So here is a selection of inspiring and hopeful news and ideas that I have gleaned in the past week. My intention is to inspire our hope and encourage us to get into action!
From a talk given by Bill Twist, co-founder, The Pachamama Alliance
“Being political” is a charge that is used a lot. But what people really mean is, “it sounds like you’re trying to create conflict.” People think that politics is about conflict. “Being political” means being committed to use our governmental structures to create the future that we want. We want to be engaged in using our structures of government to skillfully resolve differences by having people come together using our democratic processes. That’s democracy!
from YES! Magazine, Spring 2015
The largest dam-removal project in history reached completion last fall with the final dredging of the Elwha River channel, in Western Washington. Within weeks threatened Bull Trout and Chinook Salmon were spotted migrating beyond the rubble. All five native species of Elwha salmon are expected to repopulate the river. “It was a thrill” said an Olympic National Park spokeswoman.
Deep in the Amazon a Tiny Tribe is Beating Big Oil
YES! Magazine, Spring 2015
The people of Sarayaku village are the face of a 21st century indigenous resistance. They are a rainforest community of 1,200 Kichwa people that has successfully fended off oil companies and a government intent on exploiting their land for profit. They believe that their lifestyle, deeply connected to nature, holds promise for humans to save themselves from global warming and extinction. They are advancing their vision for “living well” – living in harmony with the natural world and insisting that Nature has rights deserving of protection.
Although this sounds romantic, in 2008 Ecuador’s constitution became the first in the world to codify the fights of nature. Bolivia’s constitution has a similar provision and rights-of-nature ordinances are now being passed in several U.S. communities.
“Water Gandhi of India” Turns Dust Bowls into Lush Villages Using Ancient Ways
The Good News Network -- www.goodnewsnetwork.org
30 years ago, Singh went to the poverty-stricken state of Rajasthan with the aim of setting up health clinics. He was told by villagers that their greatest need was not health care but water, because their wells had dried up. So instead of building clinics he taught them how to build johads – traditional earthen dams. This traditional Indian methods of collecting and storing rainwater dates back thousands of years, but fell out of use during British colonial rule. Thanks to the “Water Ghandhi of India” and colleagues at his NGO, some of the poorest communities of India are now prosperous— empowered once again by traditional agricultural livelihoods.
A Gang You’ll Want Your Kids To Join
The Daily Good: News That Inspires - www.dailygood.org
The words 'gang' or 'posse' have negative connotations for most people. But not for Deborah Bial. Deborah Bial was a New York City teacher in the late 1980s when a former student explained to her why he had walked away from his scholarship, “I never would have dropped out of college if I had my posse with me.” A light bulb went off, why not send these nontraditional yet motivated students to school in supportive teams?
Thus was the Posse Foundation born. Since 1989, Bial’s organization has sent nearly 5,000 students to 48 top colleges, full tuition waived, in groups of about 10. Through regular meetings in the months leading up to move-in, leadership training, constant on-campus group support and many shoulders to lean on, they graduate at a rate of 90 percent. After four years of helping each other through, they are like ambitious, close-knit families.
So, What Can YOU Do?
- Reach out to a young child who could use a mentor, a listening ear, or just a kind word.
- Read & subscribe to: YES! Magazine www.yesmagazine.org; The Daily Good www.DailyGood.org; The Good News Network www.goodnewsnetwork.org.
- Google: “good news.” See what you find!
- Research The Pachamama Alliance, www.pachamama.org, and attend an Awakening the Dreamer symposium and/or enroll in their Game Changer Intensive.