Will Work For Hugs

On Wednesdays—every Wednesday—for 25 YEARS—82 year young barber Anthony Cymerys, aka: Joe The Barber, sets up a lawn chair under a shade tree in a city park in Hartford, Connecticut. He prepares his scissors, towels, and lotion, wires his clippers to a car battery that he brings along, and then waits for his customers to show up. It doesn’t take long. A queue of homeless individuals needing a haircut forms quickly, and Joe starts attending to each and every customer. His fee: a hug!

What an example “Joe The Barber” is for aspiring GYA’ers. Watch this two-minute video, you might need to grab a tissue first, though.

Thank you, “Joe.” Namasté.

Work_For_Hugs_Video(The above link takes you to a CBS site and their obligatory 30-second commercial that airs before the video. I recommend that you endure the commercial—it’s worth it.)

credits (other than Anthony Cymerys, “Joe The Barber”) CBS News.

Sandy Hook Tribute

Sandy_Hook_Tribute

A Teacher’s Letter

A teacher’s letter to the fallen teachers of Sandy Hook

To my fallen colleagues,

I heard your stories today on the radio, on my way to school. I heard what you did to protect your students. I learned about your last act of bravery, of love, of kindness. The profound impact of your actions stays with me today, and will always.

As I walk around my school, I see my fellow teachers with new eyes. See, I always knew they lived and taught with love, kindness, compassion, and knowledge. But as I looked at them today, I saw you.

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I saw what you did in all of them.

The quiet bravery. The willingness to stand up for children, be it in meetings, conversations, reports or calling out for support. It is in each of them. Then to your extreme last act of love, of selflessness. I see this too, deep behind their eyes. I know they would do the same thing. My colleagues, they would act as you did.

You showed America the heart and soul of teachers. This undervalued, underpaid, often criticized much maligned profession called teaching.

As more and more people tell us we aren’t good enough, we aren’t doing enough, our educational system is failing, I see my colleagues working through lunch breaks. Researching into the night. Calling parents, meeting with students, and trying everything they can do to make their students successful, happy and engaged.

I see teachers working tirelessly each day to not only teach math, literacy, writing, grammar, spelling, science and social studies but also kindness, empathy, bravery, civic engagement and perspective taking.

They work against a sea of bad press, violent media, corporations looking to market childhood, and crumbling family responsibilities.

I feel the loss of you in our army for good. In our army for children. But we will march on in your absence. We will see each other with new eyes. Maybe people will see us differently now too. Maybe they will treat us with the respect of someone who can save lives. Or die trying.

And I hope this will change the world. More humanity for teachers and for children. More childhood in childhood. More love, kindness, empathy, knowledge, compassion, and acts of true bravery.

Maybe.

Maybe now our politicians will have the courage to act in ways that will keep more children safe. If they use half of the bravery you showed on December 14, 2012, they should be just fine.

We will miss you and your daily work with children. Thousands of us will carry you in our hearts each day, especially when we act bravely to stand up for kids, to demand help, and to force change when the bureaucracy seems to not budge.

It is in your honor that we do so.

Katy Farber

Katy Farber is an elementary school teacher, parent, blogger, and author of
Why Great Teachers Quit” and other books and articles.
For more, visit her blog, Non-Toxic Kids.

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This Article Was Originally Published on Dec. 19, 2012 on FoxNews.com

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#26Acts of Kindness

Inspired To Act: #26Acts Of Kindness To Honor Those Lost In Newtown, Conn.

By Ann Curry, NBC News

Teddys_In_Newtown

Newtown’s heartbreak has a lot of us asking, “What can I do?” Thinking about this, I took to Twitter and asked people to imagine what would happen if all of us committed to 20 acts of kindness to honor each child lost in Newtown. I added, “I’m in. If you are, RT #20Acts.”

Tens of thousands of people on Twitter and Facebook not only seized the idea, they increased it to #26Acts, to include the heroic teachers, and are launching acts of kindness big and small all over America. The acts are spreading overseas, including one tweeted from Borneo.

Community members of Newtown, Conn., and strangers from around the world, are banding together to offer support during the aftermath of one of the deadliest mass shootings in the U.S. NBC’s Miguel Almaguer reports.

Some changed the hashtag to #26ActsOfKindness, some wanted to increase it to 27, and 28. All good. You are in charge of this wave now.

We are curating some of the acts shared so far, as a way to inspire you, and maybe help heal us all.

Fred Rogers once said that when he saw scary things in the news as a boy, his mother would say, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

Go to the NBC article HERE to read all of the wonderful ideas submitted by readers in the comments section.

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Don’t forget to GYA today!

 

 

Sadness

In times of immense and senseless tragedy we are appalled at what mankind is capable of doing to others. We feel vulnerable, sad, angry, helpless. We can offer our condolences, prayers, and assistance, but we cannot eliminate the pain. This we must all endure.

For the future, however, we can re-commit ourselves to kindness, tolerance, and compassion towards all, so that atrocities which lie ahead of us might hopefully be fewer and less painful. We can take a more active role in looking out for one another, in supporting and helping one another. We can know that regardless of future events, we at least made a genuine effort to foster harmony, wellness, and tranquility in our world.

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May the innocent children and the courageous educators of Sandy Hook school who lost their lives on December 14, 2012 rest in peace. May their families, friends, co-workers, fellow students, and the community of Newtown eventually find peace, healing, and acceptance.

Paul Mark Sutherland