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A Case for the Porch

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DailyGood News That Inspires

September 25, 2021

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A Case for the Porch

The extraordinary is waiting quietly beneath the skin of all that is ordinary.

– Mark Nepo –

A Case for the Porch

“Lately I’ve been trying to think like a porch. Trying to think between the natural and the human. Thinking how best to build during a climate crisis. I came across John Cage saying that progress in art “may be listening to nature.” He thought this activity could best play out on a porch, where we can hear nature’s symphony and then breathe our own masterpieces. Can we play our porches like instruments? So that we listen to but also learn from nature?” Charles Hailey shares more. { read more }

Be The Change

Why read in the Anthropocene? This essayist draws on Hailey’s book, “The Porch: Meditations on the Edge of Nature,” to help answer that question. Read the essay here. { more }

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What Makes A Good Life?

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DailyGood News That Inspires

September 24, 2021

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What Makes A Good Life?

There isn’t time — so brief is life — for bickerings, apologies, heartburnings, callings to account. There is only time for loving — and but an instant, so to speak, for that.

– Mark Twain –

What Makes A Good Life?

What keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life? If you think it’s fame and money, you’re not alone but, according to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, you’re mistaken. As the director of a 75-year-old study on adult development, he shares three important lessons learned from the study as well as some practical, old-as-the-hills wisdom on how to build a fulfilling, long life. { read more }

Be The Change

The Harvard Study of Adult Development tracked 724 men for 75 years. The 60 who are still alive show proof of what can bring us true happiness and satisfaction. Guess at their three major findings before you watch! { more }

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What Makes a Good Life?

This week’s inspiring video: What Makes a Good Life?
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Video of the Week

Sep 23, 2021
What Makes a Good Life?

What Makes a Good Life?

What keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life? If you think it’s fame and money, you’re not alone – but, according to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, you’re mistaken. As the director of a 75-year-old study on adult development, he shares three important lessons learned from the study as well as some practical, old-as-the-hills wisdom on how to build a fulfilling, long life.
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Where I’m From…

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DailyGood News That Inspires

September 23, 2021

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Where I'm From...

The memories of childhood have a strange shuttling quality, and areas of darkness ring the spaces of light. The memories of childhood are like clear candles in an acre of night, illuminating fixed scenes from surrounding darkness.

– Carson McCullers –

Where I’m From…

Appalachian poet George Ella Lyon’s poem, “Where I’m From,” evokes the particular world of a particular childhood through a poem quilted from scraps and patches of memory… Memories of specific sights and sounds, objects, instructions, tragedies, and delights. It has been used in classrooms around the world as a prompt for people to write their own versions of, “Where I’m From.” More recently in response to the extreme divisions riddling our world, Lyon was inspired to start co-create the, “I Am From Project.” Because, in her words, “In such an atmosphere, how can we find our voices and make them heard? One avenue is through poetry, that heart-cry that comes to us in times of love and crisis.” Read her poem and learn more about this beautiful effort here. { read more }

Be The Change

Where are you from? Use Lyon’s poem as a springboard and weave together your own origin poem. For more inspiration, read the back story to the poem, and Lyon’s warm words of encouragement to anyone wishing to write their own version. { more }

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A Palestinian Woman Building Peace From the Bottom Up

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DailyGood News That Inspires

September 22, 2021

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A Palestinian Woman Building Peace From the Bottom Up

Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of creative alternatives for responding to conflict – alternatives to passive or aggressive responses, alternatives to violence.

– Dorothy Thompson –

A Palestinian Woman Building Peace From the Bottom Up

Born in Jerusalem to respected Palestinian scholars and educators, Huda Abu Arquob’s great-grandfather was one of the many Muslim Palestinians who took in and protected Jewish residents of Hebron during the 1929 massacre. “That story has not been properly documented,” Huda says, “perhaps because it challenges the simplistic narrative of Palestinians and Israelis fighting for 3,000 years. I’ve felt throughout my life that is it important to challenge these false narratives and to try and change the way we look at the ‘Other’.” Based in Hebron, Huda Abu Arquob is the Regional Director of the Alliance for Middle East Peace (ALLMEP), a coalition and network of more than 130 civil society organizations working in Palestine and in Israel on conflict transformation, peacebuilding and nonviolent direct actions. She is also a recognized leader in grassroots initiatives focused on Feminist Inclusive Political Activism. She shares more in this interview. { read more }

Be The Change

Join this Saturday’s Awakin Call with Huda Abu Arqoub. More details and RSVP info here. { more }

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Prayer for Atheists

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DailyGood News That Inspires

September 21, 2021

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Prayer for Atheists

The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.

– Soren Kierkegaard –

Prayer for Atheists

“Legend has it that the physicist Niels Bohr had a horseshoe hanging above his door. A colleague asked him why, to which he responded, “It’s for luck.” The colleague then asked him if he believed in luck. Bohr reassured him that as a scientist he did not believe in luck. Puzzled, the colleague asked again why Bohr had the horseshoe hanging above his door. Bohr responded, “I’m told that you don’t have to believe in order for it to work.” William Irwin is a Professor of Philosophy, and author of ‘God Is a Question, Not an Answer: Finding Common Ground in Our Uncertainty.’ More in this essay. { read more }

Be The Change

“I don’t know where prayers go, or what they do…” So begins a poem by Mary Oliver. Listen to her reading it here. { more }

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A Life On The Ground

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InnerNet Weekly: Inspirations from ServiceSpace.org
A Life On The Ground
by Parker Palmer

[Listen to Audio!]

2372.jpgQuestion: … the idea of having “a life on the ground”. Can you expand on what that means to you?

That brings back a really important moment in my journey with depression, and in my life journey. I was seeing this therapist about my depression, and he listened to me for quite a long time. And finally, after the seventh or eighth meeting, he said, “If I could mirror something back to you, Parker, it seems to me that you are imagining depression as the hand of an enemy trying to crush you” … which is indeed how it felt. But he said, “Would it be possible for you to image depression as the hand of a friend trying to press you down to the ground on which it’s safe to stand?” He was a very wise man and a good therapist. He didn’t give me a lecture; he just sort of planted that image with me. And I think he trusted that I could work with it, which I did. And we talked about it more in the subsequent weeks and months.

What I came to understand is this: I had been living ‘at altitude’, and I remember trying to identify the ways in which I had been doing that. I was living at altitude because of my ego, which wanted to be at the top of the tower. I was living at altitude because of my intellect, which wanted to think its way through everything, and you can’t think your way out of depression. I was living at altitude because of my high ethic, which wasn’t coming from inside of me; it was just a bag full of ‘oughts’ that were inherited from God knows where. And I was living at altitude because of some misunderstandings I had about spirituality being sort of a Superman “up, up and away” kind of thing.

Well, that’s a lot of altitude that I’ve just named. I was probably in the stratosphere at that point, where the oxygen is very thin. It’s not fit for human life. But the big point is that if you live ‘at altitude’ and you trip and fall, as we all do on a pretty regular basis, you have a long, long way to fall, and you might kill yourself.

Depression can sometimes be imagined, especially depressions that end in suicide, as falling a long, long way down. But if the spiritual quest is to get your feet on the ground, and the intellectual quest is to use your mind on the ground, and the ethical quest is to find those values that come up through your own root system, and you really keep working with your ego, to keep it from making you into a gas balloon, and you live on the ground, then you can fall down ten times a day and not kill yourself. You can get up, dust yourself off and proceed. And that image stayed with me in a really, really helpful way.

Years ago I studied the work of Paul Tillich, the great theologian, when I was in my 20s at Union Theological Seminary in New York, and was too young to understand what he was talking about. For Tillich, the image of God was ‘the ground of our being’. I think I understand now why those are important words. It’s groundedness that I think we’re all seeking; solid ground under our feet.

About the Author: Excerpted from this interview.

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A Life On The Ground
How do you relate to the notion that the goal of a spiritual quest is to get our feet on the ground? Can you share a personal story of a time you were able to close the distance between you and the ground? What helps you be aware of your altitude?
susan schaller wrote: Such an apt description of the depression I used to fall into all my youth. Reminds me of a verse in the Tau te Ching about fear and hope being hollow, attached to ego/self: Whether we climb up the la…
Jagdish P Dave wrote: For me as a human being, all quests-intellectual, ethical, and spiritual- are important. Intellectual quest without being bound by ego is important for thinking and for processing my thoughts and emot…
David Doane wrote: I believe the statement that we are in the world but not of it. Being only grounded in the world you lose your spiritual groundedness and essence, you are consumed by the world and you lose (awareness…
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Wholeness, Timelessness & Unfolding Meaning

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DailyGood News That Inspires

September 20, 2021

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Wholeness, Timelessness & Unfolding Meaning

Ultimately, all moments are really one, therefore now is an eternity.

– David Bohm –

Wholeness, Timelessness & Unfolding Meaning

In this interview, conducted two years before his passing, influential physicist-philosopher David Bohm discusses his insight into “the essential unbroken wholeness of the universe: the timeless order which lies behind physical phenomena, and the importance of the imagination for giving a meaningful understanding of reality.” { read more }

Be The Change

Watch clips from “Infinite Potential,” a recent documentary that explores the mystery of consciousness and Bohm’s revolutionary ideas. { more }

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Spotlight On Kindness: Cultivate Good Heart, Not Clever Mind

“We have enough clever minds. We need more good hearts,” Robert Thurman often said. A clever mind can help us dissect, but it takes a good heart to bind the pieces together into an inspired mosaic. Today’s newsletter features those good hearts, from a delivery man who saves his salary to build a library in Ghana to a high-school student who won our kindness contest and helps build a bridge between generations. Enjoy! –Guri

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Editor’s Note: “We have enough clever minds. We need more good hearts,” Robert Thurman often said. A clever mind can help us dissect, but it takes a good heart to bind the pieces together into an inspired mosaic. Today’s newsletter features those good hearts, from a delivery man who saves his salary to build a library in Ghana to a high-school student who won our kindness contest and helps build a bridge between generations. Enjoy! –Guri
Kindness Rocks
Kindness In the News
Isaac Oduro was saddened to see the state of his former elementary school during a visit to his home country. He works as a delivery driver seven days a week to create a library in Ghana.
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Kindness is Contagious.
From Our Members
Jacob, a freshman in High School, created an organization where “people from all across the globe send anonymous letters filled with kindness and joy” to nursing homes and senior centers.
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Why We Do What We Do
Hugs In this riveting TED talk, Tony Robbins dives into what motivates us to take action. He invites us to explore our web of needs, beliefs, and emotions to make informed choices.
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In other news …
Dr. Srikumar Rao, a professor at Columbia Business School and the Founder of the Rao Institute, shares this thought-provoking and reflective piece: Cultivate Good Heart, Not Clever Mind.
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Death Doulas Provide End of Life Aid

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DailyGood News That Inspires

September 19, 2021

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Death Doulas Provide End of Life Aid

Grief and joy and love — it’s all part of the same spectrum. I’m grieving because I loved someone so much.

– Maryanne O’Hara –

Death Doulas Provide End of Life Aid

“The word ‘doula’ comes from the Greek word meaning “woman who serves,” though most people associate it with someone who helps during birth to usher in life. In recent years, however, more people have come to recognize the need for as much assistance at the end of life as the start, part of the so-called death positivity movement that is gaining momentum in the United States and other countries. The movement, popularized by the mortician and writer Caitlin Doughty, encourages open discussion on death and dying and people’s feelings on mortality.” This piece from the New York Times shares more. { read more }

Submitted by: Birju Pandya

Be The Change

For more inspiration read this interview Frank Ostaseksi: Lessons to the Living from the Dying. { more }

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