13 Good News Stories for 2011: Day 3
It was hard to choose only a handful of stories so I settled on one from each of the Care2 Causes topics. Today’s stories come from Global Warming, Health Policy and Human Rights.
While mainstream media mused and muddled about Occupy Wall Street, some resourceful Occupiers showed a youthful resourcefulness. When the City of New York confiscated their generators, the protestors decided it was time to focus on sustainability. Burning fossil fuels to power the movement was not sustainable.
A sustainability committee did an assessment and discovered they needed eleven bikes to power everything needed to keep the protester community running. Time’s Up!, in conjunction with OWS Sustainable Working Group, started building energy-generating bikes. They turned a negative situation into a positive attempt to move to a greener model.
What happened afterward, in Liberty Square and elsewhere, does not take away from this moment, when the old adage was proven right: necessity is the mother of invention. We are going to need a lot of invention, sustainability thinking and youthful energy to reverse some of the damage we have done to the planet and to each other.
A breath of fresh air is sweeping through the messages about setting goals, showing discipline and envisioning success. Researchers are finding a key element missing in much of the advice meted out in the self-improvement world: self-compassion.
It turns out being kind to ourselves makes it more likely we will succeed in whatever we are setting out to do. In one study researchers involved students in what they billed as a food-tasting experiment. One group was given a lesson in forgiveness before the taste test, the other in self-compassion. The food offered themódoughnuts and candiesówere chosen to provoke a sense of guilt. The ones who had heard a brief lesson on self-compassion ate less than those who learned about forgiveness. So maybe being kind to ourselves is the key to removing barriers to a lot of dreams and hopes.
Self-compassion is a new field of study, but researchers are hoping they will learn to understand it well enough to help alleviate some of the stress, anxiety and depression that are so prevalent. In the meantime, we have nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain by being kinder to ourselves.
This year, the Nobel Peace Prize committee divided the award among three inspiring women, “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.”
This is a milestone. From 1901 to 2010, only nine women have been singled out for this prize. Honoring Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman, the committee stated, “We cannot achieve democracy and lasting peace in the world unless women obtain the same opportunities as men to influence developments at all level of society.”
The three prize winners, two from Liberia and one from Yemen, have worked tirelessly on behalf of women. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of Liberia, is Africa’s first democratically elected president. Leymah Gbowee helped end Liberia’s civil wars by bringing together women from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds. Tawakkul Karman has campaigned for women’s rights and for peace and democracy in Yemen.
With this award, the committee acknowledges the essential role women can play in bringing peace and democracy to the world.