Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Blue Butterflies, Miracles, Goal Setting Strategies for Kids and Other Learning Opportunities

Blue Butterflies, Miracles, Goal Setting Strategies for Kids and Other Learning Opportunities

By Kevin Stoda, Taiwan

In preparation for my Junior High classes this week, I came across a DVD called THE BLUE BUTTERFLY (2004).

As I watched the first minutes of the film, I could not believe that the tale was even vaguely based upon a true story, but I was wrong. Apparently, the film is, indeed, based on the life of a the Quebec-born, David Marenger, who at the age of six was diagnosed with cancer and given only a few months to live.

In 1988, MAKE-A-WISH FOUNDATION offered to grant the young David Marenger a final wish.

David then traveled from Canada to Mexico with the entomologist, George Broussard. At that time, David was so weak, he had to be carried when he was out with Dr. Broussard in the Latin American forests. Upon his return to Quebec, David fought for his life and then the miracle occurred. David went into remission. Eventually, at the age of 18, David stopped taking any medication or treatments for his cancer.

By the time that filming of THE BLUE BUTTERFLY in 2002, David was traveling on his own onsite and in-and-around Costa Rica. David Marenger credits “hope, belief, and perseverance” for his being alive today. According to one website, David still had two dreams as of 2005, i.e. after the movie came out. David (1) wanted to visit many more hospitals and inspire many more children and (2) wanted to build his own butterfly aviary some day.

Recently, I had meant a surgeon in Taiwan who has experienced a similar miracle in his life—but as an adult. As a young man, this physician had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Nonetheless, he went on to study medicine and made it through years of training. Two years ago, the same man totally went off his medications and is now an accomplished surgeon.

The thing that is similar about this particular Taiwanese surgeon, who overcame being bipolar to achieve his childhood dream, and the young David Marenger is that they both believe that hope, belief, and perseverance have made the difference in their destiny’s.


On the other hand, not everyone has had (nor will actually experience) a true-blue miracle in their lives.

As a lifelong educator who has not been able to overcome nor 100% recover from various illnesses or handicaps, I respect the message of David Marenger, but it is not sufficient for all to succeed. That is why I am glad to see that one of the websites linked to the story of THE BLUE BUTTERFLY and the various biographies in French and English on David Marenger focuses on how to teach children and youth to set goals and step-by-step making progress in their lives, i.e. regardless as to whether the initial goals are reached or not.

Here are a list of suggestions for kids and parents on goal setting. Please pass this on to your loved ones.

(1) Kids that start ahead, stay ahead. And teaching children goal setting is by far the best way to help them start ahead and secure their future.
(2) Our job is to prepare our children for adulthood. So if we want our children to have a successful, satisfying and happy life then there are some fundamental life skills we need to teach them:
• How to be healthy – we all want our kids to grow up to be fit and healthy. Teach them how to set good health goals.
• How to achieve – teaching children goal setting so they can set goals for life.
• How to manage themselves – motivation, attitude and knowing that they are the only ones that have full control over their destiny.
• How to work with other people – ‘Emotional Intelligence’ (EQ) is the key to their future. Help them develop their EQ .
• Help your child get organized and provide them with a solid foundation for an organized life.
• How to manage personal finances – one of the roots of adult unhappiness and stress, teaching kids about money is one of the best things you can do.
(3) Teaching kids about goal setting involves setting goals in all five of the above critical life skill areas.
(4) It is never too early or too late to start teaching your kids these vital life skills. By teaching children goal setting, you’ll help them guarantee their future.
(5) Try out the Life Planning Workbook on this site are just as relevant to your kids as they are to you. Particularly if you have older children, start introducing them to these skills – the sooner they learn them the more they’ll become second nature.
(6) If you have a story or some advice that could help kids achieve? Write a page on it and help kids get ahead.
Naturally, these how-to steps are not enough with kids, i.e. goal setting by itself is not enough.
You need to teach children and youth morals, and you need help them to obtain some sort of faith or belief system that will help when they fall down. Getting support groups at any age is helpful. (Nevertheless, such support groups cannot be allowed to become sources of dependency. Teaching people to grow out of dependencies and other contingencies must be part of the overall education process. This involves a variety of critical thinking skills and practices to be modeled by peers and parents for our youth.)
Finally, I turn to you readers and parents for further advice and suggestions on faith and life. Write me here.

For example, I have somewhat ignored one of the messages of THE BLUE BUTTERFLY, namely that life is fun, fascinating and filled with miracles. Allow yourselves and your kids to enjoy our world of miracles on their journey in life.



Anonymous Secrets of the Millionaire Mind said...

God one!
keep continue....

2:23 PM  

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