Tag Archives: World changing ideas

Preparing for Your Inner Journey | The Chopra Center

Sometimes things happen that we think are random.

But most of the time, it’s the universe, speaking clearly to us.

As you may know, I have been taking Deepak Chopra’s and Orpah’s 21 day meditation. Once I finished, I started receiving emails with gifts – 7 days of them. One was for a new meditation series – Awaken to Happiness, which I started today.

This series is free, too. Each lesson takes a week of learning…growing and starting to see – beginning with exploring happiness and identifying your true source of happiness.

Today, the first day, the universe sent me to an article by Caroline Myss – an article about taking a journey inward to learn more about my self, my ego, my reactions and my life.

Since it is the first day of a new year and since I consider this article to be a gift from the universe, I wanted to share it with anyone who wants to begin a new year with a new journey – one that can quiet the noise of always needing
“…just a bit more” whether it’s stuff, money or ego boosting.

I wish everyone the best in 2014 and hope that you might want to join me as I begin to journey into what really makes me happy – who really makes me happy, as I begin to discover the wonderful spirit that lives inside my skin — my soul.

Namaste

Preparing for Your Inner Journey | The Chopra Center.

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Filed under arm wresting, Death & Dying, Education, Gifts, Mysteries, World Changing Ideas

Project 365 – Teach A Person To FIsh

What is that old saying, “Give  a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for the rest of his life.”

I think that’s why I find what Heifer International does every day, across the globe, to be world changing.  And yes, I have written about this organization before but when there are so many lives changed, so many communities lifted out of poverty, I cannot ignore them.

Heifer International deserves all the attention it gets.  Why?

You can read all about the organization.  Or, if you’re into short stories, watch this brief video clip to find out.  (Heifer has been doing this so long and so well, it can explain how it works in exactly 1 minute.)

So, this organization doesn’t arrive with boxes of food and measuring cups.  They arrive with livestock – goats, cattle, water buffalo, chickens, ducks, even bees.  And they don’t just drop the animals off and drive away.

Heifer works with the community, creating a development plan, choosing recipients carefully and providing all the training needed including animal husbandry, water quality and ecologically sound agricultural practices.

People who receive livestock are also expected to raise crops needed to feed their animals, to become self-supporting. And all recipients become donors – passing on offspring to other members in the community or village. The objective is  to help feed hungry people but also, to create sustainable growth.  (They’ve got a short video about this, too.)

Heifer is truly teaching men and women to fish.

Started in 1939 by a relief worker named Dan West, Heifer International has helped more than 12 million families and a total of 62 million men, women and children.  One man’s simple idea –giving families a source of food rather than short-term relief — hasn’t changed since he took the first shipment of cattle to Puerto Rico in 1944.  It is alive and helping people in 128 countries around the world including the United States.

That’s why I love this organization, I support them instead of typical relief organizations and, yes, I write about them.  But they are literally changing the world.  For as little as $20.00 you can buy a flock of chicks or ducklings and start changing the world, too.

If you know any  other people in your town or city who are helping others, please send me the name of the group and any info you want to share and I will do the rest.

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Filed under Gifts, Inspiring People, Life & Death, Project 365, World Changing Ideas

Project 365: Education At The Frontlines

Sticking with education because it is so important to our children, to our lives and to our future, there are a man and a project in Harlem that deserve to join the ranks of those who are changing the world.

Like Sal KahnGeoffrey Canada believes in the power of education so much that he has given his life to it.  Unlike Kahn, who uses the internet to reach as many people as possible, Canada’s quest is more focused and more personal.

Canada is the man behind The Harlem Children’s Zone Project (HCZ).

Founded 20 years ago as a program to address problems that poor families in this drug-riddled neighborhood were facing —  crumbling apartments, failing schools, violent crime and chronic health problems, HCZ grew into a life-changing force.

At the outset, the project centered on classroom education but Geoffrey Canada recognized early that this approach was not working. What they were teaching children inside classrooms just couldn’t counter what those same children learned about in the street, every day — drugs, shooting deaths, dire poverty.

That realization led Canada to look at the whole picture, the child within the community. It also led to expanded efforts to include after school services to kids as well as programs on parenting, early-childhood development, mental health counseling and drug and alcohol counseling for parents and care givers.

Understanding that education alone would not save these children from repeating their parents’ history, one of the  primary objectives of the overall project became “…to create a critical mass of adults around them who understand what it takes to help children succeed.”

Dubbed, “…one of the most ambitious social experiments of our time” by the New York Times, The Harlem Children’s Zone Project started with one block in that city; today it covers 100 city blocks and touches the lives of 8,000 children and 6,000 parents.

Based on HCZ’s data that show that it’s  impossible to separate education in the classroom from education in the streets, Harlem Children’s Project has also become the template for President Obama’s Promise Neighborhoods program.

Geoffrey Canada is definitely changing the world, one child at a time.

On a personal note, as someone who pays an enormous amount of school taxes, as a person who is in the process of being disenfranchised by the autonomous school board in our district, I will say here, now, that I would gladly pay my school taxes to help support a Promise Neighborhood program.

I would even pay them to support HCZ because I know that the dollars going into these programs help teach children and adults how to live better, healthier lives.  The dollars in our district seem to go to larger administration buildings and bigger salaries for the people who work in them.

By they way, if you know a group or an individual that is helping to change our world for the better, please share their story with me so I can share it with my readers.

 

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Filed under Education, Gifts, Inspiring People, Project 365, World Changing Ideas

Project 365 – The Lowcountry Orphan Relief

Low Country, in South Carolina, is one of the most beautiful areas along the East coast.  It’s also a popular vacation spot with a rich history and some of the finest golf courses and resorts in the South.  It’s a place that makes you think of warm breezes and beautiful beaches.

It’s also home to a small but rapidly growing non profit that is focused on providing clothing and support to orphans – The Lowcountry Orphan Relief.

Orphans, in this country?  You don’t hear a whole lot about them, perhaps because the number of children orphaned in the United States in 2010, according to UNICEF, was  low – 2100.

That’s not a big number when compared to the more than 2 million children that are orphaned every year in Africa or the 31,000 orphaned in India last year according to UNICEF’s comprehensive report entitled The State of the World’s Children 2011.

So, why write about an organization named Lowcountry Orphan Relief (LOR)?

Simple.  This small but dedicated group of people doesn’t just help orphans; it helps abused and neglected children, too.   If you look at those numbers, you’ll understand why their work is even more important.

In 2010, there were more than 700,000 verified incidents of child abuse in this country, 85% of which involved either neglect or physical abuse.

The Lowcountry Orphan Relief is catching and caring for children in and around Charleston, as fast as they can.  Founded in 2003 by a woman whose job it was to speak for children caught in the court system, this organization provides clothing, toiletries, books and school supplies within 48 hours of a child’s removal from his or her home.

Two statistics define this mostly volunteer group that makes up Lowcountry Relief:

  1. They have clothed more than 10,000 needy children since 2008.
  2. 90% of all income given to this group is used to provide for the children’s needs.

LOR has also built libraries at emergency shelters and group homes in the tri-county area and continues to attract support of its neighbors and neighboring businesses in its quest to meet its mission statement:
…to provide services and aid to meet the meet the needs of abandoned, abused and neglected children in the Lowcountry and specifically intervene where government aid ends.

That’s why Lowcountry Orphan Relief is on my list of 365 organizations and people who are changing the world.  If you want to learn more about this wonderful organization, check out this article:  Guardian Angel.

My thanks to fellow WordPress blogger Andy who nominated Lowcountry Orphan Relief and whose posts make me grin.

If you have a group or a person who you think belongs in the list of world-changing people, please share it with me.  I will do the rest!

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Filed under Inspiring People, Life & Death, Project 365, Religion, World Changing Ideas

Project 365 – We Can Make A Difference

Even if no one knows our name, even if we are not rich, even if we are out of work and a bit down on our luck, we can still make a difference.

And we don’t need money.  We don’t need connections.  We just need to open our eyes.  Look around and we will see someone who could use our help, today.  Here are some ideas to help get started:

Offer to pay for someone’s groceries.  This has only happened to me twice in the 45 years I have been buying food, most recently about a month ago.

The woman in line, in front of me was paying with a check but there was a hitch; she only had her bonus card. Her wallet had been stolen the night before.  When told they couldn’t accept her check without ID, she started to leave.  I quietly asked the cashier to add the cost of her groceries to mine.  It wasn’t much but the sweet smile it brought to the woman’s face and her thanks more than made up for the money.   All I asked in return was that she do the same for someone else if she got the chance

Clean out your clothes closet.  Another easy one, especially if you are changing jobs or leaving your career. I worked for years as an executive.  For the last 2 years, I have been unemployed and haven’t worn any of the expensive, business clothes that take up space in my closet and drawers.

Maybe I thought if I got rehired, I would use them again.  Maybe I thought I would sell them to bring in some money.  Whatever the reason, I woke up a few weeks ago, bundled them up and took them to a 
local mission that helps people get back on their feet and back into the job world.  I should have done it 2 years ago!

Volunteer at a library, school, shelter.  I know that volunteering could be a bit unnerving.  My first thoughts were I probably won’t be good at it.  It might take up too much time. The people I’m working with might not like me. All of those thoughts blew right out of my head the first time I sat and read to children at our local library. They were banished by the shy smiles, the giggles, the questions and the genuine interest the kids displayed.  I gave my time but they gave me something, too – their joy.

Donate canned goods.  Another simple idea but I know I’ve walked past the barrels asking for a can of beans or soup without dropping anything in.  Usually I was in a hurry, ran in for a couple of items like butter and half and half and just didn’t have an extra anything to toss in the barrel.  Sitting here, I am ashamed of myself for buying luxuries and not sharing necessities.  When I realized just how small my actions were, I vowed never to pass up another barrel or box and I haven’t.

Eat in and donate what you save to a cause.  Since I am no longer getting a salary, I have rediscovered  the economy of home cooking.  I think it hit me the last time my husband and I were at our favorite pub.  We both ordered hamburgers and side orders of coleslaw.  My 8 ounce burger cost $13.50 because I wanted it on ciabatta bread.  My husband’s was only $11.50.  The actual cost of our meal, without overhead, was about $8.00.  We paid $27.00 for 1 pound of ground beef,  6 ounces of coleslaw and two rolls.  

I wasn’t feeling very well when we left the restaurant. But that experience led to an aha moment.  Home cooking was cheaper and healthier and it gave me the joy of being able to say, “I made that.”  It also gave me the joy of being able to donate the $50.00 we saved by “eating in” to a charity that would make that money go a whole lot farther than I ever could.

Each of these simple actions makes a difference.  Each action you take can make a difference, too.

Tomorrow, one more easy way to help make the world a better place just by planting a seed.

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Filed under Inspiring People, Life & Death, Project 365, Religion, World Changing Ideas