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Parenting Advice from Kahlil Gibran

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Kahlil Gibran, writer, poet, and visual artist, offered parents sage advice on understanding the role of a parent who brings life into the world. In a world that too often overlooks the tenderness and simplicity of children, Gibran reminds us that children are a gift. They do not belong to us as possessions nor do they live to fulfill our dreams. In his great book The Prophet, Gibran says, "You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth." Read on for more of Gibran's inspiring thoughts on the journey of parenting.


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How to Be a Strength-Based Parent for Kids with Learning Differences

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Focusing on our children's strengths helps counter the message that there is something wrong or lacking in them.

By Lea Waters


Steven Spielberg is dyslexic but did not know this as a child. He struggled in school and lagged behind academically, but found that he could communicate through movies rather than words on a page. His talent to share stories and touch people’s imagination and hearts through film was born, in part, from his dyslexia. He credits the love of his parents and their support of his passions as key factors in his success.

Tim Howard has had a stellar career as a professional goalkeeper in the USA World Cup Soccer Series, as well as for the Everton Club in the U.K and Manchester United (he played with David Beckham). He encountered many challenges growing up with OCD and Tourette’s syndrome, but they didn’t deter his amazing career. While most kids got bored with soccer practice and would give up, Howard became an internationally celebrated goalkeeper by taking advan…

The Gratitude Economy is Changing Business for the Better!

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It’s time to celebrate a leap in progress that most of us are a part of, and barely know it. Savvy consumers are rewarding companies that care about their impact and the most remarkable things are happening!

Have you noticed there is a “gratitude economy” evolving?

More and more of us are making consumer choices based on the reputation that companies have for making the world a better place. And when we are proud to be part of something bigger than ourselves, our gratitude starts a feedback loop that’s pretty hard to beat. A more authentic kind of CSR — Corporate Social Responsibility — in companies may be what moves us all to a new level of economic progress!

By Dr. Lynda


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The Way Porcupines are Influencing Healthcare!

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To defend ourselves against harmful bacteria and infection, we’re turning to porcupine quills for inspiration! Here’s just one more way that looking towards nature for designs is improving our lives.

The sharp quills covering a porcupine are more than just a great defense—they’re also inspiring safer medical practices!

By Sam Burns


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While I Yet Live

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The quilters of rural Gee's Bend, Alabama, many of whom are descendants of slaves, learned to quilt from their mothers and grandmothers. They also learned, sitting under the quilting table as small children, valuable life lessons, and the hopes and dreams their families had for them. Their brightly colored quilts speak of love, peace, joy, and the value of hard work. Like their mothers and grandmothers before them, they sing and pray, sharing their life stories, as they work together. Their quilts have been recognized as valuable forms of art and exhibited in museums. Books have been written about them and their quilts. And yet they are most proud when "you can feel the love" that is sewn into every one of these quilted masterpieces.


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In Pursuit of Silence

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In this thought-provoking piece, George Prochnick, author of "In Pursuit of Silence", calls on us to examine our relationship with the sounds, or their absence, around us. Drawing on the wisdom of Herman Melville, Henry David Thoreau, and others, Prochnick proposes that by shutting ourselves off to the noise of our surroundings, we shut ourselves off to the world, effectively losing our place within it. "At some point the inability to 'hear oneself think,'" he argues, "becomes the inability to think at all." Read on to learn more about how we can achieve a greater balance between the variety of naturally-sourced and man-made sounds we encounter and the interludes of stillness and silence that beckon our attention.


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Where Climate, Architecture and Kindness Intersect

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Many of us want to be "good ancestors"; to give our children and succeeding generations a better world, more opportunity, more abundance than what we enjoyed in our lives. But the course humanity is on does exactly the opposite. For Pete Gang, architect, educator and reluctant climate activist "it just feels so wrong to me to be depriving future generations of at least a liveable planet". Listen to this in-depth interview from Nonviolent Radio and consider how you might better steward the planet for those who will come after.


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9 Inspiring Stories of Solidarity with Refugees and Migrants

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While governments seal borders and erect walls, ordinary people are offering support and shelter. These nine inspiring stories of solidarity will encourage, uplift and incite you to action. Migrant offshore Aid Station rescues migrants along the central Mediterranean route from Libya to Italy. Miksaliste helps as many as 1,000 refugees a day in the heart of Belgrade. Lawal Dan Gashua, the Chair of a bakers' association in the northern city of Maiduguri, houses and provides a home to refugees fleeing Boko Haram with no support from the government, but as his responsibility. Meron Estefanos has saved over 16,00 lives fleeing Eritrea's despotic regime by communicating the co-ordinates of boats in distress to the coastguard. These stories and others are highlighted in this article by Hazel Healy of the New Internationalist.


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A Message About Messages

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The complex meanings of a serious story or novel can be understood only by participation in the language of the story itself. To translate them into a message or reduce them to a sermon distorts, betrays, and destroys them. This is because a work of art is understood not by the mind only, but by the emotions and by the body itself.


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How a Little Humor Can Improve Your Work Life

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Laughter and jokes can make us happier and more productive on the job.

By Jessica Lindsey


Why do we laugh at movies like Office Space or shows like The Office? What’s so funny about work?

For one student in the GGSC’s online Foundations of Happiness at Work course, humor is found in everyday faux pas. Steve from California shared, “During a meeting, my boss complimented our colleague…saying how handsome he is. The team felt awkwardly surprised, until our boss corrected, ‘No—it’s great how hands-on he is!’ Everyone laughed, easing the tension from the meeting. ‘Well, he is handsome, too!’ I defended jokingly, and we all laughed again.”

Work may seem like a serious place. But, according to research, introducing some laughter into work life can contribute to our well-being and productivity. In fact, finding humor is one of the practices we teach students in our online course. The funny stories they shared remind us that a little playfulness goes a long way toward a more enjoyable work life.

T…

Is a Grudge Keeping You Up at Night?

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According to a new study, people who are more forgiving sleep better (and have better health).

By Sophie McMullen


Many of us have had the experience of tossing and turning at night, wishing we could sleep, watching the minutes tick by on the clock by our bedside. In fact, one-third of Americans say they lie awake at least a few nights a week.

You may have tried counting sheep or listening to a bedtime meditation to help you fall asleep, but according to a new study, there’s another practice you could consider instead: forgiveness.

Researchers asked 1,423 American adults to rate themselves on how likely they were to forgive themselves for the things they did wrong and forgive others for hurting them. The participants also answered survey questions about how they had slept in the past 30 days, how they would rate their health at the moment, and how satisfied they were with their life.

The results suggested that people who were more forgiving were more likely to sleep better and for longer, a…

The Amazing Artists of the Special Olympics!

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When the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games organizers set out to design a logo for the event, they began in the traditional way of hiring a design firm. But in the process, they both realized something crucial was missing from the logo: the input of the athletes themselves!

by Liesl Ulrich-Verderber


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The Religious Value of the Unknown

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In an age when the fate of the world is unknown, George Prochnik makes a case for uncertainty as a form of faith and hope. Restoring a sense of the unknown requires unlearning, calling into question our way of life. In uncertainty, reason fails whereas love guides. This love can be exemplified by those who spend hours practicing arts and handicrafts with no concern for real-world application, but which may give the skills and imagination necessary to envision and resurrect what war and disease have destroyed. In dark times, hope can emerge from a religious sensibility that proclaims, "I do not know what happens next." Faith can emerge when we ask questions until the context deepens and evil is transformed. Faith, hope and love of service can be the beginning of creation.


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Teaching Brain Science to Monks and Nuns

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Where do compassion and empathy come from? What makes life sentient?
This summer, as they have the past several years, professors from across the United States and elsewhere are traveling to three major Tibetan monastic universities in Southern India to train monastics in the philosophy of science, physics, biology, and neuroscience. Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns have grappled with these questions for centuries but, for the first time in their history, they are using science to help find the answers.For monks and nuns, the program organized and operated by Emory University is the most far-reaching update to their curriculum in 600 years. And for scientists who usually reduce complex systems like the human body into smaller parts, the program is a window into a way of thinking that emphasizes the interconnectedness and cyclical aspects of nature.


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What No One Tells You About Becoming a Mother

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A psychiatrist explains that difficult emotions are natural in new motherhood—and how partners and society at large can be supportive.

By Jenara Nerenberg


You can find plenty of practical information out there about pregnancy and parenting, but what about the emotional rollercoaster and identity shift that occurs for many women and their partners when they have a child? We don’t talk much about it—and if we do, it’s usually in the context of postpartum depression.

We need a new model to think about the transition to motherhood. That’s the focus of the new book What No One Tells You: A Guide to Your Emotions from Pregnancy to Motherhood, co-authored by psychiatrists Alexandra Sacks and Catherine Birndorf.

In the book, Sacks and Birndorf seek to educate readers about the stage of life called “matrescence,” which is the developmental transition to motherhood. Just as a baby transitions to toddlerhood and a child transitions to adolescence, matrescence is a natural but distinct period of lif…

Creative Chaos

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The transcendent artistry of Green Renaissance Films allows us to enter into the life of a young man who has journeyed through mental disorder and arrived at a place of wholeness with an openness to the chaos of life. He has come to realize that he does not need to hold fear at bay by trying to order his world, controlling everything. Rather he embraces the chaos and unpredictability of daily living as the magic of the real world, allowing more beautiful things to happen, a world full of possibilities. The beauty of the film's location in South Africa adds an even deeper dimension to this young man's profound insights.


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Why the Arts Matter for Kids’ Self-Esteem

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A new study finds that kids who paint, draw, play music, or read more often feel better about themselves.

By Tom Jacobs


Middle school can be tough on an adolescent’s self-esteem. Social comparison often becomes fierce, leading to feelings of unworthiness that can have negative consequences in years to come.

How can a parent help? New research suggests that one great answer is to encourage your kids to participate in the arts—or, better yet, to join them in some creative pursuit.

“Initiatives to promote arts engagement in children may provide a practical and efficient way to improve children’s self-esteem,” report Hei Wan Mak and Daisy Fancourt of University College London. Importantly, they found that kids didn’t have to be good at their chosen creative activity for these positive effects to blossom.

The research, published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, features 6,209 youngsters from the United Kingdom Millennium Cohort Study. The kids were born in the U.K. around the …