Friday, February 24, 2017


Arianna e la sua lente.JPG
(Wikimedia commons)

There are some personality traits that are easy to see in others.




But then there are some traits that are harder to see or even understand what they mean. Traits like...


The dictionary says self-respect means "to have pride and confidence in yourself. To always behave with honor and dignity."

But what does that actually mean?

Think about it this way. If you get an A+ on a test at school, does it make you smile because you know you did your best? And if you accidently break your little brother's favorite toy, do you say you are sorry...and actually mean it?

Self-respect comes in different forms. Just look at the man in this story...



There is a story about a wealthy banker who always tossed a coin in the cup of a legless beggar who sat on the street outside his bank. But, unlike most people, the banker would always insist on getting one of the pencils the man had beside him.

“You are a merchant,” the banker would say, “and I always expect to receive good value from merchants I do business with.”

One day the legless man was not on the sidewalk. Time passed and the banker forgot about him, until he walked into a public building and there in the concessions stand sat the former beggar. He was obviously the owner of his own small business now.

“I have always hoped you might come by someday,” the man said. “You are largely responsible for me being here. You kept telling me that I was a ’merchant’. I started thinking of myself that way, instead of a beggar receiving gifts. I started selling pencils — lots of them. Now I am a businessman!"


Here's the thing about self-respect. The more you have of it, the more confident you become. And the more confident you become, the more self-respect you will develop. Pretty soon you won't have to wonder if what it is or if you have it. You'll just know...

sponsored by KICKS Kids Club

Friday, February 17, 2017


When I was in sixth grade, an accident at school affected my eyesight and I ended up having to wear glasses. What used to be a clear view of the world suddenly turned into everything being out of...


But the eyes aren't the only thing that can lose FOCUS. Have you ever walked into a room and forgotten why you went in there? Or maybe you are paying attention in class, and suddenly what your best friend is doing while sitting next to you is more important than what the teacher is saying. Your mind has lost its FOCUS and you might not have even realized it.

Here's a story about one little girl who never lost her FOCUS, even when things weren't going her way.


One of my students started crying last week during her martial arts class. Everyone was participating in a mat activity and apparently things weren't going her way. She’s young and small and pretty much the slowest runner of the group. Calling her over to me, I asked her why all the tears?

At the ripe old age of six, she felt like a complete failure, destined to never achieve her lofty goal of winning a race.

After drying her tears, I told my young student my nickname was Turtle because with my bad leg I couldn’t even think about running, so that made her my hero for her FOCUS and willingness to at least stay in the game no matter the outcome.


Whenever you start to doubt you can ever reach your goal, just stop long enough to look in the mirror. Tell that kid looking back at you that you are proud of them for staying focused…even if you are a turtle like me.

  sponsored by the KICKS Kids Club

Friday, February 10, 2017


I am Superman cropped (6045258692).jpg
 (wikimedia commons)

Everyone can be a hero to someone else. You don't have to wear a cape or have magical powers. All you have to have is one thing...


The dictionary says courage means, "being able to do something despite being frightened."  That can sometimes be a hard thing to do, but not for these six kids. They didn't wake up one morning and decide they were going to be a hero. But by the end of the day, they all decided to step up and became a hero in someone else's eyes!


When a neighbor's house caught fire one day, Marcos decided to help out in any way he could. Climbing a ladder held by his father, Marcus crawled in a second floor window and rescued 8-year-old Cody Ma, who was trapped inside. 


Anaiah and her 5-year-old sister was walking to the bus stop one morning when she noticed a truck was about to hit her sister. Pulling her out of harm's way, Anaiah was hit instead and spent the next few months in the hospital, recovering from her injuries. If not for her bravery in doing the right thing, her little sister might have been killed.


Riley was swimming in a hotel pool when she noticed a toddler fall into the water. Not seeing any lifeguard on duty and other grownups too far away to hear her calls, Riley dove to the bottom of the pool and rescued the child. She was given an award for her quick thinking and bravery.


Kyle, a Boy Scout, was alone in a classroom with his teacher when she began to choke on an apple. Even though he was autistic, Kyle had been taught how to perform the Heimlich Maneuver by both the Scouts and his father. Realizing his teacher was in danger, he performed the technique and saved his teacher's life.


Caleb was sleeping in the back of his mother's car when he woke up and noticed his mother was having a seizure. Instead of panicking, he calmly unbuckled, climbed into the front seat and steered the car to safety before finding someone to call 911.


Johaven was traveling with his family when their car went off the road and down a steep mountain cliff. He calmly called 911 before climbing back up the 100 foot cliff to direct people to the crash site. If not for his quick thinking, first responders might not have been able to locate his family until it was too late.

Courage can be seen in a lot of different ways...

Choosing not to cheat on a test.

Standing up to a bully.

Saying no to a friend daring you to take something that doesn't belong to you.

Heroes can be found all around us. You can even find one by just looking in the mirror! 

Make-up mirror.jpg 
 (By Jurii - wikimedia commons)

  sponsored by the KICKS Kids Club