See this site: http://www.dailygood.org/
What do you get when you stick a Bosnian and a Serb together between the front lines? Plus one Bosnian stuck on a mine? Absurdity and allegory abound in No Man’s Land, set in 1993 during the Bosnian War. Consider watching this very funny and very moving Oscar-winning, debut film from director Danis Tanovic. BTW, it beat Amelie (2001) for the best foreign film Oscar–which is saying something.
Check out StoryCorps! Here is a description from their website:
StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 40,000 interviews from nearly 80,000 participants. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, and millions listen to our weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition and on our Listen pages.
If only every day were a holiday! The Syrian Army has announced a truce for the most important Muslim holiday of the year. This reminds me of WWI’s “Christmas truce,” though the happenings in Syria are less heartwarming. Here are some details about the Christmas Truce:
It began in most places with nighttime singing from the trenches, was followed by shouted overtures and then forays between the lines by a few brave men. There followed, in daylight, a burying of the dead that had lain for weeks on the denuded ground called no man’s land. After that, large numbers of soldiers poured over the front lip of the trench.
Throughout the day they exchanged food, tobacco and, in a few places, alcohol. Some chatted, usually in English, a language enough German enlistees spoke to make small talk possible. In several places, they kicked around a soccer ball, or a stuffed bag functioning as one, although contrary to legend there appears to have been no official, scored matches.
Mostly, the soldiers survived, which is what they wanted from the day. They did not shoot each other.
An especially good observation, one that I hope this blog communicates–compassion is more than charity:
“True compassion does not come from wanting to help out those less fortunate than ourselves, but from realizing our kinship with all beings.” –Pema Chodron
One might be generous with:
(Money isn’t even in that long sentence!)
Let me know if I forgot anything.
Oh and comments and likes 😉
Make eye contact with people, often.
Remember people’s names.
Ask lots of questions.
These are basic but sometimes forgettable motions of daily life. They are good. Do them more.
Cami Walker launched 29gifts.org on Day 29 of a month of giving. She documented her giving in the bestseller 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life. Here is the website description:
29 Gifts is a global giving movement with more than 16,300 members in 43 countries. Our collective mission at 29 Gifts is to revive the giving spirit in the world. We change our lives—and change the world—one gift at a time. Learn how our 29-Day Giving Challenge works and sign up now.
YOUR GIFTS DO GOOD. A portion of 29 Gifts Boutique profits are donated to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. 29 Gifts Founder and Author, Cami Walker, and two million others worldwide live with MS. Create a world free of MS by shopping in the 29 Gifts Boutique.
See the full CNN article for details and definitely watch the movie clip! This is a wonderful approach to rehabilitation.
“Who would you rather have as your neighbor? Someone who’s set free after years behind bars–or a prisoner who for such a long time has had the chance to be part of a community?”
“This is what we call ‘human ecology’…It has to do with human relationships and the awareness that you’re part of a greater whole.”
–Arne Kvernik Nilsen, governor of Bastoy prison
Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is based on the principles of nonviolence– the natural state of compassion when no violence is present in the heart.
NVC begins by assuming that we are all compassionate by nature and that violent strategies—whether verbal or physical—are learned behaviors taught and supported by the prevailing culture. NVC also assumes that we all share the same, basic human needs, and that each of our actions are a strategy to meet one or more of these needs.
People who practice NVC have found greater authenticity in their communication, increased understanding, deepening connection and conflict resolution.
The NVC community is active in over 65 countries around the globe. Find out more about how NVC is changing the world and how you can get involved.
“People living in disenfranchised and traumatized communities often became totally silenced and invisible to the world.”
“Awakening creativity in people in general, especially in traumatized situations, empowers and heals. It gives them space to express themselves and share their grief, despair and dreams for the future.”
“Art is a powerful took in building community and social change. Artists can be at the center of that change.”
–Lily Yeh, who began Barefoot Artists, a non-profit that works with the poor communities to creates social change
Here is some background from the website:
“DonorsChoose.org grew out of a Bronx high school where teachers experienced first-hand the scarcity of learning materials in our public schools.
Charles Best, then a social studies teacher, sensed that many people would like to help distressed public schools, but were frustrated by a lack of influence over their donations. He created DonorsChoose.org in 2000 so that individuals could connect directly with classrooms in need.
Our mission: DonorsChoose.org engages the public in public schools by giving people a simple, accountable and personal way to address educational inequity.
Our vision: We envision a nation where children in every community have the tools and experiences needed for an excellent education.”
The application deadline for university students to attend a 2-week Peace-Building Institute has been extended to June 30, 2012. The downside is that the program fee is $1,200 and does not include travel to Rwanda, immunizations, insurance, passport/visa fees, and personal expenses.
Never Again Rwanda is a human rights, peace-building organization that was founded in 2002 and is registered as a Rwandan non-governmental organization. The founding members recognized that the minds of young people were used to destroy Rwanda leading up to and during the 1994 Tutsi genocide. Even as a post-genocide society, they observed that divisions continued to exist between young Rwandans. Guided by a vision of a nation where young people are agents of positive change and work together towards sustainable peace and development, the founding members established Never Again Rwanda (NAR) to empower youth with opportunities to become active citizens.
WWOOF is a world wide network of organisations. We link volunteers with organic farmers, and help people share more sustainable ways of living.
WWOOF is an exchange – In return for volunteer help, WWOOF hosts offer food, accommodation and opportunities to learn about organic lifestyles.
WWOOF organisations link people who want to volunteer on organic farms or smallholdings with people who are looking for volunteer help.
An inspired strategy, hopefully one that won’t backfire and trivialize the issue…? Here is a nice tidbit nestled at the bottom:
“It may seem ironic that the hyper-focused Loorz is one of the more than five million youth diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. In this case, however, Loorz contends that it’s the grownups who are suffering from disabling distraction. He argues that US politicians are so preoccupied by the lingering economic crisis and this year’s presidential campaign that they’re ignoring an environmental threat that could ultimately bring about devastating consequences.”
Here is a quote from the editorial:
These are no Florence Nightingale-minded do-gooders. These women are locked up to learn. They are among the first in Canada to participate in a remarkable program that brings university students and prison inmates together to study in a post-secondary class.
The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program allows those in prison who never dreamed of going beyond high school to achieve that seeming impossibility. It is rehabilitative, character-changing and confidence-building. It has been shown to reduce crime and violence.
This is a beautiful photo essay by Steve McCurry, a worldwide photographer. It is called “Afghanistan: A Look Back.” Subscribe to his blog to get these kinds of posts by email.
I love the idea of philanthropist Kathryn W. Davis, who dedicated $1 million for 100 Projects for Peace. I also love that the word “peace” is not defined, and left to the individual(s) to creatively interpret. There are so many projects created by so many creative young people, and the best part is that the proposals and reports are accessible by clicking on the title of the project. Here is one college president’s opinion:
“…if the 100 Projects for Peace stimulated as much initiative across other campuses as it did here, it can be declared a success already – it is a wonderfully conceived catalyst for public service in the best sense of the word.”