Pay it Forward is a very simple but powerful movement that will shortly become very important in the day to day lives of billions. A movement that in an all digital world brings back the “Human Connection” we all so badly want back in our lives.
Pay It Forward is about being aware of your surroundings, being ready to step up and being conscious of the need to help others. It doesn’t involve money, much time or energy. It’s as simple as holding a door open, helping a lady with her bags, smiling at those who seem to be having a tough day or slipping some change in an expired parking meter.
Pay It Forward is about little gestures, done by millions each and every day that over time is no longer a little gesture…it’s a movement. These little acts create a wave of change more powerful than one can imagine. Everyone has that need to create change for a better future, we just need that little reminder.
Pay It Forward has no boundaries: not age, race, gender, industry, affiliation or religion. Everyone can wear the bracelet, that acts as the reminder, to perform acts of kindness in a more conscious and focused way.
Now that you all have your belated Christmas gift from me, you are able to better spread your random acts of kindness into the community! Please share your stories of how you have passed on your bracelet after doing something great for someone else. It feels great to put a smile on someone else’s face. Let’s go 7’s!! LET’S GET THIS KINDNESS REVOLUTION STARTED!
On Wednesday, March 20th, 2013, a Holocaust Survivor – Dr. Eva Olsson, visited our school.
She spoke softly and told the audience about her life and about the lessons that she had learned. She spoke for an hour and a half and during that time the entire audience listened in absolute silence.
Eva Olsson was born in 1924 in Szatmar, Hungary. In May of 1944, when she was 19, a man came into the town square and told the residents that they had two hours in which to pack their clothes prior to boarding a train to go to a work camp, a brick factory in Germany. She and her family were marched 7 kilometres and forced onto boxcars. The cars contained 1 pail of drinking water and 1 pail for a toilet, for 110 people, for four days. They were taken to Auschwitz, an extended family of 17 among the 430,000 Hungarian Jews transported to the camp to be killed there during 56 days between May and July.
“I am here to speak for them. They cannot speak for themselves. When I leave your school I hope that I will have touched your heart.” Disembarking from the train Eva was approached by a prisoner who told her to give the child (she was carrying her niece) to an older woman.‟ She gave her niece to her mother, and survived, because women with children were executed immediately.
“We came to the gate where the angel of death was standing, Dr. Josef Mengele. He didn’t speak to us, he just pointed in the direction he wanted us to go, left or right. And that was how he decided who shall live and who shall die. Beside me were my younger sister, aged 17, and other young females. We were ordered to the right, all the others were ordered to the left.”
“By the time I turned my head to the left, I couldn’t see my mom, and the moment I couldn’t see my mom, how I wished I could have put my arms around her and tell her how much I loved her, but it was too late. For me it was too late. I hope in my heart that for you it is not too late. Do it while you can.”
Selected as a worker Eva lived in a barracks, sleeping sitting up in a small cubicle with 8 others, listening at night as black trucks moved around the camp collecting 2000 prisoners per night for the gas chambers. As the days passed she became aware of the routines of death –the gas chambers, the screaming and the silences that came twenty minutes later, and the sickening smell of the black smoke that came from the crematorium smokestacks.
“My father was sent to Buchenwald. He endured 7 months and died of starvation in December of 1944. People die. People die of old age, people die of sicknesses. People die if they have an accident sometimes, and we are given the strength to deal with it. What I have not yet been able to deal with, eleven million people died and the cause of their death was hate.”
“Racism is a learned attitude.”
“In every one of the European countries that the Nazis had occupied there were good people. Many of those good people were also murdered. Catholic priests in Poland were hung for trying to help Jewish people. But something was missing in some of those countries and that was compassion. Had there been compassion in those nations I wouldn’t be standing here. In Bulgaria and in Denmark they wouldn’t allow the trains to leave. They prevented the Jewish people from being transported to the death camps. They protected the Jewish people. And why? They weren’t going to be bystanders. Bystanders are as guilty as the perpetrators.”
Selected a second time along with 2000 other young people Eva and her sister Fradel were taken first to Dusseldorf to unload ships, and later, with 500 others, to Essen to work at the Krupp factory.
“If we had a healthy body we were blessed. We became slave labour.”
After the camp was burned to the ground in an Allied bombing raid the workers were housed in a cellar with a dirt floor for the remainder of the winter. Then, as the Russian forces began to close in they were moved by train in February to Bergen-Belsen.
“Bergen-Belsen, where Anne Frank died. 104,000 died at Bergen-Belsen. There were no bunks, no chairs. All the prisoners had to lie on the floor, a floor that was covered with diarrhea and lice. Dysentery was epidemic. They had no food, no water and they were sick.”
As the allied advance came closer Eva fell ill with typhoid, Six days before the camp was liberated the SS shut off the water completely and took away all the food rations in order to speed up the deaths.
“How did people survive? I can only share with you how I survived. I didn’t want to give up. Never. Never to give up. I kept hope alive, and I was responsible for my sister. She was three years younger, so I couldn’t die. If I were to die then the Nazis would have won.”
On April 15th 1945 at 11:00 AM the British and Canadians liberated Bergen-Belsen. They found Eva lying on the floor amongst the dead, and marked her forehead with a red cross. She was taken out of the hut and disinfected prior to evacuating her to a hospital. In spite of massive efforts 13,944 inmates died after the camp was liberated.
“It’s not about the challenges we face. It’s about how we deal with them: the choices that we make. Only together as a people can we make a difference, so that this generation will never experience the horrors… never shall a child die by the power of hate. I cannot change the past, nobody can, but the future lies in your hands. You need to ask yourselves what example will you leave behind for the generations that follow you. I cannot make those choices for you. They are yours. I can ask you however to not be a bystander, but to be one of those who make a difference in someone else’s life.”
Eva relocated to Sweden after her recovery. She married Rude Olsson and they immigrated to Canada in 1951, settling first in Montreal and later to Richmond Hill. “My husband was a Swede and a Christian, he was educated and I was not, but he understood that it’s about being different and accepting being different. My husband had a short journey. He died at 37, the victim of a drunken driver. He showed me unconditional acceptance of another human being. It’s not religion or education or colour or culture that makes us different. What makes us different is our attitude. Unconditional acceptance, and love. Pass this on. It’s the only thing worth having. The things that you can buy depreciate in value very quickly… the way we treat other human beings, with respect and dignity, will never, ever depreciate in value. This is the only thing I have to bring into your school, and the only thing I have to give away. Pass it on.”
Pay It Forward (How to Make More of a Difference Than You Ever Thought Possible)
You have an unlimited capacity to give.
Though, many people don’t recognize this capacity. They fear that they don’t have enough to give. That they’re not important enough to change anyone’s life.
They are wrong.
If you don’t practice, and understand, the simple power of a random act of kindness, then you are setting limits on your life. Those limits keep you from living a life filled with the fun and joy that comes from simply being nice.
You hear stories all the time of everyday people transforming into heroes just by acting from their hearts under moments of duress. Think of all the people who died on 9/11 as they sacrificed their lives, trying to save strangers from the crumbling burning inferno of the Twin Towers on that tragic day. Think of the people who rushed to the area to help others with no regard for their own safety.
Remember the famous last words of Todd Beamer as he quickly said good-bye to his wife, dropping the phone, leading the charge with “Let’s roll,” as he and the other heroic passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 made the most of their precious last minutes on earth.
Because of their courage, their bravery, and their innate generosity, they possibly saved people they would never even meet, from potentially suffering their same fate.
When pushed into a dark corner of life, they dug deep inside to simply do what they had to do in that moment.
Being a hero doesn’t require big, bold acts, though.
You don’t have to wait for someone to “turn off the lights” for you to shine – you can achieve greatness through giving to others, through just one random act of kindness at a time.
All that prevents you from giving more, is the illusion that your resources are limited.
Stop doubting the greatness in YOU.
Your doubts don’t serve you. Instead, they only add fuel to the fire of your fears, giving them greater control of YOUR life.
If you don’t know the true value of giving a kind word, a simple thank-you, or just really listening when you ask someone how their day is, then you are dismissing the true value of what you have to give, sadly tarnishing the heart of gold given to you at birth.
Our desire to do things BIG and make a massive impact on the world saves lives every day.
But you don’t have to save Africa, jump in front of bullets, or build homes in Haiti to put your mark on the world.
If you find yourself waiting to be great, yearning for the optimal time when you can “afford” to do more, then you are saying at some level, if you can’t help everyone, you help no one.
This is like saying trees don’t matter, only forests do. But you can’t save a forest unless you start by saving a tree or two.
Don’t wait to be a hero, when all it takes to touch someone’s soul is to say thank you, you’re welcome, hold a door, help someone with their groceries, or just be patient with the checkout person when all you want to do is scream.
The little things, as we like to call them, can have a compound effect in peoples’ lives. Just as bad events can seem to have a domino effect, so can good things – so why not jump start some goodness in someone’s life?
Change one person’s day for the better, and you can change the world.
Watch this inspiring video (also below) which highlights true events, reminding us how average people (and one dog) tapped into their spirits, stepping up to make the impossible happen.
Sometimes, all it takes is one woman to refuse to give up her seat for the entire world to be set on fire.
The One Act Revolution…pay it forward by spreading the word and asking yourself one question…
What can I do to light up someone’s world right now?
Well you did it! By taking notes, helping each other study and supporting everyone in the class to do well, you all achieved a class score of 70% or above on your history test! You were rewarded with a class party from me. We enjoyed cake, Popsicles and nachos and salsa. The best part was the WII dance off!!
Keep up the good work!
Our class is up to something new and exciting! We have decided to start a movement in our school where we perform a random act of kindness for each class in our school.
We will be delivering a gorilla to each class with a note explaining the act thay they will be receiving in the future. The act will be committed in a time that will be convenient for the class that receives the gorilla.
Please put your thinking caps on to think of great ideas to share with the rest of the school!
While watching Flight 93 as a class, you were asked to think about the different perspectives the movie presents that you did not get a chance to understand while we read the book, We All Fall Down. Please answer the following questions and post a blog response below. After the whole class has posted their responses, take time to read each one over and respond to at least ONE of your classmates. For example, what thoughts did they have about the movie that you had not thought of or you found interesting?
ASSIGNMENT:Perspectives – What did you learn about the following people involved in this movie?
Air Traffic Controllers –
Families of Passengers –
What perspective was missing from the movie? What information would that other perspective provide about that day.
Please take the time to edit your response before you post it.
Welcome Tecumseth Beeton students to your class blog. This blog is designed to be a window into your classroom. It will be updated with news of what is happening in our classs, as well as homework tips, a calendar to keep track of assignment deadlines and special events, and much more. Here you will find many useful tools to help you and there will be files to download, videos to watch, photos to look at and of course, posts that will give you information.
This website is highly integrated into the classroom routines. You will need to visit this site every day to receive updates on classroom activities and to keep yourself organized. For example, every class has a schedule that does not follow the days of the week but from Day 1 to 5. For example, you will have Phys. Ed not on every Tuesday but on every Day 1 and 3.
The most valuable part of the website is for you to post your comments and questions and receive feedback from your peers and myself. Please pay attention to the homework board on the right side. Feel free to look around and use the links as necessary.
Here is to a fantastic year in grade 7!