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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom: Maria Montesorri & Fred Rogers on Fear

Thought for the Day: As I will be in Boston today helping people dealing with the trauma of Monday’s bombings, I have turned to quotes by two educators that may help you deal with the tragedy & combat the natural fear of strangers that arises after such events. I hope you will take time to find ways to heal from this tragedy, since we all have been traumatized. I hope these words will help you & those near to you.

As more information is released regarding the Boston Marathon bombing, we can be inspired by a quote from Italian physician and educator, a noted humanitarian Maria Montessori who lived from August 31, 1870 till May 6, 1952. The founder of Montesorri schools believed that, “Establishing lasting peace is the work of education; all politics can do is keep us out of war.” It often seems that terrorism & fear of strangers go hand-in-hand. We’re afraid of strangers because of terrorism & related atrocities. Terrorism feeds off this mentality, though, doesn’t it? Of course, recovery from these traumatic events is incredibly difficult. But, ultimately, we will only recover if we stop fixating on the senseless violence & emphasize that countless bystanders ran toward the scene of the crime to help. Even in the face of great danger, people rushed to save the lives of perfect strangers. Although the horror of the events is undeniable, we must remember most people are intrinsically good & willing to go out of their way to help strangers. Let’s seek out the heroes in this situation. In times of crisis, more often than not, you’ll see many helping hands. At the end of the day, take a cue from another educator, Fred Rogers, who helped children via television to deal with multiple crisis.: "When I was a boy & I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'"

Here's a video clip of Fred Rogers on talking with children about tragic news on television. You can also download a free e-book for parents & children, When Bad Things Happen to Children, on my webpage. It was written in response to the Sandy hook tragedy, but can be adapted to the current situation.

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