Yesterday The World Erupted. How Do We Handle “The Day After”?

American citizens talk about the day after 9/11 almost as much as they talk about the tragedy itself. Why is that? What makes the day after such a big deal?

The day after 9/11 might have been written into history as the most unified moment the US has ever seen. Songs, poems, literature and FaceBook posts tell us that everyone came together on that day. Actions were taken. Changes were implemented in record speeds at airports.

Of course, that narrative leaves out how our Muslim brothers and sisters were faring at this time..

20 years later, here we are again at the day after. Will we do better this time? Will we come together to condemn the violent actors? Will we take action? Make change? And this time, can we create change to be antiracist, anti-islamophobic, antibiased while we are at it?

It can feel overwhelming to think about changing the world, but I absolutely believe that if we understood the depth of our own capabilities, we would be shook to the core. Like they say, even little actions can have great consequences. So that is what I am here to brainstorm with you today. What can we do today that WILL have an effect on improving the world.

Go comment on this post to let me know what you will do on this “day after” to make the world a better place and give ideas and inspiration to others!

Serve / Volunteer

Find out what areas in your city need help. Is there a homeless shelter, a food storage facility, Red Cross, or Salvation Army that is in need of hands?

A great source for finding out where your family can safely serve is JustServe.org with lists of all kinds of needs in your community, including a specific section of COVID-safe service opportunities.

Learn / Educate

Know the facts!! So much of the chaos we have seen in our country is based on misinformation (which definition is absurd to me that people would intentionally spread false information. Yes, people do this for fun. Don’t trust everything on the internet!) fearmongering, and a lack of education among the population about how to navigate finding creditable sources. Educators have an especially difficult responsibility to teach students how to do this and point them to good sources.

When reading about current events, always check multiple sources, different view points, make sure the source is reliable, and then fact check it at a site like Snopes.com

Create

Whether you paint posters, bake, build something, plant something, race your car for a cause, sell artwork or clothing with good messages, or write out your thoughts in a book, there is a talent YOU have that can be used to make this world a better place. Be creative about sharing what you stand for!

Share the Good

Use that social media account for GOOD! Condemn the hate and then encourage love and change. Choose your words carefully. Don’t respond right away. If you feel angry about something, type your answer five times before you allow yourself to hit “SEND”.

Meditate / Pray

Finally, find some time to clear your mind every day. Focus on bringing your energy back to a positive place so you can give positive energy back to those around you.

This yoga game is being sold individually starting today in hopes of encouraging us all to take a moment and say out loud, “I BRAVE I AM THOUGHTFUL I AM POWERFUL” before we go off and change this big, old, messy world.

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Yoga Game

Little yogis will spin for each turn and hold the pose or say the phrase chosen until their next turn. As players finish the game, they will give support to other players still on the map.

$2.00

These are the steps I’ll be focusing on this week to help make sure that in all the chaos, I am able to see right from wrong and stand up for what I believe in. What will you do to make the world a better place? I would love to hear from you on the Instagram post listed above, where your ideas might just help me inspire others to act.

Multicultural Holidays to Acknowledge and Learn About This January

Are you ready for another month of celebrating diversity?! Whether you’re at home or school with kids, teaching your children about people around the world, or opening up conversations about people’s differences, celebrating all those differences is a necessary step towards curing the plague of racism we see. Remember, it is not racist to talk about racism. It is not cultural appropriation to become culturally intelligent.

If you’re new to the Multicultural Holidays Subscription here, I began creating these activities when a teacher friend reached out asking how in the world to choose multicultural holidays to display in her classroom regularly. I quickly came up with a list of holidays around the world and got to work. My greatest hope with this subscription is that teachers especially will use it to analyze how many of their students are left out when Christian holidays are generally the only ones acknowledged by schools. Whether you play the games in class, hang up the posters, or send home coloring pages and crafts just for fun, this subscription will help your students feel more included and connected with their class in simple ways.

But it’s not only for public school teachers. The activities and games are meant to be fun and engaging no matter your place of antibias learning! Homeschoolers have repeatedly shared how much they love these simple games and stories that allow their children to talk about people and cultures around the world.

Which holidays are included this January?

I repeatedly mentioned in December that winter holidays are so fun because there is so much focus on lighting up the dark world at this time, and January is no different! This month we are kicking right off with races, singing, and new years wishes in the Scottish Hogmanay style. Then we’ll head all the way to India for the Pongal festival and Makar Sankranti to feast and fly kites together! We’ll come to the USA to learn about MLK Day and kickstart Black History Month a couple weeks early with inspirational quotes, stories, posters, and more!

What grade levels is this appropriate for?

These games and activities are fun and simple enough to be scaffolded especially from preschool to third grade! While it’s not designed specifically for older kids, I also include a few things that an entire family could enjoy for those who use it at home whether its a printable board game, an active/moving game, or cards and posters. (And often, all of the above.)

Sneak Peak!

Here is just some of what you can expect in this month’s subscription!

Buy it HERE!

Here is the January edition, or head over to buy the Full Year Subscription for only $6 a month!

January Multicultural Holidays

This month we are kicking right off with races, singing, and new years wishes in the Scottish Hogmanay style. Then we’ll head all the way to India for the Pongal festival and Makar Sankranti to feast and fly kites together! We’ll come to the USA to learn about MLK Day and kickstart Black History Month a couple weeks early with inspirational quotes, stories, posters, and more!

$7.00

What’s included in these 50 pages:
Hogmanay = 4 videos and 2 read alouds, first footing active race game, Auld Lang Syne song lyrics coloring page, Baby New Year wishes tradition
Thai Pongal= 2 read alouds of books by Indian authors, “out with the old” craft creating a paper fire with all things we want to get rid of in the new year, Pongal Pongalo cards, printable mango leaf / team balancing challenge, pongal crossword, reverenced cow coloring page
Makar Sankranti = kite puzzles
MLK Day and (early) Black History Month = 8 read alouds, Black history question wheel, “all men are created equal” coloring page, preamble to the constitution poster, trace “the time is always right to do what is right” quote, “Be a KING” tracing/coloring poster, Who’s Quote is it Anyway?, 9 posters of people from Black history and mini card matching games

What Is Bodhi Day, And Who Celebrates It?

“Bodhi” is the Sanskrit word for “enlightenment”, or “awakening”. Buddhists recognize this day as the day Buddha attained his enlightenment. For a whole month, Buddhists may hang colorful lights to signify his enlightenment, decorate ficus trees with ornaments of the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, and eat rice and milk in memory of the meal Buddha ate after his long fast.

Who is the Buddha?

You have probably seen images and figures of the humble Buddha meditating. But did you know he was actually born a great Prince born in the 5th century BC? Prince Siddartha Guatama was his name. He was raised in a large palace where his father sheltered him from ever witnessing pain, hunger, sickness, or death. It wasn’t until he was a full 29 years old that he determined to leave the palace walls and see the kingdom for himself. His father allowed it, but did his best to make sure all the sick and suffering people were moved out of view of the prince. This is the beginning of what Buddhists know as the Four Gates story.

What is the Four Gates story and its significance?

Like mentioned above, it wasn’t until Siddartha Guatama was 29 years old that he insisted on leaving the palace to view the state of his kingdom. Despite his father’s best efforts, each venture out of the palace he discovered different types of pain and suffering. There were four gates that lead to different areas of the city around the palace. Through one gate he saw sickness, through another he saw an old man, and through the third he saw a corpse. Each of these situations troubled him, but on his fourth trip out of the gate he saw a sramana, whose very existence seemed to have inspired Siddartha to renunciate his title and meditate in search of the answer to the suffering he had been sheltered from for so long.

So Prince Siddartha gave up everything?! And then what?

Well, next came the hunt for enlightenment. He spent six years trying to understand this world and find enlightenment. He tried extreme methods in all directions before finally under the Bodhi tree, it happened.

I will let Rev. Peter Hata’s Dharma Talk explain the significance of this in further detail to you, since he is an expert where I am not as to why this is significant.

What did the Buddha awaken to? In essence, the Buddha awakened to his own ignorance. He saw his ego, symbolized by Mara, for what it really was: an illusion. It is this insight into the true nature of the self—that our ego-self within is the problem—that is the radical and unique teaching of Buddhism.

Rev. Peter hata

How do people celebrate Bodhi day?

Isn’t it beautiful how so much light can be found in the darkest time of the year? Many families today hang lights around their homes, meditate throughout this month, and strive to follow the way of Buddha.

Photo by Prasanth Inturi on Pexels.com

Want to learn about Bodhi Day with your kids?

Try our Multicultural Holidays games and activities! This December, a simple coloring book has been included along with a book and more background to help you start conversations about cultures and beliefs around the world!

Check out these Books About Buddhism