The Death Clock – Your Choice

The way you can measure a society’s soul is by the way that it treats its children.
Nelson Mandela

Issue No. 21 – 25th May 2006

Welcome to Kidz Newz especially to all new subscribers.   Kidz Newz is a regular newsletter with information and teaching tips for anyone involved with young children.  Please forward this to anyone you feel it may be of interest to.

Feedback is welcome.

As I will be in Europe in April/May/June, there will only be two newsletters this term.

My PD Updates

Monday 22nd May – Hereford, England

Wednesday 24th May – London, England

I will be in New Zealand in October.  If you have any contacts in New Zealand who would be interested in hosting a PD in early childhood music and movement, please let me know their contact details and I will contact them direct.  Many thanks.

The Death Clock ‘ Your Choice

I read something interesting in a newsletter recently about the Death Clock.  The writer had calculated statistically that he had 39 years left to live.  He was making the point that he had better get on with making a difference in the world.  That was a good reason to focus on the Death Clock, to think of ways of doing good, but to me he missed the point.  If you think you’ve got 39 years (or however long) you can become fixed on that.  You can either think you’ve got plenty of time and so you do nothing.  Or, what if you had calculated you only had five years?  You would be convinced you were going to die so you’d live it up and at more or less the appointed time you probably would die. Remember the man locked in the refrigerator van overnight?  He was convinced he was going to freeze to death so he died.  In fact the thermostat was broken so it was a pleasant temperature and the van was even ventilated so he couldn’t have suffocated.  His belief system, not reality, killed him.  How about this as an alternative?  How about choosing to live every day as though it’s your last, because one day it will be?  How would you like people to remember you on your last day on the planet?  Wouldn’t it be nice if they thought of you in positive terms? In terms related to your ability to see both sides of an issue, to be the peace-maker, for your attitude of abundance, of joy, of benevolence?

Let me tell you the story of Alan Pease.  I have had the pleasure of hearing Alan Pease of Body Language fame presenting keynote addresses many times.  On one such occasion he talked about the Death Clock.  I liked the inspirational message he delivered about paying no attention whatsoever to it.  The phrase ‘there are lies, damned lies, and then there are statistics’ came to mind.  Alan had been diagnosed with cancer.  This was due to financial stress.  He had made a lot of money out of Body Language, the book and BBC TV series, and related speaking engagements.  He thought he was a multi-millionaire.  Unfortunately his accountant had embezzled all his money and he was not only not wealthy but seriously in debt.  The accountant was gaoled but Alan was still broke.  He wrote his next best seller, Why Men Don’t Listen and Women Can’t Read Road Maps.  This took several years to produce and then recover financially but the strain took its toll on his health. 

His doctor gave him the verdict of two years.  He would be dead at 46. Going through the supermarket checkout later that day, he noticed the use-by date on his groceries and it got him to thinking we have use-by dates.  He chose not to die on his 46th birthday and instead decided that 90 was a good round figure and would give him the opportunity to do all he wanted to.  He researched everything about cancer, went to live in a secluded mountain village where he consumed only pure, fresh food and water, but above all, was taught how to meditate in order to heal himself.  He meditated on his forthcoming birthday parties ‘ who would be there, what they’d wear, what they’d say and so on.  He couldn’t get past age 52.  He feels now that that’s probably the age his body would have died, not at 46 as predicted, and that’s why he struggled for three months to get past 52.  When he finally did, he was able to get through to imagining all succeeding birthdays up to his 90th relatively easily.  He is now well at age 55 and back on the speaking circuit.  In fact he and his wife have even had another baby, in January 2005.

So the moral of the story is – choose how to live.

Quote of the Week

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it within us or we find it not.  (Ralph Waldo Emerson)


A tour bus driver is driving with a bus load of seniors down a highway when he is tapped on his shoulder by a little old lady.  She offers him a handful of peanuts, which he gratefully munches up.
After about 15 minutes, she taps him on his shoulder again and she hands him another handful of peanuts.  She repeats this gesture about five more times.
When she is about to hand him another batch again he asks the little old lady, “Why don’t you eat the peanuts yourself?”
“We can’t chew them because we’ve no teeth”, she replied.
The puzzled driver asks, “Why do you buy them then?”
The old lady replied, “We just love the chocolate around them.”


As a new Kindy Teacher, I am extremely excited about using Kidz Fiz Biz in my classroom. Having completed the Professional Development workshop two years ago, while working in Middle Primary and Physical Education, I can see the immense benefits that this music and movement program will have in my early childhood classroom. Kidz Fiz Biz caters for children of all abilities; I can already forsee that it will be of great benefit to my students with special needs, as well as extending the music and dance skills of the more capable students in my room. Thank you Marlene for putting together such a wonderful program, and making it easy to follow and use – the essential qualities I look for in any good teaching resource.

Lisa McClue, Kindergarten teacher, Our Lady of Grace, North Beach WA.

About The Author

Marlene Rattigan B.A., Dip. Ed. (ECS), CELTA

Marlene Rattigan is an Early Childhood teacher, a teacher of English as a Second Language, and from 1987-2000 was a nationally accredited fitness leader. Her background is in music education. A keen interest in motor development in children led to the creation of Kidz-Fiz-Biz which she taught successfully for 13 years. Marlene also conducts workshops for children, teachers and parents at schools, in the community and at festivals. She has produced teaching manuals complete with audio CDs which are an extension of her ‘Kidz-Fiz-Biz’ program.

57 Henry Lawson Walk, East Perth WA 6004
T: +61 8 9325 1204 M: 0410 64 2781 E:

Enjoying Kidz Newz?

Perhaps a friend or colleague would enjoy it too!  Add their contact address and click “Forward”. (Be sure to include this entire message, including the subscription details) By doing this you will help us grow.

Looking for lots of ideas? Visit the Kidz Newz archive where you will find back issues of Kidz Newz.  Click on

Until next time – continue being a legend in your classroom.

Marlene Rattigan, Editor
Kidz Newz

If you would like to stop receiving these advices you can manage your subscription by following the instructions below.

We have your email address as %%EMAIL%%.

If you do not wish to receive any further editions of this email bulletin then please Click on the link below to CANCEL your subscription or EDIT your details:

Item added to cart.
0 items - $0.00