This week Awesome Stories brings you deep listening, musical bonding, water diplomacy and prison gardens.
Inmates have a challenging time. Too many prisons feature sterile and harsh environments. Fortunately, there is some prison reform happening. Besides the restorative justice I’ve written about before, more prisons are starting to grow their own food. This gives the prisoners a chance to eat better food, learn gardening and bond with nature. Prison administrators are encouraged to find that growing fresh foods improve inmate health and quality of life, reduce carbon footprint, create jobs reduce costs. Read the article on prison gardens to learn how they are feeding body and soul.
This article offers great tips on how to listen when you disagree. Like the author, I notice how divisive our country and conversations have gotten. Clearly, we would benefit from more listening and connecting. If we would openly explore their point of view, seeking to discover the person beyond the idea. The piece of advice below really struck me. Some people would call this active or deep listening. Regardless of what we call it, let’s drop the labels and work at understanding people with different viewpoints. The group called Urban Confessional believes we all need to be heard and is promoting “Free Listening” as a way to open more space for people to be heard.
When you disagree with someone, ask: “Will you tell me your story? I’d love to know how you came to this point of view.”
I recently discovered this group called L.E.J. I find their vocals very soothing and engaging. As this article points out, music can deeply touch our emotions and shift our energy. Additionally, researchers are finding that music can foster social connections. By triggering the release of endorphins and dopamine, music can add pleasure and help us connect. Some personal development teachers like Tony Robbins use music for this purpose at their events. So next time you want to bond, sing or play music together! 🙂
Israel appears to have solved their water crisis. Not many years ago, the country was on the verge of disaster due to shrinking water supplies as is much of the Middle East. In 2008, Israel imposed strict water conservation and reclamation measures and embarked on ways to make water desalinization more efficient. At that time, the Sea of Galilee had dropped to within inches of the “black line” at which irreversible salt infiltration would enter the lake and ruin it forever. Now Israel has more water than it needs,and uses water more efficiently than any country on earth, reclaiming an amazing 86% of all water used. With improved water desalination processes, they now have very affordable water supplies. Edo Bar-Zeev and the Zuckerberg Institute hope to use their knowledge to help bring people together in water diplomacy. Yay!
May we be inspired to follow our dreams and serve the greater good.