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Archive for February, 2014

Moin Khan: A Man, A Motorcycle & A Mission

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February 28, 2014

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Moin Khan: A Man, A Motorcycle & A Mission

I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.

– Tennessee Williams –

Moin Khan: A Man, A Motorcycle & A Mission

Moin Khan was born and raised in Lahore but went to the United States to attend university. Frustrated with the way in which his home country was portrayed in the media, he decided to leave his comfort zone and embark on an epic journey back to Pakistan. For 18 month he lived on boiled rice and ketchup, held 3 jobs and worked 70 hrs a weeks to save up enough money to ride his motorcycle from San Francisco to Lahore, carrying only a tent, a sleeping bag, some tools and the will to tell the world that he — as a Pakistani — was just as peace-loving as anyone else in the world. He didn’t use any maps, because he wanted to get lost and let strangers be his guides. He did get lost. About 50 times a day — equaling 50 opportunities to talk to people and tell them about his country. After his triumphal return to Pakistan, he continued his ‘different agenda’ — staying on to teach women how to ride motorcycles, and distributing warm clothing in rural Pakistan. { read more }

Be The Change

Listen to Moin Khan’s TEDx talk to find out more about the outpouring of love and support he received after his motorcycle accident in Romania. { more }

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The Motorcyclist with a Different Agenda

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Video of the Week

Feb 27, 2014
The Motorcyclist with a Different Agenda

The Motorcyclist with a Different Agenda

Moin Khan was born and raised in Lahore but went to the United States to attend university. Frustrated with the way in which his home country was portrayed in the media, he decided to leave his comfort zone and embark on an epic journey back to Pakistan. For 18 month he lived on boiled rice and ketchup, held 3 jobs and worked 70 hrs a weeks to save up enough money to ride his motorcycle from San Francisco to Lahore, carrying only a tent, a sleeping bag, some tools and the will to tell the world that he – as a Pakistani – was just as peace-loving as anyone else in the world. He didn’t use any maps, because he wanted to get lost and let strangers be his guides. He did get lost. About 50 times a day – equaling 50 opportunities to talk to people and tell them about his country. After his triumphal return to Pakistan, he continued his ‘different agenda’ – staying on to teach women how to ride motorcycles, and distributing warm clothing in rural Pakistan.
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The Power of Hesitation

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February 27, 2014

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The Power of Hesitation

The agonising feeling of conflict between two options is not necessarily a bad thing├ó┬ŽEnduring a little bracing indecision might be just what we need to navigate a busy, confusing world of choices.

– Steve Fleming –

The Power of Hesitation

Whether lingering too long over the menu at a restaurant, or abrupt U-turns by politicians, flip-flopping does not have a good reputation. By contrast, quick, decisive responses are associated with competency. Steve Fleming, a cognitive neuroscientist, wonders whether the allure of decisiveness might be leading us astray. Perhaps, when faced with a novel scenario, there is a benefit from being slow. { read more }

Be The Change

Experiment the speed of your decision-making, sometimes faster, sometimes slower. And from time to time, think things over twice.

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Newsletter: Miraculous Fact of Being Alive

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Interviews with Social Artists, Uncommon Heroes

February 25, 2014

From the Editor

richard.jpgRichard Whittaker

If we knew we were only going to live a few more days, how would that change our experience? Of course in a larger sense, we’re only going to live a few more days. All stories in this issue share a quality that’s perfectly at home with a heightened awareness of this miraculous fact of being alive. [more]

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The Best Game There Is: An Interview with Ron Howard

The Best Game There Is: An Interview with Ron Howard“He wanted to help people with suffering. Before we get to that, just think about that story. Each of us at some point learned about getting old, getting sick and dying. But we don’t even remember when we got this wake-up call to the nature of existence. We suppressed it, probably more than any other memory …” A Stanford professor’s fresh take on Buddhism.

Three Short Stories: Pavithra Mehta

Three Short Stories: Pavithra MehtaI have an incurable love for lines at the post office. This is a luxurious indulgence, I know. The kind important people can ill-afford. But I am comfortably insignificant. Nothing catastrophic happens when I am made to wait for indefinite periods of time, so I am at liberty to love these lines and the speed of molasses at which they move.

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Fritjof Capra on Nature & Community

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February 26, 2014

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Fritjof Capra on Nature & Community

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.

– Albert Einstein –

Fritjof Capra on Nature & Community

“In our science in past centuries, we have learned a lot about the law of gravity and similar laws of physics, but we have not learned very much about the laws of sustainability.” In this article, Fritjof Capra (cofounder of the Center for Ecoliteracy in Berkeley, California) discusses what he calls the natural laws of sustainability which he developed from studying natural ecosystems and the ways in which they organize themselves. By uncovering the natural sustainability laws of interdependence, recycling, partnership, flexibility, and diversity, Capra sheds light on how we can create sustainable communities which can “satisfy our needs without diminishing the chances of future generations.” { read more }

Be The Change

Natural ecosystems rely on interdependence, recycling, partnership, flexibility, and diversity to remain sustainable. Choose one of these principles: how can you work on bringing more of that principle into your daily life?

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The Real-life Courage of Harry Potter Fans

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February 25, 2014

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The Real-life Courage of Harry Potter Fans

It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.

– J.K. Rowling –

The Real-life Courage of Harry Potter Fans

When teacher, Andrew Slack, finally conceded to the pleadings of his students – he had no idea what he was getting into. They had been begging him to read the Harry Potter series — an enchanting story about a teenage wizard who uses his magic to conquer the dark forces world. At first, Slack was mesmerized by the stories — captivated by the notion that one boy could do so much good. And then one day he realized, that when the ‘weapon’ is love…nothing, not even the most terrifying of demons, can stand in one’s way. Read more to learn how one man’s vision is helping to mobilize millions of Harry Potter fans around the world, to tackle the monsters of social injustice, poverty, and equality for all. { read more }

Be The Change

Great things may be accomplished when we are able to work together. Take action, and consider how you might likewise work with others to address these most imminent issues.

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Awakin Weekly: The Dalai Lama: Why I Laugh

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InnerNet Weekly: Inspirations from ServiceSpace.org
The Dalai Lama: Why I Laugh
by The Dalai Lama

[Listen to Audio!]

995.jpgI have been confronted with many difficulties throughout the course of my life, and my country is going through a critical period. But I laugh often, and my laughter is contagious. When people ask me how I find the strength to laugh now, I reply that I am a professional laugher. […]

The life of exile is an unfortunate life, but I have always tried to cultivate a happy state of mind, appreciating the opportunities this existence without a settled home, far from all protocol, has offered me. This way I have been able to preserve my inner peace.

If we are content just to think that compassion, rationality, and patience are good, that is not actually enough to develop these qualities. Difficulties provide the occasion to put them into practice. Who can make such occasions arise? Certainly not our friends, but rather our enemies, for they are the ones who pose the most problems. So that we truly want to progress on the path, we must regard our enemies as our best teachers.

For whoever holds love and compassion in high esteem, the practice of tolerance is essential, and it requires an enemy. We must be grateful to our enemies, then, because they help us best engender a serene mind! Anger and hatred are the real enemies that we must confront and defeat, not the “enemies” who appear from time to time in our lives.

Of course it is natural and right that we all want to have friends. I often say jokingly that a truly selfish person must be altruistic! You have to take care of others, of their well-being, by helping them and serving them, to have even more friends and make more smiles blossom. The result? When you yourself need help, you will find all you need! On the other hand, if you neglect others’ happiness, you will be the loser in the long run. Is friendship born of arguments, anger, jealousy, and unbridled competition? I don’t think so. Only affection produces authentic friends. […]

As for me, I always want more friends. I love smiles, and my wish is to see more smiles, real smiles, for there are many kinds—sarcastic, artificial, or diplomatic. Some smiles don’t arouse any satisfaction, and some even engender suspicion or fear. An authentic smile, though, arouses an authentic feeling of freshness, and I think the smile belongs only to human beings. If we want those smiles, we must create the reasons that make them appear.

Why Are We So Wired To Connect?

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February 24, 2014

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Why Are We So Wired To Connect?

The brain cannot learn without wondering, listening, and making connections while your myelin part of your brain develops and grows.

– Sage Canny –

Why Are We So Wired To Connect?

What drives our powerful need for social interaction? And what makes being alone difficult? These are just a couple of the questions that Matthew Lieberman, a social neurologist from the University of California, explores in his newest book, Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect. Through his research, Lieberman has identified compelling evidence demonstrating the neuroscience behind our human interactions — with broad implications for how we live our lives. For example, we now know that the connection between physical and social pain is very real — in that, they are both processed through the same neural pathways. From an evolutionary standpoint, this begs the question — that perhaps our social connections are more than just a mere luxury, that perhaps they are, in face, a necessity. Our brains are continuously working, and in order to better respond to our environment. “This is what our brains were wired for: reaching out to and interacting with others,” writes Lieberman. This article shares more. { read more }

Be The Change

Take a moment to explore your interactions with others. Perhaps, there is much more shared than you may have previously considered.

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My First-Ever Random Act of Kindness

KindSpring.org: Small Acts That Change the World

About KindSpring

For over a decade the KindSpring community has focused on inner transformation, while collectively changing the world with generosity, gratitude, and trust. We are 100% volunteer-run and totally non-commercial. KindSpring is a labor of love.

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“The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts.” – Marcus Aurelius

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February 23, 2014

space
space EditorEditor’s note: Hello everyone! This week, a community member wrote in saying "I stumbled across Kindspring.org two days ago, and read the stories posted here for hours. They moved and inspired me so much that I just knew I had to be a part of this." This note reminded me that you just never know who you’ll touch with your stories and posts. Keep sharing your inspiration with us and have a lovely week! space
space Smile Big space
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Small Acts of Kindness

space muditahouse wrote: “I baked some muffins, and everybody could share in and have one today…”
space begrateful wrote: “Read a great quote today that I wanted to share with you all…

“It will never rain roses: when we want to have more roses we must plant more roses.” – George Eliot”

space DawnD wrote: “I am initiating a Girl Scout Troop. Today’s project will be cards for the elderly in an local nursing home.”
space Give Freely space
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Featured Kindness Stories

Story1 My first ever random act of kindness. What an experience!
Story2 Imagine coming home and finding this surprise in your apartment. Amazing!
Story3 I wish you enough. That’s all he said.
space Love Unconditionally space
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Idea of the Week

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Two Days of Infinite Love in South Texas

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February 23, 2014

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Two Days of Infinite Love in South Texas

Where there is great love, there are always miracles.

– Willa Cather –

Two Days of Infinite Love in South Texas

“Four mothers started Infinite Love in Southern Texas, as a way to transform the suffering in their own lives into compassion. One went through a tough divorce, another’s son fell off a third story and is now paralyzed from waist down, another lost her husband to cancer. As biological sisters, they nurtured each other but the tipping point came when their 30-year-old nephew, Vishal, passed away from a rare form of cancer he had been fighting since he was 18. “He was a bright light in our family, and as it got closer to the time when we knew we were losing him, he would remind us — ‘I’m not leaving you. I’m just merging into the grass, the trees, the stars — I will be part of everything.’ We sat down and on Valentine’s Day of 2012, we decided to honor him by spreading love in the world. And our movement was born.” Infinite Love has been steadily sowing the seeds of empathy, fellowship, and compassion in one of the toughest parts of America. On a two-day trip to Southern Texas, Nipun Mehta shares stories of a community transforming itself from the inside out. { read more }

Be The Change

Do something to share your time and talent with the world today — as an expression of love.

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