Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Let us be kind.

Let's create a society where even if the governments and corporations work against us, we still have each other.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

our most important problem / our most exciting opportunity

Today I saw 10 TEDx talks to watch before election day. 

This was my favorite:

My favorite bits:

We get the government we deserve. We need to work to deserve better.

Benevolently Irrational. Good people doing good things for no good reason.

Building power around ideas, not just building ideas to appease power.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

ripples of positivity

If we work harder we will be more successful... and if we are more successful, we will be happier.
But could that be backwards? Could success actually be a byproduct of happiness, instead of happiness the byproduct of success?

Check out Shawn Achor's book, The Happiness Advantage.
“Each one of us is like that butterfly in the Butterfly Effect . And each tiny move toward a more positive mindset can send ripples of positivity through our organizations, our families, and our communities.    ~The Happiness Advantage

Try the 21 Day Happiness Challenge

Thursday, October 25, 2012


My son is beginning a new unit of inquiry at school.

The central idea is:
People's perceptions drive actions that determine how communities function.

One of the lines of inquiry is:
Why should we care about the past?

picture by Victoria

This got me thinking of a quote by President John F Kennedy,
"History is a relentless master. It has no present, only the past rushing into the future. To try to hold fast is to be swept aside."
It's where we are in the world today. To remain in the past is impossible. But there are those who try to stand still, to cling tightly to what was, never changing. To live is to flow with the current of history. You have to ride the top of the wave or be swept aside. 

What is school for?

My "Seth love" grows by leaps and bounds today!

My favorite Seth quotes from this Stop Stealing Dreams TEDxYouth@BFS:

"Are we asking our kids to collect the dots or connect the dots?"

"Grades are an illusion. Passion and insight are a reality."

"Persistence in the face of a skeptical authority figure is priceless."

"Fitting in is a short term strategy that gets you nowhere. Standing out is a long term strategy that takes guts and produces results."

"If you care enough about your work to be willing to be criticized for it, then you have done a good days work."

"Your work is more important than your congruence to any answer key."

"If it's work we try to do less, and if it's art we try to do more."

8 items to change things completely:

     1.  Homework during the day, lectures at night.
     2.  Open book, open note all the time.
     3.  Access to any course, anywhere in the world, 
          any time you want to take it.
     4.  Precise focused education 
          instead of mass batched stuff.

  • no more multiple choice exams.
  • measuring experience instead of test scores
  • the end of compliance as an outcome.
  • cooperation instead of isolation
     5.  teacher's role transforms into coach.
     6.  lifelong learning
     7.  work happening earlier in life
     8.  the death of the famous college

2 Myths:
  1. Great performance in school leads to happiness and success.
  2. Great parents have kids who produce great performance in school.

Go out and do something interesting!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

drenched in enthusiasm

I listened to "A Thousand Mornings" with poet Mary Oliver on NPR the other day. Her poems in this treasure of a book are full of the transformative power of attention.

I Happened To Be Standing
by Mary Oliver

I don't know where prayers go,
or what they do.
Do cats pray, while they sleep
half-asleep in the sun?
Does the opossum pray as it
crosses the street?
The sunflowers? The old black oak
growing older every year?
I know I can walk through the world,
along the shore or under the trees, 
with my mind filled with things
of little importance, in full
self-attendance. A condition I can't really
call being alive.
Is a prayer a gift, or a petition,
or does it matter?
The sunflowers blaze, maybe that's their way.
Maybe the cats are sound asleep. Maybe not.

While I was thinking this I happened to be standing
just outside my door, with my notebook open,
which is the way I begin every morning.
Then a wren in the privet began to sing.
He was positively drenched in enthusiasm,
I don't know why. And yet, why not.
I wouldn't persuade you from what you believe
or whatever you don't. That's your business.
But I thought, of the wren's singing, what could this be
if it isn't a prayer?
So I just listened, my pen in the air.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

a perfect book for International Day of the Girl

The Mighty Miss Malone is the wonderful story of our Darling Dear Deza. I left a copy for public space library on the bench outside the Newseum in Washington, DC.

The Mighty Miss Malone is funny and smart and thoughtful and deeply loyal to her family. She’s not going to let anyone mess with the people she loves, whether she’s up against a schoolyard bully or the Great Depression.

Deza's family motto is “We are on a journey to a place called Wonderful.”

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I'll meet you there

"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing 
there is a field. 
I'll meet you there."

~ Rumi

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

pursue the passions that bring you happiness

I've posted a clever animated bit of Alan Watts and his Zen wisdom by the creators of South Park. Here's a new video I found where Watts challenges 'money making' at the exclusion of passion or purpose.

Ask yourself... What would I do if money was no object?

Monday, October 8, 2012

giving away Wonder

falling leaves
by charles coon
we know
that falling leaves
speak of death
in a season..
then we wonder
are we falling
as  the leaves..
falling also with
autumn beauty..?

similarities abound
we and the leaves..
fearful we are
with our hidden root..
yet we wonder
have we found
vision and courage..
beholding anew
creation's falling beauty
light's filtered colors...?

Over the weekend I left several copies of the book Wonder by RJ Palacio around Washington DC. Wonder is one of my all time favorite books. It's the book I give as a gift to nearly everyone I know... and many people I don't know. 

What's the reason I love Wonder so..? 

Wonder gives us a chance to see deeper, to look closer, and to reflect back. Perhaps once we’re all friends with August, we will be more willing to embrace others who don’t fit our vision of beautiful or cool.

Wonder returns to the public space library:

  In the sculpture garden, Washington D.C.

At the bus stop on 7th & G Streets

and finally, can you guess where?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

public space library

 I left a copy of One For The Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt at a bus stop on the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 11th Street in Washington DC. One For The Murphys became a favorite book of mine this summer. With the theme of... Be Someone's Hero, it's a middle grade book with heartbreaking appeal.
One For The Murphys joins our public space library fun.


"I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream."
~ MLK Jr.