became motionless too, transfixed, as if he was part of the tree himself, part of its stillness and experience. Slowly a large smile began to spread across his face and he seemed happy and content as he took his hand away. All his previous anger and tension seeming to have melted from him. "Wow! I felt the tree talk. I could feel a subtle pulsation beneath my fingers and my hand went all hot. Isn't it amazing!"
Timmy smiled, " And to think," he said. "All that started from one seed just like this!" he held out his conker as it glistened and gleamed. "Magic!"
The other boy grinned. "That really is a beauty Tim. Let's plant it and we can watch it grow. Maybe in the future it will be as large and as amazing as this tree."
Timmy agreed, "Let's!"
The tree responded, rustling its leaves and gently swaying its branches in approval.
Why were the children collecting conkers?
Copyright © 2005 British Institute of Sathya Sai Education (BISSE). BISSE is a non-profit organisation committed to promoting human values in education.
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