When I am feeling overwhelmed with the state of the world, it gives me hope and strength to look to the stories of ordinary people who lived extraordinary lives.
Most of these people are not unique or special. They simply made a conscious choice to live a life of service, despite the fact that it is often a lonely and difficult path. I have highlighted some of these stories below.
“Curiosity involves being gentle, precise, and open—actually being able to let go and open. Gentleness is a sense of goodheartedness toward ourselves. Precision is being able to see clearly, not being afraid to see what’s really there. Openness is being able to let go and to open. When you come to have this kind of honesty, gentleness, and good-heartedness, combined with clarity about yourself, there’s no obstacle to feeling loving-kindness for others as well.“
~ Pema Chödrön, Comfortable with Uncertainty:108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion
Erin Brockovich is living proof that an ordinary person can change the world. As a Southern California law clerk, she spearheaded a successful lawsuit against a major company on behalf of hundreds of people who had unknowingly been exposed to toxic waste. Her efforts inspired the Oscar-winning feature film that bears her name, and led her to a successful career as an environmental activist and public speaker.
“Often times we don’t think about or worry about or understand what is happening to another until it happens to us. Deceits have no boundaries. Disease doesn’t recognize the colour of our skin or our political parties affiliation. When it comes to cover-ups and destruction of our environment, we are all up for grabs.” ~ Erin Brokovich
“Lawyers. Doctors. Accountants. Engineers. That’s what our parents encouraged us to become. They were wrong. Gone is the age of left-brain dominance. The future belongs to a different kind of person with a different kind of mind: designers, inventors, teachers, storytellers —creative and emphatic right-brain thinkers whose abilities mark the fault-line between who gets ahead and who doesn’t.”
“Rather than being disheartened by the ambiguity, the uncertainty of life, what if we accepted it and relaxed into it? What if we said, “Yes, this is the way it is; this is what it means to be human,” and decided to sit down and enjoy the ride?”
Excerpted from: Living Beautifully: An Inspirational Journal by Pema Chödrön,
A seventy-two year old, world-class chef, fitness expert and motivational speaker, Chef Babette runs a successful Inglewood, California restaurant, Stuff I Eat, while also producing online cooking classes, and participating in health summit and speaking engagements all around the country. She is an amazing, inspirational human being who lives her life from a place of love. I hope that you will take some time to learn about her incredible journey.
Every February, people across Canada participate in Black History Month events and festivities that honour the legacy of Black people in Canada and their communities.
Historically, Black people have largely been ignored in the telling of mainstream Canadian history. Black History Month is a time to learn about these important stories and significant contributions.
The 2023 theme for Black History Month is: Ours to Tell. This theme represents both an opportunity to engage in open dialogue, and a commitment to learn about Black histories, successes, sacrifices and triumphs. I encourage you to start by checking out this great series 28 Moments of Black Canadian History by Unilearnal.
“The Korean Zen teacher Seung Sahn encouraged his students to have what he called “enough mind.” To have the attitude I already have everything I need. He said that when you want something you don’t have, there are two possible outcomes, and both result in suffering. If you don’t get what you want, you suffer from disappointment. If you do get what you want, you can experience temporary happiness, but pretty soon the happiness fades when it turns out that what you got isn’t quite as wonderful as you expected it to be. You begin to crave all over again, and you are right back in the cycle of craving and suffering.”
~ Excerpted from: Alive Until You’re Dead: Notes on the Home Stretch by Susan Moon