Awesome Stories 311

This week Awesome Stories brings you human books, children at play, love at work, and special athletes.

Children at Playplay therapy, Awesome Stories

This article really resonates with me. I’ve often wondered whether kids are being pushed too hard to excel at school, grades, and sports. According to Luis Fernando Llosa, children are being robbed of their childhoods. His article explores the growing body of evidence showing that the early push to excel is creating kids who don’t know how to relax, connect socially, or make creative choices. All they know how to do is what they’re told by parents, teachers, and coaches. Plus, watching the lifestyles of friends and family members, I feel a great sadness that we don’t seem to allow kids to simply be or play. Most of their time is structured with either achievement-oriented activity or TV, video games, and phones.

The Human Library

I love this project that started in Denmark to help challenge stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue. Very cleverly, the organizers have created a positive framework for dialogue on challenging topics like being transgender, refugee, homeless or some other misunderstood group. The Human Library arranges to have a group of volunteers from marginalized groups act as human books at a library or public event. Library patrons “check out” different books (people who want to be better understood) for a two-way dialogue. The intention is to create better dialogue and understanding between all people!

Business with Heartlove at work, Awesome Stories

“Shakti Leadership is not about using people for your objectives, but about serving them and being a good steward of their lives.”

I love this article on integrating love at work. Authors Nilima Bhat and Raj Sisodian discuss how to establish love and caring in the workplace, based on their book, Shakti Leadership: Embracing Feminine and Masculine Energy in Business. I know I’ve yearned to work for a company that truly cared about its people and demonstrated it with their actions. I’ve just started working at the local Whole Foods Market, one of the companies referenced in this article. One of their 8 core values is supporting team member excellence and happiness, along with others like offering high-quality foods, environmental stewardship, and nourishing customers. I’ll let you know how well they demonstrate their values. 🙂

Special Athletes

Aaron Fotheringham is one of a growing number of people with disabilities who demonstrate that we don’t have to be limited by our challenges. Aaron was born with Spina Bifida, resulting in numerous surgeries and no use of his legs. And yet, he has never let that keep him from doing the things he enjoys. His early fascination with skateboarding led him to try similar tricks in his wheelchair. His passion and dedication have led to a paid career at a WCMX Athlete and holder of several world records! His goal is to change the way people (both disabled and not) view their challenges. Way to go Aaron!

Aaron makes it hard to use my challenges as excuses for not pursuing my dreams. Shall we rise and shine?


43 thoughts on “Awesome Stories 311

  1. Regardless of our disability, which we all have em, it is so important to get out there and push the edge of our envelopes. Our efforts, handicapped or not, and accomplishments fuel others to push the edge of their envelope. You are right Brad we need to embrace others in their efforts and be encouragers rather then discouragers. We do believe children are being robbed of their joy of being a child because the world is saying by this age they need to accomplish this and that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed Tom. Reading your comment about the disabled, it occurred to me that maybe why so many people are uncomfortable with overtly disabled people is the fact they remind us of our imperfections and vulnerability. Maybe if we were willing to be more real and vulnerable, we wouldn’t have so much fighting, bullying, wars, business building and other games of distraction (hiding from our fears). May we return to the innocence of love, play, and children, with a little encouragement from our friends. 🙂

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  2. Another most inspirational post….I fully believe that children are being robbed of their childhood. All this running around to multiple activities…..which often mean that the parent and child end up exhausted, dissatisfied and frustrated…..time to allow child to play unimpeded.
    So many positive and innovative things begin in Denmark,… this idea…
    and yes, we need to bring love into our workplace..much like the children, so many people finish a day filled with apprehension, and frustration…with very little tangible evidence of who they are and what they did….maybe one day we will learn.
    I am always most inspired by people like Aaron…they teach us so much.
    Do hope you are enjoying a lovely weekend…janet 🙂

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  3. I work in libraries so I’d heard of the human library, a great idea. I do worry about the way children are being taught today – though I don’t have children, it seems very different from my childhood in which there was time to play, to think, to take risks.

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  4. Love these awesome stories, thank you, Brad! The one that ‘hit’ me most was the first article about letting children play. Being born in Finland, the country that has topped education success worldwide for many years, I was stunned to learn about the education system when we moved here and our son was going to primary school. In Finland (and Sweden) school starts at 7 and there is no pressure to read even in the first grade…kids do play and have fun while learning. Everyone eventually reads well and learns math. I am so happy my oldest grandkid got a place (parents won a lottery) in a Waldorf School, where they are allowed to play and grow their own garden, etc. To my amazement, when I spent Christmas time with them last year, this 1st grader did read fluently and was very conscious about caring for the the environment 🙂

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    • Thanks Helen. Yes, I’ve read and shared many stories about the progressive educational ideas coming from Finland and Denmark. I like what I’ve heard and seen of Waldorf schools too. I’m glad your grandchild is going to a creative school. blessings, Brad

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  5. I’m not surprised at all that the Human Library got its start in Denmark. I think its an awesome concept. Hope there is enough interest and support to sustain it because I agree with the Twain quote about travel putting an end to bigotry and prejudice. I suspect that this would be a cost-effective means of bridging that gap both in terms of time and money.

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  6. The human library sounds intriguing. My initial thought was an intense desire to forge relationships, but I do fear saying the wrong thing. I think these dialogues should be part of what students do in school – starting from a pretty young age.
    I’ve also seen a couple videos lately of folks getting past their fear of “looking different” because of something that happened to them. This inspires me. I’ve always been hesitant to do videos because I can’t see out of one eye and I’m terribly self-conscious of it. These videos help to remind me that I have much to be thankful for and…I don’t have to be scared. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love your idea to integrate compassionate sharing of stories from an early age into our education! And it’s ok to be gentle and do what feels right for you too Cynthia. You don’t have to be scared and you don’t have to be the leader in everything. 🙂 hugs


  7. I am in agreement about Children’s childhoods being robbed Brad.. They no sooner start school than they are given homework.. And are not getting time to be Children and PLAY… Especially outdoors..
    I like the idea of the Human Library. I like the idea of a two way dialogue of when something is not understood as clearly..
    I have yet to watch the Video.. But anything that aspires us to Rise and Shine,I give the thumbs up 🙂 too..

    Sending Love and Blessings along with my thanks Brad ❤ Sue

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow! What an INCREDIBLE young man that Aaron is 🙂 A deeply heart warming and inspiring video, and I just love that he is passing on what he knows to other young people in wheel chairs. This one will stay with me a while. Thanks for sharing! Blessings, H xx

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