Awesome Stories 214

This week Awesome Stories brings you off-grid living, brotherly love, hybrid solar, loving schools and healing with horses.

The Secrets of Lasqueti Island

Lasqueti Island, Awesome Stories

I would love to live somewhere like Lasqueti Island. The island is home to a thriving counter-culture community that chooses to live off-grid. All the residents of Lasqueti live with no grid power or water. Many use barter and other means of simple living. Although some of the residents have nice homes, they are all powered by alternative sources like wind, solar and water. Unfortunately, I don’t have the skills or resources to live as they do. Maybe I could move there and apprentice with Al, the 83-year-old former engineer who has been living there since 1989! Is 56 too old to apprentice?  🙂

Brotherly Love

Mason Wartman is helping Philadelphia to practice brotherly love. After giving up a career on Wall Street to start a pizza shop, he had the idea to offer free pizza with a Pay It Forward system. Customers donate a dollar per slice and leave a message on a post-it note. Then when someone comes in who can’t afford to pay, they simply pick a note and redeem it for a slice of pizza! What a simple and effective way to spread kindness.

Love in the Classroom

Here’s another great example of love in action. Peggy Sia teaches at Palm Elementary school in Los Angeles County. Her teaching style in based on demonstrating care for her children and empowering them with an integrative, caring system. Her teaching is based on 3 big ideas; cooperation, holistic learning and brain breaks. Read her article to learn more about her ideas for a classroom with love at the center.

Hybrid Solar & Water Farmsolar farm, Awesome Stories

Here is an ingenious use of solar and water to complement each other. Australia will be the home to the first large-scale floating solar farm, with the panels built on top of a water treatment pond. The solar panels will both generate electricity and shade the pond, lowering the growth of algae in the pond. Plus, the water helps the solar panels stay cooler becoming 57% more efficient than land-based panels. Once operational, the plant is expected to become Infratech’s showpiece for export around the world.

Healing with Horses

After retiring from an engineering career, Charles Fletcher found a passion for helping kids with disabilities. While volunteering at an equine therapy center for children with disabilities, he noticed the special connection between children and horses and how healing it was. Also noticing how many children were turned away because they couldn’t afford the services, he decided to start his own ranch for kids with disabilities. His deep passion and commitment have grown SpiritHorse into a thriving center that provides about 400 rides per week with 20 instructors and 40 horses. All the services are provided free to the families as part of his vision. Additionally, Spirit Horse has trained 91 other centers around the world to provide similar services. Charles was recognized for his contribution with the Purpose Prize in 2014.

May your heart be warmed by the songs of spring. Happy Spring!


22 thoughts on “Awesome Stories 214

  1. Brad,

    I, uhhh, cannot thank you enough for an edition of Awesome Stories filled with the underlying notion that there is indeed hope for engineers. 🙂 Love the connection to the innocent strength of horses. I think it’s an amazing experience to be around an animal that is way more physically powerful than you are, but also eager to connect and be present. I think it must stimulate or awaken something within. I was very touched by the dedication and love coursing through that movie…


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks so much for these stories each week, Brad. I loved the video about the pizza place, what a wonderful thing they have going there, hope it catches on! And the video about SpiritHorse was very inspiring as well. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks Julie. I’m surprised that these stories are inspiring and fresh for others. I believe they are widely shared, but they touch me and I enjoy sharing them. I’m tempted to start a pizza shop just to do the Pay It Forward slices! 🙂 Happy Spring!


  4. What a beautiful post! and what compassion shown by Charles, a lesson for us all that the animals allowed in to Hospices for the benefit of those for which there is little hope to this wonderful example of the relationship demonstrated here between horse and man underlies the beauty we have missed for so long that we are connected as long as we allow it to be. Thank you all so much, in tears with Love, David

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for being so compassionate David. It seems that you have a strong affinity for animals. I’ve read stories about how pets are used in nursing homes to bring joy and an outlet for caring that many people living in homes have lost. Indeed, we have many connections with animals and nature that would serve to acknowledge and honor more. hugs, Brad


  5. I remember watching a documentary film a few years back about the process of taming wild mustangs and the incredible connection that is formed between owner and horse. There is some magical connection that occurs between human and horse, and I have been witness to it firsthand. I love how the Spirit Horse program has recognized that connection and worked to create such a safe and loving environment to foster that connection for people across all walks of life. Awesome stories again, Brad, thanks for sharing and best wishes for an inspired day!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks my friend. I would love to hear more about these magical connections you’ve experienced! And working with wild mustangs sounds wonderful too. I’m glad these stories touch you. Thanks for your kind support Dave.


  7. Yet again an inspiring variety of awesomeness — Love it all! Wish I could have Peggy as a teacher. I haven’t even read “I am Malala” but need to and think providing American students this incredible perspective is brilliant! But, alas, it is Mr. Charles Fletcher who captured my heart — hook-line-and sinker…What a beautifully generous man. I agree with him, it’s NEVER too late to find one’s ultimate purpose. Did you hear that, Brad??? So, NO, 56 is NOT too old to apprentice… Xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Not too old, but I’ve gotten very timid about taking action. I do appreciate your support, encouragement and wonderful model of living fully- especially your recent post on travel treasures. Thanks Shauna! 🙂


  9. Every single time, even when RE-reading them, I get inspirations from your Awesome Stories posts. And other ones, too. 😀
    PS—I’m beginning to think that 90 years isn’t too old to do exciting and adventuresome things. My mother and father in law left a couple of days ago for a month long road trip from Washington state to Southern California, over to Arizona, and back. Mom’s doing all of the highway driving since Dad had a moderate stroke a couple of years ago, but they’re both mobile, keen-minded, and as eager to get out and about as ever. Also truly inspiring. I have no doubt you have many great adventures still ahead of you, and that you’ll find the wherewithal to take them on when the time’s right.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I appreciate your encouragement Kathryn. It must be fun to have parents off globetrotting! They are a good reminder that we are never too old for travel and adventures. I’m glad my stories inspire. 🙂
    blessings, Brad


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