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What makes us mean?

I believe that every hateful act stems from a foundation of fear. It could be fear of feeling powerless or inferior. Fear of change. Or even fear of something different that we don’t understand.

As adults, we need to conquer those fears in order to achieve inner peace and then, hopefully, world peace.

If we could raise fearless children, we would be creating kinder kids.

How do we do this?



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The first step to creating kinder kids is to ensure they don’t feel powerless. Many bullies, when asked why they did it, said the act of bullying made them feel stronger (fear of feeling powerless). Others said it was what you did if you wanted to hang out with a certain crowd (fear of not fitting in). Some claimed it was a way to ensure they wouldn’t be bullied. Again, fear was the major motivator.

Bullies, like child predators, tend to target the kids they believe will not stand up and speak up for themselves. Confident children are much more likely to seek help if they are bullied because they understand their worth and know that they don’t deserve to be treated that way.

Seems children never have a problem with the ‘no’ word when speaking to their parents. However, it’s a word that needs to be actively taught to young children when they are dealing with others.

They should be encouraged to say; “No, I don’t want to do that” and “Stop, I don’t like that”. These words are empowering.

If those words don’t help, the children should have faith that seeking adult help will create a safe space for them.

Another way to empower children is to let them know that they can make big differences by even the smallest actions. This is a dialogue I have regularly with the Goddesses as I pointed out in my post, How Can a Speck of Plastic Help Save the World?

Where the real power lies though, is with the knowledge that we are all connected to each other and to all of nature.


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This is a scientific fact. All of life began with one cell. And because of that connection, our every action affects everything.




It can be a complicated concept for young minds. It is often difficult to see connections where there are so many differences between cultures.

It’s interesting that even in a world made smaller by the marvels of technology, many children are sheltered from the different cultures that make up this planet.

Exposing them to these cultures early helps them to gain comprehension (eliminating the fear of not understanding), acceptance, and even admiration. It helps children to grasp the idea of our interconnectedness.

It also helps to put their own lives in perspective. Read The Health Trap of Success and How to Avoid It to see how this happened with my (adult) son.

Children may come to realise how lucky they are compared to some. This can lead to increased feelings of compassion and gratitude. All necessary ingredients to create kinder kids.

When introduced to other cultures at an early age, children begin to focus on our commonalities, rather than our differences.




Of course, the most wonderful way to expose children to different cultures and help eliminate their fear of differences is to travel with them.

Travelling means they see first-hand how other cultures operate. Their other senses also come into play with all the different scents and sounds.

This is not an affordable option for many. That’s where the cultural creativity comes in.

If we can’t intrigue the kids with the sights, scents, and sounds of other countries and cultures, we need to fire up their imaginations.

Just telling children about other cultures isn’t enough. They need to be encouraged to feel a connection. As always, the best results happen when the children are actively involved in their learning process.


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What better way to do this than to have them play the games children from other cultures play? Or to role-play at being a Renaissance artist or an architect?

They may not be able to hear the different styles of speech, the traffic noises, nature sounds in other countries. But they can participate in cultural creativity while listening to the music of that specific culture.




This is how I run the Wacky Workshops International Crafts program.


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Right from the start, the children’s imaginations are fired up as they fill in their Wacky passports and prepare for take-off in Wacky’s magical plane.

When that plane touches down at the mystery location, traditional music is playing and the students are told briefly about the highlights of their destination.

Then it’s time for the cultural creativity to come in.

A visit to Africa might see us making traditional masks and our own mini jungles.

We might put the royal touch on some crowns for a visit to England or make the legendary unicorn that is the national animal of Scotland.

Past students have marvelled at the genius of the Dutch while making their own windmills.


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They’ve been thrilled by the artistic cleverness of the French while making a rose window in a mini version of Notre Dame.

They’ve been inspired by tantalising tales as they made their own Trojan horses while on a magical trip to Ancient Greece.


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Cultural creativity could include making games that are played by children in other countries. Or recreating inventions from various countries – Hill’s hoist rotary clothesline from Australia, Braille code from France, an ice cream cone from Italy.

By recreating inventions, the students get an appreciation of the contributions made by other cultures.

By making games played by children from other countries, the students get an understanding that children everywhere enjoy the same kinds of activities.




It really is a small world after all and technology is making it smaller every day. Chances are, our children will need to interact with many different cultures in their future careers.

They will have much more success if they can approach this with enthusiasm, understanding and compassion. If they are not coming from a place of fear.

Read Join Me on a Fun and Magically Wacky Trip for a sneak peek into a Wacky International Crafts Workshop.

Happy travels and have a gleeful week, Tamuria.



  • I loved this post. Growing up in India – we have such a mix of cultures within one country – and with a Dad in the Army, we had to learn to adapt and appreciate various cultures.
    Later on, when I worked in a multinational company, I trained staff in cross-cultural relations.
    The world would be so much more peaceful if children learnt this early.

    • Thanks, Corinne, so glad this resonated with you. I was lucky enough to travel a fair bit when I was a kid and it really is an eye-opener. This is not affordable for many, but we can create a cultural connection through arts and crafts that will help kids be kinder and more understanding.

  • Love your ideas for creating cultural connections. Can’t wait for my grandgirl to be old enough to partake in some of your adventures. You surely are a rockin grandma!

  • I am really enjoying how thoughtful your posts are. You have a lot to share with the world. One point: I think it’s easier for kids to accept cultural differences because they generally don’t see them. I think kids are much more open to accepting people at face value — a “what you see is what you get” thing, without the baggage we adults tend to bring to interactions with others who are not like us. Great piece.

    • You are so right, Jackie. Kids tend to accept cultural differences unless they’re taught not to, which happens way too often these days. It’s great to hear you are enjoying the posts – lovely feedback. Thank you.

  • Wonderful post, Tami! I also believe that creativity is a path to world peace. There are many initiatives who are using the arts as an inclusive tool to bring different cultures together. Creating together brings understanding and once we realize that ‘the other’ is not so different from us, it fosters a sense of inclusion, vs. one of separation. Collective creativity has the power to do that.

    I love how you always engage the children in experiences, so that they are learning from doing, vs. just hearing or reading about it. At the core of who we are, I truly believe that we all want to be seen and to be heard. If we foster understanding of other people and their cultures, from a young age, we can create a kinder, more compassionate and peaceful world. Thank you for being someone who is raising both awareness and encouraging us all to be stewards of kindness.

    • I always feel you and I are on the same wavelength, Beverley. We share a love for creativity and all the opportunity and power it offers. There are so many ways it can be used towards creating a more peaceful world. Thank you for your kind comments.

  • Your blogs are so amazing Tami. We need one of you in every community. I agree feeling powerless can make children want to regain power and hurt others. Creativity is such a great way to redirect and empower. It seems connection, creativity, and support is what your Wacky Workshops offer! Shared with my daughter!

    • Thank you so much, Candess. I appreciate your kind words. Creativity helps promote so many skills that our kids are going to need to deal with this fast-paced world.

  • Hi Tami,

    I do believe that all of our problems are rooted in fear. Fear of failure, fear of not being good enough, fear of letting go of control, fear of being alone, fear of abandonment, fear of discomfort, fear of missing out, fear that we are not okay as we are or our life isn’t okay as it is, fear that some ideal won’t come true.

    These all seem to boil down to the same fear: fear that we won’t be OK, that we are not good enough. A lack of trust in self, and in the present moment.

  • Engaging with others and their cultures does help us understand we are all the same and we all basically want the same things…

  • Amazing! you have the skills to write. Thanks a lot for sharing such a great article and well written.

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