As part of the 2015 Serve the Planet initiative, the SSIO of Croatia started a community project called “Tracing Good Thoughts,” organising several workshops involving writing good and inspiring thoughts and publicly displaying the messages of wise proverbs and uplifting quotations. The activities were conducted in city promenades, parks, markets, schools, and classrooms. The overall objective was to create a positive atmosphere in daily living, and to encourage active involvement of the community – and especially children and youth – in selfless service.
On 15th October 2015, the president of the Sathya Sai Centre of Bjelovar co-conducted a workshop at V. Elementary School, Bjelovar, a school for children with disabilities for 25 children, in conjunction with the school’s principal, schoolmaster, and art teacher. At the workshop, the children chose proverbs from the folklore of different traditions and the quotations of famous people. Then, with the help of their art teacher, they displayed these messages on billboards and other public places, to inspire others. Soon afterwards, two Sai volunteers in cooperation with the school principal, the civil engineering teacher, and the school librarian organised a similar workshop at the Technical High School in Bjelovar for 4th level students. Ten students attended this workshop, in which they selected quotes and proverbs that they liked most and wished to mount to inspire future generations of students. While explaining their reasons for choosing their messages, students had an opportunity to express their views on ethical and spiritual issues. Templates were then prepared for the chosen messages, which were painted on walls at the school’s entrance, hallways, and the library, with the help of the civil engineering teacher. The quote, “Stars can be seen only in the dark,” was a favourite selection of the students.
A final workshop was held on 18th November 2015, at the Crafts High School of Bjelovar, for the benefit of seven students. The feedback from children, students, and teachers who participated in all three workshops was very positive. The high school students were particularly happy for the opportunity to leave a legacy of good thoughts for students who would follow them.