• 92nd International Peace Meditation “For the Children”

    “For the Children”

    August 1, 2004-In each of our lifetimes, if we foster happy, healthy, educated, self-reliant, interdependent, globally aware, kind and caring children, not only will we feel fulfilled, but our life will be a blessing to the world.

    ‘Save the children’ is a motto we may often hear. But “foster the children to become empowered citizens in a democratic world” is a vision which we may want to adopt to shape our personal, religious, corporate, and governmental missions.

    In all areas, the International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc. seeks to raise the human condition. We, all of us who are part of the human empowerment community, work to elevate the lives of all people within our personal lives, and within our work lives. Many of us use our jobs to do our Work. Our Work is not our job. Our Work is our life purpose, and we may use our jobs to be the vehicle through which we accomplish our Work.

    This definition gives us another way of looking at our work lives. Whether we do physical labor, provide policy recommendations, assist others through customer service, or lead large corporations, we have an opportunity to devote our lives to our spiritual purpose by using our employment as an opportunity to serve.

    A friend recently told me that in her job in a state government agency she helps parents learn how to navigate the school system for their children. I told her that I recognized that she was using her job to do her Work. While one of her responsibilities is to provide information to parents on how to prepare a governmental appeal when situations are not resolved at the school level, she was going an extra mile, using her position to help parents foster the educational development of their children by getting personally involved in decisions affecting them. She was helping parents to become empowered while fostering good relations between the parents and the school. This is an important part of helping parents help their children. In her capacity as a state official, she was fulfilling her responsibilities while doing her Work. This definition-doing our Work through our job–helps to give meaning and purpose to any job that we do. We can grace our work with our spiritual Work.

    Recently I had the opportunity to finish my doctorate in education. After many years as a mother, teacher, and educational administrator, without the time or resources to devote to getting this degree I so badly wanted, I retired from the State Education Department due to medical reasons. However, this life detour brought me a wonderful opportunity. I had already completed a Masters Degree, and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration and Supervision, in addition to other graduate credits. The last part of this life goal, the completion of a doctorate, was physically out of reach. However, technology is providing new opportunities for many people, and it can be especially helpful to those with a disability. My lifelong dream was realized through an online university when the current educational structures would not have been a viable option. Online learning is empowering to those with disabilities or other barriers to gaining a college education.

    During my doctoral studies, I reconnected with a Teacher/Coordinator, and Superintendent, from a school district in Southern Rural Albany County in New York, who had been doing very promising work when I had visited them several years ago in my capacity as a government official. The Berne-Knox-Westerlo School District has made remarkable advances in empowering all students to succeed. A study of their work was used as a part of my doctoral dissertation. As a result, the International Institute For Human Empowerment is promoting their strategy of linked services from multiple service providers that can be adapted to many, if not all, situations to support student healthy development and academic success. Their educational leadership that envisioned, and then realized, these remarkable student outcomes is the result of two people going beyond the requirements of the job, and realizing their Work through their jobs. Their dedication to their students led them to go the extra mile and create new relationships with others who serve children and families, resulting in powerful positive changes in students’ lives.

    Making life better for children through families, education, healthcare, spirituality, service, caring-this is the Work for many of us. Through our families, community organizations, and our jobs in all capacities, we can find ways to empower our children to succeed-We can “foster healthy development and lifelong learning.”

    This poem was written and copyrighted in 1992, but its message is relevant today.

    “The Children”

    The children are gathering, all ready to sing
    With hearts full of wonder, Love’s message to bring
    And we, far to busy, as holidays draw near
    The sweet sound of singing seem never to hear.

    The children are crying-their only alarm,
    For warning the grown world of impending harm
    But tied up in working, too tired to give heed,
    We continue the treadmill ignoring their need.

    The children are laughing; it must be a game
    Frivolous, indecent, and bringing ’bout shame
    We must not allow it-it surely is bad
    Let’s stop all this laughing before the world’s mad.

    The children are dying; won’t we ever take heed?
    They’re starving for love till they’re starting to bleed.
    The world’s changed around us; we weren’t prepared
    The children now need us as never compared.

    The children, still singing, in spite of their pain
    Defenseless against the world’s horrid gain
    They’re singing of love, of hope and joy
    Promised to every girl and boy

    For still they believe in what they’ve been told
    That the world’s a safe place for hearts that still hold
    To families, schools, institutions of worth
    That to them were promised by virtue of birth.

    They’re looking to us and trusting they’ll find
    Safety, happiness, peace of mind
    Can we do less than give them our best?
    Endeavor to help them meet bravely life’s test?

    The children are singing-pure, innocent joy
    Welling up in each color of girl, of boy
    Singing of love that truly they’ll find
    For we’ll never stop working for their peace of mind.

    Sue Kidd Shipe

    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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