Showing posts from December 30, 2018

Abused Wolves and Troubled Teens Find Solace in Each Other

"A strong gust of wind is answered by a chorus of wolf howls in Southern California's high desert. Wearing hoodies and well-worn sneakers, city kids make their way up a mountain. Navigating the high desert terrain can be a challenge for some, and a few lag behind. Leading the way is a wolf named Malo. For many of the teens who find their way here, Wolf Connection's Youth Empowerment Program is their last chance; they have been kicked out of school, or have been in gangs or in and out of foster homes."

Why We Should Seek Happiness Even in Hard Times

Jack Kornfield shares his wisdom on why it’s important to focus on well-being, even during times of strife.

By Jill Suttie

When we’re deluged by bad-news stories, it’s hard to not feel discouraged or even depressed. But, according to Buddhist psychologist Jack Kornfield, falling into despair is not a response that helps anyone—not you, nor your community or the world. Instead, he argues, we must aim for compassion, caring, and equanimity.

In this conversation, the acclaimed author of books like A Path with Heart and The Wise Heart offers up his perspective on suffering and what we can do to maintain our caring heart, using practices honed over thousands of years from traditional wisdom traditions. Many of these have been validated by researchers studying the new science of personal and social well-being, suggesting an interesting confluence between ancient traditions and modern science.

Jill Suttie: How do you define happiness?

Jack Kornfield: Happiness has lots of meanings. We’re happy i…

Handing Out Positive Tickets

Tired of hearing about the negative in your neighborhood? Well, so were these high school kids, who started a program, now sponsored by the City of Rochester, NY, to reward the positive. Each summer, the youth walk around different neighborhoods, looking for the good. And if they spot it, they hand out a ticket: A Positive Ticket.

World-class Voice Prosthesis for $1

When Dr. U.S. Vishal Rao, a Bengaluru-based oncologist, saw how many stage four throat cancer patients struggled to afford expensive imported voice prosthesis to be able to speak again, he decided to do something about it. Together with his friend Shashank Mahesh, Dr. Vishal invented an incredibly low-priced voice device called 'Aum Voice Prosthesis.' Costing only $1, the device has helped 200 people to regain their voices and is expected to reach thousands more in the coming years, with the World Health Organization and nine other countries already expressing interest in the product. "The pain of cancer is the same for all, whether one is rich or poor," reasons Dr. Vishal. Read on to learn more about his inspiring mission and the lives he's changed.

Weaving Big Connections from Small Acts

Greg Tehven thought he needed to leave his home state of North Dakota to have a meaningful life. But when he went to college, he discovered the art of applying small town values to a university setting. This began a trajectory of service - Pay it Forward Tours with college students; Students Today, Leaders Forever; world travel; and ultimately a return to North Dakota where he co-founded Emerging Prairie, a startup news and events organization. Greg is the curator of TEDx Fargo and hosts 1 Million Cups, an organization that supports entrepreneurs. He is an adjunct professor at North Dakota State University's College of Business. He is a husband and a new father. Gregs path demonstrates that small acts in smallish communities create big connections. His story reminds us, that in service, there is no such thing as small.

The Gift of Presence and the Perils of Advice

Parker Palmer is the founder and senior partner of the Center for Courage and Renewal. His work teaches us to connect with others through our authentic self. His courses help to develop courageous leadership and collectively evolve our spirits for social change. With humor and heart, Parker shares his perspectives on advice giving vs the gift of our presence. Leading us into presence with unconditional listening and loving.

Do Young Kids Care About Your Success or Your Heart?

According to a new study, toddlers judge people by their status as well as their kindness.

By James McConchie

My two- and four-year-old boys love to win, whether they are racing their bikes down the sidewalk or just finishing their snack. And this preoccupation with prestige does not seem to diminish with age: Society is full of social hierarchies in which those with high status, from world leaders and prize winners to athletes and movie stars, are the objects of our great admiration.

A recent study published in Nature Human Behaviour turned to toddlers to better understand this aspect of human nature. The researchers found that we seem to have an innate preference for high-ranking people—but only if those people aren’t hurtful toward others.

Researchers showed toddlers (aged 21 to 31 months) a scene where two puppets approached one another from opposite sides of a stage and one deferred by bowing to let the other pass. Asked which puppet they preferred, 18 of the 21 toddlers in the expe…

Thinking About New Year's Resolutions?

"In past years, youve probably targeted minor vices -- eat fewer snacks, exercise more, whatever your particular self-admonitions may be. But it is too easy to get lost in the particulars -- and in the negatives. This time around, try something a little different."

Unlearning Together

Martin Winiecki of the Tamera Peace Research & Education Center in Portugal, writes that our present culture maintains a "mental and spiritual firewall...that hinders us from experiencing our interconnectedness with other beings." He invites us into "a world of full contact, resonance, and communication," by going through three stages of unlearning, beginning with a revolution in consciousness and ending with an unlearning process that needs community, considering that "we are relational interdependent beings."