• 81st International Peace Meditation “Be Still and KNOW”

    “Be Still and KNOW”

    Including a new Resource Guide for Children and Youth
    “Valuing Diversity” for “International Unity Day” on 9/11

    September 7, 2003 — Welcome to the 81st International Peace Meditation. This is a Meditation for all people, regardless of philosophy or religious belief. It is without the boundaries often represented by race, geography, religion, lifestyle, class, handicapping condition, or age. It is designed to assist in meeting the spiritual needs of all people. So, please join us now, and the first Sunday of every month, as we grow together in Wisdom, Love, and Peace.

    ‘Be Still and KNOW’. KNOWLEDGE is the action of internal KNOWING. It is only through stillness and reverence for the unknown that it can be attained. Knowledge is KNOWING when our worldly knowledge fails. KNOWLEDGE is a sense of KNOWING when everyone else sees the same thing differently. KNOWLEDGE is what can guide us in the spiritual direction that brings us peace.

    Be still and KNOW. What can we learn from the devastating events of 9/11? What can we KNOW about that event? What can we take with us that will turn the hideous terrorist acts into positive learning? And what can we teach the children that will make a positive impact in their lives?

    Most of us wonder at what could possibly cause terrorists to act. We wonder if it is the sense of being left out as those with greater comforts and choices succeed. We wonder what could make them hate to the point of killing innocent people they never knew, nor would have known.

    We wonder what can be within the hearts of humans that they are capable of such despicable acts. And we wonder how we can avoid a recurrence in the future.

    We wonder how many children we don’t know are learning to hate also. We wonder if that means a future of more terrorism for our world. We wonder if we can teach our children to trust. And we wonder if we should teach them to trust.

    We search for meaning and understanding, and it fails us. And we attempt to explain to children what we do not understand ourselves.

    As we grapple for meaning, we often turn to our spiritual leaders for inspiration and direction. But sometimes, when the questions are too big for human understanding, we have only our internal KNOWING to which to turn.

    And, perhaps, that is the blessing in the midst of the chaos and pain. When we fail to listen to what can only be accessed through prayer or meditation, then the answers do not come. We continue to react with what we have learned, and that is often to repeat or increase the violence. We need to remember that, ‘We cannot destroy violence. We can only create peace.’

    This year as we once again approach the anniversary of the terrorist bombing of the U. S. World Trade Centers and the Pentagon, let’s begin by remembering all those who were lost. Let’s vow that they did not die in vain. Let’s begin to turn this devastating event into a day that not only marks our pain and loss, but also begins to build a more peaceful and understanding world. Let’s mark September 11 annually as “International Unity Day”.

    Small celebrations have already begun. Morgantown , West Virginia was the first city to proclaim “International Unity Day”. But international unity is a worldview and as such needs to be marked in the hearts and minds of people of all countries. Desire for unity is the desire to live peacefully with others both known and unknown to us. Desire for peace is a reason for each of us to teach children self-respect, and then respect for others.

    Below you will find a Resource Guide for Children and Youth designed especially for helping children each September 11. Use the Guide to help children and youth focus on positive actions, rather than horrific images. Whether you are home with your children, at school, or in community organizations, there is something here that you can do that will help bring a positive action out of the pain of human loss.

    This International Peace Meditation, on September 7, let us remember those who died. But let us also seek healing of our spirit within the KNOWLEDGE that we all carry. Let’s find time for stillness, the stillness that brings understanding and healing. And let’s remember all those who still suffer the pain of loss of loved ones, and continue to seek meaning for their lives, and the lives of those lost.

    And then, let’s create together a new resolve to turn this fateful day into a promise of peace. Let’s celebrate each September 11 as “International Unity Day”.

    A new Resource Guide for Children and Youth follows below. For more information and suggestions for “International Unity Day”, go to www.humanempowerment.org and click on the turning globe. Find out what you can do to help begin to build a positive memorial that helps us to bring about a lasting peace.


    Designed to be used alone, or for “INTERNATIONAL UNITY DAY”

    This Resource Guide is designed to serve children in Kindergarten through Grade 12, or used in families, Churches, Temples, Mosques, or community organizations with children and Youth Ages 5 -18.

    Purpose: These materials are being published so that they might assist in bringing about a unified world culture based upon respect and mutual understanding, while maintaining what is unique with each individual and group. You may choose activities appropriate for your unique setting, yet the essence of the message should be retained. It is important when understanding diversity that one begins with love of self, moves to love of others who are similar, and evolves to love of those who are different from oneself. Therefore, the curriculum outline will be arranged in a manner to move at all levels through these three areas:

    Valuing and accepting oneself
    Valuing and accepting others of similar culture
    Valuing and accepting others of all cultures

    This Resource Guide for Children and Youth has been developed from the perspective of one who has studied and promoted self-esteem at all age levels, and who believes in the inherent good of every person. This innate goodness is to be developed and enhanced, and serves as the basis for acceptance of others.

    Diversity, as it is used here, is the valuing of all people. It is more than tolerance. It is more than acceptance. It is placing value upon the ideas and beliefs and traditions of all, while embracing them into one total culture. Therefore, the work of “Valuing Diversity” is dedicated to all people, with the earnest desire that each may learn to love and value himself/herself, and extend that respect and caring to all others. In this will be the true unification of a global culture.

    It may be anticipated that this experience of “Valuing Diversity” will foster the social development of all participants as members of the global community.

    The following outline for the development of your “Valuing Diversity” curriculum is prepared to guide you through the steps to be used at each grade or age level. The job of the Teacher or Leader is to prepare activities: group discussions, art and music activities, role-playing, projects, school and community activities, that help children/youth to understand and develop these significant concepts. This curriculum outline may be used as:

    1. a guide for activities and learning associated with “International Unity Day”
    2. a guide for year-long planning
    3. a guide for understanding and reflecting on the concept of valuing diversity through demonstrable behavior such as: respect, kindness, openness to positive change, responsibility, goal-development, ability to learn from failure, attitude of community service, and ethical leadership development.

    This Resource Guide for Children and Youth is developed to supplement your current activities, enhance the understanding of both children and adults regarding diversity, and serve as a model for teaching global understanding. It is not to be regarded as the only way to teach diversity, but as simply a method the conscientious parent, teacher, administrator, or community leader can use to initiate a study of diversity, or extend and enrich those activities and resources already in use.

    KINDERGARTEN, or Age 5
    1. Seeing Myself as a Wonderful Person
    2. Seeing You as a Wonderful Person
    3. Exploring My World for Beauty
    4. Finding Beauty in People, Places, and Things to Do
    5. What is Beauty?
    6. Looking for Beauty in My Room/Classroom
    7. Looking for Beauty in My Home
    8. Looking for Beauty in My Community
    9. Looking for Beauty when I Travel
    10. Returning with Stories of What I Have Found

    GRADE 1, or Age 6
    1. Discovering More about Me
    2. Discovering More About You
    3. Why Do People Look Different?
    4. Why Do People Sound Different?
    5. Singing songs of Many People
    6. Listening to Music of Many People
    7. Sharing Stories About Myself
    8. How Am I Different From You?
    9. How are You Different From Others?
    10. How Are We All Alike?

    GRADE 2, Or Age 7
    1. Understanding More About Me
    2. Understanding More About You
    3. Understanding More About Different Kinds of People
    4. How Many Kinds of People Can We Find?
    5. What Are You Like at Home?
    6. What Do You Like to Do?
    7. My Family Is Like This; This is what We Like to Do
    8. Writing About Me
    9. Writing About You
    10. Writing About All the Kinds of People I Have Seen
    11. How Are We Different?
    12. How Are We Alike?
    13. How Can We Love Each Other?

    GRADE 3, or Age 8
    1. Practicing Kindness Toward Myself
    2. Practicing Kindness Toward Others
    3. Practicing Kindness Toward Others Who Are Different from Me
    4. How Do I Feel When I’m Alone?
    5. How Do I Feel When I’m With You?
    6. How Do I Feel When I Am With People Who Are Different?
    7. What Would Make Me Feel More Comfortable?
    8. What Do I Dislike About Other People?
    9. What Do I Like About Other People?
    10. Project: How Can I Create Kindness in my Family, Classroom or Youth Group?

    GRADE 4, or Age 9
    1. My Culture is like This
    2. Your Culture is like This
    3. Other Cultures are like These
    4. I Like My Culture Because. . . .
    5. I Like Your Cultures Because. . . .
    6. I Like these Things about Other Cultures
    7. Project: If I Could Make One Big Culture, This is What I Would Want in It

    GRADE 5, or Age 10
    1. Discovering How People from Other Cultures Live
    2. Discovering How People from Other Cultures See My Culture
    3. Finding out More about Other Cultures, and Choosing What I Like in Each
    4. Finding Other Cultures that I Don’t Know About, and Discovering Their Value
    5. Writing About what an Ideal Culture Might be Like
    6. Creating an Ideal Culture on Another Planet and Writing a Story about What It Might Be Like
    7. Project: Design a Culture that Has the Most Positive Characteristics from Each Culture I Have Studied

    GRADE 6, or Age 11
    1. Why Am I Different?
    2. Looking at Those Influences that have had an Impact on My Life: Family, Friends, Traditions, Beliefs, Values, Culture
    3. Sharing These with Others in my Home, Class, or Youth Group
    4. Learning about Those Influences that have Impacted Them Individually
    5. Project: How Can I Learn to Understand Others by Understanding Myself?

    GRADE 7, or Age 12
    1. I Am Changing
    2. You Are Changing
    3. All of Our Friends Are Changing
    4. What Do I Want to be Like?
    5. What Do I Wish You Could be Like?
    6. How Do I Wish All Others Could Be?
    7. What Do I See that We Could Do to Create Unity in Our Home, School, or Youth Group?
    8. What Do I See that We Could Do to Create Unity Within Our Community and State?
    9. What Am I Willing to Do to Contribute to this Unity?
    10. Project: Develop a Service Project that Promotes Unity in School, Community and/or State

    GRADE 8, or Age 13
    1. Preparing Myself to Move into Responsibility
    2. Seeing You Preparing to Move into Responsibility
    3. Seeing Others Preparing to Move into Responsibility
    4. What is it that I Need Most to Assist Me?
    5. How can I Assist You?
    6. What Can We Do Together to Make the Transition Smooth?
    7. Project: Develop a Book that Shows the Stages of My Life from Infancy to the Present; Develop the Second Half of the Project Showing Myself as an Adult

    GRADE 9, or Age 14
    1. Developing Goals for Myself
    2. Assisting Others Develop Goals
    3. Developing Goals for Our Family, Classroom, or Youth Group
    4. Developing Goals for High School
    5. How Do I See Myself in Four Years?
    6. What Do I Want to Do? What Are My Options?
    7. How is Valuing Myself Going to Assist Me in Meeting My Goals?
    8. Design a Project that Contains Short and Long-Range Goals, and Develop Strategies to Reach These Goals

    GRADE 10, or Age 15
    1. Seeing Myself as a Citizen of the Community
    2. Seeing You as a Citizen of the Community
    3. Seeing Others as Citizens of the Community
    4. How Do I Want My Community to Look?
    5. What Am I Willing to Do to Make That Happen?
    6. Project: Design a Community Where All People Work Together Toward Common Goals

    GRADE 11, or Age 16
    1. How Do I See Myself in Five Years?
    2. Develop Goals for Five Years, and Develop Strategies for Reaching Those Goals
    3. How Do I See Myself in Ten Years? Develop Goals and Strategies.
    4. How Can I Use Failure to Assist Me to Reach My goals?
    5. Write about How Failure has been a Positive in My Life, or How I Can Make It a Positive in My Life.
    6. Look at the Lives of Others and How They Have Overcome Failure
    7. What is Success? How Will I Measure My Success?
    8. What do I Value Most About Me?
    9. What do I Value Most About You and Others?
    10. Develop a Project that Demonstrates how Valuing Self and Others Promotes Success

    GRADE 12, or Age 17
    1. How Do I Assess My Value?
    2. How Do I Assess Your Value?
    3. How Do I Assess the Value of Others?
    4. How Do I Assess My Long-Range Goals? My Short-Range Goals?
    5. How Can I Learn to be Kind to Myself?
    6. How Can I Learn to be Kind to You?
    7. How Can Being Kind to Myself Assist Me to Become Successful?
    8. Project: Develop a Ten-Year Goal with Strategies for Reaching the Goal. List options of attainment that you would consider successful. List those things you would consider a failure. Develop a plan to use that failure to bring you to success.

    GRADUATION, or Age 18
    1. How Can I Assist Myself so that I Can Assist Others?
    2. How Can We Work Together for a Better Community, State, and World?
    3. What Am I Willing to do to Make the World a Better Place?
    4. How Can I Help to Bring Unity to My World?
    5. Project: Design a global culture where all are governed by a world government that promotes peaceful resolution of conflict, individual worth, and opportunity for fulfillment. Using the disciplines of social studies, science, technology, health, language, math, and the arts, create this ideal culture and write about how you would personally contribute to this culture.

    {Copyright (Madelyn) Sue Kidd Shipe
    Former U. S. Public School Teacher and Administrator
    Former Associate in the New York State Education Department}

    We find Knowledge in stillness. We find joy in action. We find fulfillment in contribution. This International Peace Meditation, may we find internal peace in the stillness of prayer/meditation; joy in caring for our loved ones; and fulfillment through establishing an “International Unity Day” in which we remember our loss, and develop our children in the ways of peace.

    We hope you will visit our web site at www.humanempowerment.org and participate in this important mission to bring empowering messages and beliefs to everyone.

    And, only if you are able, please consider contributing to the mission of the International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc. Please give so that others might more fully live.

    Sue Kidd Shipe
    Executive Director

    Please send contributions to:

    International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc.
    P.O. Box 3920
    Albany, New York 12203 USA

    Please make checks or money orders out to:
    International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc.

    The International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc. is a 501 ( C )( 3 ) tax-exempt organization recognized by the United States Government. Your contribution within the USA is tax-exempt.
    Sue Kidd Shipe, Executive Director
    International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc.
    P. O. Box 3920
    Albany, New York  12203   USA
    (518) 393-9491

    Please write and let us know how we can better serve you.

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