Awesome Stories 242

This week Awesome Stories brings you ocean farming, Arkansas surprises, giving freely, Eco-Schools and cultivating compassion.

Arkansas SurprisesPetit Jean State Park, Awesome Stories

Arkansas seems to have a bad rap for being ugly, poor, uninteresting and more. I know some of my friends and family living in other places tend to look down on Arkansas. Admittedly, we have challenges with poverty, obesity and food insecurity, but we also have many natural charms and a decent quality of life. Many people have never visited Arkansas and assume the worst. In case you need a nudge, here are 16 Reasons Why You Should Never Visit Arkansas! This reminds me why I need to get out exploring more!

Giving Freely

This is a great article on the power of giving. Wayne Mueller explores the life of Roger Montoya, who was a successful dancer who retired early to focus on giving back. Wayne tells a touching story of how Roger’s life of giving has blossomed throughout his community. Roger has given dance lessons and many other gifts to the community, culminating recently in a brand new Montessori school that he started based on the arts and sustainability. I’d love to see all schools put more focus on those two areas. Read this heartwarming tale of how the goodness keeps on growing. I’ve been holding onto my resources from a posture of lack, resulting in more losses, so maybe it’s time to try freely giving.

Cultivating Compassion

If you’ve been following my blog a while, you know I’m a fan of the Dali Lama and his tireless work for world peace, compassion and many other altruistic causes. He and author Daniel Goleman have recently released a book called A Force For Good: The Dali Lama’s Vision for Our World. Based on the latest research, they offer a vision and suggestions for creating a better world where we focus more on common good than self-interest. Their ultimate goal is a world of universal care and compassion. To get there, we each need to be more mindful of the ways we can cultivate compassion with awareness and action. With daily practice to widen our circles of caring, we might just create a better world for all.


I love this program! The National Wildlife Federation hosts the Eco-Schools USA program with more than 3300 schools participating around the country. The program encourages students to learn and model environmental responsibility in their schools and community. In other words, to integrate sustainability with education and daily life through various pathways and programs. Teachers are provided training and students can earn awards. Typically, the students create hands-on urban conservation projects like planting pollination-friendly plants or green roofs.Eco-Schools is part of a global program called United Nations Environmental Program that encourages environmental education and development. Kudos!

Ocean Farmingocean farming, Awesome Stories

The oceans are becoming more and more stressed by climate change, overfishing, trash, plastic and development. Here is an idea that might help fish populations and general ocean health. Greenwave is a company pioneering innovative ways to farm the seas with small scale vertical columns. The best part is their process helps rebuild fish and plant populations with no inputs while sequestering CO2 and nitrogen. I also admire Greenwaves’ mission to support communities, jobs, climate mitigation and ocean health with their work.


Do you have an inspiring story you’d like to share? Feel free to leave a comment below or link to an article. I might feature your story in an upcoming Awesome Stories. Thanks!


14 thoughts on “Awesome Stories 242

  1. Brad, Can I move to Arkansas?.. WOW.. loved all of those beautiful views.. Loved them.. And thank you for Rogers story.. I also signed up to the Daily Good News… what’s not to love about Good news 🙂
    And the Eco School project brilliant. I am all for encouraging Self Sufficiency and sustainability.. Cultivating Compassion is another good reason to move to Arkansas 🙂

    Love your Awesomeness today Brad… 🙂 Enjoy your weekend.. 🙂 Big Hugs Sue ❤

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  2. Interesting that one of your stories is about the Cultivating Compassion charge put forth my the Dalai Lama. The Mayor of our City was one of several, handpicked from around the Country to be in the audience in May of 2013 when His Holiness was in Kentucky to speak on this very topic. I know there are thing happening around town as a result.

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    • That sounds wonderful Annette. The Dali Lama visited here too and seems to work tirelessly for peace around the world. I admire his compassion and efforts to help promote peace and understanding. May those seeds grow into beauty flowers of compassion!


  3. Great and inspiring stories! The work of The Green Wave is impressive and encouraging. And I have to tell you that I came to Arkansas several time in 2011-12 when my son used to live there, and I agree there are many natural charms to admire!

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  4. I love Arkansas!! My Mom’s sister and her family lived in Hot Springs, so as a kid we would go and visit every other year (I grew up in Iowa)….my parents were avid believers in having us kids experience various places, so no trip went without many side trips to see as much as we could! It’s a beautiful state!!

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      • We were National Lampoons Vacation family growing up…all of us loaded into a station wagon. Both of my parents worked for a private college and had all of August off…they wanted us to see the country and didn’t have a lot of money…so we camped, but we did see almost every state!! Best memories and it does change your perspective to understand that your little world really isn’t the center of the universe! 🙂

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