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Showing posts from March 15, 2020

From What Is to What If

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"In 'How Did We Do That? The Possibility of Rapid Transition', Andrew Simms and Peter Newell tell the story of Iceland's 2010 Eyjafjallajokull eruption, which sent fine dust into the sky that spread for thousands of miles and grounded most of the world's planes. Then what happened? People adapted. Quickly. Supermarkets replaced air-freighted goods with local alternatives. People discovered other, slower ways to get around, or decided they didn't really need to travel at all. People held business meetings online. The Norwegian prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg, ran the Norwegian government from New York... with his iPad. This isn't the only example. We might be focused these days on how we are only nine meals from anarchy, but there are stories from throughout history about how rapid transitions lead to ingenuity, flourishing, imagination and togetherness."


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Eight Acts of Goodness Amid the COVID-19 Outbreak

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There is no shortage of goodness, kindness, and heroism as the world battles the novel coronavirus.

For many of us, the world seems pretty dark and hopeless right now. We are glued to our screens, hoping for good news, but more often than not we end up reading reports that fill us with anger, fear, or a sense of helplessness.

By Kira M. Newman


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Medical Device to Fashion Statement: The Amazing History of Glasses

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In the past few decades, glasses have become a fashion statement and form of expression. But how did they make the transition from a medical device to a stylish accessory? And can we transform prosthetics, wheelchairs, and hearing aids in the same creative and widely accepted way?

Growing up, my grandmother desperately needed glasses—she couldn’t even see the doorknob. But she would always hide them, choosing to memorize patient charts in nurses’ training instead of wearing her glasses in front of the doctors. These days though, people are desperate for cool eyewear.  So, how did this medical device become fashionable? And could other physical aids could become personality “statements”?

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber


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Being Resilient During Coronavirus

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"During times like this, its natural to feel afraid, anxious, or threatened. The brain has evolved to react quickly to threats, and its easy for there to be a sense of helplessness associated with problems that appear far beyond our control. But being consumed by fear causes wear and tear on the body, which actually undermines your safety. Thats why its so important to look for ways to be effective and express our agency, even if its only through how we choose to think about things." Rick Hanson offers suggestions and resources for how to do just that during this challenging time.


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How Can We Stop Prejudice in a Pandemic?

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Recent studies reveal how knowledge helps defeats prejudice in the face of a health crisis.

Around the world, governments are closing schools and prohibiting large gatherings in order to control the COVID-19 pandemic. As of today, the entire San Francisco Bay Area is under orders to shelter in place.

By Zaid Jilani


In a potentially dangerous situation like the rapid spread of a new virus, it is understandable that people are concerned about their own safety and that of their loved ones. However, it’s important to remember the psychological pitfalls of the kind of situation we’re all facing. If we understand how people tend to feel and think when facing a collective threat, then we have the tools to carefully and thoughtfully respond, rather than simply emotionally react.

Research shows, for instance, that ecological threats like the spread of disease tend to increase prejudice, as societies circle their wagons. In New York City, someone loudly invoking the virus assaulted an Asian-Amer…

The One Most Important Thing You Can Do Right Now

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"The point to all the closings and all the cancellations is this -- to manage the healthcare system so that it can respond to those who are vulnerable to die from COVID-19, and to shorten the arc of the pandemics duration. In effect it is to keep our bodies from being unwitting vehicles for the virus to jump from doorknob to doorknob, credit card to credit card. The more we lessen our physical scope of our touch on things around us, the more we participate in shortening this hell-realm, and the more lives we save." Kelly Wendorf shares more in this thoughtful post titled 'Karuna' (Sanskrit for compassion) virus.


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How School Closures Can Strengthen Your Family

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Here are three ways to cope if your kid's school closes.

It’s chilly outside, but a summer—of sorts—has started in my household this week. My two college students and two high schoolers are home from school for the foreseeable future. There is both excitement about lengthened spring breaks (one high schooler) and real sadness (the others). And there is, of course, a lot of chaos and uncertainty.

By Christine Carter


My family isn’t alone. Here in the U.S., millions of families are dealing with school closures. The number of students around the world whose education has been interrupted by the coronavirus is approaching 400 million, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.

As closed schools ramp up for online learning, we can retool in our families, too. Here are three practical ways families can cope—and even thrive—despite school closures, event cancellations, and a whole lot more time at home with the kids.

1. Create some structure around wor…

Guarding the Tongue: The Importance of Right Speech

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"A few years ago, I went through an estrangement with a close friend because of the words I used to refer to her partner's behavior. Although he did not hear what she and I said in our phone conversation, by "chance" he saw my e-mail that followed it. I meant no harm. I thought I was being supportive of my friend. But it was careless speech on my part, and it has cost me dearly. The painful repercussions of my experience awoke me to a simple fact. While I had been careful in watching the movement of breath in meditation, I had not been as attentive in watching the words coming out of my mouth. I'd neglected an essential aspect of spiritual practice--"guarding the tongue."" More in this thoughtful essay.


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How to Avoid Feeling Defeated in Today’s Crazy World

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The world's problems may feel overwhelming, but we can nurture our caring spirit so we stay active in solving them.

Looking around today, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that our world is screwed. Of course, there’s a lot of beauty in the world, too; but the sheer magnitude of violence, greed, hatred, and straight-up stupidity can be overwhelming if we pay attention and care about what’s happening around us.

By Tim Desmond


What’s more terrifying, though? When good-hearted people get overwhelmed by all of it, lose touch with their humanity, and stop caring.

The challenge of staying human in the middle of this comes down to how we respond to the suffering around us and in ourselves. If we despair and give up, that’s not helpful; on the other hand, it also doesn’t help if we allow self-righteousness to poison us with indignation. Whether we are hurting because of our own problems or from witnessing the pain of others, we have to learn how to take care of our compassionate natures, so …

How to Hack Your Brain’s Prejudice with Veggies

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Research suggests a quick trick you can use to combat your unconscious biases.

By NationSwell and the Greater Good Science Center



Helping Students Find Confidence by Helping Others!

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Could there be a simple way to change the lives of young people around the world? They may be on to something at Tilden Middle School—helping their students build confidence, empathy, and kindness towards other people in just a single day. Here’s how it works! (And how it can benefit you, too!)

Between social pressures, schoolwork, growing up, and everything else that comes with early adolescence, middle school was a tough time for a lot of us. But is there a way that we can make it a little easier? This school has found a way—helping students (and the rest of us) find their place as the “I” in Kind.

By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber


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Finding Peace in the Waves of Life’s Uncertainty

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In a busy life full of demands, opportunities, and often crushing losses, if the one thing we get to choose in life is our perspective, why not find the one that brings us the most joy? Here’s one way to go about it!

As he waited for three months to hear from his doctor about life-altering test results, Hayden Peters went on a trip. He took to the coast, diving into the waters that make him feel most alive and discovered a perspective that’s helped him navigate the uncertainty of his future with more ease. And now, he’s sharing it with all of us.

By Sam Burns


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Living Gratefully in the Time of Corona Virus

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"In the midst of times of uncertainty it serves us to reflect on how gratefulness might help to calm us, reduce fears and expectations, open us to greater clarity and love, and fuel action grounded in our deep intentions. Gratitude is not a panacea. It may not cure or solve our anxiety or concerns but it can foster ease, connection, kindness, and well-being -- all valuable qualities which would be good to "go viral" these days. Gratitude cannot save us from sickness or suffering, but it can change how we experience sickness, and it may change our relationship to suffering." The Gratefulness Team shares more...


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