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Extraordinary, positive changes are happening all around the world and are often overlooked. Come in and get inspired as we showcase the uplifting news stories you might have otherwise missed.


A Winter Walk: An Excerpt

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0700

Henry David Thoreau sings praises of winter, "the wonderful purity of nature ...(when) the dead leaves of autumn, are concealed by a clean napkin of snow... A cold and searching wind drives away all contagion, and nothing can withstand it but what has a virtue in it." In spite of the cold we recognize in this early springtime that "There is a slumbering subterranean fire in nature which never goes out, and which no cold can chill." Delve into his essay on nature in winter,and feel the hope of spring.

Seneca on the Antidote to Anxiety

Sun, 18 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0700

With elegant rhetoric the great first-century Roman philosopher Seneca examines worry, both real and imaginary, and the mental discipline of overcoming fear. In Letters from a Stoic, he points out to a young friend that, "Some things torment us more than they ought; some torment us before they ought; and some torment us when they ought not to torment us at all. We are in the habit of exaggerating, or imagining, or anticipating, sorrow."

The Butterfly Child

Sat, 17 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0700

At 14 years old, Jonathan Pitre appears to have a superhuman ability to deal with the constant pain of epidermolysis bullosa, the rare disease that has been a part of his life from infancy. In this moving and inspiring video we get a glimpse of his life and that of his devoted mother, as they face daunting challenges with love, strength, courage and the heroic ability to reach out and inspire others in the process. Jonathan's skin may be extremely fragile like the wings of a butterfly, but his spirit knows no bounds.

How Do We Respond? A Question to Artists

Fri, 16 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0700

To some, the creative process needs no justification or rationale; yet there are times of upheaval in history that seem to ask the artist: Why are you creating this? What is your purpose? What social change do you hope to achieve with your art? Mirka Knaster is one such artist who has explored the question of how artists use their work to address political concerns. In this post Knaster discusses several artists "who do choose to give public voice to their concerns and resist the wrongs they perceive." Included in the wide array of visual examples is the work of Photographer Henryk Ross and Columbian artist Doris Salcedo, who used art to evoke the horrors of living through genocide and political turmoil. This piece illustrates how diverse artists across the ages have used their gifts to bring attention to oppression and injustice in powerful ways.

Wild Faith

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0700

"Sometimes the nearly unbearable beauty of the world overwhelms me. I tremble with a felt-sense that the magnificence that saturates the cosmos surely reflects the possibility, even now, of human magnificence. And then, as if I've crossed an invisible bridge to a waypoint of despair, I wonder how the mysterious, self-organizing wild Earth can peacefully co-exist with the absurdities and catastrophes of human invention. How do we hold both the magnificence and tragedy of the world, as if we stand at a threshold with Janus, the Roman god of beginnings and endings, looking in two directions?" Author Geneen Marie Haugen shares more in this essay.

Literature's Legacy of Honorable Failure

Wed, 14 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0700

Somewhere between a critic's necessary superficiality and a writer's natural dishonesty, the truth of how we judge literary success or failure is lost. It is very hard to get writers to speak frankly about their own work, particularly in a literary market where they are required to be not only writers, but also hucksters selling product. What makes a good writer? Is writing an expression of self, or, as TS Eliot argued, 'an escape from personality'? Do novelists have a duty? Do readers? Why are there so few truly great novels? Zadie Smith says "Readers fail writers just as often as writers fail readers. Readers fail when they allow themselves to believe the old mantra that fiction is the thing you relate to and writers the amenable people you seek out when you want to have your own version of the world confirmed and reinforced." Follow her research deep into literature's legacy of honourable failures.

When Things Fall Apart

Tue, 13 Mar 2018 00:00:00 -0700

Just when we think we've escaped and found firm ground to stand on in a painful moment, Pema Chodron suggests that we let go into the difficulty of our situation and rest there with an open mind instead. In her book "When Things Fall Apart", Pema Chodron gently guides us through the dark places in our lives and shows us that we are strong enough to live fully in those moments. Rather than running in search of solutions that will make our pain go away, in her book she offers insights to show us that when we befriend ourselves and offer compassion, we will discover an inner awareness that brings freedom, and even relief from suffering.