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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Nobel Peace Prize

Here are some excerpts from a BBC article (with videos). Note especially the last paragraph of what I've quoted here. I think this is a great sign of hope that crosses any imagined divisions of age, gender, religion and race.

"Pakistani child education activist Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian child rights campaigner, have jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize.
At the age of just 17, Malala is the youngest ever recipient of the prize. The teenager was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen in October 2012 for campaigning for girls' education. She now lives in Birmingham in the UK.
Malala said she was "honoured" to receive the award, saying it made her feel "more powerful and courageous"
"I'm really happy to be sharing this award with a person from India," she said at a news conference, before joking that she couldn't pronounce Mr Satyarthi's surname.
The Nobel committee praised the pair's "struggle against the suppression of children and young people".
Mr Satyarthi has maintained the tradition of Mahatma Gandhi and headed various forms of peaceful protests, "focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain," the committee said at the Nobel Institute in Oslo.
The 60-year-old founded Bachpan Bachao Andolan, or the Save the Childhood Movement, which campaigns for child rights and an end to human trafficking.

The committee said it was important that a Muslim and a Hindu, a Pakistani and an Indian, had joined in what it called a common struggle for education and against extremism."

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Empty hands and Gratitude

I "happened upon" an article: Empty Hands, Full Heart, Music for the Soul. It is an inspiring story of one young man's life changing decision which has led to global responses of kindness, generosity and joy. This sent me to the website where you can explore the growing impact of Nimo's commitment.
As he says: 
"We arrive on this planet empty-handed. 
We will all soon leave empty handed. 
So then how do we want to live the time in between?" 
The video Grateful sums it up. If you don't have time to read the article or explore the website do watch  this song. (I've used the You Tube link because it has the lyrics subtitled.)

You can also download the whole album of ten songs free by going to the website.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Sorting and packing in readiness to move house reveals how much "stuff" is no longer needed! That's where Freecycle comes in! Thanks to my niece in Australia I heard about this some time ago but have only recently used it. It is a great way to pass on to others things you no longer need. You can also request things you do want and have someone pass them on to you! The aim of the on-line system is to keep things out of landfill. At the same time it generates many great connections between people.

We have given away:

  • two very large pot plants 
  • an old outdoor table 
  • a worm farm 
  • two heaters 
  • a lemon tree in a pot 
  • a filing cabinet 
  • two chests of drawers
  • a small table 
  • … and probably more to come. 

In the process we have met some lovely people who are so grateful for what is on offer:

  • a young couple from UK setting up a flat and starting out with nothing
  • a grandmother wanting to teach her grandchildren about worm farms
  • a solo mum needing a heater
  • a couple whose baby is due any day
  • a woman picking up the old outdoor table for her mother to use feeding doves
We've sold some things on Trade Me too but I have to say the experience with Freecycle has been a lot more straightforward and enjoyable. There are usually several people keen to collect each item and everyone has shown up promptly and with real appreciation. The website is well organized and easy to use. You can join a group in your own geographical area. Check it out - even if you aren't moving house!