My first exposure to the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation wasn’t random but was a pleasant, heartwarming and serendipitous surprise. My involvement in social and environmental justice education basically planted me in this tranquil San Diego downtown cafe and bookstore called EcoVerse: Jing Si Books & Cafe. Upon entering, I felt a calming effect. Perhaps, it was the warm smiles? The beautiful artwork? The zen decor? The smell of freshly brewed tea? The soft music? Whatever the reason, I felt at home.
My original intention was to use their knowledgable staff and inspirational learning space for an upcoming “Zero-Waste Living-Party” to promote the sustainable lifestyle in our community. Then, in the future, I had hoped to plan other educational events there. I had no idea what else this experience had in store for me.
Pure. Authentic. Inspiration.
What inspired me
"Tzu Chi’s core values in disaster relief included a deep respect for the environment and an emphasis on personal connections."
Inspired by children.
Designed for children.
Developed by children.
Benefits the world.
This global non-profit organization (501c3) embodies KIDS leadership, opinions and direction. The KIDS, toddlers to teens, lead the way toward peace. This is what makes KIDS FOR PEACE different than any other NGO. The motto – “KINDNESS MATTERS” is indisputable and is strengthened by participation in the Annual Great Kindness Challenge. The byline – “Uplifting our world through LOVE and ACTION” is encouraging and hopeful. The guiding principles – “The Peace Pledge” was created in 2006 by the kid members of the first chapter after they were asked these fundamental questions:
“What does peace mean to you?”
“What do you want our world to look like?”
“What can you do to create the world you wish to see?”
“What do you want to pledge yourself to?”
Read More »
What exactly does GMO mean?
Why are GMOs controversial?
Approximately 80% of US processed foods contain GMOs.
GMO seeds are produced primarily by Monsanto (alongside five other smaller companies). In addition to providing seeds for corn, soybean, cotton, wheat, canola, sorghum and sugar cane seeds, Monsanto is the producer of RoundUp Weed Killer. They have manufactured a way to place built-in pesticides into the seed so bugs won’t eat produce as it grows. They have modified the DNA so fruits and vegetables grows faster and larger than conventional seeds.
Research has linked dis-ease, cancer, tumors and organ failure in 80% of rats fed GMO foods. However, Monsanto’s website says, “There is no need for, or value in testing the safety of GM foods in humans.”Read More »
Things I Carry: Connection is the first but not necessarily the most important
Connection to people, organization and knowledge
My iPhone and iPad Mini offer me a way to connect on many levels. First, I can communicate traditionally with a phone call, quickly with a text or virtually with social media forums. Then, I can keep track of appointments and to do’s. Next, I can document with photos. Last, I can read, research and revel.
Nourishment for my mind and body
I carry a refillable water bottle, tea, sweetener and some snacks. My favorite tea is Egyptian Licorice Mint by Yogi (introduced to me by a dear friend) with a drop of SweetLeaf Stevia. The snack is either a Clif Bar or something a bit sweeter like Australian black licorice or Endangered Species organic chocolate.
Relaxation for peace of mind
Music is a must. Either Pandora or predesigned iTunes song lists. Also, Beats by Dr. Dre headphones that can drown out all the hustle and bustle. Sometimes, it’s valuable to recharge and music seems to set the mood.Read More »
Cheryl DePonte is a Human Resources Learning and Performance Specialist at The Ken Blanchard Companies and has over 15 years experience in the fields of organizational effectiveness and human resources development.
Leadership as an Experience in Humanness
At the beginning of my career, desperate for experience, I took whatever job I could in my field. Fortunately, my first manager treated employees and customers like gold. Luck struck twice when I was hired by yet another wonderful manager.
Regrettably, subsequent managers provided the “opportunity” to witness appalling treatment of both employees and customers. Still relatively naïve, I unconsciously swept their behavior under the rug in an attempt to gain valuable experience.
As my skill-set grew, I became disillusioned with my own attempts to lead. Emulating a combination of previous managers, who overall, seemed successful, led to followers who appeared blatantly angry, humiliated, and hostile. Advised not to take it personally, I couldn’t help but wonder what I was doing wrong and how I could change. With a warrior mentality, I read every work regarding leadership I could find and studied leaders as if by doing so I could internalize their success merely by being in their presence.