make-a-crane

Category: Idea

DailyGood

See this site: http://www.dailygood.org/

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No Man’s Land (2001)

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.

“Gifts that Change Lives”

Listen to Nicolas Kristof! Here are organizations that he mentions in this op-ed:

Heifer International
International Rescue Committee
Shining Hope for Communities
Vital Voices
Polaris Project
Fair Girls

StoryCorps

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.

Cease-fire in Syria

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.

On Compassion

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

Half the Sky

Just saw New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof speak at Brown University! Wonderful, invigorating presentation from a man doing a lot of good in this world. Kristof spoke of numerous women he has encountered through his work, expressed hope that us students would challenge ourselves to experience the new despite fear of the unknown, and presented a very nuanced reflection on just how much a difference we can make. We’ve won “the lottery of life,” he said — we’ve got a bit of responsibility to those who have not.

Generosity

One might be generous with:

time
smiles
encouragement
positivity
love
letters
emails
text messages
compliments
kind words
touch
art
advice
songs
wisdom
recipes
friendship
reading material
handpicked bouquets
(Money isn’t even in that long sentence!)

Let me know if I forgot anything.
Oh and comments and likes 😉

The Dalai Lama: Peace Through Compassion

Wise Words on War

“A country cannot simultaneously prepare and prevent war.” –Albert Einstein

Brain Pickings

Brain Pickings is a must-read from Maria Popova for those who care about anything interesting! Subscribe for emails, check out recommended books, find some wise words, enjoy learning about life, love, writing… Here is the websites’ description:

Brain Pickings is a human-powered discovery engine for interestingness, culling and curating cross-disciplinary curiosity-quenchers, and separating the signal from the noise to bring you things you didn’t know you were interested in until you are.

 

See this:

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry. Very inspiring. For artists and thinkers.

Self-described as “a brand for liberal thinking and individualism…”

 

International Book Project

Check out the International Book Project. Found it through GoodReads.

Pinterest

Creators, artists, idea-lists (people who like ideas), check out Pinterest! I recently tried it out and found why people love it. Here is my page. I think of it as Twitter for artists. But it’s important to remember to take some time out of the day to take pictures, not just pin them…

Eyes and Names

Make eye contact with people, often.

Remember people’s names.

Ask lots of questions.

Share yourself.

Listen.

These are basic but sometimes forgettable motions of daily life. They are good. Do them more.

Give A Gift Every Day For 1 Month

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.

All You Need Is Love

Women for Women International

“I believe the way to stop violence against women is to speak out and refuse to be silent.”

“Women are the glue of families and societies; when women thrive, countries thrive.”

–Zainab Salbi, an Iraqi woman who founded Women for Women International at age 23, in 1993

There is lots more from the website!: Women for Women International provides women survivors of war, civil strife and other conflicts with the tools and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency, thereby promoting viable civil societies. We’re changing the world one woman at a time.

“Welcome to the world’s nicest prison”

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

An Optimist’s Guide to Life

“Happiness is like a spark…Fate Lights it, but it’s your decision whether it will burn out or ignite.” –Anthony Devergillo, who began a blog, “An Optimist’s Guide to Life.” Anthony has Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), which makes him constantly smile.

The Center for Nonviolent Communication (NVC)

On their website:

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.

Creativity Awakens

“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

Goodshop.com

Goodshop.com transforms the most socially passive capitalist whether s/he wants it or not, turning shopping into social engagement:

1. Choose a cause.

2. Search, shop or dine.

3. We donate for every search or purchase.

DonorsChoose.org

Just like Kickstarter, this is “an online charity connecting you to classrooms in need.” Great idea!

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.”

Peace-Building Institute

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.

The Peace Book

This was a great Kickstarter idea.

WWOOF

Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms…living, learning, sharing organic lifestyles

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.

 

The Environment and the Law

“An Inconvenient Lawsuit: Teenagers Take Global Warming to the Courts”

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.”

Roots and Shoots

Jane Goodall talked about an organization she founded, Roots and Shoots, in her TED Talks presentation.

TED Talks: Ideas Worth Spreading

Everyone needs to know about TED Talks. Great idea in itself. Here is one by Michael Pritchard on his water-cleaning filter. Here is one from the wonderful Jane Goodall, “legendary chimpanzee researcher.”

My take: we are all connected.

Kickstarter

Entrepreneurship at its grassroots best.

John Hunter on the World Peace Game

Revolutionary teaching.

Lucas Foglia

For a series called “A Natural Order,” Lucas Foglia photographed people living self-sufficiently (“off the grid”) in southeastern America. Here is his website, which includes resources for those interested in such a lifestyle.

Giving What We Can

Interesting choice of recommended charities to give to.

Essays on giving.

Some quotations on giving.

Very interesting decision to place names of members (those who pledged 10% of their income) on this list.

Earth Journalism Network

“…to empower and enable journalists from developing countries to cover the environment more effectively…”

Carnegie Endowment…

…for International Peace

Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

The Wilson Center. Students might be interested in this.

Givology

Great idea on giving.

Free Documentary Site

This is a wonderful site! You can watch documentaries ranging the spectrum of possibilities.

Inside-Out Prison Exchange

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.

Steve McCurry’s Photos On Afghanistan

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.

Davis Projects for Peace

Check out these Projects for Peace. So many creative proposals, from empowering women with computer skills and workshops to establishing community gardens and bringing in guest lecturers.

The Center for Victims of Torture

This seems like a really wonderful idea.

Ode Magazine

I love getting this magazine because it has a lot of positive articles. Many have to do with individuals and groups around the world promoting peace and doing good things for their communities.

Projects for Peace

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.”