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Showing posts from August 16, 2020

Meet a Man and His Dog Taking a Walk Around the World!

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Join a man and his pooch on an epic walk around the globe! When we travel we are reminded of the things that make life worth living: natural wonders, the joy of discovery, and warm conversations with kind strangers. Here’s what can happen when you bring your best pal along for the journey. Do you have a story about the kindness of strangers? What about the love of a good dog? For the past five years, Tom Turchich has been collecting stories of both as he walks around the world with his beloved dog, Savannah, by his side! Tom’s journey is a beautiful reminder that the world really is still an amazing place. And that kindness, hospitality, and the love of a good dog are some of the most universal languages on this planet! By Liesl Ulrich-Verderber Read Article

Expanding the Spirit of Democracy

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"How might we unlock hope in an expansive spirit of democracy for present and future generations in this time of upheaval? As the underside of American society is being revealed and the stark inequities and racial prejudices made manifest, we are called to reflect on what brought us to this disturbing state of affairs. With shock and recrimination we are responding to the truth of our history and the entrenched habits of structural racism along with economic inequity. This history is revealing itself in the consequences of brutal slavery and Jim Crow laws, the near extermination of Native Americans, subsequent theft of land and banishment to reservations, the ongoing history of discrimination against Latinx, Asian, and immigrant communities, and the endless overseas wars and militarization of our society at the expense of the well-being of humans and nature." Mary Evelyn Tucker shares her thoughts about the future of democracy in this pivotal moment. Rea

What Makes Us Happier Than Money?

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The key to happiness isn't our income but something more meaningful, explains UC Irvine's Belinda Campos, Ph.D. By Jane Park

The Phone Call

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In 1992 Auburn Sandstrom was 29, the mother of a three-year-old son, caught in an abusive marriage and an addict. One night she hit rock bottom. She was writhing in pain on the floor of her filthy apartment wrestling with withdrawal from a drug she had been addicted to for several years. In her hand, she gripped a ragged piece of paper with a phone number of a counselor her mother had mailed to her in a rare moment of connection. In total despair, Sandstrom called the number. It rang. A man answered. Listen to Audio

How to Speak Your Opponent’s Language in a Political Debate

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Recent research suggests that to have better political conversations, you should first explore the other person’s values. We’ve all been in political arguments when both sides seem deeply entrenched in their views and unwilling to budge an inch. In the heat of conflict, it may seem like your opponent lacks logic or evidence, but some recent research points to a different problem: We’re not recognizing each other’s values . By Zaid Jilani , Jeremy Adam Smith In a study published in 2015 , Stanford sociologist Rob Willer and University of Toronto social psychologist Matthew Feinberg looked at how we can improve political conversations about some of the most contentious issues. They found that people often assume that everyone has the same values in mind when they discuss moral or political topics, whether that’s freedom or compassion. But rather than arguing based on our own values, their experiments suggest, we might have more productive conversations if we try to recognize th

How Soil Is Telling Us a New Story About Ourselves!

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What can soil tell us about the lives of our ancestors? When one of the greatest archaeological finds of our time was unearthed right in the middle of New York City,  history opened up. By studying soil samples extracted from hundreds of people previously lost to history this scientist is piecing together an ancestry that was nearly lost! What stories are hiding in the ground beneath your feet? In 1991, the construction of a skyscraper unearthed an estimated 15,000 human remains in a burial ground spanning over 6.6 acres of Manhattan. At that moment, a new window into the history of New York City opened up! Now, by looking closer at the soil around the remains, researchers are able to see an entirely new history of New York from 400 years ago. Turns out, soil can tell quite a story! By Sam Burns Read Article

Square Peg Foundation: Putting Human Dignity First

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"So the question comes up why horses? Here's the thing-- a horse never sees potential in any one. A horse sees you for exactly who you are and a horse offers you the dignity of that. The dignity to be scared, the dignity to be dis-regulated, the dignity to be curious, or kind, or excited.The dignity to just be you...Square Peg was dreamed up by a young mother with a child that needed to move and to be encouraged for his curiosity and to have his kindness understood as a strength. It was created to make a space for ex-racehorses who had given their all on the track and now needed to have a place where they were safe and needed and cared for...In 1984 at age 16, I became a mom. My son was born 9 weeks early and weighed 3 and a half pounds. While he grew in an incubator in the hospital, I finished both high school and my first quarter of college. My son's learning difficulty started early..." Joell Dunlap,the dynamic founder of Square Peg Foundation shares

How Journaling Can Help You in Hard Times

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Stressed and isolated? Try expressing your thoughts and feelings in writing. On April 1, I had been quarantining in my downtown apartment for two weeks, and it was starting to become clear that this coronavirus thing wasn’t going away anytime soon. By Kira M. Newman As I often do in tough times, I turned to journaling. I decided I’d keep a record of my quarantine life through the month of April, a way to remember this crazy historical moment and process my feelings. Now it’s August, and my daily journal continues. I’ve left my building about two dozen times since I started journaling, so its contents aren’t all that exciting—tidbits of everyday life, news about social distancing rules and reopening stages, moments of worry and loneliness and cabin fever and gratitude. I know I’m not the only one with a pandemic journal. In fact, hundreds of people have written journal entries on the Pandemic Project website , a resource created by psychology researchers that offers writi

From Fish to Fashion: When A Fishing Net Becomes A Hat!

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What if we looked at the life cycle of every item we purchased and thought “Where did this come from? What will happen when I’m done with it?” This company has figured out how to solve a problem for a community of fishermen and save wildlife by giving some of the ocean’s most harmful pollution a new, more fashionable, life. What if the next hat you bought cleaned the ocean? By connecting the dots to a life-threatening problem, some of the planet’s most dangerous ocean pollution is getting a new life in some unexpected places. From hats to Jenga sets, fishing nets are being repurposed to save communities, both marine and human, and it’s easier than ever to support this cause! By Sam Burns Read Article

BLM: Four Lessons in White Allyship from South Africa

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"As Black Lives Matter protests, triggered by the killing of George Floyd, spread across the world in response to systemic racism and police brutality, questions are being asked about how white people can lend their support. Our previous and ongoing research into the South African anti-apartheid movement provides four key lessons we can draw on today in the fight against racism." Read Article

A Man Impossible to Classify

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The young man walked up to us still smiling and, without a word, pointed again. I stared in puzzlement. At this he nodded his head and, to clarify matters, repeated the pointing. "What do you mean?" I managed to ask. "Donuts!" He said. "Do you guys like donuts?" It was 1965. He was one of the first people I met in San Francisco, a street person, and the story that followed spanned some twenty years. Nothing about it could have been predicted. Read Article

Help Students Process COVID-19 Emotions With This Lesson Plan

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Music and the arts can help students transition back to school this year. When students return to school in the fall—whether live or virtual—there will be many conversations about COVID-19 and many opportunities to reflect on what they missed when schools were closed, on how the summer was different, and perhaps on family and friends who were stricken with the virus. Children will be affected by the anxiety of their parents, who are returning to work, bringing children to child care, and venturing to haircuts, restaurants, gyms, and beyond. As we transition into the new school year, the task for educators in the coming weeks and months is to help children reflect, refocus, and move forward. By Maurice Elias When we experience emotions like sadness and anxiety, research suggests that expressing them through visual and performing arts is one of the most effective ways to address them. Psychologist John Pellitteri has been a pioneer in showing how creating and performing music

Taiji Quan: The Wisdom of Water

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"All natural things curl, swirl, twist, and flow in patterns like flowing water. Thus we sense something similar in clouds, smoke, streams, the wind-blown waves of sand on the beach, the pattern of branches against the sky, the shape of summer grasses, the markings on rocks, the movement of animals. Even solid bones have lines of flow on their exterior and in their spongy interior. Spiders build their webs, caterpillars their cocoons in water-like spirals. The rings in an exposed log look like a whirlpool. And looking up in the night sky we can see a river of stars.[...]Taiji Quan has been compared to a great river because each posture flows smoothly into the next without break." Kenneth Cohen, shares more in this reflective post on the wisdom of water and how it infuses the ancient practice of Taiji Quan-- and our lives. Read Article

The Inspiring Craft That’s Saving Doctors’ Lives!

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There is a “medicine” available to all of us that parents have been delivering in whispers to their children before they close their eyes at night. It’s totally free, as old as human existence, and has proven time and time again to be what we’re built on! Now, it’s being used to save our healthcare workers’ lives! What if there was a pill you could take that would cut the amount of distress you’re feeling in half? Would you want it? This inspiring thought leader delivers a prescription that will help each of us live brighter, more fulfilling lives. By Sam Burns Read Article

Small Joys are Essential to Resilience

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"For Persians, one of our most precious ways to summon joy is with poetry. I remember one night, in particular, in my home city of Shiraz, Iran, during the war. While sirens blared and the electricity was shut off, warning of an imminent attack, my family and I (feeling especially brave) snuck to our rooftop to watch the anti-aircraft missiles shoot into the air. To my 7-year-old eyes, the brilliant red patterns in the pitch-black sky rivaled the most magnificent fireworks display. But underneath the awe there was a simmering terror brewing in my belly of not knowing who was going to die next. Was it going to be me? My best friend? My sister in Tehran? My teacher? And then someone from another rooftop shouted a verse of Rumi's poetry into the clear night air..." This inspiring article from YES magazine explores the relationship between resilience and the capacity to cultivate joy even in the midst of great crisis. Read Article