Workshop Participant Testimonials
What others have taken away from this Virtues Project training...
- "Now I cannot imagine life without the skills, strategies and positive points of the Virtues Project......"
- "This seminar has deepened my emotional connection with my husband......"
- "For me, as a vice-principal of a high school..."
- "Promotes harmony and collaboration..."
- "No matter what obstacles we are dealing with..."
- "How dignity and harmony return to the whole earth through these simple virtues techniques...
photos: © Robert D. McAlpine
N ow I cannot imagine life without the skills, strategies and positive points of the Virtues Project”
Sydney Swanson, elementary teacher
V ery useful information for all life circumstances."
"Helped me appreciate and respect positives in people."
"I learned to honour Self - in all life situations."
Participants at presentation for Human Resource Managers
I participated in the Character Education/Virtues workshop in June 2005. As a teacher, I was blown away by its useful content with regard to behavioural problems. I have used the suggested strategies to improve my classroom management and communication skills.The Virtues workshop provided a tasteful and respectful way to treat and communicate with others in various instances. It has made a tremendous impact on my interpersonal skills. My relationship with my students and parents have immensely improved. This seminar has deepened my emotional connection with my husband. That is what I am most grateful for and I am so happy that all my relationships are now blossoming! It was beneficial and worthwhile! Thank you!
Nadia Thornton, teacher
I am so happy that I am part of the Character education group. For me, as a vice-principal of a high school, the virtues are embedded in every conversation I have with students. A few minutes ago the virtues of self-discipline, integrity and consideration were part of my conversation with a student in conflict with a teacher.
Lynn Campbell, high school vice-principal
someone with a scientific background, I am usually somewhat sceptical of
programs deriving from religious principles. Nevertheless, I do
try to maintain an open mind and to remember that a meal should be judged
more by its taste than by its method of preparation. And the virtues approach
makes for a very fine feast indeed.
I am especially impressed at how the virtues approach concentrates on leading by modeling the positives rather than discouraging negative behaviour by associating it with anticipated acts of punishment. A carrot is always much more effective than a stick, and this is one of the key underlying truths in the virtues approach. Young people today are awash with seductively negative stereotypes and examples, both in their real life experiences and in media presentations.
The virtues approach is a very effective way to model and reward positive behaviour in a way that guides young people and helps them resist negative temptations. The virtues approach is a not only a must for parents and teachers; but it is an effective way for all of us to act in a way that promotes harmony and collaboration with those around us. Ros and David are living examples of the virtues approach and I recommend their workshops in the strongest possible terms.
Bob McAlpine, Formerly
Research Scientist, Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories
Ihad waited many years to see a Virtues Program come to Ottawa. This spring when it arrived, for six unforgettable weeks I had a most delightful time in the company of very special people- from all walks of life. Ros decorated the room with lamps of light, posters of inspiring thoughts and framed pictures of beautiful nature. I observed these objects of art were for our benefit only , as they were taken down when each class finished and again restored for every assembly. I think this is what happens in life when you decide to be more virtuous- more kinds of beauty start to surround you- and a kind word is so nurturing and satisfying to the soul.
I learned that acknowledging the spiritual aspects of a person (over a hundred were listed, and we added a few more) was more than stimulating to us all, they are a great relief to the soul. Acknowledgement is a “pinnacle of completion” in all experiences we have. All need to receive acknowledgement of the highest order-virtues- in order to be free to move on. My expressions to create a healthy boundary (to stop municipal government from interfering with the right for many small businesses in Ottawa to free enterprise) revealed a tone of sharp anger in my final words - “Back off!” I was acknowledged by our leaders as having a “sense of justice.” This helped uplift me from outrage to a higher plane of mind, and I felt free of my anger and concerns.
I’m so happy to learn how the Virtues program is stopping children from bullying one another in schools, how a criminal can finally cry in remorse, and how dignity and harmony return to the whole earth through the simple "virtues techniques” taught in a few hours.
Lori Nicols- Holistic chef and author of The Enlightened Home Chef Service
"No matter what obstacles we are dealing with..."
The Virtues Project has had had a very an enormously positive impact on all aspects of my life since I first bought a copy of Canadian author Linda Popov's The Family Virtues Guide from a friend, in 1997. Linda is a therapist by training and her husband, Dan Popov, is a child psychologist. Together they founded the Virtues Project out of concern that so many children throughout the world were physically and morally at risk. They felt a call to offer a resource for parents, teachers and caregivers, and after researching the ethical, philosophical and moral literature of the word’s many traditions, they discovered the silver threads of the Virtues running throughout these writings.
As a result of my introduction into the Virtue’s Project, I noticed my parenting of my own children became more effective and rewarding. I had attended parenting courses before; but nothing like this one. I soon started to use the virtues concepts and language in my work as a counsellor and with my friends and family. I developed more understanding of myself, my experience of my own childhood, and I developed confidence and hope in being able to effect positive change in my life.
I noticed that I was able to bring more hope to clients who were in crisis. With the Virtues I could help others find powerful tools within themselves. As I began practicing in my own life, I became better at balancing my work and personal life. If a friend, client or myself were discouraged, we had only to select a card from the pack of Virtues cards. It always seemed to work that there would be a Virtue that would give relief from whatever challenges we were facing. We only needed to find it in ourselves and to work on it. The spiritual quote at the top of each Virtues card we select often has an especially transforming effect on our view of the problem. (The cards for use in schools do not use these spiritual quotes, but have instead ones from such inspirational figures as Mother Teresa).
The content of the card offers us an entirely different way of seeing the problem, or at least it reminds us of the potential wisdom that we may have forgotten. No matter what obstacle we are dealing with we can find the quality or virtue we need to encourage in ourselves, in order to get through the challenge.
Later, I was quick to enroll in a 2-day training on the Virtues Project being offered in Ottawa by facilitators Linda Urnyiuk and Kim Hopwood. After this workshop I then was really smitten. I learned from other participants how the Virtues Project was effective in all walks of life even including teaching developmentally challenged adults. I learned how such handicapped persons often relate with great enthusiasm and pride to the Virtues concepts and to find and develop these character qualities within themselves.
There was no way then, in April 2001, I would not have seized the tremendous opportunity of attending a 5-day facilitator training/ healing event at Walkerton, Ontario with the founders of the Virtues Project, Linda and Dan Popov themselves.
Having my Educator’s Guide autographed by Linda in one of the breaks with an inscription ” To Ros a compassionate healer”, gave me a powerful experience of the power of the Language of the Virtues. If we are named for developing strengths and talents this has a very encouraging and self-fulfilling effect
One of the most powerful benefits for me in using the Virtues Project has been how it has opened up doors to relating to men and women from all different cultures and religious. On the Virtues cards, the spiritual quotes come from all the world's religions so are inclusive, and help my own thinking and faith to be more inclusive. How important is this inclusivity to us on a global level today when there is so much conflict arising from religion divisions!
I love how the Virtues Project has helped me to see challenges and obstacles in my life as opportunities to grow. Failures no longer are failures but provide me with a framework of seeing my teachable moments. I appreciate how easy it is with practice, over the years to recognize virtues in others and myself. These gifts of character are happily often now just on the tip of my tongue.
In the last Workshop that David and I facilitated, I learned a valuable lesson. I had given a “Virtues Acknowledgement” to a participant in the group: "I acknowledge your courage and honesty to share what you have just shared with us.” Then another participant made a very interesting comment: she said she noticed that when I or someone else gave a Virtues Acknowledgement to another participant”), how there was trust formed between the sender and receiver of this acknowledgement. This perceptive woman's comments illuminated well why these workshops seem to inspire a deep comfort level and sharing between participants. My choice in my life is to reduce fear and competition in myself and those around me in order to leave more space for the positive qualities of love, joy and unity.
I love the subtlety of the Virtues Project. My practicing compassion to those around me can only truly work if I am also practicing compassion to myself. All the virtues are linked. It is hard for me to be compassionate to myself or others if I am not also being respectful to myself and others. Like yeast rising in bread, the Virtues Project continues to help me rise to all the gifts of character I can be. I am truly thankful.
Ros Macdonald MSW RSW