This week Awesome Stories bring you peace parks, common ground, and kindness.
Philly Peace Park
What a wonderful solution to a neighborhood problem. Tommy Joshua noticed some teens in a lot near his house playing with matches. Recently, several area homes had been burned to the ground. Tommy decided they just needed something productive to do so he built a basketball court and started playing ball in his backyard. At first, the kids watched, then a few joined, then more and more as he became a trusted mentor to the kids. The fires stopped. Ever since a brush with Leukemia in his twenties, Tommy’s life has been about community organizing and public education. This led him to create North Philly Peace Park, a community-led system for food, social justice, and ecology. Their vision is to connect neighborhoods around Philadelphia first, then cities on the east coast, “as part of a new society developed around ecology- self, love, hard work, creativity, unity, vision.” Tommy believes in the basic goodness of humans and knows we just need to be nurtured and given opportunities to reach our potential.
Finding Common Ground
Finding common ground and connections might be the most important ingredients in finding solutions to the world’s problems. Too often we forge ahead with our agendas without really considering the impact on other people. This Daily Good article is filled with good suggestions and examples of people moving beyond their own perspective to understand and empathize with others, often becoming the starting point for great change and transformation. Looking for common ground is a good way to move beyond the seemingly insurmountable differences. We must find and share our gifts generously. Within a community, our differences become the strength that builds vitality. Engagement, generosity, and community engagement are probably critical life skills in our current world with so much upheaval and change. Forgiveness is another powerful tool to help us cross emotional divides and find common ground.
The father and son team of David and Jesse created Envision Kindness to help spread kindness and make a better world. David started with the awareness as a physician and researcher how much impact images can have on us with the power to either uplift or bring us down. Iknow positive and beautiful images lift my spirits. This is why I spend too much time on Facebook and Instagram! Their mission is based on the science that shows looking at positive images can improve our health and happiness. Wanting to spread uplifting images, they created a photography contest to collect the most inspiring images from all over the world. The mission of Envision Kindness is to solicit, create, and share positive images and stories to inspire kindness, empathy, and compassion.
May your week be full of kindness, common ground, and community.