Onward and upward!

Thank you for being part of our journey these 3 years! We've so appreciated all your kind words and visits. Onward and upward with our journey!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Comfort Rut

Dear My Toy Garden friends!
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” 
― Margaret Mead
Events such as that in CT last week upset up, cause us discomfort, make us shake our heads. As an elementary teacher for 17 years, this event was very upsetting and my heart aches for those involved. Do events like this change our behavior though? Not usually. We grieve. We mourn. We cry. Then we return to our safe world of routines and this story like others before fade into history. Much like a tire in a deep rut that it travels daily, our behaviors seek the path that is comfortable for us. The path that we know. I invite you to be uncomfortable...to seek a new path..to make a change. Worthwhile change is never easy. It take effort. Our busy lives try to put us back in the rut of comfort. It can be different if you choose it to be...one small change at a time..one day at a time. In light of the sad news from CT, it is more and more important every day that we make changes. What changes can we make?
  1. Care about others. Really care about others. This time of year, we mail out holiday cards and buy an obligatory gift feeling that it shows we care. Gift giving is so much more fun when it comes from the heart and you find just the right gift for someone. What gift can you give that shows you truly care? It might be a phone call, dinner together, a shared book to enjoy together, an offer to babysit so a overwhelmed couple can have a date night...lots of possibilities not often found in stores.
  2. We can educate ourselves about special needs children and adults and seek active ways we can improve the world for them. As a teacher for many years, the most common concern I heard from my special needs families was the way they were judged by others to be bad parents. Many families are desperately seeking help for children they don't know how to help. My youngest is adopted and has an uncle, Zeus, who is 12 now. His grandmother has spent 2 1/2 years talking to anyone and everyone she can to help her. Zeus is a fetal alcohol child prone to violent outbursts and irrational behaviors. He has pulled kitchen counters from the walls and threatened her with knives. She finally has him placed in a residential facility where he can be helped. It should not have been so hard for him to receive help. We can help by noticing, by offering help, by sincerely caring about one another, by engaging in respectful conversations that move things toward more help for these families. One voice added to another and to another can make a difference.
  3. We can learn ways to prevent more children from becoming mentally ill. I believe genetics certainly play a role in mental illness. I also believe nutrition and chemicals in our environment play major roles too. I know in my 17 years in the classroom that the number of special needs children skyrocketed. It's not that we just knew more what to look for. We are creating more and more health problems (physical and mental) for our children through the choices we make in food and chemicals in our environment. There is much we can learn to be more in tune with how our bodies work and what we can do to be healthy. (One website I utilize is Skin Deep Database. It tells you the ingredients and level of neurotoxins in household and personal care products.) Things can be different. I invite you to explore this important piece more for your own family and talk with others about it as well. Now, more than ever, is a time to make changes that make a difference. Now before more lives are lost. Before more families suffer. I can. You can. We can. Together. My Toy Garden is here to support you on your journey!
Toylady Janet

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