‘Gracie’s School’ Q and A Post + An Exciting Blogging Announcement

In my last post I introduced to you to my very own school, students and classroom. I shared my happiness at being able to fulfill my dream and making it happen through my own determination.  I  also asked you to submit your questions for my school themed Q and A. Well, many of you had lots to ask so read on…and enjoy!

Questions from Mukta:

When and how did you realize you wanted to be a teacher?

I’ve always loved learning and, to me, nothing sounds more like paradise than a place where young people can gather together to learn and share and pursue their passions.

School, and the modern education system, are supposed to provide that service, but I don’t believe they are. The majority of my generation view school as a negative place, a prison, something they’re forced to attend. School should be a place everyone wants to go to.

I am home-educated and the above is precisely the reason I don’t go to school. The reason I decided to become a teacher is because I want to create the school that I dream of, the school I want to go to.

What time do you begin/end teaching?

Nothing is set in stone yet, at the moment I’m being pretty flexible. Usually we start at about 10am and finish about 4pm??? 😀😀😀

Questions from Loren:

When you start a real school, will you want it to be elementary, middle, or high school?

I hope that my school will be a place where kids and teens of all ages can come together and learn. I want it to be an environment where they help and teach each other. I am from the UK so I’m not exactly that familiar with the US education system, we say ‘Primary’ and ‘Secondary’ schools here!

Questions from Melissa:

Are your pupils allowed to direct any of your teaching and follow their own interests or are you quite strict in following your lesson plans?

There needs to be a balance. I do make lesson plans (which I try to stick to), but if I see that my students are interested in or enthusiastic about a particular subject, I’m more than happy to focus on it. I also welcome my students suggestions and ideas. I have certain parts in each lesson where I ask one of my students to lead the activity and I just watch. It teaches them teamwork, leadership and creativity, all equally important lessons!

Questions from The Girl With IronWings

Are you guys going to travel around the farm place and learn things practically or…..?

Yeah, I guess so. It’s important to include a bit of reading, writing, maths and theoretical science, but most of the activities we do are outdoors, hands on and practical. I find that my students learn better when out and about on the farm. For example, we went fishing in the stream and then identified and learnt about what we caught. They loved it! Way more than reading about the affect humans have on natural habitats! 😀 I bet they remembered more of the former too.

How is the teaching going to be – How different from today’s schools? 😊

Hehe. I would say it’s pretty different. Here’s a quick list.

  • All different ages and abilities taught together.
  • We learn about things that are important in life, like knowing and appreciating your surroundings and how to protect them. 
  • The learning (and teaching!) is FUN!!!
  • I try and think about what suits my students individually, what they need help with and what their strengths are. I keep that in mind when making my lesson plans, unlike school with its ‘one size fits all’ attitude.

Also, since it’s about the environment will you be using gadgets?

We have a few gadgets… a camera trap that we’ve used to try and capture the secret lives of wildlife on the farm. We don’t use a lot of technology, just the internet to research things and find information.

Questions from Misabella :

What is your favourite subject to teach?

I’m about to start doing a book club + English and creative writing classes. I don’t enjoy maths very much, just because I teach out of a book and have to follow a set system/curriculum. These ‘environment’ lessons are great, I get to be creative and come up with fun, unique ideas that really engage my students. 😁

Do you find particular methods of discipline more effective than others?

I’ve googled the different ‘methods of discipline’ and would say my style is a mix of them all! I do try to set boundaries, but I also try and be positive and humorous. I wouldn’t say I’m strict, I try to be patient and listen to my students – although that is something I struggle with. I think this is an area I need to look into a bit more – especially if I want to be a successful teacher!

Questions from Tom:

How long do you hope to be keeping up with this school for?

Well, we’re living at the farm over the autumn, winter and early spring so the lessons will probably continue through those seasons. After that my family and I are off on our travels, maybe into Europe, maybe even further, searching for a place to settle down and call home. When we find that place I have no doubt that my school will re-establish itself and begin again, stronger and better than before. 

School is an interesting word, I wonder if it’s Greek?

Well, thanks to your research, Tom, we now know that it is a Greek word meaning ‘lecture place’. It would have looked like this in its original text: skholḗ or σχολή. Great fact! 

 I hope you all enjoyed that little Q and A! I loved sharing my thoughts and ideas on education, I even learnt a few interesting things in the process. If anyone still has any questions, please feel free to comment them and I’ll try to answer.

Okay, now I have an exciting and important announcement to make: I am getting some newly designed features on A Light In The Darkness soon! Not saying anything more, but watch out for a post revealing those. This is me at the moment: 🤐☺☺☺🤐 

Xxx

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The Perfectly Imperfect Tag ~ A Guest Post By Aqsa!

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Today I am honoured to host the creation of an inspiring new tag by my amazing blogging friend Aqsa . *fanfare* I asked her if she wanted to do a guest post and she came up with something as brilliant as this. Totally typical. Anyways, it is with great pleasure that I share with you The Perfectly Imperfect Tag! Here’s the link to it on Aqsa’s blog:

via The Perfectly Imperfect Tag: My Blogging Campaign/Featured Guest Post! – Aqsa Says What? — Aqsa Says What?

Expect my participation within the near future!

Wishing this tag the best of luck! Hope it spreads all around the blogosphere…..!

NEVER WEAR YELLOW IN THE SUMMER: A LESSON LEARNT!

As the title states, I think I’ve learnt my lesson. Never wear yellow in the summer, or this happens:

 

 

Most people would be hyperventilating screaming in that situation, but it doesn’t bother me. Like, at all. They were like little beetles with wings and were actually pretty cool. It makes me wonder how humans have become uncomfortable, even scared, around bugs? Where has this come from?

If people calmed down and thought about it rationally they’d realise that, although bugs may not be particularly ‘pleasant’, they’re not exactly disgusting or terrifying either. Are they?

These little fellas weren’t doing me any harm and it was actually quite funny to laugh at my mistake.

It’s crazy to think that there are people in this world who are absolutely horrified to even see a spider and then there are others who tuck into them like a snack. Sorry if this makes you feel queasy, it’s the truth though! The crazy, crazy truth.

This is the result of different cultures and societies. Are phobias of insects what comes with our ‘advanced modern society’?

What do you think? Apologies for the rant…!

I hope this sparks a discussion, please leave a comment with all your thoughts and opinions on this topic! I’d love to hear from you. 

Butterflies…

‘Butterflies in your stomach. Butterflies in your stomach.’ It’s such a cliche but it takes experiencing it to understand how true it really is. I take deep breaths and stare down at the salted caramel cookies my Dad bought especially for today. I realise that this is actually happening.

The gentle rocking of the boat isn’t making me feel any better, I keep glancing up the towpath, nervously watching, waiting. I expect to see them any minute. I don’t really know what they look like. All I know, (well, all you’re allowed to know) is that I am being filmed for a casting development project for a mainstream TV channel. A London production company is coming to film me and my life.

This has all happened so fast and, although I’m nervous, I feel an elated anticipation. Suddenly they’re here, carrying a huge camera and looking professional. This is it, Gracie…..this is it……

It all goes so amazingly, I enjoy every minute. Every minute spent giving my opinions on big modern life issues, being interviewed on challenging topics like politics, feminism, social media, materialism, relationships and social care. Every minute talking about my life and the things I’m passionate about, reading poetry and stories in a voice that seems more powerful now there’s someone here especially to hear it. Every minute spent being absolutely myself.

It was intense and my brain whirrs just thinking about it now. But I was in my element, I like a challenge. I like people who value the perspectives of young people on modern society. I loved thinking about the questions and carefully wording my replies. I didn’t find it easy, but I had the opportunity and I wanted to make the most of it.

All in all, I may be accepted to participate in this programme or I may not. I would love to be able to share my thoughts on life even further, but if not, I am just eternally grateful for this experience and I’m proud of myself for making it happen and getting this far.

Please leave me a message in the comments box below, I absolutely love to hear from you all. Thanks! 

Gracie’s Guide To The 2017 UK General Election Results

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Hey there guys!

As some of you know, I have a job as a researcher for the inspirational Liv, the young creator of theCramm, a movement aimed at empowering and informing today’s youth. You can read more about my role and theCramm here.

Today, I sent Liv an in-depth guide to my country’s recent General Election results. I wanted theCramm’s readers and subscribers to understand what’s been happening and be inspired to try to make a change.

I’ve tried to include a bit of humour and sarcasm and I hope that you’ll all enjoy and learn from this short guide.

Please do note that it contains some of my personal opinions and that I do not wish to offend anyone. I welcome different ideas and thoughts and am happy to listen to others and discuss anything with you all!

Okay, so here goes:

WHAT HAPPENED?
The UK General Election of 2017 (which sounds really grand and pompous, but actually ended up in an enormously embarrassing mess for certain people) came out with some surprising results. In short, we ended up with what’s called a ‘hung parliament’.
A ‘hung parliament’ is when no party gets enough seats to technically ‘win’ the election. 
HOW?
There are two things you can choose to believe about how these results came about:
1) All the parties were just too AWESOME to choose one!
2) Um, all the parties were just too RUBBISH to choose one! 
I know which one I’ve got my money on. 
You could choose to be hopeful and optimistic about these results, believing that something good will come out of this, or you could feel worried and confused about the political chaos that our country is dealing with right now. Again, I know which best describes my feelings. 
SO WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
There are many options for what could happen now. Our government is currently completely out of action, as no one is rightfully in power. 
Theresa May, our former prime minister and current leader of the Conservative Party, has lost her winning majority and probably wishes she’d never suggested a ‘snap election’ in the first place. It was expected that she would win with flying colours and confirm that she was a strong leader to take us through Brexit, but she failed to reach the minimum amount of seats to be re-elected.
Jeremy Corbyn of the Labour Party won the votes of a lot of young people, coming a close second in the polls. I think that this is because young people are more concerned with change that our older generations. Mr Corbyn certainly offers drastic change.  He is now calling for Mrs May to step down and resign. 
Realistically, the chances of becoming prime minister for these two party leaders are high. They are the still the main candidates. 
They now have the options of either going to our monarch, The Queen, and getting permission to form a minority government or….. Hey, wait! What exactly is a ‘minority government’? 
A ‘minority government’ is where the party in power has the most seats, but less than half of the total. It means that the government is also made up of MPs from other parties, meaning they also get a say in running the nation.
Other options include a coalition between parties or one main party attempting to go it alone. We’ll have to wait and see what will happen. One thing’s for sure though, the future of our country looks pretty perilous. 
What are your thoughts on these results? Did you find my guide helpful? Amusing? Do you have an opinion on the political events that happened? Comment discussions especially welcome! Thanks for reading, people!

A Light In The Darkness Part 6: The Ambassador’s Name

Demons haunted my sleep. “You have seen us and so you will die.” they hissed. I tried to wake up, but there was something about this slumber that was different. It felt like I was in a prison, trapped in the darkness and unable to free myself. I struggled for every minute of the seemingly endless sleep to wake up and find my way out.

Finally I broke through, gasping and sweating. My fingers closed around my cloak, it was covered in dried, crimson blood. I eased myself back down and stared up through at the canopy of leaves. Sunlight seeped through the gaps between the branches and touched my skin. It was so bright! I never knew how good the light was until that moment. I glanced around me.

I was laying on a sort of mossy bank and I could hear what sounded like a brook, bubbling somewhere nearby. I reached up to touch my head, it was pounding in a most peculiar and painful manner. My hand brushed a ragged cloth, again I could tell that it was crusted with blood.

“Faith.” my voice came out like a croak. “My name is Faith.” This made me laugh, despite myself. I don’t know why I was so deliriously happy. Perhaps it was because I knew I didn’t have Amnesia. I remembered the Ambassador and his strange behaviour in the moments before my accident. I even remembered the force of his hand pushing me hard to the floor.

Salty tears run down my cheeks. I trusted him. I thought he was good and kind and wanting to be my friend. I was so naive and now I had paid. I struggled to my knees and gritted my teeth against the searing, throbbing pain that plagued my head. “Ah!” I used the tiny incy bit of strength I had to heave myself to my feet and stumble off into the trees.

I had only walked a couple a steps when I began to feel extremely dizzy. I tried so hard to hold myself up, but it was no use.

I fell.

I don’t know how long I laid there, half conscious and moaning. It could have been minutes, even seconds, or it could have been hours. I only recollect two familiar arms folding themselves around my body and lifting me gently up.

Up, up, up.

High.

I was on top of the world.

All I could see was a deep, never-ending blackness, and I felt lost. “What if I’ve gone blind?” Stupid thoughts filled my barely conscious mind. Then I heard his voice and I didn’t care either way. “It’s ok.” he soothed, sitting me back down on the moss, I could feel its comforting springiness. I couldn’t see his eyes so I had no idea how he was feeling.

“I can’t see your eyes.” I whimpered. “Try opening your own.” he laughed. I did and was so overjoyed that I forgot to feel silly for not thinking of it before.

“Phoenix.” I spoke the word slowly, cocking my head to one side. An understanding passed between us.  “The bird that rose from the darkness in a glorious burst of flames and lit up the world with its light.”

This was so different to the way I had imagined telling him the name I’d chosen, but it seemed like the perfect moment. “I’m sorry, Faith.” he whispered. “You will forgive me, won’t you?”

“Of course!” I cried. “But why did you do it?”

His answer distressed me even further. “Because you’re my friend.”

“Then why did you push me?” My head started pounding again.

“I didn’t want you to leave. I knew they’d come to take you away from me and I, being the selfish person I am, wanted you to stay. I’m sorry, Faith. It wasn’t your fault. I was just hurt, and angry that you had to be taken away from me so soon.” he hung his head “Now I’ve ruined every chance I ever had of changing. I can never change, the dark side has crept into my mind and is poisoning me. I understand if you don’t trust me any more.”

I began to laugh and he glared at me. “Phoenix-” “Call me Ambassador.” He was angry with himself, I think he was on the edge of absolute despair. I had to make him understand.

“But I was never going to go with them! I decided that long before you found me!”

“What!? Don’t be stupid, Faith. They’re your friends.” he smiled ruefully. “So are you.” I said softly, turning sadly away.

“Huh?”

“I said you’re my friend too!”

He hugged me then, tightly like he’d never let me go. “Are you sure?” he asked, doubtfully. “Yes!” I exclaimed. “Phoenix, no one has ever been a better friend to me. No one has ever shown me so much, inspired me more, trusted me with their very identity. Honestly, please believe me.”

He gave a slight nod of his head, too overcome with emotion to speak. I nodded back happily and then sank, exhausted, back onto the mossy bank to sleep.

Da da da! All has been revealed! I find character’s motives in stories quite fascinating, don’t you? What did you think of The Ambassador’s name? I decided to stick with the original one that I chose. I think it suits him. Do you like the sort of prose-y vibe that I snuck into this installment? I hoped it would compliment the drama of this part of the storyline. Please leave me all your thoughts, questions and ideas in the comments below! It’s much appreciated, guys. 

See ya….😉

Gracie

Xxx

 

That Time When I Stood Up For What I Believed In

Hello People!

I’d like to share with you two personal experiences that I hope will shape and inspire my future.

In return, I’m asking you to send me the experiences that have affected the way you live your life. I had the idea of creating an anthology of all YOUR most memorable and meaningful life events. All you have to do is comment your story, along with what it taught you in life. Then I’ll put them all together in a post (or two!), like a virtual book. P.S. If it’s a bit longer or more detailed, post it on your own blog and send me the link. Anyone is welcome to take part, so please don’t hesitate.

I’ll start off the anthology with mine. One of mine happened a long time ago and the other only yesterday, but both of them have made a huge impact on my life and thoughts, they’ve both taught me priceless lessons and showed me things I never really saw before.

I’m sorry that this post is so long, but please keep reading, as it’s so important to me and I’d love you to give me some feedback.

Today I’ll start with the first one, which was about three and a half years ago. The second one will be coming very soon……!

That Time I Stood Up For What I Believe In by Gracie Chick (ME!!!)

 I walk across the shiny wood floor, my walking boots thud dully and I listen to the sharp clackety- clack of all the other kids smart, black polished school shoes. I stride towards the other ten year olds, my usual shy smile replaced with a proud, confident beam. The source of my strength comes from the two gold lines that run down the sleeve on my ironed green sweater. Last week I was made a Sixer, an honour given to a few responsible, respected cub scouts. 

As I stand beside my fellow cub scouts, I can almost feel those lines radiating heat. “Gracie Chick!” A voice snaps me out of my imagination.  As I hear the leader’s words, I learn that the legendary Sixer’s conference has been called and I am told to join them, I need no encouragement.

All the younger and newer cubs, that I had once been a part of, whispered about what went on in that back room and, although everyone had their theories, none of us really knew. I knew that I was entering a new and exciting world now.

I watch as the more experienced and older members discuss what we’ll do on the special day that we get to ourselves, to practice team building and leadership skills. 

The suggestions keep on coming and I listen with interest. Suddenly someone says “What about laser tag?” and everyone agrees. “Yes! Yes! Laser tag. Perfect.” “Okay, well that’s settled then.” The leader glances round the room. Slowly and nervously I raise my hand.

“Yes, Gracie?”

“Um, what’s laser tag?” I asked tentatively. 

Everyone jumps in to try to explain it to me. 

“Basically, it’s a dark room and you get a laser gun and run round trying to shoot each other.”

“Kill as many people as you can.” 

“It’s just a game really, but it feels like a proper war.” 

I leave cubs that night with a furrowed brow and troubling thoughts on my mind. In the car on the way home to the farm where I live, I relay all the information to my Dad. I finish with “I can’t believe they find that fun!” 

My Dad thinks for a while and then says this, “Me neither Gracie, killing is never a game. Pretend guns or real guns, shooting is shooting. For too many people all over the world, war is real life. What would a kid who’s lost his family to war say if he saw people treating it like a game?” 

“I don’t want to go, Dad.” I whisper “I think it’s wrong, totally wrong.” My Dad nods sadly, he knows how much it meant to me. 

When I go home that night, I tell my Mum too and between my parents they come up with an idea. “Why don’t you email your leader and tell her how you feel about laser tag? Maybe you could talk to all the others about your reasons.” 

So I sat down and wrote this email to my cub leader. 

Dear Akela  (That’s what we call our leader)

I just wanted to talk to you about why I’d rather not do laser hub.
I feel that running around shooting people is not a game, because war makes people suffer and die!
If you’ve already booked it, it’s ok! I’d just rather not come. Maybe if you haven’t already booked it we could have a meeting about it in sixer and seconder council and I could share my views? Then we could have another vote? I’ve got some suggestions if it’s not too late.
I’ve never played shooting games with other kids and I don’t really feel comfortable doing it at cubs, if that’s all right.
I’ll mention my ideas when we have the meeting (if we can have it).
Yours,
Gracie

 

She replied the next day: 

Dear Gracie.
Thankyou for your thoughtful e-mail, I do completely understand your point of view, my own children were strongly discouraged from playing with guns when they were growing up for exactly the same reasons.
Having said that I do feel that Laser gaming is just that – an  imaginative game which has developed with all the new technology out there & I suspect that those Cubs who came up with the idea & who voted in its favour do not necessarily equate it with real life warfare. You are absolutely right that if at all possible we should discuss it.
I have added it to next week’s programme (Sixer / Seconder Council) although suspect it could develop into quite a debate. Just so you know where we are with planning,
Keego & I had discussed the possibility of going to a centre in Eastbourne where there is a laser quest option but there is also bowling. Can I talk to you tomorrow at X Country?  Akela
I started thinking immediately. What would I say? How would I explain myself? To this day, I still swear that it was one of the most nerve-racking experiences of my life. I wrote draft after draft on paper and then I scribbled it out and started again. 
Finally I decided on the words I would use and I was ready that next Wednesday nightthough my heart kept doing somersaults and I was scared of what the other kid’s reactions might be. They’d been so adamant about laser tag, how would they take to my suggestion? Would they think of me differently after this day?
I clutched my piece of paper as I walked through the door that night. I still remember the clean white kitchen, with out-of-date custard creams and black currant squash on the side. The other kids all gathered around the table. My Akela nodded at me and I managed a quick nervous smile before I began reading off of my paper. 
Last week we discussed the possibility of doing laser tag as our Sixer’s day out. For my own personal reasons, I’d rather not do that. If you’d like to know what they are, please feel free to ask me later.  However, I have another idea. I’d like to invite you all to come to my farm and play night games in the woods. We can light a campfire and cook over it.” 
Akela stepped in. “Who likes Gracie’s idea?” She asked brightly. A flurry of enthusiastic voices filled the air and almost made me fall over with surprise. I’d been gearing myself up for disagreement and disappointment, yet everyone seemed to positive.
And so that’s how it happened, my boldness changed their minds. We ran around the woods for hours, laughing and joking. We made our own food and stuffed our faces with chocolate fondue. Our bonds as a team certainly became stronger and we all made memories that night. 
And what did I learn from that experience? It taught me that I had to be the change I wanted to see in the world. It taught me that people will listen if you give them good reason to.
I want to know about the experiences that have shaped your lives? What’s the most meaningful thing that ever happened to you? Tell me your stories, I’ve told you mine. As I always say, your beautiful comments always fill me with hope. 
I especially value your opinions on my more personal and thought-provoking posts, so please send me a few words and I’ll reply. I’m also welcoming of comment discussions! 
Don’t forget that the second experience is coming soon, so watch this space….
Goodbye for now and remember to send me your own stories and thoughts!
Gracie
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Livin’ In A Bubble

Hello There Everybody!  Trust Katy Perry to bring out another catchy song just as I was beginning to get ‘Roar’ out of my head. Every time I turn the radio on, Chained To The Rhythm is playing over and over and over again. And again. And again. And again.

At first I didn’t like it. Then I started listening to the lyrics, I didn’t have much choice, it’s being blasted out of speakers wherever I go.  Then I began to see the message behind this previously annoying pop song. Just read these words:

Are we crazy?
Living our lives through a lens
Trapped in our white-picket fence
Like ornaments
So comfortable, we live in a bubble, a bubble
So comfortable, we cannot see the trouble, the trouble
Aren’t you lonely
Up there in utopia
Where nothing will ever be enough?
Happily numb
So comfortable, we live in a bubble, a bubble
So comfortable, we cannot see the trouble, the trouble

Ah, so good
Your rose-colored glasses on
And party on

They got me thinking, maybe she’s right. Perhaps we all live in a bubble, thinking everything’s fine within our own little world. Maybe we don’t want to open our eyes to the rest of the planet and see what’s going on beyond our comfort zone. If we did, we’d have to do something about it, we’d see the poverty, fear and oppression that exists outside of our ‘bubble’. I guess everyone has one, though they’re all very different. Some people wear dark rose-coloured glasses and can see very little, others wear light ones, but rose-coloured all the same.

I think the challenge is to be able to pop your bubble and step out into the big, wide world. So much awaits you and you can do so much to help others.

 

I’d love to know how you feel? Your heartfelt, encouraging, kind and thoughtful comments always make my day so please don’t hesitate to leave me one. I am interested in all your opinions, comment discussions are always welcome. Thank you in advance,

Gracie,

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Sojourner’s Truth

He said he’d set me free in a year if I worked hard. I did my best, I was so hopeful that me and my family would have a better future. When the time came, I reminded him of his promise. But the man had changed his mind. Back then I didn’t know that slavery was due to be abolished in New York when that time was up. Really he had no choice. 

Now it had been postponed and he, my slave master, had no intentions of letting us go when it was unnecessary. He was a cruel and self-centred man.  I remember the day I heard that news. The anger, disappointment and frustration that had been growing in me for so long reached its climax. I took my daughter and fled that place forever. 

We sought refuge with a family who abhorred slavery, me and my daughter were safe with them. Especially when they bought us for twenty dollars and gave us our freedoms. Of course I was happy, but I couldn’t help thinking of my fellow slaves, my many children, all of whom I knew were still toiling in the fields and bearing the lashes of the all too frequent whip. 

Slavery was abolished in our home state of New York soon after, to my absolute joy and relief. But when I tried to reunite with my son, I found out that he had been sold to someone in Alabama. That was against the law. Again, I felt that same strength inside me, fuelled by my grief and outrage. 

I was black and I was a woman, even though I was free, my rights were still little or nothing. What chance did I have of getting my son back? I didn’t know, but I had to try. I went to court, believe it or not. And I stood, in front of a crowd of all white men, and I stated my case. I was brave and it paid off. I won and my son came home to me. 

You may think I would be content with that, but no. I couldn’t bear the thought of all those slaves who were still under the power of their mean and heartless masters. The thought of the sickening stench of sweat and blood that I could still smell when I lay awake at night. When I closed my eyes I could see the straining muscles and pained expressions, hear the desperate cries resounding in my ears.

I didn’t know what I could do, but I knew that I had to do something. One day I just left my home and began walking. I changed my name to Sojourner Truth. A sojourner is a person who stays in one place for a short time, before moving on. A journeyer, a wanderer, a traveller.  I was searching for the truth. I was open, I learned as I went. I spoke, but most importantly, I listened. 

I walked the length and breadth of America, telling people about the plight of us slaves, about how skin colour doesn’t matter, how we feel things the same as anyone else, we are smart and brave and loving and loyal too. I told them about equality between humans, black and white, male and female. 

People got to hear of me I guess. I was known throughout the nation as a civil rights activist. I never really set out to be one, I was just a woman with faith and a message to share with others. I was some’s heroine and other’s enemy. But I didn’t care, I knew what I believed and I stood up for it.

I dedicated my life to the abolition of slavery in the U.S. Met Abraham Lincoln and told him the story of my life, played a part in recruiting troops to fight in the civil war to free my brothers and sisters who still suffered at the hands of their masters. I did everything in my power to wipe slavery off the earth.

That was the true story (retold by me) of a black slave woman named Isabella Baumfree, who became Sojourner Truth, a celebrated and admired civil rights activist, author of the famous and emotive speech ‘Ain’t I A Woman?’ which you can watch below.

What do you think Sojourner would think of the world how it is today? Does she inspire you like she inspires me? What emotions does the video provoke in you? Do you have any questions? Please let me know how you feel about this post as I really value all your opinions and ideas.  Comment discussions always welcome! 

 

 

 

Kindness Is Always A Choice

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Travelling round the world on a bright yellow motorbike relying entirely on the kindness of strangers? “Impossible!” I hear you cry “Crazy!” Well, that’s exactly what Leon Legothetis has done. He’s made a documentary about it too, Kindness Diaries.

You know when you watch something and it just sets off a whole load of exciting thoughts in your head, like an explosion? When one leads to another and suddenly you have this brand new and amazing idea that you can’t stop thinking about? When you start to write the words in your mind and imagine what they’ll look like on paper? When you sit down to type them up on your blog to inspire others like it inspired you?

Well, that’s what I’m going to do. Listen up because I’m about to share an incredible story with you……

In short, Leon was a successful businessman who realised that life wasn’t all about money and self. So he decided to go off around the world experiencing human kindness and paying it back where he could. He bought an old motorcycle that he nicknamed Kindness 1 and off he went, with no money, food or belongings.

After seeing this program it made me form an idea I’m calling ‘world kindness’.

Watching Leon and Kindness 1 in The Kindness Diaries made me realise just how simple kindness really is. It all boils down to just one choice, to be or not to be, that is the question. There are no ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ about it.

In that moment you can think of yourself or you can think of others, the thoughts in your head and the decision that you make are the only determining factor of your kindness.

Anyone can make the choice. People can surprise themselves by just pushing everything self related to one side and saying yes. 

It can be quite a challenge to put human nature aside and go against your instincts, but there is kindness in all of us. We just have to let it take control. It’s that choice thing again!

The effects of world kindness could be unbelievable. All through history, war and greed have dominated. People have fought and killed over power and riches. But if every person on the planet decided to be kind perhaps we could break that pattern of thinking about self and make the future look a thousand times brighter.

We could defy the urge in us to think only of ourselves. We could stop arguing and fighting. We could start sharing instead of taking. We could achieve so much if we worked together. People would be happy and content. Because when you pay out kindness, it always comes back to you.

Imagine the world I have just described to you and remember the cost: just one, simple choice.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Your feedback and comments mean so much and I always want to discuss things with others.  Different opinions and ideas are always welcome!  

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