Our December-January 2014 Issue engages the Spirit of the Holidays, spreading Peace and Goodwill.
Well, the goodwill began to spread even before this issue went to press. A short while after I had extended a small courtesy to one of our advertisers, I received this email from her: “In response to your kindness, I made a donation to send a family a Thanksgiving meal.” She paid it forward! In so doing, her gratitude boomeranged right back to me and I wound up receiving far more than I had given. Completely unexpected, my small gesture prompted another to pass along an even greater gift to a family very much in need of it. While I hadn’t considered this outcome, it did serve as a clear reminder that every kindness, be it thought, word or deed, does indeed have a ripple effect that spreads far and wide.
Peace, kindness and goodwill are at the very heart of our cover title, Contemporary Spirituality for an Evolving Word. Nicolya Christi writes that Contemporary Spirituality constitutes the purest essence of all religion, guiding us toward unconditional self-love and love of others. This is what lies at the heart of any spiritual practice regardless how dysfunctional its rules or codes of conduct.
This issue, we offer you a very special article; so special to us that we have devoted an unprecedented three pages. Toys and Activities that Promote Creativity and Intelligence by Dr. Daria Brezinski is in no way to be confused with the typical, holiday gift-giving guide found in many a mainstream publication this time of year. Purchasing toys, games and activities is not child’s play. Dr. Brezinski explains that it is a crucial conscious responsibility – a child’s future is predicated on parental judgments and choices.
Parents need to understand the difference between entertainment (being the observer and acted upon) and play (being an active participant). The best toys are simply made with natural, earthy materials and tones. Conversely, electronic toys, games, television, and computers are detrimental to children until age 12. The arts (drawing and music) are vital, enabling children to get in touch with their passion, soul and inner core. Key to developing Creative Intelligence, is allowing a child the space for quiet time. A calm child tends to be more sensitive to life’s finer qualities.
This piece literally hit home for Andrea and me. Aligning with Dr. Brezinski’s values and philosophy, my daughter and two stepchildren have been largely raised in this environment. So far – with two in college and another heading there in the Fall – we’re pretty happy with the results.
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