Happy Sunday, dear friends. Yesterday, my extended family got together for my baby brother’s birthday. Since he lives a number of states away with his family, my mom decided to move the celebration of Easter to this weekend as well so the whole family could join in.
My dad is Greek and the Greek Orthodox celebration of Easter is, in fact, this Sunday so it was perfect. What was even more perfect was the beautiful day, and little kids collecting Easter eggs and a family gathered in love and union.
We can create the energy of celebration and unity any day we choose. We do not have to wait for a special occasion or specific date to create this wonderfully supportive and joyful energy. In fact, we can create this energy every day, if we choose. I do this regularly.
My inner child really enjoys finding small things in life to celebrate. The setting of the sun, the finding of a beautiful feather, or a good song coming on the radio are all things that I celebrate regularly. They are testaments to a beautiful and enjoyable life.
Reserving celebration for the big things really limits this wonderful energy in our lives, and reminds me of the old adage, “saving it for a rainy day.”
What are we saving for? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to taste celebration on a more regular basis? I adore it, and therefore I want to experience it as much as I can, and I look for ways to fit more of it into my life.
My life certainly assists by bringing more things to celebrate into focus. What could be better than that?
Welcome to the Old Skool Cafe.
Every day, Teresa Goine went to work as a corrections officer in a California youth corrections facility and acted like a tough person. Every evening, she went home and cried for these young people who did not have a chance in life.
She saw their incarceration as a revolving door process, and it broke her heart. She thought if these kids simply had some hope and a chance, that they could turn their lives around.
One day, she had a dream-like experience, where she imagined a project that these kids could work on and gain life experience and feel confident. The fantasy expanded and focused into the Old Skool Cafe.
Old Skool is a dinner theater that employs young people who have struggled with the penal system. There are many different work opportunities within the business, from kitchen help and wait staff, to entertainer and manager. Each kid finds their niche and learns to depend on themselves and the team.
Teresa gives these kids a chance to shine, and their experiences have transformed them on the deepest level. This short video shares some of the back back story on the kids and how they feel about the Old Skool Cafe and their surrogate mother Teresa.
I believe that giving people a chance to remake their lives and make different, more loving, choices is one of the key ways that our world will be transformed. This project is a model that proves a more loving and supportive environment has a deep and direct effect on how people feel about themselves, and this translates to how they interact with others.
How gratitude beats materialism.
This is a rather long article with a number of embedded videos, but if you have the time on a lazy Sunday, it is time well spent.
Today’s society drives humans toward materialism. Beings are called consumers by a wide range of businesses and much work is done to focus the behavior of individuals to push sales. Promises are constantly being made to the public that this “thing” will bring happiness, if only they had it in their lives.
Much of the information passed on to people is false of course. Research has shown again and again that material things do not bring consistent happiness to people, and many jump on the purchasing loop in an effort to find that one thing which will make them happy.
This compilation of research indicates that feelings of gratitude can counter the negative effects of consumerism. It also highlights that gratitude and feelings of thankfulness can have positive effects on many aspects of life, including relationships, service to others and health.
Gratitude seems to be the missing key in positive consumer experiences, as well, and can enhance experiences greatly. Changing ideas about money and repositioning it as a useful tool to spread gratitude for goods and services completely shifts the consumer experience in a positive direction.
Touched by Kindness.
This short post shares the story of a complete stranger who helped a mom and daughter find gas when they ran out on a cross country trip. The story is beautiful as it stands and shows how simple acts of kindness can enhance life on both sides of the experience.
The real reason I am sharing this link is the website itself. Kindspring provides a space where people can share their experiences with kindness, either as a doer of kind deeds or as a recipient of kindness. As more people share their stories a larger aspect of kindness becomes evident.
There is more kindness in the world than we are led to believe by the media. Kindspring helps to dispel this kindness lack mentality, and shows that each act adds to a pool of love that supports us all. It also places an individual face on kindness and proves that this aspect of humanity is available to us all, no matter who we are or how we express kindness in our lives.
Brooklyn Students make their trip to Harvard thanks to Humans of New York.
In a follow up to the story we shared in a previous edition of Feel Good News, a group of students from a school in an under-served area of New York City got the chance to visit Harvard and feel like they belong there, thanks to the generosity of folks who heard their story and were inspired to support them.
A group of middle-school students from the Mott Hall Bridges Academy were able to take this transformational trip due to the Humans of New York fundraiser that went viral, and raised $1.4 Million in private donations for the support of the school. The funds have been converted to a structured grant that can be accessed by the school for scholarships, field trips and summer programs.
When people are inspired by a story about growth and overcoming challenges, amazing things can happen! I am so pleased that this tremendous outpouring of support and funding has come to kids who could have fallen through the cracks due to their geographical and socioeconomic positioning on this planet.
I sincerely see this as a benchmark for forward motion in this world where alternative ways to overcome obstacles in the “way things work” can create tremendous change for good. Congratulations to all who participated, and to all who benefited from this amazing situation.
Four acts of kindness came together to save orphaned baby raccoons.
Crystal Crotwell was experiencing a health crisis and wasn’t sure it was the right time to take in more animals. Her doctor told her to focus on doing the things she loved, and that was all she needed to hear to open her home to fostering a dog who was at risk in a kill shelter.
The dog was rescued by a local group that was then given assistance with the dog’s transport by a group called Pilots N Paws, which flies at-risk animals to adoptive or foster situations.
When Piper got to Crystal’s home she was pregnant, had worms and a contagious form of mange. Crystal nursed her and prepared for the puppies to come.
Then another crisis occurred, as 4 orphaned raccoons needed nursing. Crystal agreed to take two of the orphans and then Piper got into the act. She accepted the babies, and nursed them along with her own puppies.
The kindness of a rescue shelter, a dedicated pilot, a devoted foster mother and an accepting and loving dog mother all came together to save the lives of two raccoons. It is so inspiring to see how acts of kindness can come together, with each being doing a small portion of the heavy lifting, to create such hugely positive outcomes.
That’s the good news for today. Have a fun-filled day. Please join Gavin Harrill for the Golden Gaia News Roundup on Monday.
Be Well. Be Joy. Be Love!