Saturday, February 27, 2016

While some people are talking about building up walls...

...others have been using them as a tradition since 1979 of unity between two nations.  

Along the southwest border of the United States, where a wall separates it from its neighbor to the south, Mexico, there are people who don't see the wall as a way to divide humanity, but a way to promote humanity.  They see the wall and they say, "how can we use this to connect with people that we're told not to connect with?"  The answer since '79 has been Wallyball...and it's exactly what it sounds like: volleyball over the international border wall between the U.S. and Mexico!

Every April, teams unite on both sides of the border to compete across the wall as a sign of friendship and joint condemnation of the division of people.  These people recognize the importance of keeping strong ties between their friends and neighbors, even when the powers-that-be don't share or promote the same logic and/or emotional connections.

When we see each other as humans, when we connect over our love of fun and sports, we are olympians.  We are champions of the world and of humanity.  We say "walls are objects, but we see you as humans, like us, and we appreciate and acknowledge you and your struggles and your triumphs." 

What a beautiful demonstration of continuous friendship and playful rivalry over an object meant to divide, that only makes the people who REALLY understand it, grow closer.

Be the change, wherever you may be!

See more at the following links: Quartz and Sliptalk.

NY City Ballet Children's Dance Workshop!

"It would mean so much to my daughter and children like her to be able to take part in a New York City Ballet Workshop and for one day feel like they, too, could become ballerinas."

Little Pearl has cerebral palsy.  The New York City Ballet had two principal dancers give not one, but FOUR workshops for 19 children with special needs.  The results are beautiful.  The parents, the dancers/teachers, the Doctor who freed the children from their braces, and, most of all, the children...being children!

Thank you NYCity Ballet for giving these kids a chance to see that they are normal and can do normal things (and then some)!  A true example of how to be the change any which way you can!

Friday, February 26, 2016

Puppies and Reading

What's better than a puppy?

Well, for parents, seeing their kids learn to read is a huge thing...that may or may not trump puppies. 

In the case of an animal shelter in Missouri, though, we can get the bet of both worlds!

The director of education a the Missouri Humane Society explains that many shelter pets are very timid and are not very social, which can make it difficult when they have to impress potential new families who may consider adopting them.

 How does this fulfill a parent's dream of seeing their children read? The humane society has teamed up with local children who are interested in helping with the animals. These kids go through an educational program where they learn about shelter animals and their socialization and they are then paired up with a pup. They practice their reading skills by sitting in front of the dog kennel and reading out loud to them, sharing the photos from the picture-books, and giving treats to any dogs that come out of their shell and approach the front of their kennel. The kennel director explains that dogs that are confident in coming to the front of their kennel are more approachable and more adoptable than timid dogs.

So kids learn to read and practice reading out loud to scared puppies to make them friendly and happy puppies which make them more likely to be adopted by a happy and loving family.

Everyone wins? Absolutely!
Two paws up! Read on, world-changers!

See the original story and photos of these interactions here.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

FREE HUGS...because I can't get enough!

I've been following the Free Hugs campaign for years.  It's been a while since I've seen any videos and this one popped up today and, unlike many videos these days, my attention was held through he end, and my smile grew and stayed the duration of the video.  What a great project!  What joy!  What humanity!  Go people!  Hugs make the world go 'round!

Straight Outta LA - Hug Tha Police!

Straight Outta LA - Hug Tha Police!

Posted by Free Hugs Project on lunes, 25 de enero de 2016

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Better through Beautification

New Mexico makes some pretty progressive moves.  One of them was in their desert prison and now, there's a new one making headlines: End to Pan-handling.  The government offers employment for 5 1/2 hours a day doing some light manual labor to do city beautification.  They provide lunch and $9/hour in cash for the work that is performed as well as provides necessary services to people to help get them back on their feet and off the streets.

Instead of giving citations to homeless people for panhandling, Albuquerque passed a new initiative that allows them to earn money for jobs in the city. (via Mayor Richard J. Berry)
Posted by Upworthy on miƩrcoles, 3 de febrero de 2016

It's a simple concept, and it's working!  Take a look at the faces of those around you.  Imagine the things that may have put them in their position, and think about how little it takes to end up in their shoes!  Supporting projects like this is supporting your neighbors, friends, family, and maybe someday it'll help you, too!  Your neighborhood is cleaned up and other people are getting the help they need.  What could be better?!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

I believe...and you don't have to agree.

I believe that the world is a beautiful place.
I believe that people are naturally good.
I believe that we do bad things and that doesn't make us bad people unless we recognize that they are bad and continue to do them anyway.
I believe in the phrase "do harm to no one" and I'm frustrated when others don't live by it the way I do.
I believe we sometimes hurt one another to feel better, and that it makes us feel better or worse or both...but only until we realize that we cannot take it back.
I believe in love at first sight, in soul mates, in second chances.
I believe that honesty is the best policy and that karma really is a bitch.
I believe that I can do anything I set my mind to.
I believe in proving people wrong for a positive cause.
I believe that women are either cruel or supportive and there isn't much in between.  I won't comment on men.
I believe that love takes work.
I believe in forever.
I believe that you have to take chances to get where you want to be.
I believe in saving cash-money instead of maxing out credit.
I believe that we have the opportunity to change lives every day.
I believe in fresh starts.
I believe in miracles.
I believe in hard work and in sacrifice.
I believe in being loyal.
I believe in Darwinism and evolution.
I believe in standing up for what is right.
I believe in friendship and making an effort to let others know that I care.
I believe in communication and understand its difficulty under special circumstances.
I believe in being social, and not in social media nor regular media, for that matter.
I believe in sunsets and rain storms and the smell of freshly cut grass and bonfires and when the clock reads 11:11.
I believe in the beauty of the world.  And I believe I wouldn't be here if I wasn't supposed to be part of that beauty.