Saturday, August 23, 2008


I was so pleased to find a shiny new copy of Veronica on Petunia's Farm by Roger Duvoisin at our local library. First published in 1962 this is a timeless tale that teaches social grace (which you can't teach enough in our modern-techno society.) I was reminded by my 4.5 year old who was busy actively ignoring anyone who spoke with her at the library including a sweet grandma who complimented her shiny shoes and a good friend of mine and her two sons who asked her if she was ready for school, that she needs to practice some manners! All you have to say is Thank You and acknowledge that someone is talking to you my dear child.

If you don't remember Veronica, she is a hippopotamus who arrives by truck at a farm. Much like the first day of school, Veronica wants to make new friends. Despite the amiable accommodations, a little pond- "just the right size for one hippopotamus," and a beautiful meadow-"just the right grass for eating," Veronica is excluded and gossiped about by the farm animals until she is miserably depressed. She will not come out of her house for a week! Finally the farm animals, one-by-one, feel compassion for her and bring her food until she is better. They decide that Veronica's very big hippopotamus smile is lovely and shows how kind she is. And it doesn't matter if she muddies the pond or smashes down the grass. Veronica is accepted in the barnyard and Veronica decides that her new home is indeed just right.

The story of Veronica brings me to the WKM. Yes, that's the World Kindness Movement! Created in Japan in 1997 their declaration states, "In acknowledgement of the fundamental importance of simple human kindness as a basic condition of a satisfying and meaningful life, we hereby declare the establishment of the World Kindness Movement. Through the individual networks in each country and the formation of this global network we pledge to join together to build a kinder and more compassionate world." For a network in the United states visit . Now if I could just teach siblings to be peaceful and kind to each other on long trips (or even short ones) in the backseat so I don't have to pull-over?????

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