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The GoodLetter    Thursday, September 12, 2002
GoodThings, Inc. :: Stories, actions, ideas, and greeting cards that connect us.


In this week's issue:
:: Favorite GoodThings GoodThings
From Lisa Moore of Ft. Myers, Florida
:: This Week's Feature GoodThings
The Wisdom of Children - by Marisa Martinez
:: Card of the Week GoodThings
Holiday Cards: A World of Peace
:: Readers Respond GoodThings
Constructive ideas, post-September 11
:: GoodThings on Public Radio GoodThings
Them or Us? -- more
:: The Upshot GoodThings
The Legacy Project: awakened by experience
:: Housekeeping GoodThings

A few favorite goodthings from Lisa Moore of Ft. Myers, Florida:

"The light in a child's eyes, the sound of the laughter that accompanies that light. The swelling feeling in your heart when you fall in love and the other person falls in love back. Being honestly thankful for each daily blessing, even the ones in disguise, and for friends that laugh with you instead of at you."

What are YOUR favorite goodthings? Read more

Greeting Card of the Week

Holiday Cards: A World of Peace

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Inside: a hopeful wish for the new year

This Week's Feature

The Wisdom of Children

by Marisa Martinez

One year ago this week, we featured the words of a San Francisco kindergarten teacher who learned a simple truth from her students on September 11, 2001. A year later, how much does their wisdom still ring true?

Fellow GoodLetter readers,

I am a kindergarten teacher in San Francisco, California. When I got the horrific news on that bleak, foggy San Francisco day -- September 11, 2001, I wearily dragged myself into work. My old friend works in the World Trade Center, and my thoughts were of him and the thousands of other victims. Most of my students did not know what had happened. As they filed in line looking for direction, the next would be to come from where they had begun. Within five minutes of school being in session, schools in San Francisco were closed.

Parents came both calmly and frantically to pick up their students. As the last child was picked up I thought about how the class would be the next day if there was school. The next morning, I went to work and tried to hide my feelings of sadness until DeVonte came to me with big brown watering eyes and said, "I miss those people in the airplane."

I decided to show my emotion and let tears run down my face because I knew my students deserved to see my true emotions. We went inside and formed a circle. We have a community circle every morning where we talk about ideas of positive behavior and our thoughts and hardships of everyday life.

Our circle that morning became an outlet for each student to share what they felt about the recent tragedy. I listened to all they had to say, and then we went around the circle again. I had them share something positive about someone in their lives.

We have made the week into appreciation of family. I told them, "Everyday, tell your family how much you mean to them. Tell them 'I love you!'"

Some are still drawing pictures of the crash, but most are celebrating the life and appreciation they have for their families. It has been a hard week on us all. We have dedicated two minutes each day to be completely silent and send love to those who have lost their lives and to those who have lost their loved ones.

When the alarm goes off, each child stands in momentary silence, closes her or his eyes, and "sends loves." It is truly magical to see 20 five-year-olds intently closing their eyes, some praying, some meditating, and some just with eyes wide open, their truth and wisdom before us sending all the love they can to people they don't even know. They have come to expect the alarm to signal at 10:15.

With love, peace, and friendship to all races and religions,

:: Marisa Martinez
San Francisco, California

(Thoughts on Marisa's GoodLetter? Inspired by what you've read? E-mail us -- don't forget to tell us your name, where you're from, and if we can use your words in a future GoodLetter or on our Web site.)

What have you taught your children in the wake of the September 11, 2001 tragedy? What have you learned since then? Share your stories and ideas.

:: September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows [more]
:: NPR's Sonic Memorial Project
:: [more]
:: American Folklife Center's September 11 Documentary Project
::'s All Available Boats
:: (Nuclear Age Peace Foundation)
:: Syndicated columnist Sean Gonsalves
:: Renowned journalist Bill Moyers
:: The Words Can Heal Handbook [more ]

Consider the following books to educate yourself about peaceful solutions to global conflict and crisis:

:: Choose Hope: Your Role in Waging Peace in the Nuclear Age, by David Krieger, Daisaku Ikeda, Richard L Gage

One of our "favorite goodthings" -- Working Assets Radio's Laura Flanders -- additionally recommends:

:: 110 Stories: New York Writes After September 11, edited by Ulrich Baer

:: To Mend the World: Women Reflect on 9/11, edited by Betty Jean Craige & Margorie Agosin


Readers Respond

One year ago, we heard from so many of you from around the world who wanted to share your perspectives on the events of September 11, 2001. We were overwhelmed then -- as now -- with the peace and tolerance of your views. You can continue to read them on our site by clicking here.

Throughout the year, we've continued to receive letters from many you related to the tragedy and its aftermath. Here's an inspiring, action-oriented letter we received recently:


Dear GoodThings,

While some CEOs view the companies they run as their own personal cookie jars, there are others whose bottom line includes the well-being of their employees and their communities.

Below is a letter that I received, along with a check for $2,000, from the management of Measurement Incorporated (MI), a small, employee-owned company in Durham, North Carolina. Hank Scherich, the president of MI, is the kind of CEO America needs more of, especially right now!

Heiderose Kober
Durham, North Carolina

:: October 11, 2001

Thirty days ago, on September 11, a terrible tragedy befell our nation. The events that day resulted in thousands of casualties, horrible pain and suffering, and huge economic losses.

The management of MI has carefully considered what, whether, and how the corporation should respond to the tragedy. We have come to the conclusion that it should not be the company's role to provide a monetary response, but an individual decision for each employee. Therefore, the company will provide each full-time employee with some extra money to use in a manner determined by each.

Today, we are issuing an extra $2,000 payroll check to all full-time employees. Employees who began after January 1, 2001 will receive a pro-rated amount.

Please recognize that the greatest need may not be the September 11 Fund or other victim funds. It could be money you need to stabilize your own family or perhaps help a friend or loved one who has lost a job due to recent lay-offs. It may also be desperately needed by your favorite local charity because its normal funds have been diverted to help victims of September 11. The possibilities are endless.

The management of MI trusts all of you to make wise choices that will, each in your own way, do something to help.


We love to hear from you about anything: ideas or situations that are inspiring you or challenging you to think, as well as organizations, programs, and people that contribute to your community and the world everyday. Please drop us a line.

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The Upshot

What is the legacy of loss? The New York City-based Legacy Project explores the human use of the visual arts to come to terms with great tragedy. The Legacy Project recently showed the exhibition In Memory: The Art of Afterward at Pace University's conference, Building Memories: The Future of September 11. Of the exhibition, Legacy Project founder and curator Clifford Chanin recently has written:

"There is no doubt about what happened on September 11, 2001. The pictures of exploding airplanes and collapsing towers frame the focal experiences of the day. In mourning families, purple-bunted firehouses and a torn skyline, we can find a clear path back to that date. Yet now we approach September 11, 2002; beyond that, an open horizon of regularly recurring anniversaries. The cycling of the calendar sets the attack itself apart from our memories of what happened. In commemorating the passage of a year, we formalize the distance from "before" and 'after.'

[...] Made in the 'afterward' of different cataclysmic events, these pictures illustrate the consequences, not the causes of violence. They document a time of afterward, a period when the enduring communal effects of violence spool themselves out. How long will afterwards last? For as long as people are drawn to look back, as long as there are pictures awaiting 'the experience that awakes them.'"

:: Learn more about The Legacy Project

:: Learn more about the Building Memories conference

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GoodThings on Public Radio
Explore National Public Radio's coverage of the September 11 commemoration, Voices of Reflection.


Also, from the archive:
Among the moving commentaries on tolerance that have emerged from September 11's sadness and confusion was the following timeless piece from Morning Edition on National Public Radio:

:: "Them or Us?
More than ever, Iranian-American author and commentator Gelareh Asayesh worries about the way she looks, about the way her children look. Her friends and acquaintances have called her at her home in St. Petersburg, Florida, to see how she's been faring in the wake of the September 11 tragedies. Her American-ness is without question; she has loyally dedicated the past 24 years to her life in the United States. But her Muslim-ness has long overshadowed that fact -- especially now -- robbing her of her individuality. The dangerous assumptions some people make about who she is and what she stands for threaten her own sense of self but keep her clinging to the kind voices of those who have no doubt about the human being she truly and passionately is.

:: Listen to this story.

:: Learn more about Gelareh Asayesh's important book Saffron Sky: A Life Between Iran and America

Talk to us:
What's the best thing you've heard on public radio lately?



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