This week Awesome Stories brings you green homes, happiness tips, social change, kindness tips and a bike road trip.
I’d love to see these homes in person. A Miami company called Green Magic Homes is designing and selling composite shells for people to build high-quality earth homes that can be easily built. They combine traditional earth homes with modern design to create economical, sustainable, load bearing, easy to build homes. They purport to be stronger, safer, more energy efficient and longer lasting than traditional earth-home-designs.
The Secret to Happiness
Here is a touching story of how learning to love turned around a life. Godfrey Minot Camille grew up without much love or social connection. In college, he used illness as an emotional coping tool until spending a year in bed with tuberculosis. Something changed and he became a new person. Camille trained to be a doctor, married, had children and became a loving father and doctor. He created a life filled with love and service, devoted to his children and patients. Related research has confirmed that flourishing late in life is dependent on nurturing relationships rather than IQ, money, status or any external devices.
Social Change without Money
Nipun Mehta explores some interesting perspectives on social change and reform without money. I love the story about a man who asks for a moment of silence to start the meetings as his bonus for a successful year on Wall Street. After initially refusing, his boss grants the request and it transforms the office environment. In this thoughtful article, Nipun explores interesting questions and experiments about money (like how money desensitizes us) and social change. He shares some lessons from his own Service Space organization on how to live and grow without money. They are run by volunteers, with no fundraising and a focus on small and yet they’ve been growing for 16 years. Can we create social change and evolve beyond money as our core motivator and measuring stick? I’m willing to experiment, how about you?
Here are a bunch of great ideas, tips and resources for kindness. Juliana Breines offers us many ways to bring kindness into our lives, including cultivating kindness, feeling happy from giving, and teaching others to be kind. Anyone who has given unselfishly has experienced the boost of good feelings that comes from giving to others. Giving is at the core of kindness. Connection to others is another key to kindness. If we don’t feel connected, offering kindness will bring us more connection and happiness. Once people realize how much they benefit from kindness, maybe we’ll start a kindness revolution! 🙂
I love how Marissa Muller used a cross country bike trip to get healthy and inspire conversation about living in healthier ways for people and the planet. After a personal health crisis, she realized she was out of balance and wanted to get healthier. As a bike enthusiast, she decided to try a cross country road trip. With help from many people and companies, she not only completed her trip, but is now a spokesperson for healthier living. To learn more about her solar-assisted bike trip, visit her website Marissamuller.com. I’d love to ride one of those fancy Specialized electric assisted bikes, but $7000 isn’t in my bike budget right now! It’s nice to have corporate sponsors. 🙂