Thursday, June 18, 2009

I get a lot junk mail and scam business opportunities, but today I got this from one of those guys always trying to sell me something. I find it a greater value then anything he tries to sell. It speaks to the topic of face value vs. inner value--something we all need a reminder of from time to time, especially when we see or meet someone who "appears" different. Please read below.

Having a teenage daughter brings with it
some HUGE opportunities to grow!

Of course she's easily caught up in all
the drama and materialism that teenage
girls go through so I have TONS of work
to do to counter act the poison of that

In doing my best to articulate a very
important message to her I though that
we all could stand a friendly reminder
of this...

It's not what you have, what you wear,
what you drive, where you live, or what
brand of shoes you have on that define
who you are.

It's your morals, your ethics, what's
in your heart, your values, your standards
and your magic moments in life that
define who you are.

We place so much value on stuff and image
as a society that it's easy to forget
that image and stuff isn't what really
matters when it comes down to the bottom

So I asked her to remember a magic moment
in her life.

A special time with her sister...

A hearty laugh with a friend...

A time a cute boy noticed her beauty...

A time she overcame her own limits and
performed beyond what she thought she

And I had her anchor that memory in her

Then I took a hundred dollar bill and
had her look at it right before I lit
it on fire!

Of course she was shocked!

I watched her face as it burned and the
desperation was growing as the money was
shrinking and disappearing in the flame.

Then when it was gone, I taught her the

I pulled out another hundred dollar bill
and said, "See how easy that can be

Can you replace any of those magic moments in
your life?

Of course she said no.

Then I asked her if she would trade that
hundred for any experience in her life,
good or bad, that helped define her.

Again the answer was no.

And to finish it off...

I asked who the coolest and most popular
girl in school was.

The girl that everyone wanted to be and
that all the boys chased.

And who least popular girl was that no
one ever talked to.

Then I said strip both of them down and
take away all the hair spray, make up,
clothes, shoes, purses, and all the stuff
that accessorize those 2 girls, wrap them
in a white sheet and stand them up against
a white wall...

How would you determine which of those
girls you wanted to be friends with?

The answer...

By what's inside of them, not what's on them.

I understand that "image" is important to
all of us to some degree but when it takes
over your ability to see the people behind
the image you've lost touch with humanity.

Love yourself and who you are, not what you
have and everything you have will be that
much better...

Never let anything other than your own
standards define who you are!

Mike and Jeff

P.S. I don't have extra hundreds laying around
to burn to teach lessons. A little slight of hand
goes a long way. Let's just say I found a great
use for Monopoly money! ;-)
BANABU Development Systems

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The California Department of Developmental Services Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC) has developed Feeling Safe, Being Safe (FSBS), an emergency preparedness program to assist individuals with developmental disabilities in creating their own disaster plans using accessible FSBS tools. Several CAC members, self advocates, and many Area Board and Regional Center volunteer advocates have become certified FSBS trainers. All trainings are co-conducted by certified trainers. Paul Mansell, San Diego Regional Center’s Consumer Specialist, and Linda Thompson, People First of California’s Project Coordinator, have partnered with Area Board XIII to bring this unique, specialized training to individuals of San Diego and Imperial Valley Counties.

This FSBS train-the-trainer was developed for agencies, providers, and others who want to teach individuals and family members how to use the FSBS materials. We are asking interested community-based providers to host a training to ensure more individuals have access to the FSBS materials and will be better prepared in the event of an emergency.

The goal of the CAC is to assure all persons with developmental disabilities in California have effective emergency plans that work for them and for those assisting them. We encourage you to host a training and invite neighboring providers to attend. The two-hour training is hands-on and interactive. For a modest fee of $50 and mileage (0.37/mile), all participants will be provided FSBS materials, which include a personalized workbook, magnet, and a DVD that demonstrates how to complete the workbook, magnet, and put together a home emergency kit. Upon completion of the training, each participant will receive FSBS materials to provide support to 25 individuals and/or family members so they may also learn to use the FSBS emergency preparedness tools. To preview the worksheet and a video on the materials and how they are used, go to

To schedule a training, call Linda at 760-945-7663.