Thu, 27 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0700As a child going through tough times, Rikki Mendias had holes in his shoes. A woman he met through a shelter noticed and gave him new ones. He remembers fondly the smell of them, fresh out of the box, and the feeling of pride he had when he wore them the next day. Something about the experience affected him so deeply that he became a huge sneaker fan and collector. But it felt meaningless. Then he gave a pair away to someone who needed them, and his future was revealed. "Hav A Sole" was born. "Hav A Sole" has since provided over 7,000 pairs of quality shoes to the homeless and at risk youth population, and Mendias continues to give. This short video shares his story.
Wed, 26 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0700In October 2007, Ann Sieben, a native of Denver, Colorado and a nuclear engineer by profession, was waiting for a work permit in Spain that never came through. Instead of looking for other work, she decided to walk on foot along an ancient pilgrimage path known as the Camino de Santiago. Later, in December of that year, she walked over 2100 kilometers from Canterbury to Rome. The following winter, she did it again -- this time from Germany to Spain, and the year after, she walked over 4400 kilometers from Ukraine to Greece. Known as the "winter piligrim," Sieben has journeyed on foot across 44 countries over 40,000 kilometers along paths walked by seekers and pilgrims from years ago -- and she doesn't carry any money, camera, or phone. In this inspiring conversation (transcribed and recorded) touching on multiple themes, Ann shares nuggets of deep wisdom and practical insights from her journey as a pilgrim, in which she evolved from being a touristic pilgrim to a spiritual pilgrim to a servant pilgrim.
Tue, 25 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0700October 24th is United Nations Day, which commemorates the anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Charter in 1945. For 71 years, the United Nations has been working to maintain international peace and security, promote sustainable development, protect human rights, uphold international law, and deliver humanitarian aid. Spiritual leaders can also be found on the front lines of peace, and they are naturally tied to the U.N. by their common goals. Brother David Steindl-Rast is a Benedictine monk and author known for his contributions to the interfaith dialogue and for being a proponent of the transformative power of gratefulness. From his archives comes this powerful, poetic meditation delivered at a previous U.N. anniversary gathering. It is an homage to all activists before us, an observance of our commonality, and a call to action to stand up for peace -- something the world still needs today.
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0700India's largest skateboarding park isn't in a big city, it's in a small village in Madhya Pradesh. A sport which has long been identified with urban neighborhoods across the world, is being used in a village in central India as a trigger for social change. Ulrike Reinhard, a German national, established a skate park in Janwar, Madhya Pradesh in a region notorious for being one of the most socially and economically backward areas of the country. Untouchability, gender inequality, illiteracy, and alcoholism are rampant here. Through the voices of Reinhart and the children of the village, the film documents how the skate park is gradually changing the social fabric of the village and addressing some of its most deep rooted issues.
Sun, 23 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0700"Mary Oliver sets out to excavate the building blocks of the self in order to understand its parallel capacities for focused creative flow and merciless interruption. She identifies three primary selves that she inhabits, and that inhabit her, as they do all of us: the childhood self, which we spend our lives trying to weave into the continuity of our personal identity; the social self, "fettered to a thousand notions of obligation"; and a third self, a sort of otherworldly awareness.The first two selves, she argues, inhabit the ordinary world and are present in all people; the third is of a different order and comes most easily alive in artists -- it is where the wellspring of creative energy resides." And it is to the third self that the artist must remain true: "My loyalty is to the inner vision, whenever and howsoever it may arrive."
Sat, 22 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0700In an effort to help young kids to not only cope, but to actually thrive in the stress-filled worlds they live in, authors James Baraz and Michele Lilyanna outline several scientific-based practices that they have cultivated through their experiences as teachers of both children and adults.
Fri, 21 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0700""As I walked into the parking lot, I spotted the woman returning her shopping cart, and I remembered something in my purse that could help her in a different but hopefully profound way. It wasn't a handful of cash or a lead on a job for her husband, but maybe -- just maybe -- it would make her life better. My heart pounded as I approached the woman. "Excuse me," I said, my voice trembling a bit. "I couldn't help overhearing what you said to the cashier. It sounds like you're going through a really hard time right now. I'm so sorry. I'd like to give you something." And I handed her a business-sized card. When the woman read the card's only two words, she began to cry. And through her tears, she said, "You have no idea how much this means to me."" Cheryl Rice shares more in this piece about the two simple words that touched her life and then rippled out to touch many others.