ParentMap, December 2008 Issue

Published on: December 01, 2008

December cover

Are sprouts of compassion growing in your life? Last spring's historic visit by His Holiness the Dalai Lama was the centerpoint of a ground-breaking event: Seeds of Compassion. This month, we take a look at the lasting echoes of this gathering.

If you're shelling out for expensive organic baby formula, you may wonder: Is it worth the cost? This month's Ages & Stages section focuses on nutrition. Got a pastafarian at your dinner table? Find out how to deal with picky eaters, pack grin-worthy lunch-boxes meals, and create meaningful dinner-time traditions with your kids.

Plus, we get all twinkly-eyed over Christmas Ships ...and round up some great holiday gifts for your kids!


Feature: Agent of Change: Tracing the impact of a historic event

Ages & Stages: Parent to Parent

Out & About:

    Our editor's picks for media gifts


    Getting School Ready: Boost your child's math skills

    Special: Holiday gift guide

    From our Readers: Letters to the Editor

    About this issue

    Dear Reader,

    Change is the air, whether you breathe it in Seattle, Tibet, Kenya or Kirkland. It feels like the change goes beyond American political leadership, worldwide economic chaos and growing environmental awareness. Locally, our greater Seattle community worked for change when it played host to a slate of compassion change agents at the five-day Seeds of Compassion event last spring.

    My occasionally cynical nature was tested when first asked to participate in the planning of Seeds about a year ago. My competing instincts ranged from an omnipresent desire to flee the crowds that would flock to see celebrated visionaries His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu to disdain for the enormous expense and energy that would go into the accompanying media hoopla. (“Agent of Change”)

    But I was equally enthusiastic about being one of the thousands of nurtured “seeds” gathered to engage with other hearts and minds in our community. Experiencing more about the vision, science, and programs of early social, emotional, and cognitive learning is just what we (as in “We the People”) seem to need so desperately.

    The event exceeded my hopes on many levels. I had the great opportunity to meet myriad unsung community leaders and educators that have devoted themselves to teaching compassion to adults and children for years. Robin Higa and Ashley Cooper are change agents you may not know but should, because meeting them brings many gifts that can be shared with others. They give to many every day, by showing how to get involved in our local communities and do more for one another — if only to listen and have an open heart.

    The gift that I plan to give this holiday season is The True Patriot, a little red booklet by local change agents Eric Liu (former Clinton speech writer) and Nick Hanauer (Google his name for his impressive list of mega-business ventures). Using their own clear voices and our nation's founders and great leaders' voices, they demonstrate that patriotism is progressive. We can love our nation even as we strive to better it.

    The messages of Seeds and The True Patriot feel exceptionally relevant as we change our calendars to 2009.

    Happy Holidays and Happy New Year,

    Alayne Sulkin, Publisher/Editor

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