Awesome Stories 187

This week Awesome Stories brings you living bridges, children’s wisdom, a nurturing dog, play therapy, healing songs and rain forest preservation.

Living Bridges

This is one of the most creative and beautiful ideas I’ve seen in a long time. The tribal people of Meghalaya in northeastern India have developed an ingenious way of training tree roots to grow across rivers to be used as living bridges. But the process takes generations to complete. I’m awed by their patience and wisdom to work for generations in order to build something for the common good.

Wisdom from the Children

Not to be outdone by the tribal elders, these are good life lessons gleaned from children who know the value of play and living in the moment. I like almost all of these 10 life lessons, but the one I’m most drawn to is laughter. Number 4 on the list suggest that we laugh every day. Sadly, I’ve gotten too wrapped up in my adult routines and concerns, and often go days without laughing. Time for some play and laughter therapy!  🙂

Play Therapyplay therapy, Awesome Stories

Speaking of play, researchers have now proven that play enhances brain activity in children! Play changes the connections in our neurons at the front of our brain. The prefrontal cortex area of the brain is the command control center for the brain, responsible for regulating emotions, making plans and solving problems, According to Sergio Pellis, a researcher at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, the play must be free play with no rules or structure like in rough and tumble wrestling. Other research suggests the purpose of play is to build social brains that know how to interact with others in positive ways. Interestingly, countries with more recess time for kids, tend to have better academic performance.

The photo is my niece and nephew playing with friends and reminding me to lighten up and go play!  🙂

Lilica

Watch this touching video about a junkyard dog who takes on the care of her new adopted family. A nice lesson in caring and sharing.

Preserving the Rainforest

Thanks to Ideas of Mass Destruction for sharing this great organization. The Rainforest Connection recycles cellphones to use as solar powered listening devices in the rainforests. They are designed to “hear” chainsaws and alert authorities to intervene. I love this idea! Our old cellphones can help stop illegal logging of the forests, which is one of the leading causes of deforestation and in turn, climate change. Please consider donating your old cellphone or money to help them preserve our precious rainforests.

Mastering the Fundamentals

Many of us get so focused on the details of life that we forget to understand the big picture and the key steps that make the greatest impact on our business and life plans. In this article, James Clear reminds us that mastering the basics are usually what contribute the most to our success. In his case, writing and blogging are the most important activities, rather than emails, bills and other details. Corbett Barr calls this the edge cases. We get distracted with the edge details that have very little impact, while ignoring the important work that needs to be done. I do this with researching and analyzing choices, rather than simply choosing one, starting and adjusting as necessary. Too many times, I never start at all. Oops!

Songs for Healing

Songwriting with Soldiers is a group that uses the power of listening and story to bring healing to soldiers. The concept pairs military veterans and active troops with professional songwriters in a peaceful setting. “We all have a story. When we listen well enough to take the soldiers’ words and turn them into art, and sing it back to them, something happens.” What happens is often healing and magical for the soldiers. Notice the power of listening again. I suspect this is the key to the healing, as much as the songs which help transform the pain into something useful.

What needs listening to in your life? This post called Listen UP! may help.

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25 thoughts on “Awesome Stories 187

  1. Another great uplifting collection of stories, Brad. Songs for soldiers, more “genuine” playtime for kids, the generous junkyard dog, and I particularly love #1 and #9 from children’s wisdom…But the amazing ingenuity of the tribal people of Meghalaya and their magical/multi-generational bridges truly captured my heart. Thank you!!

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    • You’re welcome Shauna. My heart sings with you, the tribal elders and kids everywhere! Since some of us aren’t traveling the world physically, we have to get our kicks vicariously from friends and stories around the web. XD

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  2. The Canadians seem to be on to something. I have a colleague, a Canadian kindergarten teacher (whose business tagline is “Learn and Play with Mrs. A”), who writes and has been advocating for play in children for decades. The problem she acknowledges, however, is that while we can be successful at instilling concepts of play in children, it’s adults who lose the desire/capacity to do what was once innate. Perhaps researchers have an untapped opportunity to revisit this with today’s adults! Great story, Brad.

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  3. Interesting Eric. I’m glad to hear there are teachers and schools putting more focus on play. Yes, it’s something we might want to keep alive as adults. 🙂 I know that play feels good to me as an adult, but hadn’t seen research before on how it is key for development in young brains.

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  4. Thanks Camelia. It’s nice to “see” you here. It’s time to visit your blog! Beauty and play are two of my favorite values. 🙂 I bet you bring play into your teaching. XD to beauty, play, friends and blessings, Brad

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  5. I love all the stories this week, Brad. But when I got to the one about writing the soldier’s songs…wow!! It must be so emotional to work on those songs together…and it must be so cathartic for them!! Bravo…awesome idea 🙂 ❤

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  6. Thanks for your sensitive and caring heart Lorrie. ❤ The stories and songs do seem very cathartic and healing for the soldiers. I wish we would move beyond the need for soldiers and wars, but that's another story.
    May we be peace and love to bless the world.

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  7. Wow, those bridges are amazing, reminds me of watching Tarzan when I was little girl. That jungle man had a lot of bridges and swinging ropes. I think I grew up thinking it was all complete fantasy – obviously not! 😀 Also makes me think of Lord Of The Rings too. It’s amazing how resourceful people can be when they don’t have a whole load of technology at hand.

    And agree with you about the laughing, it’s easy to go quite a while without ever thinking about laughing, especially if you live on your own, it’s even worse. Laughter is a good medicine, I shall try and do a bit more! 🙂

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