From CKN Founder Ted Dreier:
When growing up on a dairy farm in Kansas, I thought I would never want to see a cow again in my life. But here I am, many years later, with my life wrapped around Moozie, the kind cow.
How did this chapter get started? when I was in my late 50s, for some reason I decided to see if I could build a cow. After puttering around in the garage for a few years, a talking robotic cow was born. A Head Start school in Denton, Texas heard that I had this cow and asked if I would bring it by since they were studying farming. I went, and combined the cow with a message of spreading the milk of human kindness. These wiggly kids, group after group were glued to Moozie. We could not believe their attentiveness! The teachers were amazed.
In the days that followed, teachers wrote how they heard Moozie’s name being used on the playground. “Moozie wouldn’t like you to say that,” or “Moozie wouldn’t want you to do that.”
I had visited a young man in jail every week for a year and a half. I had to think about how his life might have turned out differently if Moozie would have been in his life when he was a child. The result, in 1998 I stepped back from the corporate world at the age of 60 and committed this new chapter of my life to teaching children kindness – paying rent for being on the planet.
Moozie is now the Ambassador of Kindness for the Children’s Kindness Network, a non-profit 501(c)(3). Moozie is about reaching children ages 2-8 with kindness values to stop bullying before it begins. Young children embrace Moozie; they want to have Moozie as a friend. They listen to her messages of kindness: kindness to animals, to Earth, to others and to yourself.
A mother speaks about being in a hurry, getting caught in heavy traffic and saying some words she shouldn’t have. Her daughter in the back seat said, “Mommy, Moozie wouldn’t like you to talk that way.”
Have you ever noticed that when you purchase another car, you start noting others who have a car like yours? You become aware of those cars. Likewise, Moozie helps children become aware of kind and unkind behavior – as illustrated above.
If a builder found that his/her houses always ended up with cracks in the sheet rock, it would be a sign that a better foundation was needed. We are working at the foundation level of teaching children kindness. Working with the early stages of brain wiring and helping them develop empathy is critical in stopping bullying before meanness gets on the play ground – or on the Internet as they get older.
It is estimated that over 160,000 children skip school each day due to the fear of being bullied. Bullying ruins lives. We do not have to accept bullying as just “part of growing up.” We need to reach these kids with kindness values. Later in life, bullying can affect marriages, parenting and the workplace. Stopping it before it begins at the foundation level – that is where Moozie comes into a child’s life.
Like a flower, kindness blooms where planted.