Awesome Stories 342

This week Awesome Stories brings you Bhutan’s success, depression, and kindness.

The Humanizing of Depression

What hurts you blesses you. Darkness is your candle. ~ Rumi

depression, Awesome StoriesThis article by Parker Palmer touched me deeply. Like Parker, having gone through a long bout of depression, I relate to his take on finding meaning from the experience. During the depression, I could barely function and certainly didn’t have the perspective to find meaning or any way out. Thankfully, mine passed with time. He and many others need the help of professionals, medicine, and more. I hope with courageous people like Parker who are willing to talk about their depression, we can remove the shame and misunderstanding. And boy could I relate to the part where people seem afraid of you and want to avoid you due to the depression. I wonder if it is because so many of us feel depressed or down and are fearful that being around someone else who is depressed will bring us down into a deep dark place. Coming out the other side of depression, we find ourselves more compassionate and unafraid to be with people who are depressed or not upbeat. Our culture is obsessed with positivity, yet expresses so much fear, anger, and violence. As Parker Palmer exclaims when talking about someone experiencing depression, “Welcome to the human race!” Maybe it’s time we stop being afraid of death and darkness. They’re a natural part of the human experience.

Bhutan’s Success

I admire Bhutan’s commitment to conscious growth balancing economic growth with social development, environmental sustainability, and cultural preservation. They are the worlds’ first (and only) carbon negative nation, absorbing four times as much CO2 as they emit. This was accomplished with enlightened leadership from the king and prime minister. First, they created a new measure of growth called Gross National Happiness built on four pillars; sustainable growth, environmental protection, cultural preservation, and good governance. For example, by law, 60% of the land must be forested. They are currently at 72%! As they build their economy, then plan to do so in sustainable ways like partnering with Nissan to use electric cars and buses. They also plan for net zero waste and 100% organic food production. I hope more countries are willing to make such strong commitments to sustainable growth.

Kindness on the Nightshift

There are so many ways this story could have gone wrong. Instead, it becomes a heartwarming story of kindness reciprocated by strangers in the night. Richard Whittaker tells an engaging story of scrambling to find a room late at night and dealing with a host of challenges during the check-in process. Clearly, the staff was overloaded. Gradually, Richard shifted from an outsider and stranger who wanted a room to a person engaged in the well being of the staff. His engagement and kindness were returned in a touching way. Read the whole Nightshift at the Marriot story for the happy ending.

May we embrace the full range of our human journey from kindness and joy to death and despair. 


33 thoughts on “Awesome Stories 342

  1. Oh Brad… That was a most Excellent share my friend.. I watched the video right through And found what Bhutan are doing is extraordinary And its commitment is wonderful.. I followed a further link too, which added more info, saying that anyone cutting down a tree even for fire wood had to have permission.. And wonderful that they have free education and health care, and giving free electricity to farmers, etc..
    Seeing the effects of that Glazier over the last twenty year and how it has now formed a lake. It is a very important share..
    The speech here is awesome.. as is your highlighting it my friend..
    Thank you so much..
    Sue 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for the beautiful stories. I have read tonnes about Bhutan and planned to visit there one day in future. I guess we can have a happy place like Bhutan in our community today if we practice simplicity and moderation.

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  3. We could learn so much from Bhutan! A carbon-neutral nation!? That BLOWS ME AWAY!! Wow. And yesterday I got a National Geographic in the mail: Singapore, Denmark and Costa Rica are three of the most joyful places in the world…ah, I’m feeling a bit of “comparison syndrome” but perhaps enough changemakers can change the landscape and economy of the US someday…soon. 😉

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  4. Another warmly inspiring collection, thanks Brad. I was touched by the interview with Parker J Palmer, and Bhutan is a powerful positive example of what can be done with sufficient will, wisdom, and a sense of community. The final story is really beautifully shared, and I can really see he situation and feel for the people involved. Blessings of awesomeness to you and yours Brad. Hugs H xxx

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  5. Wow…you did it again Brad! Love the Kindness on the Nightshift…how inspirational!! Really moving and with such simple kindness and patience!! Love the goal Bhutan has set for itself…
    Depression: I hear what you are saying….people do not want to talk about it. I think more people suffer from depression than either admit it to themselves and or others. There are such varying degrees of depression and ways to treat it. I think it’s a shame…..spoken from someone who has been there!!

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  6. “Maybe it’s time we stop being afraid of death and darkness. They’re a natural part of the human experience.” Thank you for that!! Being comfortable with the fact that this life is the life we have and will ever get – that’s a challenge for all, isn’t it?

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  7. Brad, I’m amazed that you keep finding such great sources of content to share with us. Parker Palmer’s interview resonated with me in a way that someone who hasn’t “been there” could not induce. It’s uplifting, inspiring even, without promising a cure, or even SEEKING a cure. For me, that acceptance of darkness, depression, as an integral component of the human experience is so profoundly true that it is almost beautiful. Loved it. Namaste my friend.

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  8. It’s been four hectic days in a row, and I deliberately saved your post to read in a calm moment. I always do. Three very uplifting stories, Brad.
    Parker Palmer is so right about depression: it is as if one becomes the darkness, and at the very time you need the energy to fight your way out, you are too exhausted to do so. The problem is that if you haven’t had depression, it’s almost impossible to understand it.
    The story of the couple and the two young hotel workers all placed in a trying situation is lovely. It could, as you say, have gone another way entirely, but for the grace of all involved.
    And Bhutan: isn’t that encouraging? For a country to place such a priority on its natural well-being, even to enshrining it in the constitution and trying to achieve balance between the environment and the economy. Well done and my best wishes to Bhutan.

    Liked by 1 person

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