The Good News Network has collected 8 of many good news stories coming out of Ukraine. One of my favorites is #3 “Ukraine Joins European Power Grid, Ending Its Dependence on Russia.” Other stories include helping a perinatal center in Kharkiv, World Central Kitchen, a Russian and Ukrainian chef cooking to raise money for UNICEF, animals, and the Italian Government plans to rebuild the Mariupol Theater. For details, visit The Good News Network.
Habitat for Humanity gets $436 million from Mackenzie Scott, and that’s not all.
Mackenzie Scott donated $436 million to Habitat for Humanity. The third wealthiest woman in the US was previously married to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. She is now married to a high school science teacher, Dan Jewett. The Habitat donation was part of Dan and Mackenzie’s pledge to give away most of their wealth. For details, see this article from AP. The day after I read about the Habitat donation, I saw this NBC article reporting another round of donations. So far, Ms. Scott has given away more than $12 billion in four rounds of funding.
Music is Just as Powerful as Exercise in Improving Mental Health
Congressional Gold Medal Awarded to Black Women’s Unit Who Served in WW2
On March 14, US President Biden signed a law awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to the women of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion who served in WW2. “The unit traveled to Great Britain in 1945, surviving encounters with Nazi U-boats and a German rocket explosion along the way, before spending months sorting through mail and packages stacked to the ceiling in unheated warehouses…” Here’s more from CNN plus a video below.
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Successful Colorado Program Relieves Police from Non-Violent Calls
Sending health care specialists to non-violent calls frees up police to focus on fighting crime. Since June 1, a program in Colorado has been sending a paramedic and a mental health professional out to handle low level incidents like trespassing and mental health episodes that would have fallen to police. These STAR teams focus on assessment and connecting people with services.
“In its first six months, the Support Team Assisted Response program, or STAR, has responded to 748 (nonviolent) incidents. None required police or led to arrests or jail time.” Here are the details from Denver.
Europe’s Movement toward Repair instead of Waste
The EU’s eco-design regulations are moving forward in March with a regulation that will “define standards for repair and useful life making it easier to repair washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators and monitors. France is introducing an anti-waste law with a repair index for a wider variety of appliances and devices and aims to make 60% of devices repairable by 2026. You can read more from Next City here.
Alex Trebek’s Family Donates Wardrobe
Alex Trebek’s Jeopardy wardrobe is being donated to The Doe Fund, a charity that provides, “work, housing, vocational training, continuing education and comprehensive social services to underserved Americans with histories of addiction, homelessness and incarceration.” Good Morning America has more on the story.
Or this could be for WATWB? Look for the CBS News video of the Atlanta school counselor who runs a food pantry. His name is Anthony at Carver Elementary in Atlanta
Bricks from Plastic
Yes, we need to reduce our use of plastics, but we can also recycle and repurpose. Nzambi Matee of Kenya is a materials engineer and head of Gjenge Makers, which produces sustainable low-cost construction bricks made of recycled plastic and sand. They are winners of the Young Champions of the Earth Award. Ms. Matee will tell you more about their work in this video:
Really? That’s what it says on a pin that showed up on my table. I have no idea where it came from or where it is now. It looks like one of the many items of memorabilia that belonged to my parents. But it’s a railroad pin, and my dad wasn’t with the railroad. Maybe it appealed to his USMC gunny side.
The slogan struck me as absurd. My husband David understood it as a safety directive. But from a wellness perspective, it sounds awfully unhealthy to me. I’ve read that there really is no such thing as multitasking, just shifting attention very, very fast from one task to another.
One of the components of mindfulness is doing one thing at a time. Ka at Fiesta Estrellas has an excellent five minute mindfulness meditation that includes the suggestion that all things in awareness are of equal importance while meditating. Please see her helpful comments below. I’m still processing…. and practicing…..
What do you think? Could being totally focused on every task all the time ever be a good thing?
Here’s an alternative perspective:
What we focus on gets bigger. Choose wisely.
For lots of wise or witty one-liners, visit our host, Linda Hill at:
I didn’t retire from law enforcement, but I worked the job long enough to bare the internal scars. I loved my job and I did it well. I was passionate about ensuring people got the help they needed and knew what the next step was. I treated everyone with respect.
I believed it was better to communicate and take the extra time than to rush through a call or investigation. When I arrived on scene, it was usually that person’s worse day; especially when I worked in the homicide unit. I have witnessed and absorbed more trauma than I should have. Death walked with me everywhere I went. After a while dealing with death seemed easier than dealing with life.
I excelled at work, yet failed in my home life. I could easily identify and counsel abused women at work, but didn’t recognize it in myself. I thought it was…
Australia plans to plant 1 billion trees by 2050 as part of the country’s plan to meet Paris Agreement climate goals. The new forestry plan would support jobs and help the economy. My Goodnewsletter led me to this article in The Straits Times.
Mental Health Treatment Facility Replaces Old Jail house
“Los Angeles County supervisors … approved a plan Tuesday to tear down the dungeon-like Men’s Central Jail downtown and build at least one mental health treatment facility in its place.” The new facility would be run by the Department of Health Services instead of the Sheriff’s Department and would be staffed by the mental health workers with deputies providing security. You can read more in this LA Times article.
Hope for Public Land Protection in the US
The U.S. Senate voted to support a bipartisan public lands package that protects more than 2 million acres of land and adds more than 1.3 million acres of new wilderness in western states. The Good News Network reports “The bill was passed in a 92-8 vote, and White House officials have divulged that the president has agreed to sign it, according to The Washington Post.
New Inventions from Africa
The following article from The Guardian highlights inventions by contenders for the Royal Academy of Engineering Africa prize. Designs include gloves that translate sign language into speech and a system which captures water from the air and converts it into drinking water using solar technology. I love it when technology is used for good.
The neighbors in this Massachusetts community got together and organized a sign language class so they could communicate with 2 year old Samantha. Steve Hartman reports this touching story for “On the Road”
Got good news? Feel free to share in the comments!
Volunteer, Candice Payne used her personal credit card to get hotel rooms for homeless people during a record-setting freeze in Chicago. Then, other volunteers joined in and followed her lead.
Nashville Opens Free 24 Hour Mental Health Clinic
Designed to streamline assessments of mental health patients in crisis, this clinic is open to the public who can come in any time. You can read the Nashville Public Radio post or watch the video below of the grand opening.
Having worked in the mental health and crisis fields, I know how important it is for people in crisis to have easier access to services. The Nashville program sounds to be compassionate and well thought out. If you don’t have time to watch the whole video, at least listen to the first few minutes.
Lawmakers Aim to make Animal Abuse a Felony in US
Representatives Ted Deutch and Vern Buchanan — a democrat and a republican, respectively — are introducing the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act a new bill that will make animal cruelty a felony in the United States. Let’s hope it passes. Click here for details in Green Matters.
Solar Batteries on the Way
A research group in Sweden has developed a storage system that uses a special molecule in liquid form to store solar power. They hope the system will be available for commercial use within the next ten years. Here’s how it works:
“First, the liquid captures energy from sunlight in a solar thermal collector on the roof of a building. Then it is stored at room temperature, leading to minimal energy losses. When the energy is needed, it can be drawn through the catalyst so that the liquid heats up. The warmth could then be utilized in, for example, domestic heating systems, after which the liquid can be sent back up to the roof to collect more energy – all completely free of emissions, and without damaging the molecule.”
It sure is good to be back in the Stream of Consciousness! We still have a lot of clean up to do at the house in Wilmington, but mostly big branches and the back fence. The house is mostly okay. Mostly. The house we’re staying in an hour north belonged to my parents and now belongs to me. I’m typing that because sometimes it’s hard to remember that the house and all this stuff I have to, get to, go through now belong to me. I can do whatever I want with it. I’ve been going through hundreds and hundreds of old photos. Being here at the house my parents lived in for so long brings me to the miracle flower pictured above. It is one thing I will not throw away.
The story that I included in Trust the Timing as well as a chicken soup story I just submitted goes something like this:
My mother was getting foggier and more confused in her late 70s. I had always wanted my mother to be clearer in her thinking. I’d been reading a lot about mental health and zeroed in on this quote my Scott Peck about mental health being a dedication to reality at all costs. This was about 15 to 20 years ago, and I no longer believe that now. Not the “at all costs” part.
But when my mom showed me this artificial red flower in a clay pot and went on and on about what a miracle it was because she hadn’t watered it in weeks and it was still alive and so beautiful, I said something like, “Mom, I think that flower might be plastic.”
“No it’s not! It’s a miracle!” Mom said and then she changed the subject.
I still beat myself up for not going along with her miracle flower and joining her journey as my husband says. Now I know better that miracles are in the believing. And reality is subjective. Maybe this flower which is actually made of silk, has taken on a life in some ways. I’m writing about it, so maybe I’m giving it immortality.
Do you think “inanimate” objects have something like life. An energy maybe? Do we give our cars or computers energy when we talk to them? Well, that’s getting a bit deep, so I guess I better back off and come back to earth. At least long enough to move the laundry along. We just got electricity back yesterday after a week of candlelit nights, so I’m washing towels. Thank God! We were almost out of towels. But really, I am very thankful. It could have been much worse and was for some people.
Thank you for all the prayers and good energy during the hurricane!
PS. I just thought about my childhood stuffed animals, supposedly inanimate objects who I thought of as real, and remembered this part of The Veleveteen Rabbit.
Today’s Stream of Consciousness prompt was: flower/flour
For more information on Saturday Stream of Consciousness, visit Linda at:
1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing (typos can be fixed), and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.
2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.
3. I will post the prompt here on my blog every Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The,’” or will simply be a single word to get you started.
4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.
5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read all of them! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later or go to the previous week by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find below the “Like” button on my post.
6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!
7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.
“Don’t Compare Your Insides to Other People’s Outsides.”
The other day, I was listening to an interview on public radio with Peter Sagal, host of “Wait, Wait… Don’t tell Me!” “Wait, Wait” is a comedy quiz show I’d never watched or listened to, so I checked it out on youtube. In the recent interview, Mr. Sagal talked about mental health challenges and how looking at social media sites like Facebook can make a person think: everybody else is so happy. What’s wrong with me? Am I the only one with problems?
I got to thinking about that and realized that if you look at my Facebook page, or read my book, you’d think I must be pretty darn happy these days. Most of the time, I feel moderately happy. Yeah, I got to retire from my stressful job, and I’m married to the love of my life, so a lot of the big challenges (stupid mistakes, divorce, more stupid mistakes, and the death of my parents) seem to be behind me. Knock on wood. But life can still be messy. So, in the interest of being real, here are some of my current messes:
Codependency is still part of my life. After years of recovery meetings, step work, and reading daily meditations for codependents, I still worry too much about other people’s mess – what they think about me, how I might be able to fix help them, etc. But I’m making progress. I don’t let codependency run my life like it used to. I’m a “Recovering People Pleaser,” but some days, I’m still too nice. Or when I’m not nice, because I’m tired of being nice, I feel guilty. The good thing is I feel guilty for minutes or hours instead of days and weeks.
I struggle to let go of my adult children. Not as much in my actions as in my thoughts. Their lifestyles and beliefs are not what I imagined for them. I worry about them. I know some of that’s normal. My parents must have felt the same way about me. But it sure is uncomfortable sometimes. I’m slowly learning to let go.
I’m still more sensitive than I’d like to be. My feelings can get hurt by little things which don’t seem little and which I dwell on too long. Intellectually, I can tell myself all kinds of reasons not to let it get to me, but it’s a struggle.
With all this residual sensitivity and codependency, I get to work on issues with the love of my life. We both have issues. Now we get to work on them together. That’s why we are in the relationships we’re in. And to support each other and have fun. Let’s not forget that!
I have lots of conversations in my head. Thank God and my guardian angels for protecting me when I drive. I’m working on this. I tell myself to focus on the road ahead, to practice mindful driving, and it works for a while, then I realize I’ve been rehearsing a conversation that probably won’t ever happen.
My house is messy. I have a lot of dog hair in my house, and my 16 year old terrier/beagle has incontinence issues. I need to brush the dogs more and buy some air freshener.
It’s been a while, but I like to look at photos of stars with no make up.
So that’s my current mess without touching on the bigger messes of my past, or the mess I don’t even see, because we don’t always see all of our own mess.
I’m thankful that my life is mostly good now, but it’s not a bed of roses. Okay, there are are roses, slightly wilted with thorns. Everybody has thorns. Everybody has messes. We all have stuff to work on. And God’s grace is always available.