Your Last Soul Food for 2012

Happy Soul Food Friday!

As this is my final Soul Food for 2012, here are 12 Stories, one for each month of the year:

It is so hard to not to have your soul hurt deeply from the tragedy in Sandy Hook last week…

While the country reels from the event and hopefully makes systemic changes for the future as President Obama’s speech on Wednesday passionately portends, here are some resources to help us get through this enormously difficult time:

How to talk to youth about the shooting in Connecticut

By way of Margaret Iwanaga-Penrose, President & CEO of Union of Pan Asian Communities (UPAC) and a fellow member of the San Diego Non Profits Board

We have assembled a brief listing of excellent resources you can use to help in your efforts to talk with youth and families about the shooting that took place in Connecticut on Friday. Special thanks to the following people for rallying quickly and consulting with experts to identify a few key resources (There are a multitude of resources available but we think at this point in time less is more).

  • Our gratitude to Alfredo Aguirre, Director of Mental Health Services, San Diego County & Network Advisory Council Member, Wayne Lindstrom, President & CEO, Mental Health America, and Robert Abramovitz, Co-Director National Center for Social Work, Trauma Education and Workforce Development, Hunter College.
  • Review the resources and download what is most applicable to your needs.

Scott Bryant-Comstock
President & CEO

10 Tips for Helping Children Cope:

Dear Supporter of Save the Children,

Following yesterday’s tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, the thoughts of all of us at Save the Children are with our neighbors in this community that is only about 20 miles from our headquarters.

Even as adults try to come to terms with this unspeakable tragedy, we know many parents, teachers, grandparents and caregivers are concerned about how the media’s dramatic images and heartbreaking stories might affect the emotional well-being of the children in their lives.

To help you know what to say and do to support children at this difficult time, we want to share 10 tips for helping children cope, suggestions based on our extensive experience working with children in times of crises.

  1. Limit television time.
  2. Listen to your children carefully.
  3. Give reassurance.
  4. Be alert for significant changes in behavior.
  5. Understand children’s unique needs.
  6. Give your children extra time and attention.
  7. Be a model for your children — they will learn from your behavior.
  8. Watch your own behavior and make a point of being sensitive to the crisis.
  9. Help children return to a normal routine.
  10. Encourage volunteer work — doing something for others.

If you know anyone who might be helped by these tips, I urge you to please share the link

As for our own efforts to be of service, we have already established a Child Friendly Space in a Newtown middle school — a safe haven where children can play, socialize with their peers and regain a sense of normalcy. We will, of course, offer any help we can in the weeks to come.

As I hugged my own 11-year-old daughter last night, I realized that the most important thing for all of us right now is to remember that children of any age can be affected by a disaster — and that they look to us to provide them with love, understanding and support.


Carolyn Miles
President & CEO

While Gun Laws are one thing, our entire approach to and support for treating Mental Illness in this country is quite another.

With No Child Left Behind and Budget cuts, socialization skills as a core output of an excellent educational system, and social services as a necessary ingredient in the school team composition have taken a back seat to scores and grades.

Here is one article on what mental illness looks like from the parents point of view?

On Perspective

This deck certainly provides some…

Click here


Now for some lighter fare

Hard to believe that since Soul Food Friday’s inception there have been more than 60 blogs on this site and nearly a year’s worth prior to that via direct emails that eventually got too cumbersome to manage through large email attachments.

I do hope at least a few of them touched your soul…

As I leave on vacation today, this will be my last eMissive until the New Year which technically by nature’s calendar would be today on the Winter Solstice, after which the days get longer…

The Gift of Friendship:
If holiday season is about gift giving, one of the greatest gifts I received this year was the gift of support getting a travel Visa for India. After being shocked and devastated for being denied for an India Visa because I could not procure my Naturalization Certificate from 24 years ago- even though I have a US Passport and have travelled on that to India several times since- I called on my social network and asked for help. The outpouring of help from people that in some cases I have had virtually no contact with since I was 15 years old was inspiring & heartwarming. I thanked and salute them through a redux of our school song for the Cathedral and John Connon school- one of the oldest schools in India.

This tells the story in verse…

Prima in Indis Redux
Prima in Indis, Gateway of India
Door of the East with its face to the West,
Here is San Diego my Indian Visa I was yearning
So I called on my network to help with this test

Friends forged on maidans playing hockey or cricket
Throwing spit balls, in drama, or hiding my pen
Came to the rescue with contacts galore that
Lent me a hand; both women and men

School School Play up School
I found where my lot has been cast
Family first, Friends next, Self last.

External Affair Ministers, Ambassadors, Diplomats
Military Attaché’s and Staff on the scene
All were extracted, contacted, exacted
All were so sweet not a one was a mean

None of these knew me from Adam or Evie
But they knew You, and you knew them
Next thing I know, just missing one paper
No longer meant that my holiday was kutumb

Geographic distance or time filled spaces
Seemed not to matter to these Cathedralites
They’d trained and they’d strengthen that which really mattered
And for a friend they would put up a fight!

Now as I plan my family trip to Mumbai
They’ve taught me what matters, after all through I’ve been
Friends are our greatest gift, ours to defend them
Ours now to follow these heroes that seem
To have learned and practiced, not taken for gratis
That which is most important in life
It’s People that Matter, Living your Values, Lending a Hand with Other Folk’s Lives

I am no poet but I am so grateful
I hope that I see you when I am in town
If you’re around at the Club or at Sea Lounge
Take a few moments and do come on down

Now as our lives and the palm shadows lengthen
I know what it means to re-echo that old stirring cry
PLAY UP SCHOOL! Let it rip! Let it thunder!
Let it resound to the whole dunya’s sky
School School Play up School
I found where my lot has been cast
Family first, friends next, self last.


While there is a lot of negativity in the News today, here is a striking counterexample, along with another uplifting story and innovative idea I thought you’d appreciate.

Music is the language of the Soul and this link will resonate on the soul food frequency

The Landfill Harmonic

Security Cameras can help keep us safe, but sometimes they capture stuff you don’t expect:
Give a little bit…

As we wind up the year, do PACE yourself over the holidays…

Pace =


Some like it fast- check out this link

Others souls are lifted when they take it slow…

S L O W   D A N C E

Have you ever watched kids on a merry-go-round
Or listened to the rain slapping on the ground?
Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight
Or gazed at the sun into the fading night?

You better slow down
Don’t dance so fast
Time is short
The music won’t last

Do you run through each day on the fly
When you ask “How are you?”
do you hear the reply?
When the day is done, do you lie in your bed
With the next hundred chores running through your head?

You’d better slow down
Don’t dance so fast
Time is short
The music won’t last

Ever told your child,
We’ll do it tomorrow
And in your haste, not see his sorrow?

Ever lost touch,
Let a good friendship die
‘Cause you never had time to call and say “Hi”?

You’d better slow down
Don’t dance so fast
Time is short
The music won’t last

When you run so fast to get somewhere
You miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day,
It is like an unopened gift….

Thrown away…
Life is not a race.
Do take it slower
Hear the music
Before the song is over.

– Author Unknown

Bear Necessities:

Click here

Happy Holidays from Mission Fed!

Special thanks to all this Year’s contributors including this week’s that include: Margaret, the Cathedralites, Dana, Janet, Arman, Larry, Robin, Heidi and the Mission Fed team.

Blessings for the Holidays, and Love to you and Yours!


“LOVE is our Soul Purpose”

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