This is a Family Home Evening where we learned the word kigatsuku. I love this word, it is such a blessed word!!! Blessed, in a moms hallelujah, praise the heavens sort of way! it is a word that has stayed with our family for 1.5 years now, and we still refer to it often. Teaching something that sticks is the truest measure of something being a hit for your family!
Kigatsuku means to do what you know you should, do without being told to do it. Literally "ki" means feelings and "tsuku" means to apply or adhere, so to "apply ones feelings" or to "become aware of" or to "perceive."
Teaching our children to be aware of their surroundings is a feat in itself! Have your littles ever ran in front of an elderly person in the grocery store? Yeah, that is what I'm talking about.
Teaching them to be aware of their surroundings is one part but I love how Chieko's family also taught her that kigatsuku means that being aware also requires action. Like, "oh look, that fell out of the trash, I should pick it up." The "I should pick it up" part is the praise the heavens side of this word that I am talking about! Imagine your family first noticing that something needs to be done (hallelujah) and then doing it (praise the heavens!)
It is something for our family that has been fun to use and teach. I give my kids rewards for being kigatsuku. The week after we learned about this word, I gave our kids treats if I caught them doing something kigatsuku. Oh, that was a really good week! Now I only do that every once in a while. I think, now, what we use kigatsuku for most is to move up on a behavior chart that comes in and out of fluctuation at our house. Or to teach them when we chat about things they know they should do, like the simple task of throwing your dirty clothes in the laundry basket. It is a simple way to refer, as Chieko says, to having an inner spirit to act without being told what to do.
This is a good reminder for us no matter what age. Having that spirit about us changes us. We respond differently to life when we have this spirit. We take care of things instead of procrastinating. We need to do those things anyway, isn't it better that we be proactive and happy about it? THINK through all the categories of your life. Think of things that you have chosen as priorities. Just do it, take care of it, because when we do, we live a more "praise the heavens" sort of life. Kigatsuku a blessed word!
When you teach this lesson to your family I think it is important to know a little history of Chieko.
She is an incredible person and I think knowing her just a tiny bit helps to set the stage to respect her words. She grew up in Hawaii. Her grandparents were from Japan, her parents were born in Hawaii. Chieko was raised as a Buddhist, the main religion of Japan. Her family were good hard working people who taught Chieko those same principles and to respect, honor and love. Chieko joined the LDS Church at age 15. She served in the Relief Society General Presidency. She accomplished many things in her life and left behind a legacy of teachings in her books and talks.
She displayed happiness well. She was happy and tried to teach others to be happy. She was such a force for good for women and seemed to have enough love for all who crossed her path. She was extremely motivating especially in the away of encouraging us to love ourselves. She was a huge advocate for teaching about sexual abuse, understanding and acceptance. One of my favorite things about her is that her confidence overrode what people thought about her. I think that is evident in this farewell video that Time Out for Women made about her. I just love how she picks up the uk and sings like no one is watching. She was completely comfortable in her own skin and helped others to feel comfortable through that trait.
Now that you know a tiny but about her and understand the word, kigatsuku you are ready to teach this! I hope your family loves this principle!
Kigatsuku Family Night
Have I done any good in the world today? Click here to sing along with music
Share about who Chieko Okazaki is.
All or part of the Talk Spit and Mud and Kigatsuku
Object lesson –
Adapted from mormonshare.org
I am in control of myself
Present some legos and a picture of something that you could easily build with legos. You can go here to find a picture with instructions.
Ask, do you have to build exactly what is here? Can't you choose to make any design that you can imagine? In fact, there are lots of different choices of really fun things that you can make with just these few blocks. If your friend makes a rude comment or does something mean to you, that is like handing you a box of legos. You can choose to react in any way that you want. The most common thing would be to get mad and maybe give him a punch or yell and say two mean things back. But you don't have to. You can make a choice to react in a different way.
Use this object lesson to portray the idea that you are in charge of your actions and that just as you build a lego creation you are building your life. The little actions that you do everyday create your life the same way that the little pieces you attach to each other makes a bigger picture when it comes to building legos.
Summarize your thoughts and share your ideas about the ways that we are rewarded when we live a kigatsuku life.