Baha’is see the young as the most precious treasure a community can possess. In them are the promise and guarantee of the future. Yet, in order for this promise to be realised, children need to receive spiritual nourishment, such as can be found in the children’s classes happening all around the world.
Tuaine Hamilton, who some know as Ine, has created a thoughtful and beautifully designed tool for helping children develop their innate qualities and inner gems: virtue cards!
You may recognize Ine from her Studio Session “Listen” or from her interview about her album that bears the same name (you can read it here if you’d like).
I was delighted to hear from her about her virtue cards. In this interview, she tells us why she created them, how they can be used, and what she’s learned in the process of making them. Here’s what she shared:
Baha’i Blog: Hi! For those readers who don’t know you, can you tell us a little about yourself?
Hi everyone! My name is Tuaine, but some may know me as Ine. I am a wife to Navid and a mum of four living in Sydney, Australia. I was born and raised in the Cook Islands and migrated to Australia when I was about 13. Prior to being a mum I was a part of a Baha’i performance group also based in Sydney called Mana — we recorded five albums based on the quotes from the Ruhi books. I later focused on my own music and released a Baha’i inspired album called Listen.
Baha’i Blog: Can you tell us a little bit about your virtue cards?
So I am the founder of a little start-up business called Virtue Box (the idea started a few years ago and it’s taken me this long to get here) which I only just launched recently, along with the Virtue Cards. These Virtue Cards are basically like flashcards to teach children about virtues in a simple and practical way. Each pack contains 38 cards/virtues with two sides to them. The front has the name and illustration of the virtue while on the back it has the definition and three ways you can put those virtues into practice. Although they are ideal for children five years and up (those who can read or are starting to), you should start introducing virtues into their lives as early as possible, so these cards will be helpful for that.
Baha’i Blog: What inspired you to create them?
Oh, I have a few to name, but I would have to say that my children have been my greatest inspiration in embarking on this journey and wanting to contribute to the creation of a more loving and kind world. My grandparents have also had a significant influence on how I incorporate virtues into the way I parent and live my life, for which I am grateful. Linda Kavelin Popov, to whom I owe a great deal of gratitude for creating such an amazing resource for learning about virtues that have aided me over the years while raising my children.
Baha’i Blog: How can the virtue cards be used?
One of the advantages of these cards is their versatility! They can be used in your daily morning and evening routines, family discussions, or any random conversation with anyone. There are games you can play with the kids, which I’ve included on the information card in the box. I believe it is an excellent tool for both parents and teachers to use in the nurturing of children.
Baha’i Blog: What feedback have you received about them thus far?
Well, the response to the launch of these Virtue Cards has been incredible – I’ve received a lot of interest from people all over the world who are supporting this little journey of mine, and I can’t wait to hear back from them once they receive their cards!
Baha’i Blog: What did you learn in the process of creating these cards?
Oh goodness, a lot! The process really challenged my patience that’s for sure. But I have taken in so much knowledge from the designing of the cards to building a website and running a home business on my own, and let’s not forget the kids, and trying to learn how to market and build trust and relationships with people I’ve never met before. I could go on forever!
Baha’i Blog: Thank you so much for sharing this with us!
In her innermost heart, Sonjel is a stay-at-home parent and a bookworm with a maxed out library card but professionally she is a museologist with a background in English Literature. She currently lives on Prince Edward Island, an isle in the shape of a smile on the eastern Canadian coast. Sonjel is a writer who loves to listen to jazz when she's driving at night.