Honouring an Indigenous War Hero of the Past-

 

A number of years ago, I did a series of blogs on stamps honouring various people we often forget or never did know, let alone their achievements. However, in this case, stamp collector enthusiasts will probably be the exception.

I found it an interesting, worthwhile exercise learning about these people that we may ordinarily give little notice of as we mail our letters and packages.  However, it seems especially appropriate that during this time of Truth and Conciliation, we should honour an Indigenous war hero, Sgt. Tommy Prince, by choosing his image to be on the newest stamp which will be available on Oct. 28. I learned of this recently on the news and thought it was worth sharing.

Other recent stamps of interest to me from 2022 include the March edition- Heroes of the COVID Pandemic, as it relates to my book Grounded which is a story about polio. Also, the May edition -Unsung Heroes: Women of World War ll, also speaks to women working in areas, not often considered for women as in the case of women working in scientific research during the search for a polio vaccine.

Watch for these and other topics in upcoming blogs.

Having the Gift of Gratitude

Recently,  a sample of a new newspaper called The Epoch Times was dropped off in our neighbourhood.  In it are featured a number of articles on health issues including the Pandemic, one article entitled  COVID Policy Missteps-What Can We Learn?

I have yet to read all the articles, but one in particular, caught my eye in the back section under Mind &Body entitled, The Profound Health Benefits of being Grateful. The article talks about how gratitude changes your brain and boosts your general health and well-being. I was particularly interested in the section on how gratitude could help you sleep not just better but also longer by having more positive and less negative presleep thoughts. This, according to a study in the  Journal of Psychosomatic Research. This makes sense.  It might mean something so simple as listening to the noon or 6 o’clock news if possible rather than the late-night news or choosing not to read that scary book at bedtime.

Personally, I believe having gratitude can also be a matter of deciding to be positive and appreciative not just for the so-called big things, but also the small things, ( which would often be pretty big if we didn’t have them eg. clean water to drink and bathe in,  or having good health) Things we often take for granted until we lose them. I also think this attitude of being thankful is something we should be teaching our children from a young age. Beginning with something as simple as saying, “Thank you.” 

In my workbook which accompanies my novel, Grounded, I  created a section on Gratitude.  Although the novel is about polio,  of course, one was thankful if they did not contact it or were able to recover from it, similar to the feelings we have had towards  COVID these last years during the pandemic. But I wanted the children to think about gratitude as something to consider every day, not just realize how we should have had more appreciation for something we value until we lose it. The discussions questions and activities are listed below.

What is gratitude? What does it mean to be grateful? How can you show gratitude?

How does being grateful or having gratitude change your personality and how others react to you?

Look for ways to be grateful at home, at school, outdoors, looking after your pet, spending time with a senior etc.

Keep a journal for 7 days. Each day, write down one thing you are grateful for and explain why.

Being grateful is a choice. It is something you decide/ choose to be even though it is not easy.

Did you ever choose to be thankful when you really felt like being grumpy instead? Explain.

In my activity book, there are many other good activities to talk about, not just in a classroom setting but over the dinner table or in a round table social setting eg. Try one of these.

The only way to make a friend is to be one. Franklin D. Roosevelt.

A dream without action is just a dream. Shirley Hartung

My workbook is available both with and without the novel Grounded  Go to . www.authorsmhartung.com

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