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January 21st 2000

New Campaign By Beth Vishnevsky

Beth Vishnevsky writes for The Greenwich Village (New York) Gazette. She often writes articles on ADD/ADHD. Beth has just started a new campaign, "Stopping the Madness With A Dose of Human Kindness" which you can read below.

"In light of yet more school (and work) violence, I have a desire to reach out.

As a former "outcast" who has gone on to become anything but an outcast, I have learned some important lessons about life. I now want to live my life to my fullest potential as a human being, and I have found that true fulfillment comes from the heart, from reaching out to others. None of us are the center of the universe, but a magnificent part of it. Life is hard and it hurts so times, but life is good, too!

It's everybody's business what is happening "out there". People are often shocked when crime hits their community. None of us is immune from tragedy, immune from danger, immune from life.

Fact is, we're all human. Our actions may speak otherwise, but there's no denying we're more than just a body with parts.

Hate and ignorance will never be solved by more hate and ignorance.

Tolerance and respect need to be taught early in life and incorporated into home life, as well as part of school training. Actions speak louder than words, and if our children hear us say one thing, but we speak or do otherwise, an important message is sent. An important message is lost, too.

Much of society's problems these days are a result of hate, ignorance, and a narrow-mindedness not to even consider what someone else may be feeling or going through.

It is time TODAY to stop the cycle of hate!

Stopping the cycle of hate is everyone's responsibility. We become more conscious of our own actions. We don't sit around complaining about a situation. We take constructive, not destructive, action. We search for solutions, amid our pain, and in the process, we can heal and help ourselves and others.

We become brave enough to confront our own mortality and ask ourselves what is truly important, what we really hope to accomplish before we die. We not only preach kindness, we practice it. We embrace life and all it encompasses. We look at our differences and stand proud. We put our fears aside and reach out to help someone who is hurting. We don't close our eyes to the realities that are staring at us. We look for ways to be helpful. We look for ways to make a positive difference.

They say you should love your mate or your child with "unconditional love". But we all know this doesn't always happen. We need to respect our differences and really listen to what the other person is saying. We really wouldn't want replicas of ourselves all over. The challenge of life is living in a world with many different people, different traditions, different tastes, and different feelings.

It eventually comes down to respect. If one truly respects themselves, then the thought of harming another becomes absurd and self defeating. That doesn't mean we excuse inappropriate behavior - with free will comes choices and consequences. We can't control anyone's actions except our own. But we can look for ways to turn a bad situation into one of those life's lessons that eventually make us all stronger on the inside.

Nothing is gained by responding to hate or prejudice with more hate or prejudice. Period.

It definitely gives you something to think about. In America, the "home of the free and the home of the brave", we should start being brave enough to take a stand and look for solutions that are not just temporary.

However, what would happen if we all practiced some decent human kindness towards each other? Sounds very simple, yes. Never happen? Probably not. But consider this. Everyone has a human need to feel understood, to be loved, to be accepted.

The person you laughed at today may take their pain out on someone else. That's a lot of responsibility, huh? Did you make crude remarks to that "fatso"? Did you make fun of the kid who can't walk or talk right?


An 'eye for an eye'. Fight fire with fire. Respond to cruelty with cruelty. Hate with such passion you even scare yourself. Everyone loses.

A successful person isn't one who has the best job or nicest home. Success comes from the inside. It comes from living.

To be successful means to live in a world, where both good and bad exist, and still strive to become the best we can, despite what is happening all around us. Winners don't give up ever. They may try different strategies, but they always try.

It involves a lot of faith. It involves a lot of compassion. It involves thinking with our own minds and not simply going along with the majority way of thinking out of fear of ridicule. Fear holds us back; truth sets us free. It takes maturity.

And, finally, as we enter a new year, what are you going to do to make this world a better place? The world has been changed by "small" people with big hearts, big dreams. Never underestimate the power you have to make a difference."

Beth is highlighting her campaign with buttons, magnets and tee shirts. Click on the above design to see the other designs.

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