Vol. 16, no. 4
September -- October, 2004
Kids Helping Kids
From The Editors
Why is it that just when we get comfortable where we are, things change again? This was the question I asked myself as I drove more than halfway across the country, from Oregon to Indiana for school, leaving behind Skipping Stones, my hometown, and the Korean students I tutored for so long. I looked to the scenery out the window for an answer, but the land only seemed to echo thoughts. As fir trees changed to desert and desert to grassy plains, it seemed to whisper, "Change! Change!"
I was unable to take my eyes off of the landscape whizzing by. The immense beauty and diversity of the country of my birth was striking: the barren desert of Eastern Oregon; the brilliant red rocks of Utah; the green corn fields of Nebraska. Refreshed by each new sight, I began to realize how much I needed the renewal of a change of scene; it wakened my senses as I drove hour after hour, sometimes for as long as 12 hours a day.
So, perhaps the land was hiding an answer to my question after all-we can get too comfortable staying where we are, so comfortable we can fall asleep at the wheel, so to speak. Changing our environment lets us have a change of heart, to see with new eyes and hear with open ears. How much the world longs for us to change and grow as global citizens! As St. Catherine of Siena said, "When we are who we're meant to be, we'll set the world ablaze." I suddenly realized the deepest reason why I was going off to school in Indiana: To become who I am meant to be, to develop my gifts so that they can ignite change. The truth is, if I don't, who will? None of us is replaceable. Readers, your talents are unique and your roles, irreplaceable!
Lucius Seneca, a writer and philosopher, wrote, "Look up at the stars lighting up the sky: Not one of them stays in the same place."
Dear readers, we are the stars, and by changing and growing, we light up the world. As you encounter changes this season, and wonder if you ought to turn back, I challenge you to take a quick look at your worst fears, and then just grab them and tickle them! Why not? We don't have a moment to lose. We have important work to do-lighting up the world with our gifts. For me, this school year may not always be comfortable, but it will be a time of great change, growth and discovery. I'm sure it will be for you, too.
Onward and upward!
-- Nicole Degli Esposti
Nicole hopes to continue contributing
her ideas and experiences when she can.
Dear Readers,What are your gifts? How did you find them? How do you use them to help others? Write us!
A Day of Dialogue for Intercultural, Interfaith and International Understanding
Did you notice that often, lack of communication or misunderstanding is the cause of problems that arise between friends, family or community members? We develop fear and mistrust, or treat each other like strangers when there is no communication. Learning to really listen to each other helps! We suggest September 11 be observed as a Day of Dialogue to open lines of communication in your immediate world-at home, school or neighborhood. Organize an event, small or large, to help promote an understanding between various segments of your community.
Could It Be Reused?
There is no doubt that we all use and need paper. In fact, people use billions of pieces of paper in just one day. In spite of all this, does anyone really care where this paper comes from? All the paper we use results in the death of millions of trees. These trees are actually needed very much for something else: supplying oxygen. Since we need paper and we need trees, why waste either? The solution is recycling because it allows us to reuse paper, saving our trees. One person could contribute so much by recycling. Next time, ask yourself, "Should I get rid of it, or could it be reused."
-- Connor Almon
Grade 6, New York.
It makes me sad that some of my friends don't like other friends of mine. Soon my fifth grade class is going ice skating. I want to play with all of my friends, not just a few who always like to stick together. What should I do if I want to play with all of my friends?
Dear Allison: Thank you for your insightful description of the social scene you experience in your classroom. Might the group of students who like to stick together feel safer when they remain close to each other?
You mention, "I have many friends in school, I really love school... I love my family." Might you have less need to stick closely to a tight group of girls than some others in your class? I can well imagine that your natural inclination to enjoy a great variety of friends might prove to be a welcome gift to many classmates. That thought just might not have occurred to them! I heartily encourage you to follow your natural instincts to mix freely among your classmates. I could see an advantage if you develop a pattern of inviting individual girls quite frequently off and on to your house or for two of you to engage in some activity together.
It is easier to take up playing with someone in a large group, if you have previously played together as a two-some.
Now a suggestion with a very different approach. The plan is to create a warm and friendly spirit among all members of the class, as follows:
Hopefully, having shared the brownies and the verbal compliments, the spirit of togetherness and sharing may permeate among the classmates on the skating rink.
-- In Peace,
Send your questions or comments to:
It Takes But One
The 2004 Skipping Stones Youth Honor Awards
The following students and a youth group are being honored for their creative works that promote an understanding of cultural diversity and ecological sensitivity. Each winner will receive a certificate, five multicultural and nature books, and a subscription to Skipping Stones magazine.
Hearty Congratulations to --
Skipping Stones Magazine