I'm joining Service Space because ... Bringing positive change and spreading kindness are infectious.
A good day to me is when ... The sun rises, the sun sets, and in between kindness is abundant.
My hero in life is ...My students and my Awakin' Family.
My favorite book is ...The Kite Runner
One thing I'm grateful for is ... Being given the ability and desire to change.
Apr 29, 2018, 5 comments, 16 smiles Yesterday afternoon, a crew of folks gathered on the streets of San Francisco yesterday, to do random acts of kindness for Shiv's 23rd birthday! From writing cards to strangers and loved ones, to gifting snacks to passerby, to handing out socks to the homeless, the afternoon was filled with smiles. More stories to come, but here's a few highlights... While offering strangers tangerines, people at first would be suspect that there was some agenda behind it. But as soon as the words, "We're doing random acts of kindness for a friend's birthday" slipped out of our mouths, people's shoulders would lighten and they'd smilingly accept our gifts. One stranger responded, "For an act of kindness, I'll take it!" While walking down a crowded city street, a passerby somewhat pushed one of us in a hurry -- to which the immediate (unintended) reaction from one of us was "Thank you!" It's great to see ... Read Full Story
Mar 08, 2018, 21 smiles Last year, at the end of an inspired middle school gratitude day, Pancho gifted the school an Earth Flag, with which he often is seen. On Tuesday, a "Kindness Team" joined Sunrise Middle School, where Teresa, Laxman, Imelda, and the 220 students and staff kicked off a school-wide 21-day Fearless Living Challenge. One of the many inspiring students we met is a sixth grader named Andrew. As Teresa introduced him to us, we learned that he had written a Pledge of Allegiance to the Earth Flag! :) A half hour later, during the school assembly, Andrew joyously strides up to the mic, stands next to the school's prominent earth flag, and invites everyone to join him as he recites: I pledge allegiance To the flag That brings us together And protects us from harm In that simple display of quiet courage, down-to-earth confidence and goodwill, I couldn't help but feel hope for the future. (And later on, we heard stories about a second grader's Pledge of Allegiance to the Earth few years back... :)) More photos from the day. :)
Jun 14, 2017, 3 comments, 9 smiles For more than a year I've had this desire to walk. Nowhere special, maybe Oakland or San Francisco. My plan was to go alone and just rely on my feet and legs, along with the kindness of strangers, to see where the path leads. Needless to say, and rightfully so, this scared Carol. So, I casually mentioned to a friend, Victor, that I wanted to walk to Oakland. He asked where to and the first place that came to mind was Manantial de Luz, which I learned means Spring (as in water) of Light. In the time between, Carol's father passed away. So, I decided to walk in honor of her father and my father, who passed away almost 31 years ago. I told Pancho last Wednesday of our intention. He asked about our plans, which I didn't fully think out. I told him we'd just visit a while and ... Read Full Story
May 30, 2017, 1 comments, 9 smiles Last weekend, we held our monthly Karma Kitchen. We had a great volunteer crew, including Sadan Nasir (a ServiceSpace intern, who returned back to the area after 8 years!). As is part of our process, we did a circle of introductions and then read the KK bill aloud so everyone is clear on what happens here. Christina volunteered to read it out. About half way through, she became so emotional that she teared up. It began when she reached the part that began, "But there's more." Several times, she had to stop and compose herself. I think this is when it hit her, what this is all about. In the spirit of generosity, someone who came before you made a gift of this meal. Now, it's your chance to pay-it-forward for a future guest and continue the circle of giving. People often ask, "How much did this meal cost?" Well, every week at Karma ... Read Full Story
Mar 31, 2017, 4 smiles I'm reading a book by Paul Selig that has this line, "To think that whatever we do is always self-serving and doesn't affect other people is idiotic." So when we talk about consuming things, we have to consider how it affects the Earth, and other people. On the flip side, how I can receive gifts and not feel a sense of gratitude? And then, how do we express that gratitude? I was in a meeting today and we were talking about the privilege we're born with. It's nothing that we ask for. We're just given it. Our job is to see how to use that in a good way. And maybe that's how we can show gratitude -- using our gifts to first of all, do no harm, then benefit the Earth and other people. In practice, I'm trying to be grateful for things that maybe don't seem to be positive. Like ... Read Full Story
Mar 11, 2017, 13 smiles One of my many bosses sent me the following quote by Dr. Albert Schweitzer, as he thought I would appreciate it: “I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know, the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.” SSp immediately came to mind. I'm still wearing the shoes of one seeking out how to serve; not how to help, but to serve.
Jun 30, 2016, 1 comments, 13 smiles A little bit about what shankar and seema have been up to in Forbes: How Your Career Can Survive A Move Away From The Big City--And Why You Should Consider It Shankar Hemmady and his wife Dr. Seema Handu began a nomadic life two years ago. With both their children in college, they no longer felt pinned down to the Bay Area. They now both work remotely: Handu with UCSF on a Gates Foundation grant focusing on global health of mothers and children in Nepal and Bihar, India, and Hemmady doing social media for nonprofits. Driven by “the urge to serve,” the couple has rented out their home in Woodside, California, and spends most of their time traveling to the poorest places on earth to support global health and wellness. They use email and social media to stay in touch with friends and clients. While their lives are simpler, they find that they “have more abundance than ever before.”
Jun 13, 2016, 7 comments, 18 smiles I was privileged and feel honored to have spent the day at Stanford with Vishesh and his family/friends as he was awarded his degree. Two statements that stood out, the first from Ken Burns - "If you want to make God laugh, tell Her your plans." The second, was from the gentleman who spoke before the 400+ CS degrees were distributed - he urged the graduates to "do what is profitably just, not what is just profitable." From left to right: Sunita and Vivek (parents), Vishesh, and Urvi (sister).
Jun 07, 2016, 1 comments, 11 smiles As my time in Kansas City nears its end, at least for this year, I have time to reflect on and share some experiences the universe has offered me. I generally don't carry much cash, but I did bring $50, in hopes of offering gifts to those I felt deserving, as if that is a role I should play. On the second day I was going to eat dinner at Cafe Gratitude and a homeless couple approached me asking for money; they wanted to get a pace to stay. My first thought was a judgment...you're going to go buy some alcohol, I know it! But, I wanted to redeem myself of that negative thought, so I took out my wallet and the first bill I saw was a $20, so I offered it to them both, or so that was my intention. I put my wallet away and went to ... Read Full Story
Feb 02, 2016, 1 comments, 10 smiles I just returned from a beautiful gathering at Sunrise MS, where a dedicated group of volunteers, including some of the most kind students that I know, helped to share and spread the message of kindness and encourage young children to do the same. As Sameep, Soham and I returned to the car which helped transport us safely to the school, they each could not get over how fabulous the few hours were that was spent there. Both commented on how all the kindness warriors (Anne, Audrey, Sima, Pancho, Arathi, Mama Nidia and Daughter Nidia, Celine, Zilong, Simar, Vishesh) were among the most amazing and inspiring beings they have ever met.