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Archive for October, 2010

International Films Including Young People–additions?

Films About Young People (some are too sad or violent for young children)

Heart of Fire: Eritrean child-soldier

Almost Famous.

Lost Boys of Sudan


Afghanistan: Osama. About a 12-year-old girl whose widowed mother disguises her as a boy so they can go outside—based on a true story, the first Afghan film after the fall of the Taliban. 2003

Kandahar: About an Afghani girl who grows up in Canada, but returns to Afghanistan to find her sister under the Taliban regime. 2001

Kite Runner: Takes place in Afganistan in the 1970s, about a Pushtun boy and Hazara boy. 2007

Argentina: Valentin. Features an 8-year-old boy who lives with his grandmother, who dies. He makes friends with helpful adults. 2004

Australia: December Boys. About four orphans in the 1960s on a holiday at the beach.

Rabbit-Proof Fence.  True story about three indigenous girls (ages 8-14) who are kidnapped and taken to a missionary school in the 1930s because they are half white, and escape to travel hundreds of miles on foot with no food or water or map to get back home.  The girls had no previous experience as actors. 2002

Mary & Max: a claymated feature film about a pen-friendship between Mary, a chubby lonely eight-year-old girl living in Melbourne, and Max Horovitz, a 44 year old, severely obese man with Aspergers Syndrome living in New York. Spanning 20 City. 2009


City of God shows crime life in a favela/slum in Rio. (2002)

Bus 174: a documentary about a former street kid who hijacks a city bus in Rio. (2003)

Caminho das Nuvens: The Middle of the World, A poor, illiterate family ride their bikes 2000 to Rio de Janeiro to look for work. The teen-age son leaves the family to work as a brick layer. (2003)

Canada: Saint Ralph is about a teen boy whose father died and his mother is in a coma in the 1950s. He wants to perform a miracle for her by winning a marathon race. 2004

Whole New Thing, 2005. Emerson, a 13-year old brilliant boy, has been home-schooled in rural Nova Scotia. His parents send him to middle school for help with math. He develops a crush on his male English teacher. He doesn’t like labels, says he’s not gay, but sends his teacher a love sonnet.

Chile:, Machuca, 2004. The film takes place in 1973, when the first socialist president democratically elected in a Latin-American country, President Salvador Allende is murdered. The story is about an upper class and lower class boy who meet when a Catholic school is integrated. Their friendship is torn apart by the military coup led by General Augusto Pinochet.

China: The Road Home (1999) An 18-year-old girl in a mountain village falls in love with the new 20-year-old school teacher.

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress.  During the cultural revolution in china again, two intellectual city boys are sent to the countryside.  The impact of the country on them, and visa vera, especially the young girl (seamstress) who falls in love with reading.

Stolen Life, 2005) shows the class system where city people look down on rural peasants. A freshman university student is corrupted by a scheming boyfriend.

Czechoslovakia: Kolya is about a five-year-old Russian boy who is cared for by a Czech bachelor during the Russian occupation in the 1980s.

France: Au Revoir Les Enfants,

Poinette is about a girl whose mother dies and goes to live with her aunt and cousins.

To be and to Have, a documentary about a dedicated teacher in a one-room schoolhouse in a rural French village.

Ma Vie en Rose (My Life en Rose) – a very endearing movie about a little boy who likes to dress up in girls’ clothing

Francois Truffaut 400 blows takes place in a cruel boarding school.

Blame it on Fidel. Anna is a 9-year-old girl, in Paris in 1970. She has to cope with many changes when her parents become radical activists. 2006

The Fox and the Child, 2007. A 10-year-old girl explores nature in the mountains of Southern France. She is very brave, scaring away a wolf pack, an eagle, and a bear in her defense of a fox she gradually tames. The narration is in English.

India: Bend it Like Beckham, 2002. An 18-year-old Punjabi girl is a good soccer player, but her parents don’t think its proper for an Indian girl to run around in shorts, even though they live in London.

Born into Brothels— (2004), follows the stories of several children growing up in the red-light district of Calcutta, and the impact made on them when they are given cameras to record their daily lives.

Water: 2005. About child widows in India during the time of Gandhi in the 1930s.

Slumdog Millionaire. About a slum boy who ends up on a quiz show.

Namesake, 2007. After an arranged marriage in Calcutta, the couple comes to New York for his work. The film is about their son’s attempts to integrate Indian and American culture.

Iran: Children of Heaven Brother Ali loses his sister Zahra’s school shoes. Farsi language. Outside, about girls disguised as boys who get caught trying to sneek into the all male soccer finals. Children of Heaven about an Iranian brother and sister who live in a Kurdish village cope with his lose of her only pair of shoes.

Iraq; Turtles Can Fly: After the fall of Saddam Hussein, about a brother and sister and other orphans who make money by digging up live mines and selling them. Too sad for young children.

Japan: Nobody Knows.  abandoned kids

Honey and Clover: Five Hama art school students are followed as they leave school.

Jordan: Captain Abu Raed is about a janitor who tries to enliven the difficult lives of the children in his neighborhood with imaginative travel stories, 2008.

Korea: In Between Days is a 2006 film directed by So Yong Kim about a young girl from Korea and her lonely coming of age in Canada.

Mexico: The Zone, 2007. A walled compound of wealthy families in Mexico City is broken into by three teen boys who try to steal from one of the homes. One of slum boys, Miguel, hides out and is befriended by another teen who lives in the compound, Alejandro. The film shows the gap between rich and poor, how the police can be bribed and the rich take justice into their own hands. I didn’t watch the whole movie because of the vigilante violence.

Mongolia: Boys find a ping pong ball in a creek and think it has special powers.

Nigeria: Emmanuelle’s Gift, the amazing true story of a teenager who bicycled all over Nigeria (with only one leg) to raise funds and awareness/rights for the disabled in that country, who generally had no rights and no income.

Spain: Butterfly about a boy who starts school in the 1930s. His life is disrupted by the fascist takeover of government.

South Africa: Yesterday, 2004. An illiterate Zulu farm woman, whose husband works in the mines in Johanesburg, learns she had AIDS. She is determined to stay alive until her daughter starts school. Shows village life.

Spain: Carol’s Journey, about a 12 year old who moves from NY to Spain during the Spanish Civil War.  Her mom is dying and her dad is fighting with the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.  Shows her and her “boyfriend” resisting facism.

Beyond Silence (foreign, German maybe?)

Carol’s Journey, about a girl’s trip to Spain during the Civil War. 2002

Sudan: God Must Have Forgotten Us about boys.

Sweden: My Life as a Dog A boy who is upset about the loss of a parent pretends his is a dog.

Fanny and Alexander.

Taiwan: Yi Yi: A One and a Two, 2006. Shows the issues facing an urban middle-class family in Taipai. The family includes dual-career parents, a teen daughter and a boy, age 8.

Turkey: Bliss tells the story of an ex-commando who is ordered by his family to kill his 17-year-old cousin, an “honor killing,” because she was raped and “tainted.” 2007. It contrasts the differences between rural and urban lifestyles and shows the girl’s increasing strength to stand up for herself.

United Kingdom: Millions tells what happens to an 8-year-old Irish boy when he finds a suitcase full of money. 2005

Billy Elliott – truly brilliant inspiring movie about a coal miner’s son who loves ballet, and starts studying in secret to be a ballet dancer.  British or somewhere around there.

About a Boy, with Hugh Grant.

Bend It Like Beckham

The Girl in the Cafe, about a young woman who becomes friends with a British diplomat type, and accompanies him to the G-8 summit, where she becomes  obsessed with the plight of children all over the world who are dying from preventable causes, and keeps interrupting their formal G-8 social events to confront them about their refusal to do anything,  Has lots of good info about kids suffering.

The Girl from New South Wales

The Secret Garden,

I Capture the Castle – teenage sisters growing up in an extremely eccentric and impoverished English family.  The dad’s a famous writer who has writer’s block.

Driving Lesson, 2006. A 17-year-old British boy learns to stand up for himself, with the help of an older woman. It’s a difficult time as his parents quarrel and break up.

Princess Kailuani, 2010. The story of a young Hawaiian princess’ fight against the annexation of Hawaii by the US in the late 19th century. Here is what she said when she lobbied in the US:

Today, I, a poor weak girl with not one of my people with me and all these ‘Hawaiian’ statesmen against me, have strength to stand up for the rights of my people. Even now I can hear their wail in my heart and it gives me strength and courage and I am strong – strong in the faith of God, strong in the knowledge that I am right, strong in the strength of seventy million people who in this free land will hear my cry and will refuse to let their flag cover dishonor to mine!”

USA: Baraka: The documentary about American ghetto kids going to a school in Africa where their lives got (briefly) turned around.

Bruno: made in 2000, is about an 8-year-old boy who has a dream about an angel and concluded that like angels, he should wear dresses, which he calls holy vestments, even in spelling bees. There’s lots of resistance from the nuns at his Catholic school and from his police officer father, but his mother and grandmother back him up and he wins the national bee.

Freedom Writers.  It powerfully answers the question “what was so great about Anne Frank’s writing?,”  the theme of the movie in a way, although the other theme is that seeing kids as whole people can turn the worst racist gang members into inspired creators.  It’s a true story!  The kids and the teacher have started a foundation to spread her methods.

The Great Debaters

Remember the Titans, both movies with actor Denzel Washington as a inspiriing teach of black youth.

School of Rock.

Little Women.

The Devil’s Playground.  It’s about how Amish kids are brought up in an incredibly restricted environment (no education past 8th grade, no cars) and then when they’re sixteen turned loose to experience all the decadent delights the world has to offer, like unrestricted drugs, sex, drinking, cars. Then they have to decide if they want to give it all up and become Amish for the rest of their lives, or try to make it on their own (with no education and no family support of any kind) in the outside world.

In America: an Irish immigrant family comes to New York City, told from the point of view of the little girls,.

Liar, Liar: a little boy is disgusted by his lawyer father lying all the time, and makes a birthday wish that he has to tell the truth for 24 hours. and exposes the lies that are such a basic part of the adult world.

Baraka”  Amazing documentary about a school in Africa where delinquent black teenage boys (from an impoverished American inner city) are sent to help them get on track, and they do!  Really beautiful until the funding for the school is cut due to  political upheaval/

New Zealand: Whale Rider is a feminist kid classic.

Pump up the Volume

Uganda: War Dance, 2006. Ugandan schools compete in music competion. The focus is on kids from a refuguee camp from the Acholi tribe. Some of the children were forced to be soldiers, some are orphans.

VietNam: Buffalo Boy. A 15-year-old buffalo herder deals with six month floods during the rainy season in the 1940s.

Owl and the Sparrow. A 10-year-old orphan girl lives on the streets of Saigon.

Film resource: Timothy Shary and Alexandra Seibel. Youth Culture in Global Cinema.

University of Texas Press, 2006.

The authors list themes about global youth films in Appendix B. They select these films as classics due to the fame of their stars and/or directors; Los Olvidados (Luis Buñuel, Mexico, 1950), Rebel Without a Cause (Nicholas Ray, U.S., 1955), Aparajito/The Unvanquished (Satyajit Ray, India, 1957), Les Quatre cents coups/The 400 Blows (Francois Truffaut, France, 1959), Ivanovo detstvo/Ivan’s Childhood (Andrei Tarkovsky, Soviet Union, 1962), Walkabout (Nicholas Roeg, Australia, 1971), Diabolo menthe/Peppermint Soda (Diane Kurys, France, 1977), Mitt liv som hund/My Life as a Dog (Lasse Hallstrôm, Sweden, 1985), Au revoir les enfants/Goodbye Children (Louis Malle, France, 1987), and Europa Europa/Agnieszka (Holland, Poland, 1990).

My Two Attempts at Writing Fiction

History of the World in 600 words

The universe is tricky; about 46 billion light years in size, you’d think its origins were vast.  But, no, a dense tiny egg hatched 14 billion years ago into quarks: charmed, top, bottom, and strange. From this button-sized womb, heat scrambled it all into galaxies along lines of cold dark matter, flying out in the Big Bang faster and farther. Human egg and all else cooked in the star furnace. You wouldn’t think our life depends on stardust or plants like algae, would you? But around 1.8 billion years ago bacteria learned to eat sunlight in photosynthesis and send oxygen into the atmosphere that we can breathe. Ocean algae produce most of our oxygen.

Even harder to grasp, Lewis Carroll was unto something when he wrote about Alice falling through the hole to another dimension. The mathematicians who developed superstring theory figured out there are 10 dimensions and it’s possible to travel through black holes to another dimension. I identify with the brilliant kid in the movie “Good Will Hunting” who secretly solves math problems working at Harvard, only I worked as a teaching assistant–not a janitor, and not at Harvard. Being young and foolish, I got the idea to test out my professor’s theory. I can’t begin to describe what it’s like going through a black hole; it’s not fun. Now I’m stuck in a dimension where I can’t figure out how to get back. All I can do is channel when someone like you is writing on the computer. Could you contact professor Kaku and ask him how I can return? This isn’t a trick.



It’s a movie about blue followers of Eywa

Who is willing to get down and dirty

When push comes to shove.

And humans incarnated in manufactured Navi bodies.

It’s a cartoon about kid element benders.

It’s a symbol for self on Net pages.

It’s a Hindu term for an occasional incarnation of God.

East meets West, Spirit meets fantasy.

Microlending–Yunus Model

Mhammad Yunus. Banker to the Poor. Perseus Books, 2003. Micro Lending Principles he explains in Banker to the Poor, 2003:

Lend to the poorest, as the less poor will drive out the poor.

Muhammad Yunus began his first Grameen Bank (reefers to rural) loans in Bangladesh in 1977. He reports more than 98% of the loans are repaid. The format is five women form a group. A new group receives loans to two members. The group approves the loan request of each member. They pay back the loan on a weekly basis. If these two repay for the next six weeks then two more members can request loans. The chairperson is usually the last borrower of the five. For a group to be certified, all 5 prospective members have at least seven days of training on bank policies, and are examined orally by a bank official.

Loans are to be paid back in a year with weekly payments of 2% of the loan amount, starting one week after the loan with an interest rate of 20%. Passbooks record transactions. If an individual doesn’t pay back her loan, her group may be ineligible for larger loans. In case of a disaster, they get a new loan and the old one is converted to a long-term loan. If someone dies, the family gets money from the Central Emergency Fund. Yunus’ emphasis on the importance of giving credit to the poor has spread around the world, including developed nations.

Borrowers must deposit 5% of each loan in a group fund. Any borrower can take an interest-free loan from the group fund if all members agree and the loan is not over half of the fund.

Up to 8 groups in a village form a center headed by a chief who meets weekly with a bank worker.

It’s difficult in some rural areas to find women bank workers who can travel from village to village because they’re not supposed to mix with men. Bank workers are not allowed to accept food or gifts. They train on the job for six months in an established project.

When a bank worker starts a new project he or she writes a report on the village’s history, culture, and economy. Village and religious leaders, teachers, and government officials are invited to a meeting to explain how the bank works.

Members learn to recite the Sixteen Decisions:

1.    We shall follow and advance the four principles of the Grameen Bank—discipline, unity, courage, and hard work—in all walks of life.

2.    Prosperity we shall bring to our families.

3.    We shall not live in a dilapidated house. We shall repair our houses and work toward constructing new houses as the earliest opportunity.

4.    We shall grow vegetables all the year around. We shall eat plenty of them and sell the surplus.

5.    During the plantation seasons, we shall plant as many seedlings as possible.

6.    We shall plan to keep our families small. We shall minimize our expenditures. We shall look after our health.

7.    We shall educate our children and ensure that they can earn to pay for their education.

8.    We shall always keep our children and the environment clean.

9.    We shall build and use pit latrines.

10. We shall drink water from tube wells. If they are not available, we shall boil water or use alum to purify it.

11. We shall not take any dowry at our sons’ weddings; neither shall we give any dowry at our daughter’s wedding. We shall keep the center free from the curse of dowry. We shall not practice child marriage.

12. We shall not commit any injustice, and we will oppose who tries to do so.

13. We shall collectively undertake larger investments for higher incomes.

14. We shall always be ready to help each other. If anyone is in difficulty, we shall all help him or her.

15. If we come to know of any breach of discipline in any center, we shall all go there and help restore discipline.

16. We shall introduce physical exercises in all our centers. We shall take part in all social activities collectively.

personality types

Personality Types

The most widely used questionnaire was developed by Myers and Briggs, widely used with work groups and couple counseling, as well as individuals. It indicates whether you’re an extrovert or introvert, intuitive or sensing, thinking or feeling, and like open options or structure.75 The Kiersey and Bates version, explained in their book Please Understand Me, is widely read.

*The Enneagram is another widely used inventory; take it on the web and see if you’re a perfectionist, helper, achiever, romantic, observer, questioner, adventurer, asserter or peacemaker.76 (Different terms are used by various authors.)

*The Pathwork approach assists you in identifying your mask, lower self, and higher self.

*The color test describes your personality in terms of your color preferences.78

*In terms of occupational types, John Holland’s is the most popular instrument. The types are: realistic, conventional, enterprising, social, artistic, or investigative. Which are you? Taking personality inventories casts new light on facets of the personality.

*Eric Braverman, MD, describes a typology based on dominance or deficiency of brain neuropeptides, in The Edge Effect. Dopamine dominant: rational, intense, driven, likes power and

Your astrological birth chart reveals tendencies you brought in with you. It’s much more than the sun sign discussed in newspaper columns, because the sun, moon and planets interact with each other and the 12 houses in the chart. For example, in my chart, Mars (energy) is in the constellation Aries (the ram), at the top of the chart (a strong influence) in the 10th house (occupation.) This indicates I focus on my work. A chart can be updated to learn about current influences as the planets move through the constellations. Internet sites will calculate your chart, if you provide your birth time, place, and date (http://astrology.about.com).

The Michael Chart is an information system from a channeled group entity called Michael. It starts with naming your role in this life as server, priest, artisan, sage (my type), warrior, king or scholar, and then goes on to your soul age, goals, body type, and more.81

Another ancient topology system (over 3,000 years old) is Indian Ayurveda which describes three body and personality types, vata, pitta and kapha, useful in thinking about one’s health and relationships. Vatas tend to be slender and quick; pittas tend to be fiery; and kaphas tend to be grounded and solid—not as fast moving as vatas.82 We’re often a combination of these traits.

The Chinese system of the Five Elements/Rhythms also provides insight into core issues. They represent the qualities of the season and the element, moving from winter (water) to autumn (metal), as described in Beinfield’s Between Heaven and Earth and in Donna Eden’s “The Five Rhythms” videos. Each is associated with several meridians, listed last in the list below.

Wood: pioneers, their underlying emotion is anger. They can be impatient, push limits, and like performing under pressure to be first. Their movement is choppy, blunt, staccato, directed, and they can blow up. They like power, assertion, can be a decisive bulldog, intolerant, impatient, intense, have causes, and feel they’re right. They’re warriors, directive, and tell the truth. Liver and gall bladder. (My type.)

Fire: wizards, they like excitement, sensation, and intimacy. They’re intuitive, charismatic, bright and vibrant. They can suffer from anxiety, panic, insomnia, hypoglycemia, and may burn out. Their walk is bouncy up and down. Their main feelings are joy, laughter, excitement, positive loving, but their energy can scatter like fire. Their purpose is to transform and get people excited and into the fire. Heart and small intestine.

Water: philosophers, introspective and self-sufficient, they value knowledge and understanding, but can be unforgiving and isolated. Water walks with flowing movement, takes her time, and can get depleted. Feelings are deep, internal, fearful, cautious; yet water types can be playful and fun. They may have boundary issues and become like ice, rigid, and inaccessible. People may baby them. Their purpose is deep thinking, to generate ideas, and they can be philosophers and poets. Kidney and bladder.

Earth: peacemakers, they like to be involved with other people, to be needed, in charge but not in the limelight. They value harmony, togetherness, predictability and can have unrealistic expectations of others. Earth walks with a lyrical, easy sway (and doesn’t like to wear shoes). Their main emotion are sympathy, compassion, worry, and they get caught in the middle of people trying to help. An earth person can be over-protective, a busybody, a doormat, and can collapse. Their purpose is peace making, to harmonize, and to nurture. Spleen and stomach.

Metal: Alchemists like definition, structure, discipline, virtue, authority, reason, and principles. They can be inhibited, strict, distant, self-righteous and can have stiff joints and muscles. They walk upright. Their emotions are grief, courage, and detachment. Metal can be inspirational. Using the left brain, their purpose is to look for the gold in life, like alchemists, sorting through the gross to get to the valuable. Lungs and large intestine.

The Enneagram is widely used, along with the Myers Briggs. Here’s my preliminary understanding of the types. Under each type are three sub-types: self-preservation, sexual, and social.

1. Reformer, perfectionist, needs to be right, principled, Puritan, rigid, strong superego, inner judge, can have a Jekel and Hyde flip side. Examples: Switzerland, George Washington, John Lennon, Emma Thompson, Kevin Kline, Dianne Feinstein, John Luke Picard, Dr. Jack Kevorkian, Ida Rolf.

2. Helper, giver, caring, generous, people pleasing, possessive, sweet, can be codependent and expect a return on their generosity. Examples: Bali, Thailand, Madonna, Mother Theresa, Nancy Reagan, Dolly Parton, Liberache, John Travolta, Gena Davis, Elizabeth Shou.

3. Achiever, efficient, success-oriented, pragmatic, driven, image conscious, production machine at the expense of emotions. Hong Kong, Shirley Temple, and Tom Cruise in “Jerry McQuire,” Paul Newman, and the Rolling Stones.

4. Tragic romantic, feels wounded, envy, withdrawn, dramatic, self-absorbed, temperamental, can be masochistic. Traditional Japan, Judy Garland, Robert Downing Jr., and Val Kilmer.

5. Investigator, observer, detached, intense, cerebral, innovative, secretive, isolated, hermit, can be Scrooge. Bill Gates, Dustin Hoffman, William Hurt, and J. Paul Getty.

6. Loyalist, anxious, fearful, suspicious, engaging, responsible, don’t express anger, can be brittle like Jane Fonda.

7. Enthusiast, adventurous, loves to travel, fun-loving, spontaneous, versatile, scattered, busy, glutton for variety, has trouble with commitment. Tim Leary, New Age, Robin Williams, and Jerry Seinfeld.

8. The boss, challenger, aggressive protector, powerful, self-confident, decisive, willful, confrontational, blamers, get high on anger and shouting. View the world as a battleground. Israel and Rosanne.

9. Peacemaker, mediator, avoids conflict, calm, optimistic, easygoing, self-effacing, agreeable, can be lazy and sleep a lot. Ronald Reagan.

Life Colors by Donna Eden (CD) influenced by Nancy Tappe (her book Understanding Your Life Through Colors is out of print)

Your life color is different from your aura in that it remains the same from birth to death. You share a similar basic lesson with other people in your type. The etheric and morphic fields also don’t change, but the rest of the aura does. The planet, countries, and historical eras also have their own color. The US is green and so was the earth in the 1890s, a period of prosperity. The blue era began around 1927 and was a time of welfare and taking care of others. In 1990 the world became violet, having to do with spiritual cleansing. The 1960s were also violet.

Violet: spiritual searchers, deep meaning, the majority of people at Eden’s workshops. After indigos, they’re the oldest souls. Often need to be shaken up during their lives (health, career, marriage breakup) to consider power issues. They’re pacifists, but can throw other people off. Violets are meant to enjoy the body. Men can be narcissist, need to be seen, smart, strong but soft inside, get bored, and have conflict between ego and soul. There are fewer violet women; it’s easier for them because violet is a feminine color.

Blue: usually female and also gay men, want to support and care for others. They don’t care about being leaders but don’t have gurus. They lead from their hearts. They need to learn to stand their ground and establish boundaries. It’s hard for them to throw things away. No color is more in touch with the body; if a blue doesn’t like her body, it can be painful and cause panic. They don’t hold grudges, may forgive too quickly, let people off the hook,  be enablers, and in denial. They’re born optimists. If they lose it, health problems can ensue. May experience conflict between idealism and realism.

Indigo: this is a new color; the Indigo children can blend heart and mind, are creating a new version of humans, a different energy, and humanists. But they can short circuit, as they’re somatic intuitives and know when they’re being lied to. They may act out what other people are suppressing, as in the classroom. This can result in ADD and Asberger’s Syndrome.

Green: Entrepreneurs like Howard Hughes and Donald Trump and the United States. Many are Woods (Chinese Five Elements typology). Wealth is important to them. They process information quickly like Johnny Carson and have quick wit. Education and degrees are important to them. They can be impatient and expect you to take their advice. They’ don’t want to follow or lead, but people may follow them because they’re original and brilliant and like intellectual stimulation. If they think it they manifest it. They’re impersonal and not judgmental.

Yellow: They’re absolute, abrupt, leaders, stubborn. They need to be more willing to bend. They’re warriors but not fighters, think strategically with their tongues, very mental debaters and negotiators. They need to learn to lose gracefully. Not motherly. Very mental and they’re psychic. If they don’t respect the teacher, they don’t do well in school. If stumped, they take a nap. The men often don’t marry until later after establishing their careers. They value loyalty number one.

Red: Physical, sensual, they love life–Mae West, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor. Madonna is a red violet. A main lesson is not to allow others’ judgments to make them feel guilty. They’re attracted to mental people. They’re good actors and dancers in sensual parts. They love drama, shouting, and intensity. They often think the same things makes everyone happy. They’re fun moms and natural healers. They think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence.  The men are natural fighters. They prefer self-employment and good at getting things done.

Orange: Mental, frugal, pragmatic, analytical, they include firefighters, daredevils they push life to the limits. The greater the risk the better; like racecar drivers, they don’t analyze or reflect on life. They’re resourceful, often don’t want a mate or family. Heroes, they attract women. They teach us not to be afraid, to take risks.

Crystal: They make high sacrifice, are old souls, clear channels for healing energy.  They have the ability to intensify energy in their own bodies to heal others. They reflect back to people what they need to grow, like a mirror. They can be chameleons to match other people. They love to read and write and they love theater, arts. They need time for themselves because they absorb muck from others.

Maroons: big wonderful hearts and often big voluptuous bodies.

Magentas: Need to learn to say what they want and build egos, maybe slaves in past lives.

Pink: Touchy, affectionate, many nuns are pink, may want to please too much. Don’t want to buck the system, give energy to others.

Copper: hold space so things can happen, provide stability, have big energy fields, like the outdoors.

Turquoise: very capable, modest, and imitate and do it better like Japan. Ford, Nixon, Eisenhower, Carter, and Clinton. Their ability to analyze is their gift and shortcoming. They focus on detail, are cautious. They’re good dads. Women aren’t tans. Three kinds exist: yellow: are methodical, habit bound, methodical, logical, do well as computer analysis’s. Greens are environmentalists, thrive in nature, and may find it hard to express themselves. Rose blues are sensitive, service oriented, and thrive in secure stable relationships.

Lavender: men and women are very different. The men are very reliable, loners, pioneers, can get aggressive and loud at times. The women often live in fantasy, connect to fairies and other dimensions, they tend to leave the body during conversations. One type is slight and doesn’t gain weight and the other is robust and full-bodied. She is often looking for someone to follow, and may not belief in herself. She needs to learn to stand on her own two feet. Often attracts takers. Like home and nature; can be frustrated in the real world holding a job and paying bills.

*http://www.enneagraminstitute.com/spirituality.asp You can take a

short personality inventory to discover your Enneagram type. I believe

it’s the second most widely used, after the Keirsey and Bates–which

can also be taken on line. Very helpful in personal and work

relationships; understanding replaces judgments about different types

than us.

A Progressive Chinese Student


Meet “Sunny”, 19, college student in Central China. He’s a translation major, takes art classes, and would like to be a therapist—not a common profession. I started corresponding with him because of my book-in-progress about global youth; I’d be glad to share more of his thoughts via email. You can see photos of schools I’ve visited on three continents at www.myspace.com/globalyouthviewpoints.  If you know youth in other countries who might like to answer the questions, please email gkimball@csuchico.edu.

I guess different is a word that can define me. Nothing can confine my thought. I am a thoughtful person. I have been different since I was a child. Everyone knows me or heard of me know I am different. Chinese people regards good results as successful, I certainly have that. But I’m special. I never yield because I have my own soul and thought. Growing up in a single family may have something to do with my character. It made me mature earlier than others.

My thirst for the known may be another thing makes me different. Sometimes my classmates even get annoyed by my asking questions. I have nicknames like Mr. Why, Mr. What If, and Mr. One hundred million question. I am not like other peers taking in whatever they are taught. I question. I want to find the truth myself.  My American English teacher found most Chinese students are trained to memorize rather than think. That is definitely true. The education is the biggest pity in China. They are not teaching you to think, to find the truth by yourself, to have your own idea, but teaching you to believe.

The education system and the media are controlled by the government. They tell you 1+1=2, and they tell you Chinese Communist Party = a perfect leadership, from primary school! It’s more like brainwash. They make the political theories as textbooks and force you to memorize it, and exam you. That’s what most disgusts me of the government. But all has something to do with the Chinese culture. Thousands years profound feudal culture root may explain many things.  I always question, I certainly will doubt whether the answer fits my life. I doubt authority.

Questions for Young People who Want to be in a Global Youth Book


Hello. I’m writing a book about global youth viewpoints and would be very appreciative of your help getting these questions to young people 19 and younger who would like to be part of my book. I have a first draft if you would like to critique it! Thanks, Gayle

Greetings from California. I’m writing a book that gives you and other young people around the world an opportunity to say what’s on your mind. This is your chance to be heard. Many of you have wonderful suggestions for how to make our world a better to live in, so I’m asking people age 19 and under to respond to 10 questions.  I have translations in other language.

See myspace.com/globalyouthviewpoints for the questions and photos of schools and students I’ve visited on three continents. Also see http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Global-Youth-SpeakOut/160382763986923.

(I’ve written other peer-based books for youth, including The Teen Trip: The Complete Resource Guide and How to Survive Your Parents’ Divorce: Kids’ Advice to Kids.) Please also forward to kids and their teachers so they can be part of the global youth book.

Thanks, Gayle Kimball, Ph.D. gkimball@csuchico.edu


1. If you could ask a question of the wisest person in the world,

what would you ask her or him about life?

2. What bothers you in your daily life?  What practice best helps you stay calm?

3. If there was one thing you could change about adults, what

would it be?

4. What would you like to change about yourself?

5. What do you like to do for fun?

6. When have you felt most loved by someone else?

7. Why do you think you’re here on earth; what’s your purpose? How are you influenced by global media (TV, Internet, advertisements, etc?)

8. On a scale of 1 to 100, how highly would you grade your

school? Why?

9.  What work would you like to do when you’re an adult?

10. If you were the leader of your country, what changes would you make?

11. Imagine you get to write on a T-shirt going on a trip around the world. What do you want your T-mail to say to people?


What questions are missing that you’d like to answer? Your email. . . . . . .

What first name would you like used in the book to quote you?

How old are you?

Girl or boy?

What city and country do you live in?

Gracias! Merci! Danke! Arrigato! Chi chi!


Gandhi the Liberator

Gandhi not only was the leader of gaining civil rights for Indians living in South Africa but also was the architect of peaceful liberation of India from British rule. He influenced other civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King, who learned from him about non-violent protest through demonstrations and economic boycotts. Gandhi called his autobiography “The Story of My Experiments with Truth.”  “My uniform experience has convinced me that there is no other God than Truth. He realized the basis of the search for truth is ahimsa, non-violence. He wrote, “It is quite proper to resist and attack a system, but to resist and attack its author is tantamount to resisting and attacking oneself,” for we are all children of the same Creator. “To slight a single human being is to slight those divine powers, and thus to harm not only that being but with him the whole world.” To find Truth, one has to love the Creation as oneself, which requires self-purification. “God can never be realized by one who is not pure of heart.” And purification being highly infectious, purification of oneself necessarily leads to the purification of one’s surroundings.  To obtain purity, one has to become free of passion. I must reduce myself to zero. Those who say that religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion means.  From my point of view, Gandhi applied principles taught by Jesus, including turn the other cheek. Gandhi believed that “god could be realized only through service,” in his case to Indian liberation in South Africa and latter from the British in India. He realized “the infinite possibilities of universal love.”

Gandhi was born to a family of government leaders. He was so shy that he ran home as soon as school was over, but he became very attracted to and possessive of his young wife: “Separation was unbearable,” he wrote. His parents arranged his marriage when he was only age 13, without consulting him. The wedding ceremony is still expensive and takes time-consuming preparation making clothes, decorations and food. His middle brother and a cousin were married at the same time to save money. His wife, Kasturbai, was his same age but illiterate. He later felt badly about keeping her up late at night talking and having sex. He struggled as an adult to overcome his lust and became celibate in 1906 after they had three sons. He remarked about their relationship, “We have had numerous bickerings, but the end has always been peace between us. The wife, with her matchless powers of endurance, has always been the victor.”

During his teen years, he tried smoking—stealing money from the servants to buy cigarettes and meat eating which his family did not do. Because he valued honesty and truth so highly, he confessed to his father what he had done. His father forgave him, teaching him a lesson in Ahimsa.

He passed the college entrance examination in 1887 and went to college, where he was so homesick he returned home at the end of the first term. A family advisor suggested that he shorten his years in college by going to England to study law. His mother was reluctant to let him journey to a foreign land but he vowed not to touch, wine, women, or meat and she and his uncle (his father had died) gave him permission to go. Law students studied text books on their own were required to attend social gatherings with the barristers, and took the bar exam, but were not taught how to practice law. He got interested in vegetarianism and dietetics, an interest he continued throughout his life. After he returned to India, he went to Bombay to study Indian law and to try to get some clients. He childhood shyness persisted; he was so nervous at his first case that he couldn’t speak and told his client to hire someone else. His brother found him a job with a company in South Africa. He left his wife and two sons in India.

“Colored” people were not allowed on South African first class train compartments, he discovered. Other rights were removed by an Orange Free State law in 1888 and in the Transvaal in 1885. They couldn’t own land, vote, or be outside after 9:00 PM.  Gandhi became a leader in protest against a proposed bill to prevent Asians from voting in Natal, forming the Natal Indian Congress and writing columns for the newspaper Indian Opinion that made the struggle possible. Gandhi wrote a petition to the legislature; volunteers gathered 10,000 signatures. He sent copies to all the newspapers and publicists he knew, including to journals in Britain and India. He said the struggles required “unflinching faith, great patience, and incessant effort.”

Back in India for a visit, he distributed a pamphlet on the condition of Indians in South Africa. This was the first time he used children as volunteers to get the pamphlets ready to post. He also organized meetings with influential leaders.

Around the time he took a vow of celibacy (brahmacharya), non-possession (aparigraha) and simple food. Celibacy resulted in them being” tried friends, the one no longer regarding the other as the object of lust.” He explained, “Passion in man is generally co-existent with a hankering after the pleasures of the palate. And so it was with me. I have encountered many difficulties in trying to control passion as well as taste, and I cannot claim even now to have brought them under complete subjection. ”They ate as their staple foods  raw nuts, bananas, dates, lemons, and olive oil.  He also developed a passion for “self-help and simplicity” as in doing their own washing and cooking and hair cutting, avoiding adornment like jewelry, and medicine. He said most illnesses can be cured by a well-regulated diet and household remedies. He believed someone who relies on drugs “by becoming the slave of his body instead of remaining its mater, loses self-control, and ceases to be a man.” He believed self-purification was a prerequisite to Satyagraha, passive resistance to unjust system. The struggle ended in 1914 when he and some of the Phoenix group returned to India.

One of his helpers was a European young woman, Miss Schlesin, who was 17-years-old when she started worked for him as a secretary.  When most of the leaders were in jail, including Gandhi, “she led the movement single-handed.”

Influenced by Ruskin’s book Unto This Last, he added to his belief in public service a new respect for manual work on the land. In 1904, he formed a community on farm, called the Phoenix, which would produce Indian Opinion newspaper there. The children learned shoe making and carpentry, and cooking. On Tolstoy Farm the children always had a teacher working with them, as the rule was youngsters were not asked to do what teachers did not do. The students also learned various Indian languages as well as English, and basic history, geography and arithmetic. He believed that spiritual training came most powerfully through the example of the teachers, more so than books. He was of course opposed to corporal punishment, although he did one time hit an out of line boy with a ruler on his arm. “But I still repent that violence.” So he never did it again, but instead fasted to do penance for misdeeds of students.

The Phoenix community transferred to the Satyagraha Ashram in 1915 in Ahmedabad. Soon after it’s founded they added an untouchable family to the Ashram. Monetary help was stopped until one man donated money. He also opened primary schools in six villages. Concerned about the unsanitary conditions, he brought in a doctor to educate the teachers.

His first social struggle for Satyagraha was to abolish the indentured servant system in India. The British Viceroy opposed immediate abolition, so in 1917 Gandhi decided to “tour the country for an all-India agitation.” On third class trains. First, he discussed the matter with the Viceroy. The first case of civil disobedience in India was He also took on the cause of tenant farmers of indigo planters in Tirhut who took him to court for disobeying the order to leave Champaran due to “obedience to the higher law of our being, the voice of conscience.” Gandhi made a point of talking with the planters, to learn about their side of the case and “to win them over by gentleness.”  He met with leaders individually and with their Association. And being polite to the police officers. “They thus saw that I didn’t not want to offend them personally, but that I wanted to offer civil resistance to their orders. In this way they were put at ease, and instead of harassing me they gladly availed themselves of my and my co-workers’ co-operation in regulating the crowds.” The planters spread falsehoods about him and his co-workers that appeared in the newspapers. “But my extreme cautiousness and my insistence on truth, even to the minutest detail, turned the edge of their sword.” Then he got involved in a strike by mill workers in Ahmedabad. He taught them a successful strike requires: no violence, no alms, and “to remain firm, no matter how long the strike continued, and to earn bread, during the strike, by any other honest labor.” After several weeks the strikers started to fall from these principle [les, becoming hostile to the strike breakers, so he decided to fast. “The net result of it was that an atmosphere of good-will was created all round. The hearts of the mill-owners were touched, and they set about discovering some means for a settlement. “ After three days, an arbitrator was brought in and the strike ended after 21 days.

In a dream, he got the idea for a whole country hartal. Satyagraha s a process of self-purification… fasting and prayer, 1919. They decided to apply civil disobedience to the unpopular salt tax. He suggested that people prepare salt form seawater in their homes. Volunteers were trained in the conditions of Satyagraha, as with leaflets. Then he started hand spinning with a spinning wheel, developing a movement to make cloth called khadi.

He got involved in Congress politics helping write a resolution for Non-co-operation movement.

First Generation Retain Parents’ Values?


A test of the strength of traditional values is the beliefs of first generation children of immigrants to the US. In 2010, I interviewed a group of first generation Indians in Northern California, four young boys and three teen girls, about traditions they wanted to keep and those that were changed by living in the US. They’re aware they’re growing up with two cultures, with few other Indian students in their schools and occasional prejudice from teachers.  I was surprised that there was nothing they wanted to change except dowry payments from the bride’s family, bribing officials like police officers, and the showing off that occurs in India where people will rent expensive clothes and jewelry if they can’t afford to buy them, and borrow for lavish weddings. They have to be more independent here because there aren’t servants to bring tea, cook, and clean.

They value speaking multiple languages, including Hindi and their northern India regional language—Bengali or Gujarati. They value Hinduism, the fun festival celebration of deities like Devali, and the morning and evening prayers in the shrine room in their homes where they light incense and an oil candle to pray.

They like the group sharing and concern, in contrast to US individualism and isolation. For example, Prince, 11, said if he were to get hurt here, his neighbor’s wouldn’t know or help. Everyone knows you there. People don’t need to lock their doors. In India, he crashed a scooter and many people came to help him. People take more time with family and friends rather than working all the time. This group cohesion also means everyone knows what’s going on and they don’t forget if someone messes up. Their parents frequently are on the phone with friends and even distant relatives, but the young people don’t do this as much. Family members don’t knock on bedroom doors before coming in, they borrow and share things like clothing or cell phones, and parents don’t give allowances or ground their kids, they just share. It’s “ours” not “mine.” One of the girls was wearing her aunt’s sandals, another her grandmother’s earrings. It’s not like the US culture where everyone wants their own space, their own things, their own earnings, their privacy, yet there’s more freedom in India, they said.

I asked if they think social isolation has an effect on Americans and they strongly agreed that Americans are more likely to be suicidal, depressed, and anxious. In contrast, Indian close-knit, extended families, with friends treated as family members, creates a sense of belonging and happiness. A cousin or friend may be called brother or sister, with the trust that they have each other’s backs. Long-time servants are also treated like family in India, as when on their grandfathers recently paid for his servant’s wedding ceremony. Mothers teach about these relationships and how to show proper respect, including girls not wearing revealing clothes like shorts.

All the young people but one expect to have arranged marriages because they believe it’s more than a relationship between spouses, almost like a business arrangement between families. Love marriages are based on lust and can be selfish. All their parents had arranged marriages that turned out well: “My parents are love birds,” said Bhavika, 18. Chandni said her parents complement each other, her father from a rural background, her mother urban. They believe parents are more supportive when they have a say in selecting a spouse. The exception was Andrew, 12, who said his aunt argues daily with her husband, not a good selling point for arranged marriage. He plans to pick his own wife so he won’t be stuck in a bad marriage for life with someone he doesn’t respect. It’s more free in the US he says.

Having a degree is now the biggest draw for a prospective spouse. Families carefully investigate prospects, including ones found online matrimonial sites. Caste is still a factor; Bhavika said she’ll marry only in a specific sub-caste of Patels. Lighter skin is still considered appealing, so mothers tell daughters to stay out of the sun and not get too tan playing sports. They also expect to have a big multi-day wedding because it’s the biggest day of your life. People talk about your wedding for generations–people still comment on a grandmother’s wedding.

I thought that they might want to date and go to school dances like proms, but they are not allowed to date until maybe their last two years in college in preparation for marriage in their early 20s. They’re OK with that, believing studying comes first. One of the dad’s commented that US schools are too easy, that kids learn in 8th grade what Indians learn in 4th grade. Parents expect focus on schoolwork, just as important for girls. A saying is, “Your first girl/boy friend is your books.” A family with three sisters, no brothers, said Indians comment, “That’s too bad” not to have a son to carry on the family name, but their parents are happy with their daughters. The deadline for marriage is age 25 for a girl, said Chanchal. The boy should be older with an established career.

Chandni, 17, does want to go to her senior prom with her sister and girlfriend and her parents agreed this time, after saying no in her junior year. She wouldn’t be surprised if her father came by to check on them, as their parents are much stricter than other parents. A boy and a girl are not supposed to be alone together. Prince’s mother said when he was assigned a girl as a homework partner, she stayed near them so they were never alone, bringing snacks and such, even though they’re only 11. If his teenage sister goes to a dance, she is supposed to call home every 30 minutes. At something like a temple gathering, a boy might walk by a girl and make eye contact to say hello, but not speak to her, so as not to offend her parents. He might also text to say hello. Non-Indian boys may feel hurt when given the cold shoulder when an Indian parent is in the vicinity. The teen girls crop Facebook photos to make sure there’s no boy in the background their parents might worry about. Going off to college is an issue, with parents hoping they’ll attend a local college or talking about sending a parent to live there with the student—no dorm living. Lastly, I asked if we can be hopeful that their generation will turn things around for the planet. Two of them quoted Gandhi about being the change you want to bring about, but didn’t seem to have a social mission.

When I interviewed a group of four guys in their teens and 20s who also said they wanted to continue Indian traditions, including living at home till marriage. Their tone was different than the girls in that they focused on their parents being more lenient than in India, but parents are often less protective of sons. They said they knew friends who were dating although it was kept a secret from parents. Krishan, 16, noted that Indian kids are more respectful to their parents, not talking back like some of his Anglo friends. I asked about caste, since last names indicate one’s caste background, but they said it’s not a big deal.

I also interviewed a Hmong young man in my town, age 24, a college graduate. Jason is the youngest of six siblings. His parents are farmers, born in Laos, not fluent English speakers. He reports, “I’m proud of being Hmong. I’m different and yet I’m still accepted by everybody, able to speak another language. “I respect my parents and elders; when they grew up they never had much freedom, had to work so much as kids. I appreciate what they did to take care of us, what they had to go through each day.” He also had to work hard as a child; “When I grew up they had me help with the farm. It was hard work and I was well disciplined through that process, but I wouldn’t have my children do that. I feel I lost my childhood, didn’t have time to do things like a regular kid. I’ll spend a lot of time with my kids and make sure they succeed.”

His family attends a Hmong-speaking Christian church, but he has been to ceremonies where shamans cure illness by removing evil spirits. Although his parents’ marriage was arranged, his married siblings selected their own spouses. One is divorced. Jason says, “I prefer to pick my own wife, my choice. If things don’t work out, it’s another lesson learned.” He feels people are the same, doesn’t focus on the differences. Like the Indian students he likes speaking more than one language, but his attitudes towards marriage are like his peers.

Finally, I asked Eri, a college student, the same question. His father came from Mexico to work in the orchards here when he was 14. Eri tells us:


To this day, at the age of 53 he still continues to work in the fields. The hardships of working on the fields, is all finally catching up to him. His seasoned hands, cracked and dirty and sometimes bleeding from the almond branches. His muscles aching from heavy lifting. His lungs from chemicals entering year in year out. The sweltering heat, dust, harsh chemicals that he has to spray. It is something that he has endured so that my sister and I don’t have to. I think that his job along with some other factors in my own life, is the main reason that I would love to go into law and more specifically Labor Law. I think that I owe it to him to become someone who wont have to go through the struggles he has gone through, someone who doesn’t have to keep their mouth shut when working conditions are the worst, someone who doesn’t really have to answer to anyone, or an unfair employer who will only pay you minimum wage for a job that is unequal in workload; that is what I own to my father and my family.

I was really raised in an “Americanized” family. My father doesn’t speak English but the mentality of my parents was to raise my sister and I to fit into society and reap all of its benefits. One thing I plan to keep throughout my life is the belief in supplemental practices to western medicine. We believe in the medicinal purposes of certain herbs, or certain rituals to heal people, prayer. We deeply believe in the spirituality of those that have moved on. I guess you could call it folklore. 🙂 When we cross certain animals or they cross us, it means something depending on the animal. Other than that all the other values and traditions are really common things for every other American. I was raised “right”; you respect elders, you do things with integrity, and so on. We don’t celebrate “Day of the Dead” or “Cinco de Mayo” or eat 12 grapes on New Year’s Day, or go to church on Christmas, or have an alter of past loved ones like other Mexicans.

Millenium Generation Y and Z Characteristics

Thinking about patterns in the Millennial generation—our future leaders, they share a deep distrust of institutions like government and religious institutions. They’re concerned about poverty, the environment, and war. They want to support their parents and their country. There’s also optimism about the future and spirituality, a belief in higher power. This is a generation electronically connected to friends, music, and news via portable devices. They think of themselves as global citizens[i]—at least that’s true of urban youth, not the villagers. It’s an impatient generation—even hyper, that expects to be entertained, often communicating three different ways at once (“perhaps even five or eight at times,” added Krishna, a young man in India). Another characteristic is accepting more equality for girls and women and for people of different castes and classes.

Milllenials are the largest group of youth and the best educated in history–1.2 billion people between the ages of 15 and 24 in 2007, 18% of the world’s population. The countries with the most kids are India, China, and Indonesia (Indonesia has 245 million people).[i] One and a half billion young children (86%) live in developing countries, making up about half the population. The “youth bulge” is found in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and some South American countries. This bulge increases the cost of education and competition for jobs. In contrast, the elderly are the largest population group in Europe, North America, and Oceania where workers are needed to fund social welfare programs for the aging people.

Most developing countries in the news have a large youth population. In Afghanistan, 60% of the population is under 21. The mean age is 17, hence the popularity of a TV talent show called Afghan Star (a documentary film of the same name tells us about the show, which includes female performers—one of whom gets death threats for dancing sedately on stage while singing). In another hot spot, more than half the population of Gaza is under 18.

Youth make waves. In Iran, youth 29 and younger make up 70% of the population and played a big part in the “green revolution” demonstrations protesting voter fraud in the 2009 elections, including women in chadors or head scarves. One in 20 Iranians is a student and women are almost two-thirds of university students. Young techies around the world helped keep Iranian protesters communicating on the Internet through sites like Twitter with proxy servers when the government tried to shut them down and then with special “Haystack” code developed by a 24-year-old California man when the government shut down the proxy servers.[ii] Student protests continued into 2010, using the Internet to organize demonstrations, chanting slogans like “Khomeini knows his time is up!” and “Death to the dictator” and holding flags without the Allah symbol added after the 1979 Islamic revolution. Khomeini is considered God’s voice to Iran, like the Pope to Catholics, so it’s revolutionary to criticize him. Cell phones enabled “citizen journalism” that kept the protests in the public eye after journalists were expelled from Iran.

[i] Percentages of the population under 25 in some large countries: India, 52%, Mexico 49%, Brazil 47%, and China 38%.[i]  In 2006, 16% of the population was under 15-years-old in Europe, 20% in North America, 29% in Asia, 30% in Latin America and the Caribbean and 42% in Africa. Population Reference Bureau, 2006.

[i] In a survey of 2,000 Arab youth in 2009, with seven out of ten respondents interviewed in nine nations describing the concept of global citizenship–the shared feeling of identity regardless of ethnic, religious or national background–as either ‘somewhat’ or ‘very important’. This included a majority of youth in every country surveyed except Oman. Second Annual ASDA‘A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey, 2010.


Ask Dr. Gayle Kimball column #2

October Column

Q: Sometimes I feel fuzzy-brained, uncoordinated, spacey. Solutions?

A: When our energy field gets scrambled, it gets “homolateral.” To get properly aligned in a bilateral spiral, drink water and do exercises that cross the midline of the body, like touching opposite elbow to knee in a “cross-crawl.” Imagine looking at a horizontal figure eight with your eyes, as well as deep breathing from your diaphragm. Also, tap under the collarbones, on your thymus, and on the spleen meridian on the edge of the ribs. See a graphic of where to tap www.tapintoheaven.com/2stuff/stufboost.shtml or Donna Eden’s book Energy Medicine.

Q: I’m in 5th grade. My parents are getting a divorce. I feel weird and don’t know what to do.

A: If you sink down to their unhappiness, you don’t help them. Your job is to do well in school and your other activities and be a kid who has fun. You did not cause their problems. You can’t solve their problems. They can get help from a trained counselor, which you are not. Do not listen to any criticism of the other parent. I interviewed a lot of kids and counselors for my book Kids’ Advice to Kids: How to Survive Your Parents’ Divorce. They agreed the worst thing parents can do is involve kids in their conflicts. Kids do fine after divorce if they have loving support from both parents.

Q: I just started a new job in a new city. It’s really stressful. How can I feel relief?

A: Do 4-8 breathing throughout the day to relax: breath in for the count of 8, hold 8, exhale through the mouth like blowing a feather up for 8, and then don’t inhale for as long as comfortable. Author Gay Hendricks reports the latter resets your energy field. Also remember gratitude and love are the strongest emotions, so when you wake up say something like, “I’m in loving gratitude that I have a job in my field, that I’m earning money, and that I’m learning so much.” Readers can email me for my handout on how to cope with stress.

Q: I ended a five-year-love affair that needed to end, but after a month I’m still experiencing waves of debilitating pain. What can I do?

A: Congratulations for being strong enough to take a stand to end an unhealthy relationship. It feels like a death. Dr. Kubler-Ross is well known for identifying the stages of healing grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Know that you will progress through these stages and heal the separation wound over time.

Lovers weave energetic attachments, like cords. It hurts to dissolve them. Use this visualization to help: Imagine taking the loose ends of the cords and plugging them into an old-fashioned switchboard. If you’ve seen Lilly Tomlin’s Ernestine the Operator skit, you could include her in your image, smiling and hooking your cords up with love. If you have repetitive thoughts about your ex, imagine taking out the tape about your past and replacing it with a new one about your fulfilling future.

As Carl Jung pointed out, relationships are our best teachers, brining our unconscious issues up to the surface to be resolved. Identify the lessons you’ve learned from your ex. When you’re feeling down, get an assist back up from a friend or therapist. Stay active, doing things you like, and regular exercise. I made a flower essence blend for “Healing Grief.”

Q: I try hard to be a good father and husband, but I’m afraid I’m going to snap because I feel pulled so thin by all my responsibilities.

A: Probably every employed parent feels over-extended. It may be you’re putting pressure on yourself to be a better father than your own dad, which creates strain in itself. Also, good dads are not supposed to complain so it’s easy to “gunnysack,” where you don’t express your own feelings and needs. Then, when you finally explode over a long series of irritations no one understands why you’re upset over one small thing. Keep current in letting people know what you’d like; your family loves and wants to please you, but don’t expect them to be mind readers. It’s important for you to take time to nurture yourself—play a sport with the guys, take a walk in the park by yourself, get a massage. You and your wife also must schedule in fun time to renew the couple bond that erodes under the strain of daily hassles.

Q: My husband will help other people, but not me when I ask him to do things around the house. Although I have small children, he feels put upon when he cooks dinner.

A: You’re acting like competitors and enemies rather than partners. Often men project their controlling mother issues on their wives, as women project their father issues on husbands. He’s trying to assert himself as a leader; when you get angry, he resists more, and you get angrier. I bet you’re not making time for weekly date nights so you can renew your romantic bond as peers rather than parent/child. Taking good care of young kids is a fulltime job in itself and should be recognized as such. It always helps to negotiate family chores with a written list of who does what, that everyone agrees is a fair distribution of labor. Include the kids on the list too. Give a lot of positive appreciation to reinforce good behavior.

Q: My daughter is three and screams whenever she is impatient, which is often. Ideas? It’s hard to live with.

A: Ask her, “Are you a baby?” “No.” “Why are you screaming? Only babies scream. It hurts people’s ears. Use your big girl words.” Of course, don’t do what she wants when she screams, even in a public place, so you don’t teach her that screaming gets her what she wants. Take time to let her vent in a positive way, like singing loudly with songs she likes and dancing and stomping to music.

Q: I’m 11 and have ADHD. Ideas to help me concentrate in school?

A: Dr. Andrew Weil says to take lots of omega 3 fish oil and don’t eat sugar. I see your energy as spiky, like sunspots popping out from the sun. When you need to concentrate, take your hands and imagine gathering up the energy in one ball. Put that in your hands to write or read. Wiggle your legs and hands under your desk, maybe with a soft ball you can squeeze, being careful not to make noise tapping your feet on the floor. Also be careful not to take on other people’s problems; create a strong energy bubble around your body. Your parents might want to read books by a doctor who has ADD: Superparenting for ADD: An Innovative Approach to Raising Your Distracted Child by Edward Hallowell M.D. and Peter Jensen (2008).

Q: When someone I know is suffering, I take on his or her pain and life is not enjoyable. Anything I can do without becoming numb?

A: You don’t help anyone if you descend down to her or his misery in sympathy. Stay up in compassion and good wishes so the sufferer can lift up to match your positive intention. Is there any action you can take to assist? If not, visualize the person surrounded in a halo of protective healing light. Also surround yourself in a bubble of protection, surrounded by something that absorbs other people’s pain like catchers’ mitts or satellite dishes. Take time for walks in nature where it’s easy to ground yourself and connect to the strength of Mother Earth.

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