Archived Blogs

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Arlie Hochschild: The Deep Stories Of Our Times Posted by Cynthia Li, Sep 23 2020 This week's Awakin Call guest: 'Arlie Hochschild: The Deep Stories Of Our TimesReflection questions: Our guest this week, author of Strangers in Their Own Land, left her “blue bubble” of the Left Coast to immerse herself in hearing, without judgment, the deep stories of persons living in southwest Louisiana. How do you cross the “empathy wall” to hear the stories of “the other”?

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Mentor And Friend For 25+ Years. May RBG Rest In Peace. Posted by Preeta Bansal, Sep 23 2020 [Below is a post that I had shared on FB, about my cherished relationship with RBG, and I was asked to post it here on ServiceSpace as well, the feed for my beloved community.] We didn't hit it off right away. When she was a judge on the DC circuit, she interviewed me during my second year of law school in 1988 for a clerkship -- and rejected me, following a somewhat awkward interview all around.* I went on to clerk for Hon. James L. Oakes, Chief Judge of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and then US Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. There were almost no Indian Americans in the law or in public service on the national scene at the time (most started coming to age about 5-10 years later), and I didn't have a language for my experiences or a peer group of contemporaries ... Read Full Story

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KindSpring Weekly: Spotlight On Kindness: The Art Of Posted by Guri Mehta, Sep 23 2020 The latest issue of 'Spotlight on Kindness' weekly newsletter is themed: Spotlight On Kindness: The Art Of Unlearning.Editor's Note: We used to say that change is inevitable. These days, however, it might be more accurate to say, change is continual. How well we cope with change depends not only on how easily we learn new things but even more so on how well we can unlearn. Letting go of our minds' old hard-wired habit patterns and unlearning what no longer serves us helps create space for new learning to emerge. --Guri

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Money, Power, And System Change In The World Posted by Carol Xu, Sep 21 2020 We psychologically attribute too much power to people with money and authority. We often expect or wait for the rich and high-status people to change the world. We grow upset or resentful, if they do not fulfill our expectations. We may think that we have to become rich or attain high status before we can bring about “real” change in society (whatever real means). When we do not have money or authority, we are often treated as a tool by those who do to reach their goals. When we don’t have money or authority, we often treat each other as a means to acquire money or authority. When we don’t have money or authority, we often reduce ourselves into a machine (or a cog in a larger machine) whose main purpose is to maximize wealth or social status in life. When the machine does not achieve its purpose, we beat ... Read Full Story

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Nuggets From Tuesday Ryan-Hart's Call Posted by Janessa Wilder, Sep 19 2020 Last Saturday, we had the privilege of hosting Awakin Call with Tuesday Ryan-Hart. Tuesday Ryan-Hart leads large-scale systems change with a deep practice of placing equity at the center of new movements. She believes that social, organizational and systems change often starts with a "big bang" -- "something urgent enough to make us realize the effectiveness and relevance of our systems is diminishing exponentially." But though we "like the drama of epic turning points," big bangs simply "force disparate groups into conversation." Her approach to longer term change processes is that finding a shared purpose or vision is not a prerequisite for doing work together; rather, doing work together is the prerequisite for building relationship and getting to shared purpose. Attempting to arrive at shared purpose too early can leave some voices marginalized -- thus holding groups back from doing the real work of taking the next step together. Below are ... Read Full Story

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Kindness Capital Ripples Into KinderPay Posted by Jane Murray, Sep 19 2020 Inspired by multiple forms of wealth experiments in this ecosystem, the startup I've been involved in has spent the last year researching and testing out a payment system that honors "kindness capital". In a few weeks, we're launching "KinderPay" where people will have the option to 'purchase' our digital products with three acts of kindness. :) In a world conditioned by market economy, this experiment has led us to some interesting findings, such as how our age affects the way we embrace this idea: Children aged 6-11 love the kindness capital option; pre-teens aged 11-13 find it harder to get excited about; adults aged 20-35 think it's lovely, but wonder about feasibility of costs; and then adults 50 years or older tend to embrace the idea. Another question that has surfaced is: How do we accept kindness capital as "payment" without equating it to monetary capital? What structures or context or 'creative ... Read Full Story

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Kina And Her Cause Posted by Lena Kimura, Sep 19 2020 About a week ago, Amritha and I got the pleasure of interviewing a 14-year-old girl, Kina Desai, who's started an inspiring effort called 'Draws for a Cause'. The premise of 'Draws for a Cause' was to donate a pair of underwear to children in need in Central America for every pair purchased. Below is the transcript from our amazing interview with her! Lena: How did 'Draws for Cause' start, and what's the root of the inspiration for starting it? Kina: Last Summer, around August, I visited the Texas-Mexico border and volunteered in McAllen, Texas and Mexico and while there I volunteered in care centers with asylum seekers and the majority of them were from Central America. So as I was volunteering, the highlight of my time there was definitely volunteering with children at the care centers and I just spent a lot of time there with them and would kind of hear ... Read Full Story

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Nuggets From Karla McLaren's Call Posted by Chris Johnnidis, Sep 17 2020 Last Saturday, we had the privilege of hosting Awakin Call with Karla McLaren. Karla McLaren, M.Ed. is an award-winning author, social science researcher, and empathy pioneer. She is the author of The Language of Emotions: What Your Feelings are Trying to Tell You (2010), The Art of Empathy (2013), and the multi-media online course Emotional Flow: Becoming Fluent in the Language of Emotions (2012). Her most recent book is Embracing Anxiety: How to Access the Genius of this Vital Emotion (June 2020). Karla’s lifelong work focuses on her theory of emotions, which revalues even the most “negative” emotions and opens new pathways into self-awareness, effective communication, and healthy empathy. She is the founder and CEO of Emotion Dynamics LLC. Her work now focuses on teaching empathic mindfulness skills that help people interpret the messages and gifts inside their emotions so that they can increase their empathy and emotional awareness. Below are some ... Read Full Story

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Karuna News: 5AM At The Beach -- And Other Acts Of Posted by KarunaVirus , Sep 16 2020 Newest issue of our newsletter is out!What do two homeless men, a security guard, youth in Australia, and mental health specialists in Denver all have in common? Here's a hint: "My dad taught me the first time I went fishing you always make a place look better than when you got there," Marc Gervais says, as he sweeps up beach litter before dawn. Through this week's stories, we are buoyed by the remarkable emergence that surface from individual's intentions to take care of their communities -- leaving people, places, and themselves in resoundingly better spirits than how they found them.Read the full newsletter here ...

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Tuesday Ryan-Hart: Equity At The Center Of Systems Posted by Janessa Wilder, Sep 16 2020 This week's Awakin Call guest: 'Tuesday Ryan-Hart: Equity At The Center Of Systems ChangeReflection questions: Our guest this week believes that working together drives collaboration and the discovery of shared purpose, rather than vice versa. The real work, she says, is that which drives collaboration (or perhaps paraphrasing Rumi, that which moves diverse groups beyond whatever stands in the way of love). With this framing, what do you see as part of your real work?

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