Showing posts from November 15, 2015

We Are All in this Together

I had 108 guys and just two of us adults. When I first went in there it was a totally unsafe place. People were punching each other out, all kinds of stuff. It wasn't going to happen on my shift. Eventually a dangerous place became a safe place. I became a lead counselor. It was all intuitive."

I met John Malloy at one of ServiceSpace’s weekly events, an Awakin Circle. It was typical in that there were 60 or 70 people there. And, as usual, there were many I hadn’t met. At one point in the evening, each person has a chance to speak and it’s always fascinating to glimpse the different worlds that come into view this way. There are always some who make deeper impressions. John Malloy was one of those. He has a presence that’s palpable. I haven’t had the chance to listen to many Native Americans, but an idea has formed in me about their speech, that it’s more measured, less dressed up. More direct. That was how Malloy spoke.

In the last few years we've gotten to know each other…

The Whole Child and Urban Education

Educators would ask, "Why are you visiting us?" I said, "I see that your students are 100% children in poverty, but they are doing as well as your higher wealth comparables." What I found was that the students were involved with the arts. They weren't doing the narrow curriculum of drill and kill.

An unexpected invitation to Betty Peck and her daughter Anna Rainville’s home for an intimate conference on education, specifically on Waldorf education, is what led me to Ida Oberman. There were a few of us at the gathering who were not especially knowledgeable about Waldorf education, but Betty and Anna have always liked expanding the circle. For decades, Betty Peck’s weekly salon has been a meeting place for a wide range of creative individuals from a variety of perspectives in the thick of Silicon Valley culture.

This particular gathering was more focused than Betty’s regular salon meetings and no less interesting for that. It was a chance both for new connections a…

How Do You Talk To Kids About Terrorism?

Steve Hartman on explaining the evil of terrorism to the most innocent.

NEW YORK -- So far, my two boys, 7-year-old George and 5-year-old Emmett, have grown up inside a protective bubble of my creation.

So far, my wife and I have shielded them from the Paris attacks -- and just about every other bit of bad news on the planet.

The goal was to keep them as carefree as possible, as long as possible. But this week I started wondering if that was the right approach. So to find out what's best for my kids, I consulted some experts: my kids.

A Week After Attacks, Paris Is Healing

Parisians are taking back their city with both solemn reflection and celebration.

PARIS -- One week after ISIS militants attacked Paris with bombs and guns, the healing has begun.

Imams at 2,500 mosques throughout France used Friday prayers to condemn terrorism and violence.

Friday night, Parisians took back their city. There was solemn reflection, with candles and flowers.

London’s Thames is Coming Back to Life With Whales, Dolphins, and Seals

If you mention whale watching, not too many people will think of London, but an environmental comeback has led to dozens of sightings in the Thames River in the past ten years.

A half century ago, the river was declared “biologically extinct” — meaning, it was so polluted nothing could live in it. Now, with improved water quality, fish have returned and attracted the larger marine animals encouraged by the new food supply.

Town Honors Their Beloved Street Sweeper With Public Statue

Some people are presented with a cake and a watch when they retire, but this street sweeper is getting a bronze statue of himself erected in the town square.

A committee in Sortland, Norway has decided that’s the best way to honor longtime street sweeper Kjetil Paulsen when he retires next year. He’s spent 20 years keeping Sortland’s streets litter free and was already elected “Sortlander of the Year” in 2008.

Daily Inspirational Quote – November 21, 2015

“You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be.”

Altering our mind-set to being more positive and, perhaps also more assertive, enables us to totally rethink who we are. Not only who we are at the present time, but who we aspire to be tomorrow, and the next day, and the next…. To even think of changing the way we approach and live life without taking time to firstly get our “think set” in gear, would prevent us from ever signaling and moving off. Know what I mean? Of course you do!


The Power of Not Knowing

Every day, the world we live in and the vast universe around us, offer countless questions waiting to be answered. And despite all of our scientific advances and vast reservoirs of knowledge many times the answers remain elusively just out of our reach. In this thoughtful piece writer Wayne Muller explores the counter-intuitive power of not knowing.

Huge Breakthrough in Brain Medicine Allows Access Like Never Before

A historic medical breakthrough in Canada this month gives doctors an effective new way to treat diseases of the brain, including cancer, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

A persistent obstacle to treating brain disorders and tumors has been the difficulty in delivering drugs to that location.

There is a natural barrier wrapped around the tiny blood vessels in the brain meant to keep toxins out. The problem is, this “blood-brain barrier” also prevents drugs in the blood stream from leaving capillaries and getting into the brain—until now.

This Teacher Gives Compliments to Every Student, Every Morning (WATCH)

The world could learn a lot from this special education teacher in Florida.

He doesn’t start his lessons until he has complimented every student in his class — one at a time, with a high five as an exclamation point.

It’s part special education teacher Chris Ulmer’s unique way of boosting performance for kids with special needs. He spends the first 10 minutes of class telling each student what he likes about them.

He also uses videos and music to help his kids learn at Mainspring Academy in Jacksonville, Florida.

Admission to These State Parks Will be Free on Black Friday

Want to beat the crowds on Black Friday? One group has a deal that’ll lead you among towering redwood trees instead of looking up at big box stores.

The Save the Redwoods League is sponsoring free visits to 49 California state parks that feature the giant trees. The deal is good for one day, November 27, the day after Thanksgiving — one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

Scottish Isle to Welcome Refugees With Screening of It’s a Wonderful Life

People on the Scottish island of Bute are promising dozens of Syrian refugees “a wonderful life” when they arrive in the next few weeks.

In fact, they’re hosting a film screening of the holiday classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life” December 13 to welcome the new community members–and also raise money to help pay for their necessities.

Austria’s Largest State is Now 100% Powered by Renewables

The largest of Austria’s nine states now produces all of its electricity from renewable sources.

The premier of Lower Austria, which surrounds the city of Vienna, made the announcement November 5, to spark inspiration ahead of the international conference on climate change next month in Paris.

Daily Inspirational Quote – November 20, 2015

“The happiest people do not have the best of everything.  They make the best of everything they have.”

What a wonderful way to live your life isn’t it? Believing the best in other people, appreciating what you do have rather than bemoaning what you don’t? Our society seems totally fixated and focused on the latest designer handbag/shoes, clothes, watch, jewelry, we should be wearing. The “in” places we should be partying or eating at, blah, blah, blah! Pictures of “celebrities”, and I use the term very loosely here, who we are led to believe are living lives we should all aspire to! Not me, thank you very much. I fully appreciate what I have and am very happy and content with what life continues to gift me. I’ll bet you are just the same?


Three German Students Surprise a Homeless Guy

This sweet film is a heartwarming story of compassion and creativity. By using the universal power of music, walls are brought down to expose a universal issue. It also highlights the ability we all have to bring about change, simply by making a positive difference to someone's day.

In The Face Of Terror, the Human Spirit Endures

PARIS -- This week, parents looked at the questions on their children's faces and did their best to make sense of the senseless. How to explain? What is the meaning of life, if life is lost so easily to those who hate?

In Paris, we recognized each and every face. We know them.

How Safe Are Your Dietary Supplements?

This week's fraud charges against two popular dietary supplement makers may have many people eyeballing the bottles and boxes of supplements on their kitchen counters, wondering if the vitamins, protein powders, and herbs they pop every day are safe.

Nutrition experts and federal agencies told CBS News that there are ways to reduce your chances of taking questionable or unsafe "health" products, which may come in pill, powder or other oral formulations. But some say there's no safe supplement until tighter regulations are in place.

The Photo Ark: Preserving Species Before They Disappear

Many animal species are at risk of vanishing. It's a calamity photographer and "Sunday Morning" Contributor Joel Sartore is trying hard to prevent. Our Cover Story is reported now by Martha Teichner:

They haunt you, these eyes -- as intended.

Eye to eye, you're supposed to regard the greatest, the tiniest, and the lowliest equally.

Bruce Springsteen, John Legend Lead All-Star Concert

LOS ANGELES -- Bruce Springsteen rocked out with John Legend, Eric Church teamed up with Smokey Robinson, and Miguel wailed alongside Tori Kelly at a musical event focusing on race relations in America.

Springsteen and Legend launched "Shining a Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America" at the Shrine Auditorium on Wednesday with a rendition of "American Skin (41 Shots)," a song Springsteen wrote about the 1999 police shooting death of Guinean immigrant Amadou Diallo.

66 Hollywood Dance Scenes Perfectly Timed to Uptown Funk Hit (WATCH)

Your first reaction to some video montages may be, “Someone had too much time on their hands…” But after watching this one, you’ll be glad they put in the effort.

This amazing video pairs clips from a parade of old Hollywood musicals with matching beats from Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’s “Uptown Funk,” so seamlessly, you’ll swear the hit song had to have been featured in “Singing in the Rain.”

Alone on Thanksgiving? Restaurant Owner is Offering Free Meals

A Michigan restaurant is offering a free feast and fellowship for the lonely on Thanksgiving — and it may be more crowded than the owner expected.

A passerby in Northville noticed the sign in the window of George’s Senate Coney Island offering free meals for anyone alone on Thanksgiving Day. He snapped a picture, posted it at Imgur, and thousands of people have seen the generous offer.

Church Thanks Local Inmates, Dishes Out Surprise Thanksgiving Meal

MANNINGTON TWP. -- A dish of brotherly love and gratitude was served up by a South Jersey congregation Wednesday during an early Thanksgiving lunch for local inmates.

The savory meal surprised four Salem County Correctional Facility inmates -- or as members of New Jerusalem Aump Church say, "brothers" -- as they dined with religious leaders who opened up their doors for an afternoon of smiles and full bellies.

For years now through the Salem County Sheriff's Department, inmates of the correctional facility have gone out into the community to help non-profit groups with building maintenance, repairs, cleaning, or painting, to name a few.

Churches Offer Space, Public Raises $110K for Arson-Stricken Canadian Mosque

Peterborough police call the firebombing of the city’s only mosque a hate crime, while local residents managed to quickly raise enough money to repair the house of worship.

Meanwhile in Kitchener, police are investigating vandalism at a Hindu temple.

Ram Dham Hindu Temple president Dilip Dav says several windows at the rear entrance of the temple were shattered late Sunday night.

He says no one inside the temple was injured and they were unable to see who did the damage.

One Wish for Feisty 97-yo, to See the Future at Google: Priceless! (WATCH)

During Olive Horrell’s 97-year lifetime–especially her golden years–a lot has changed. She couldn’t keep up with all the recent technological breakthroughs and so had one bucket wish: to visit Google and see where they get all their good ideas.

Thanks to the Wish of a Lifetime organization that fulfills dreams for the elderly, Olive was given a VIP tour of the tech giant’s Mountain View, California campus last month where she gleefully experienced cruising in a self-driving car and was thunderstruck while wearing virtual reality goggles.

Daily Inspirational Quote – November 19, 2015

“He that is discontented in one place, will seldom be happy in another.”

Discontentment is something felt within us, so attempting to just dismiss it, obviously won’t work will it? In order to get rid we need firstly, to understand why we are feeling discontented and, secondly, taking steps to finding a resolution. Understand, there is absolutely nothing to be gained by physically upping sticks and moving, no matter how far away. Your discontent will just tag along with you. So, as we said, time to acknowledge your feelings and take whatever action you believe will give your discontent its marching orders. Hopefully, that’s when discontent will find another home far, far away, and happiness can move in again.


The Little Gardener: A Parable On The Power of Working with Love

"The Little Gardener" is a picture book by Emily Hughes, which is "at heart a parable of purpose -- tender assurance for anyone who has ever undertaken a labor of love against seemingly insurmountable odds and persevered through hardship, continuing to nourishing that labor until the love emanates out, becomes contagious, and draws in kindred spirits as a centripetal force of shared purpose and enthusiasm." Here, we can see Hughes' vibrant illustrations that capture both human tenderness and attention, as well as the beauty of wilderness.

New Jersey Police Officer Surprises Homeless Man With New Boots (WATCH)

No shoes, no service – unfortunately that is the bus regulation that barred an older man from getting on a bus Saturday morning.

Luckily for him, a police officer was there to show some compassion and a Payless store was across the street.

Officer Kenya Joyner was cruising through Lindenwold, New Jersey when he was asked by a transit driver to escort a shoeless passenger off of his bus.

Crochet Community Piles On the Yarn for Princess Wigs for Kids With Cancer

Hair loss can be a challenge for anyone, no matter their age– but it can be especially heartbreaking for little girls who love their locks.

That’s why Holly Christensen began knitting up a solution for these heroic tots. (The video, above, takes a minute to load.)

Using the long, flowing hairstyles of Disney princesses–and oodles of yarn in bright colors, Holly and her nonprofit known as The Magic Yarn project are crocheting caps that double as wigs for little girls coping with disease.

Veteran Homelessness Has Been Ended in Virginia, First State to Do It

Virginia has become the first state in the U.S. to be certified as effectively ending homelessness among military veterans.

By incorporating the principles of Housing First throughout the commonwealth, and providing support services to help veterans maintain stability, 1,432 homeless veterans have been housed since October 2014.

The state’s governor, Terry McAuliffe, announced in a ceremony last week that there is more permanent housing for any other veterans who may be found to be in need, and officials are moving to address homelessness in the general public next.

“On a day when we remember those who fought and died for our nation, I am proud to proclaim that Virginia is leading the way in the fight to end veteran homelessness,” said Governor McAuliffe. “This successful effort will serve as the launching pad for our next goal of functionally ending chronic homelessness among all Virginians by the end of 2017.”…

Watch: Rescuer of Old Dogs Is Given Everything She Needs All At Once

Sherri Stankewitz quit her career and moved into a mere garage to be near the dogs she has dedicate her life to saving, and spend all her time and money on her animal rescue project that helps abandoned pups.

She was planning the biggest WeCare adoption event ever, and thought the camera crew was there for a documentary. What was really unfolding was a prank–one that would lead to huge surprises for the California animal lover.

An animal enforcement officer showed up and told her she had an hour to send all the dogs to new homes or he’d take them away from her. He was an actor, part of the latest  “Prank It Forward” good deeds from the YouTube entrepreneur, DEFY Media.

Mom Posts Letter to Skateboarder Who Showed Big Heart Despite Pals

A six-year-old girl got a private lesson in skateboarding, while her mother got a lesson in not judging others.

Jeanean Thomas was thrown for a loop the day she took her daughter to the skate park in Hamilton, Ontario for the first time. They were both a bit intimidated by the group of older boys smoking and cursing nearby, but Jeanean pushed Peyton to go ahead and try her board.

After a few awkward tries, and the other skateboarders zipping past her, one of them approached the girl.

Woman Donates Entire Toy Store to Kids in Homeless Shelters

Carol Suchman has skyrocketed to the top of Santa’s “Nice” list.

The New York City woman donates toys to homeless children every Christmas, but this year her annual good deed is creating buzz all the way to the North Pole: To provide for kids in 2015, she bought an entire toy store.

Suchman was walking past a storefront in her West Village neighborhood when she noticed a “Going Out of Business” sign in the window.

Daily Inspirational Quote – November 18, 2015

“May you live every day of your life.”

No, this isn’t obvious by any means. Sorry to disappoint you but, just because you’re breathing, doesn’t mean you’re living. “Living” means beginning every day with joyful anticipation and expectation, the belief that it will be a great day and feeling blessed to be alive at all! It is the responsibility of each and every one of us to realize how precious the gift of life is and ensure we keep this thought with us every day, in everything we do. It’s only then that you will “live” every day of your life.


Neil Gaiman on How Stories Last

Why do myths and fairytales continue to enchant the popular imagination generation after generation? Neil Gaiman suggests that such stories give shape to our lives, that they are a life-form obeying the same rules of genesis, reproduction, and propagation that organic matter does.

Unique Actions By Tech Companies Helped Millions Be Safe in Paris

If you had friends or family in Paris over the weekend, you might have been notified by Facebook that they were “safe” – and they may have been kept safe with free rides from Uber, free shelter through Airbnb and free taxi rides citywide.

Within 24 hours, Facebook helped four million people in Paris use its “Safety Check” feature to let family and friends know they were safe. Originally developed for natural disasters, this was the first time the tech company activated the feature for a terrorist attack.

The video below shows how it works.

One of the Poorest Nations Now Tops U.S. as World’s Most Charitable

Giving increased across the world last year and, despite economic uncertainty, the encouraging news shows people are even more willing to donate money that in previous years.

The world’s most charitable people live in Myanmar — the Asian country that tied the United States last year because they gave so much to charity, volunteered their time, and so often helped strangers. They surged to the top of the list with strong gains, even as American volunteerism was up.

After Lonely Couple Called Emergency Line, Police Stayed For Tea

A police constable in England prepared for the worst after receiving an emergency call from a couple in their 90s.

But when Stu Ockwell and his partner from the Manchester Police Department showed up, they found no medical emergency–only a lonely couple who needed someone to talk to.

Fred Thomson is 95 years old and blind; his wife, Doris, who struggles alone to care for him, is also 95.

300 Stranded Israelis in Montana Airport Fed Kosher By Local Kindness

When an El Al flight from Israel to California developed a problem, it was forced to land in Montana–where a problem of a different sort developed on the ground. Fortunately for the 279 passengers and crew, people who live in the “Big Sky Country” have hearts as big as their sky.

Because a new plane needed to be delivered, no one knew how long the hundreds of Israelis would be stranded there – sequestered in the terminal because there were no customs officials there. One thing was evident. Despite its worldly name, there was no kosher food at the Billings Logan International Airport.

Packers Quarterback Rodgers Flags Anti-Muslim Heckler

Green Bay Packers star quarterback Aaron Rodgers won’t stand for hate -- and he made that known in a press conference after the Packers-Detroit Lions game in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on Sunday.

Before the game started, the Packers organization held a moment of silence at Lambeau Field to honor the victims of Friday night’s terrorist attacks in Paris. But one fan in the stadium didn’t get the memo, shouting out “Muslims suck!” so loudly that the players on the field could hear him, according to various reports.

Marijuana Fills Dire Medical Needs of Families; Science, States Try to Catch Up

Unthinkable two decades ago, parents are joining together to fight for their children’s right to use marijuana – and many legislators and researchers are standing with them.

For some teenagers, this might seem like a dream come true, but for Stephanie Ayotte, who has an extreme form of epilepsy, the hope is not to get high: it’s to get better.

These dedicated parents – Jennifer and Andy Ayotte, Beth and Patrick Collins, and Paige Figi – among many others, have worked hard to expand access to medical marijuana because it has dramatically reduced, or even eliminated, the occurrence of severe uncontrollable seizures that are not treatable with conventional drugs.

Stephanie’s daily seizures robbed her of the ability to walk freely when she was a teenager. Her parents began escorting her everywhere, one person on each side, for fear she would fall. Eventually, after several injuries, she was restricted to a wheelchair.

Homeless Dad Helped in Denver Was Spotted Giving Back–Feeding Hungry

After a fundraising campaign raised nearly $55,000 for a New Yorker who had just arrived in Denver and become homeless with his toddler, the pair was out feeding the hungry.

A month ago James Moss met a man on the street who recorded an interview with the newly homeless father that caused a chain reaction of generosity. Moss’s optimistic attitude in the face of hard times inspired the outpouring of donations on a GoFundMe page that was set up later by a stranger in Kansas.

Daily Inspirational Quote – November 17, 2015

“Well done is better than well said.”

A need to take action rather than just talk about it is the clear meaning here. I guess a great many of us occasionally tend to tell all and sundry about a great plan, exciting enterprise, or original idea that we’ve had. Initially, everybody shares our enthusiasm, wishing us good luck and perhaps there are also offers of financial or physical aid. However, after they’ve heard us talk about it, again, and again, and again, with nary a sign that we are actually taking steps to make it a reality, they all get fed up and leave. Wouldn’t it be much better for them and us, if we actually did what we said, and earned a unanimous “well done” rather than the general consensus of “”Here we go again!” Thought so.


10 Ways to Become More Grateful

The consumerist culture of modern life often propagates a self-defeating brand of discontent. A die-hard preoccupation with what we lack, be it in the realm of material things, relationships or status, can often blind us to the profound gifts that we hold in each moment. We sometimes forget that the flip-side of happiness is a grateful heart. When we practice gratefulness, we tap into the richness of our own lives and discover the antidote to the scarcity mindset. And what better time to start than in this season of Thanksgiving? The following article shares ten simple ways to cultivate gratitude.

Divination by Scrying: A Second Sight

by Marianna Boncek

(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)

My interest in scrying started when I bought an “authentic gypsy crystal ball” at an auction house in rural upstate New York. I have no idea whether the crystal ball ever truly belonged to a gypsy or not, but it was a beautiful peace of glass, and I had a keen interest in the metaphysical so I bought my first scrying tool, totally clueless as how to use it.

Scrying, sometimes called “crystal gazing” is a technique by which a person “gazes” into anything reflective. However, most people use a crystal ball or a scrying mirror. Scrying mirrors are concave opaque pieces of glass. They are very beautiful. However, you can scry on just about any reflective surface; a bowl of water, a piece of metal, a mirror, etc. Some people can even scry in smoke, flames, etc.

The purpose of scrying is to gain information. Some people believe this information is given clairvoyantly or psychically. Others believe the scrying technique …

Crystal Ball Reading for Beginners: Have No Fears

by Alexandra Chauran

(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)

What if you literally saw God, Goddess, an angel, or a fairy with your own two eyes? If this happened to you in a dream, in church, within the confines of a magical circle, such incredible visions would be appropriate. If, however, this happened while you were driving to work and you swerved off the road to avoid a pixie or Gabriel’s horn, you would likely rightfully find yourself in the psychiatric ward of your local hospital. Everything in between is a big old gray area, and not one that feels comfortable to explore.

For that reason, as a professional fortune teller, I have many friends and clients who gush excitedly that they love fortune tellers, scrying, and divination, but that they could never do it themselves. How could this be that I’ve heard people who are obviously intuitive and open-minded about psychic arts tell me that they feel and see nothing when they attempt to do the work themselves? This is …

Daily Inspirational Quote – November 16, 2015

“Without hard work, nothing grows but weeds.”

Let’s imagine you have a garden okay? Now, in order to keep this garden looking beautiful and a joy to behold, there’s a great deal of effort and hard work required. Constant care and attention, i.e. weeding, planting, watering, dead heading, and protection from predators and pests. Take a moment to compare this with your mind and/or life at the moment. Can you see the similarity between the work needed to keep your physical garden in tip top condition and the work and attention needed, by you, to maintain, encourage and ensure your mind and life function to the very best of your ability? Happy gardening!


BJ Miller: What Really Matters at the End of Life

"At the end of our lives, what do we most wish for? For many, it's simply comfort, respect, love. BJ Miller is a palliative care physician at Zen Hospice Project who thinks deeply about how to create a dignified, graceful end of life for his patients. Take the time to savor this moving talk, which asks big questions about how we think on death and honor life."

Samsung Galaxy Phone Stops a Bullet in Paris, Saves Man’s Life

If he hadn’t been talking on the phone at the time when a bomb exploded nearby, he might have been another casualty in Paris.

The Samsung Galaxy S6 edge took most of the hit from shrapnel flying towards his head.

The man named Sylvester showed a camera crew the damage in this video from Reuters.

In other heartening news from Paris, citizens are lining up around the block to donate blood while peace vigils across the world are bathed in light and singing for those mourning in France.

Officer Sends Flowers To Crying Woman She Pulled Over For Speeding

When a Massachusetts police officer pulled over a driver for speeding, she found the woman crying.
She had just found out her mother was being moved into hospice care.

After issuing the driver a warning, Somerville Officer Ashley Catatao couldn’t stop thinking about her.

So she ordered a delivery of flowers and sent along a note that read, “I’m very sorry about your mother. I hope you find comfort in knowing she lived a long life and will continue to live on in your heart and in your memories.”

For her kindness, the officer was honored by the mayor and police chief with a Beyond The Call Of Duty award.

Daily Inspirational Quote – November 15, 2015

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

Very sensible advice if you ask me! We may have a great idea in mind or a task to perform, and so mentally work out how we are going to proceed, what materials (if any) we will require, tools, time scale, cost, etc. etc. However, and this is very important, we actually need to take the physical steps or actions needed in order for us to progress or nothing will get done! In other words, put very simply, “Get your butt in gear and get going NOW!”