Inspiring News
Excerpts of Highly Inspiring News Articles in Major Media



Below are one-paragraph excerpts of highly inspiring news articles reported in the major media. Links are provided to the original inspiring news articles on their major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These wonderfully inspiring excerpts are listed with the most inspiring news articles first. You can also explore the news articles listed by order of the date posted. For an abundance of other highly inspiring material, see our Inspiring Resources page. May these inspiring news articles inspire us to find ever more ways to love and support each other and all around us to be the very best we can be.

Avaaz – the online activist network that is targeting Rupert Murdoch's bid
2011-04-24, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/apr/24/avaaz-activist-network-rupert-mur...

If you had been on the Strand in London on the day that the high court was considering how to proceed with scores of civil actions against the News of the World for its phone-hacking escapades, you would have seen a peculiar sight. About 30 people were gathered on the steps of the court, the palms of their hands painted red, bearing banners that read: "Murdoch's men caught red-handed." On the same day, ... another group of 25 people had gathered. They were leafleting shoppers about the News of the World scandal and calling on the government to delay approval of Rupert Murdoch's bid to takeover BSkyB until a full public inquiry could be held. Both events were the work of one of the most successful of a new breed of internet campaigner, in this case a global activism network called Avaaz, which means voice in Urdu and several other languages. Avaaz, formed in 2007, has more than eight million members in 193 countries and can claim to be the largest online activist community in the world. This year alone it has attracted an extra one million members and it is now wholly self-funding with about $20m (£12m) raised so far in online donations. "We have no ideology per se," says director Ricken Patel. "Our mission is to close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want. Idealists of the world unite!"




Israeli Luminaries Press for a Palestinian State
2011-04-20, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/20/world/middleeast/20mideast.html

Dozens of Israel’s most honored intellectuals and artists have signed a declaration endorsing a Palestinian state on the basis of the 1967 borders and asserting that an end to Israel’s occupation “will liberate the two peoples and open the way to a lasting peace.” The signers plan to announce their position on [April 21] from the same spot in Tel Aviv where the Jewish state declared its independence in the spring of 1948. The page-long declaration is expected to be read there by Hanna Maron, one of the country’s best-known actresses and a winner of the Israel Prize, the country’s most prestigious award. “The land of Israel is the birthplace of the Jewish people where its identity was shaped,” the statement begins. “The land of Palestine is the birthplace of the Palestinian people where its identity was formed.” It goes on to say that now is the time to live up to the commitment expressed by Israel’s founders in their Declaration of Independence to “extend our hand to all neighboring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighborliness.” Two weeks ago, another group of several dozen prominent Israelis, many of them from the fields of security and business, issued what they called the Israeli Peace Initiative, a more detailed but somewhat similar plan for a two-state solution. Both groups say they are upset by their government’s policies in this regard, which they consider insufficient.




Micro-loan portal Kiva celebrates 5 years
2010-10-10, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/10/10/BUKF1FP9MK.DTL

Micro-asset financing is a relatively recent innovation in micro-finance - which is best known for small loans issued to people trying to escape poverty by starting a business - and is an example of how the field has explored different loan models. Kiva, celebrating its fifth anniversary on [October 13], took that experimentation to a new level in 2005 when it coupled the Internet and large numbers of individual lenders with needy borrowers. Using a Web portal, Kiva facilitates loans from individuals who can log onto its site and read borrowers' stories. Kiva partners with lending organizations in developing countries, which take the no-interest loans from Kiva and distribute them locally. Kiva lenders are paid back if the borrower succeeds, but do not earn interest. In recent years, with the help of Kiva, micro-finance as an anti-poverty tool has quickly grown in popularity. Economist Muhammad Yunus and his Grameen Bank in Bangladesh are credited with pioneering the micro-finance movement in the mid-1970s by lending small amounts of money to basket weavers. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his efforts. But the concept received much broader exposure in the United States after Kiva came along. Described by some as "the Internet generation's answer to charity," Kiva became the philanthropy du jour for a time, and in the United States, was endorsed by celebrities and academics alike.

Note: For our excellent essay on building a better world through microlending, please visit this link.




Vatican astronomer cites possibility of extraterrestrial 'brothers'
2008-05-14, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/14/world/europe/14iht-vat.4.12885393.html

The Vatican's chief astronomer says there is no conflict between believing in God and in the possibility of extraterrestrial "brothers" perhaps more evolved than humans. "In my opinion this possibility exists," said the Reverend José Gabriel Funes, head of the Vatican Observatory and a scientific adviser to Pope Benedict XVI, referring to life on other planets. "How can we exclude that life has developed elsewhere," he said in an interview with the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano. The large number of galaxies with their own planets makes this possible, he noted. Asked if he was referring to beings similar to humans or even more evolved than humans, he said: "Certainly, in a universe this big you can't exclude this hypothesis." In the interview headlined, "The extraterrestrial is my brother," he said he saw no conflict between belief in such beings and faith in God. "Just as there is a multiplicity of creatures on earth, there can be other beings, even intelligent, created by God. This is not in contrast with our faith because we can't put limits on God's creative freedom," he said. "Why can't we speak of a 'brother extraterrestrial'? It would still be part of creation." Funes, who runs the observatory that is based south of Rome and in Arizona, held out the possibility that the human race might actually be the "lost sheep" of the universe. There could be other beings "who remained in full friendship with their creator," he said.

Note: For a fascinating summary of evidence presented by government and military professionals for the possible presence of extraterrestrials here on Earth, click here.




Computers set for quantum leap
2010-09-16, Financial Times
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/8c0a68b0-c1bc-11df-9d90-00144feab49a.html

A new photonic chip that works on light rather than electricity has been built by an international research team, paving the way for the production of ultra-fast quantum computers with capabilities far beyond today’s devices. Future quantum computers will, for example, be able to pull important information out of the biggest databases almost instantaneously. As the amount of electronic data stored worldwide grows exponentially, the technology will make it easier for people to search with precision for what they want. Jeremy O’Brien, director of the UK’s Centre for Quantum Photonics, who led the project, said many people in the field had believed a functional quantum computer would not be a reality for at least 25 years. “However, we can say with real confidence that, using our new technique, a quantum computer could, within five years, be performing calculations that are outside the capabilities of conventional computers,” he told the British Science Festival, as he presented the research. The immense promise of quantum computing has led governments and companies worldwide to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the field. Big spenders, including the US defence and intelligence agencies concerned with the national security issues, and governments ... see quantum electronics as the foundation for IT industries in the mid-21st century.




UN: Number of hungry people declines
2010-09-14, Washington Post/Associated Press
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/14/AR20100914014...

The number of chronically hungry people in the world dipped considerably below the 1 billion mark - the first drop in 15 years - thanks partly to a fall in food prices after spikes that sparked rioting a few years ago, U.N. agencies said [on September 14]. Still, an estimated 925 million people are undernourished worldwide, and the latest figures don't reflect the repercussions from the massive flooding in Pakistan. The Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization's report suggested some progress in the battle to end hunger, but stressed the world is far from achieving the U.N. promoted Millennium Development Goal of halving the proportion of undernourished people from 20 percent in 1990-92 to 10 percent in 2015. The report estimated there are 98 million fewer chronically hungry people than in 2009, when the figure just topped 1 billion. The drop in the chronically hungry is partly because ... cereal and rice harvests have been strong. Cereal production this year was the third-highest ever recorded, despite a drought-fueled wheat shortfall in Russia, said FAO director-general Jacques Diouf. Also heartening, Diouf noted, is that cereal stocks are high - some 100 million tons more than the low levels of 2007-2008, when some 38 countries shut down their food export markets in reaction.




Glassdoor offers view inside firms like HP
2010-09-08, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/09/07/BUA31F3F48.DTL

If the workplace review site Glassdoor is to companies what Yelp is to restaurants, then Hewlett-Packard Co. employees gave former chief executive Mark Hurd only two stars, but remain hopeful of a four- or five-star successor. In the past, those kinds of inside insights into employee morale at any corporation could be locked away behind closed doors. But in the open world of the Web, sites like Glassdoor have moved those sentiments into the open market, giving voice to rank-and-file workers in a way that no company suggestion box ever could. "In a world with Glassdoor and Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn, there's a tsunami of transparency washing over the employment space," Glassdoor Inc. CEO Robert Hohman said. The Sausalito company lets any employee post reviews about the overall workplace environment, both the pros and the cons of working there and "advice for senior management." The reviews are posted anonymously, to encourage openness without fear of retribution. In the two years since its launch, the site has grown from having reviews for about 3,000 companies to now having about 90,000 companies, including Bay Area giants like Chevron Corp., Intel Corp., Oracle Corp., Wells Fargo & Co., Facebook Inc. and, of course, HP.

Note: The transparency offered by the Internet is making a big difference.




'Life's Purpose' author Eckhart Tolle is serene, critics less so
2010-04-15, USA Today
http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2010-04-15-tolle15_CV_N.htm

Are you weighted down by your past? Anxious about tomorrow? Stewing over how to face today? Stop. Drop those thoughts. Breathe. Be still. Just be. Spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle will tell you this is the ultimate path to inner peace, available to you any time. All you have to do is let go of all your thoughts. Of course, that's a lot trickier than it sounds. Hence, Tolle's soaring popularity as a guide to living in the present un-tense. His most recent book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose, a sequel to his earlier best seller, The Power of Now, has sold 6 million copies. When Oprah Winfrey read it, she was so inspired that she invited him to co-host a 10-week set of Internet seminars on how to simply be. So far, 35 million people worldwide have viewed these "webinars." In July, he launched Tolle TV, an Internet channel featuring his videotaped teachings and meditations. Subscriptions to Tolle TV, at $14.95 to $19.95 a month, cost less than a movie and popcorn, and a growing amount of the content — his lectures, teachings and meditations — is free. Most of the proceeds of his books and teaching tours are plowed back into Tolle TV's elaborate professional productions, or the overhead for lecture halls.




N.Y. Protestant church apologizes to Native Americans
2009-12-01, USA Today
http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2009-12-01-indian-christian_N.htm

Four hundred years after their spiritual ancestors took part in the decimation and dislocation of Native Americans in New York, one of the nation's first Protestant churches held a "healing ceremony" to apologize. "We consumed your resources, dehumanized your people, and disregarded your culture, along with your dreams, hopes and great love of this land," representatives from Collegiate Church said in a statement. "With pain, we the Collegiate Church, remember our part in these events." The Friday ceremony took place on Native American Heritage Day in lower Manhattan, where in 1628 Dutch colonizers built the first Collegiate Church, then known as the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church, at Fort Amsterdam. The Dutch West Indies Company treated Native Americans "as a resource," Collegiate said in a statement, and "we were the conscience of this company." Ron Holloway, who attended the ceremony as a representative of the Lenape people, said "the native populations were suppressed by a political and religious will of which they could never begin to conceive." But, he said, he and other Lenape people "whole-heartedly accept this apology." At Friday's ceremony, Holloway embraced leaders from Collegiate, according to the Associated Press, and exchanged wampum, strings of beads symbolizing money or ornaments.




Learning His Body, Learning to Dance
2009-11-25, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/25/arts/dance/25palsy.html

Gregg Mozgala, a 31-year-old actor with cerebral palsy, had 12 years of physical therapy while he was growing up. But in the last eight months, a determined choreographer with an unconventional résumé has done what all those therapists could not: She has dramatically changed the way Mr. Mozgala walks. In the process, she has changed his view of himself and of his possibilities. Mr. Mozgala and the choreographer, Tamar Rogoff, have been working since last winter on a dance piece called “Diagnosis of a Faun.” It is to have its premiere on Dec. 3 at La MaMa Annex in the East Village, but the more important work of art may be what Ms. Rogoff has done to transform Mr. Mozgala’s body. “I have felt things that I felt were completely closed off to me for the last 30 years,” he said. “The amount of sensation that comes through the work has been totally unexpected and is really quite wonderful.” Ms. Rogoff has often worked outside normal dance parameters — with prison inmates, for instance — and knew immediately that she wanted to try to create a piece for Mr. Mozgala. “I didn’t know what I was going to do for him,” she said, “but I just knew he was inspiring to me.” She introduced Mr. Mozgala to a tension-releasing shaking technique, and it was immediately revelatory. “My body just really took to it,” Mr. Mozgala said. “I did that for about 20 or 30 minutes, and when I stood up, I was walking completely differently. My feet were flat on the ground.” They knew they were onto something.




New nonprofit uses Web to pressure Chevron
2009-11-16, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/11/15/BUCM1AJM61.DTL

Retired retail executive Richard Goldman was astonished when he heard about the $27 billion pollution lawsuit against Chevron Corp. in Ecuador. Astonished at the soil and water contamination surrounding Ecuador's oil fields. And astonished that he'd never heard of it before. So Goldman, one of the founders of the Men's Wearhouse clothing chain, has created a nonprofit group that will use social-networking tools to spread word of the case and put pressure on Chevron. The group, Ethos Alliance, will ask visitors to its Web site to tell others about the issue, hoping that viral communication via the Internet will reach people that news stories about the suit haven't. The site will raise money for humanitarian relief projects in Ecuador's oil patch, encouraging visitors to donate $5 apiece to build a water treatment plant and buy medicine for a health clinic. The Web site, www.ethosalliance.org, goes online today. Ethos also will urge Chevron to settle the long-running lawsuit, something the San Ramon company has vowed not to do. Ethos plans to tackle other issues of corporate responsibility in the future, uniting the alliance's online members with businesses willing to join the cause. Ethos is the latest example of social or political causes using social networking to increase their reach. Earlier this year, a one-day fundraising effort organized via Twitter collected $250,000 for drinking water projects in the developing world.




Netherlands to close prisons for lack of criminals
2009-05-20, NRC International (One of the Netherlands' leading newspapers)
http://www.nrc.nl/international/article2246821.ece/Netherlands_to_close_priso...

The Dutch justice ministry has announced it will close eight prisons and cut 1,200 jobs in the prison system. A decline in crime has left many cells empty. During the 1990s the Netherlands faced a shortage of prison cells, but a decline in crime has since led to overcapacity in the prison system. The country now has capacity for 14,000 prisoners but only 12,000 detainees. Deputy justice minister Nebahat Albayrak announced on Tuesday that eight prisons will be closed. The overcapacity is a result of the declining crime rate, which the ministry's research department expects to continue for some time.

Note: Isn't it interesting that this country, which is one of the very few to have legalized marijuana and prostitution, has a shortage of criminals?




Osteogenesis imperfecta: Motivational speaker Sean Stephenson uses his disorder to inspire others
2009-05-05, Chicago Tribune
http://www.chicagotribune.com/health/chi-sean-stephenson-05-may05,0,976278.story

Born with a disorder that would leave him 3 feet tall and so brittle that coughing could fracture a rib, Sean Stephenson could not walk as a child. He was racked with pain. People stared at him all the time. Except on Halloween. On Halloween, everyone looked different. His distinct physical appearance, the consequence of osteogenesis imperfecta, helped him blend in, and he loved that. But on Halloween morning 1988, he broke his leg after catching it on a door frame. His favorite day became an agonizing one. He was hysterical until his mother asked him the question that would change his life: "Is this going to be a gift or a burden?" Two decades later, the man who at birth was supposed to survive only 24 hours is doing his best to convert what would seem to be an insurmountable challenge into a gift -- to himself and others. Stephenson, who turns 30 on Tuesday, is a psychotherapist and inspirational speaker. His self-help book, Get Off Your 'But' was [just published], and on April 25 he finished filming a TV documentary pilot for A&E. A college graduate pursuing a PhD in clinical hypnosis, he's toying with the idea of running for Congress, after he opens orphanages for kids with disabilities and a summer camp aimed at eliminating "self-sabotage" in children. "I embrace my life," he said one morning from his 17th-floor office in the Oakbrook Terrace Tower. "I've lived the life of a rock star." He ... stresses that "connecting," which he defines as "an exchange of our humanity," is vastly different from communicating, the simple exchange of information. Understanding that difference can be one of the most powerful tools in changing people's lives, Stephenson maintains. "Being 3 feet tall and in a wheelchair is about 2 percent of who I am. I'm more than able. I'm playing large."




Birds can 'dance' to music, researchers say
2009-05-01, San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/05/01/MNPU17C72F.DTL

After studying a cockatoo that grooves to the Backstreet Boys and about 1,000 YouTube videos, scientists say they've documented for the first time that some animals "dance" to a musical beat. The results support a theory for why the human brain is wired for dancing. In lab studies of two parrots and close review of the YouTube videos, scientists looked for signs that animals were actually feeling the beat of music they heard. The verdict: Some parrots did, and maybe an occasional elephant. But researchers found no evidence of that for dogs and cats, despite long exposure to people and music, nor for chimps, our closest living relatives. Why? The truly boppin' animals shared with people some ability to mimic sounds they hear, the researchers say. The brain circuitry for that ability lets people learn to talk, and evidently also to dance or tap their toes to music, suggests Aniruddh Patel of the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego. He proposed the music connection in 2006. He also led a study of Snowball that was published online Thursday by the journal Current Biology. A separate YouTube study, also published Thursday by the journal, was led by Adena Schachner, a graduate student in psychology at Harvard University. In sum, the new research "definitely gives us a bit of insight into why and how humans became able to dance," Schachner said. A video of Snowball bobbing his head and kicking like a little Rockette to music has been viewed more than 2 million times on YouTube since it was posted in 2007. Snowball's movements followed the beat of his favorite Backstreet Boys song ... even when researchers sped up the tune and slowed it down.

Note: To watch videos of Snowball dancing to the Backstreet Boys and Huey Lewis, click here.




A restaurant with no checks
2007-10-25, Christian Science Monitor
http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/1025/p20s01-ussc.html

Patrons of Karma Kitchen don't need to fight for the check at the end of a meal. There isn't one. Instead, the "guests" of this restaurant are handed a gold envelope with a handwritten note on the outside that says, "Have a lovely evening." Inside a bookmark-sized card states: "In the spirit of generosity, someone who came before you made a gift of this meal. We hope you will continue the circle of giving in your own way!" The sound bite for this restaurant is that meals cost whatever you want to pay, starting at zero. But the real idea beneath it runs deeper than the cost of a dinner. "This is about creating a shift in perspective," says Mehta. "It's a very simple shift but the shift is fundamental. It is a shift from transaction to trust. From a contract to a compact. From being separate to creating community." While too puny to regard as any serious challenge to Western economics, this restaurant fits loosely into a smattering of activities across the country and abroad that operate under the principles of the "gift economy." The common principles are volunteerism, no pleas for funds, and a view that these activities are not about changing the world. The ethos behind "gift economy" activities is to offer goods in the spirit of service with the conviction that the act, if genuine and without strings, will be self-sustaining. Put simply, a service or product is offered with the assumption that the act of giving is its own reward, and that it is likely to generate more giving in an ever-enriching circle.




It's a Small, Small World
2007-08-06, ABC News
http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/story?id=3436939

Willard Wigan's artwork is so tiny a microscope is needed to view it. The Birmingham, England, native is known as the creator of the world's smallest sculptures. He makes small worlds of their own that are almost invisible to the naked eye -- such as a $300,000 sculpture that sits on a pinhead. Under a microscope, you see an elephant carved from a fragment of a single grain of sand. "The tail is made from a floating particle of dust out of the air that you see floating," Wigan explained. How does he do it? Wigan uses tiny, homemade tools to carve his sculptures out of grains of rice or sugar, and paints them with a hair plucked from a housefly's back. He said he's able to slow his heart down to work between the beats to avoid hand tremors. "Underneath a microscope, those tremors become an earthquake," he said. According to Wigan, his obsession with tiny objects began when he was a lonely 5-year-old. "I have learning difficulties. You know, I can't read or write. But I had to find a way of expressing myself. The teachers at school made me feel small, so they made me feel like nothing. So I had to show them something." He started by making houses for ants as a child, and now he creates entire, tiny worlds. Wigan has something to prove, which makes the misery worthwhile. "I'm trying to prove to the world that nothing doesn't exist. It doesn't matter how big a building is, it's made up of molecules. We ignore the world that we can't see."

Note: Don't miss the amazing three-minute video clip of this work available here.




Heaven for the Godless?
2008-12-27, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/27/opinion/27blow.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&pag...

In June, the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life published a controversial survey in which 70 percent of Americans said that they believed religions other than theirs could lead to eternal life. This threw evangelicals into a tizzy. After all, the Bible makes it clear that heaven is a velvet-roped V.I.P. area reserved for Christians. But the survey suggested that Americans just weren’t buying that. The evangelicals complained that people must not have understood the question. The respondents couldn’t actually believe what they were saying, could they? So in August, Pew asked the question again. Sixty-five percent of respondents said — again — that other religions could lead to eternal life. But this time, to clear up any confusion, Pew asked them to specify which religions. The respondents essentially said all of them. And they didn’t stop there. Nearly half also thought that atheists could go to heaven — dragged there kicking and screaming, no doubt — and most thought that people with no religious faith also could go. What on earth does this mean? One very plausible explanation is that Americans just want good things to come to good people, regardless of their faith. We meet so many good people of different faiths that it’s hard for us to imagine God letting them go to hell. In fact, in the most recent survey, Pew asked people what they thought determined whether a person would achieve eternal life. Nearly as many Christians said you could achieve eternal life by just being a good person as said that you had to believe in Jesus.




Dutchman aims to break record in freezing bath
2008-12-09, The Telegraph (One of the U.K.'s leading newspapers)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/netherlands/3684102/Dutchman...

A Dutchman who is able to withstand freezing temperatures that would kill most people will submerge himself in icy water for almost two hours in a world record bid. Wim Hof, known as "The Ice Man", has spent the last 20 years testing his talent in the most extreme conditions from scaling mountain tops wearing nothing but a pair of shorts to swimming under sheets of ice [at] the north pole. Now he is set to break his own world record by submerging himself in a Plexiglas container filled with ice at temperatures as low as -20 degrees for more than 1 hour 45 minutes. Mr Hof discovered his unusual talent over 20 years ago during a stroll in the park in his native Holland. "I was really attracted to it. I went in, got rid of my clothes. Thirty seconds I was in and a tremendous good feeling when I came out and since then, I repeated it every day." It was the moment that Mr Hof knew that his body was different somehow: he was able to withstand fatally freezing temperatures. Mr Hof began a lifelong quest to see just how far his abilities would take him. In 2000, dressed only in a swimsuit, he dove under the ice at the North Pole and earned a Guinness World Record for the longest amount of time swimming under the ice. Whilst many scientists around the world find Mr Hof's ability an anomaly, Mr Hof says it is merely a case of mind over matter. Practising an ancient Himalayan meditation called "Tummo," or Inner Fire, Mr Hof says he can generate his own heat. Mr Hof now travels the world teaching the technique through his record attempts, lectures and talks.




Born Without Limbs, Refusing Limitations
2008-03-27, ABC News
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=4531209

The crowds that 25-year-old Nick Vujicic draws as an evangelist would have been unimaginable only a few years ago, and impossible had he been born under other circumstances. "In some third world countries ... I would be seen as cursed, a shame to the family," said Vujicic (pronounced VOY-chich). "The possibilities of me being killed at my birth would have been quite high." But Vujicic, who was born without arms or legs, does have one of the most powerful of all human attributes: a voice. Through the ministry he calls Life Without Limbs and a motivational program titled "Attitude is Altitude," Vujicic said he has made 1,600 speaking appearances in 12 nations. "No matter who you are, no matter what you're going through, God knows it," he said. "He is with you. He is going to pull you through." Like all skilled evangelists, he can imagine the deepest vulnerabilities of his listeners, especially among teenage audiences. "I used to think that I needed my circumstance to change before I had any hope," he said. "I wanted to know that there was someone else out there in my position, to know that there is hope, that there is more than just the little box that I see in my life." He cannot avoid the reasons why people are fascinated by his physical condition, and he uses it to his advantage in his speeches, often delivered from a tabletop in front of the audience. He says it lends credibility "to know that somebody has been through something, that they've learned something that you know you need to apply in your own life."

Note: For an amazing five-minute video this man who has overcome challenges that are almost guaranteed to make your problems seem like nothing, click here.




What Happens When We Die?
2008-09-18, Time magazine
http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1842627,00.html

A fellow at New York City's Weill Cornell Medical Center, Dr. Sam Parnia is one of the world's leading experts on the scientific study of death. Last week Parnia and his colleagues at the Human Consciousness Project announced their first major undertaking: a 3-year exploration of the biology behind "out-of-body" experiences. The study, known as AWARE (AWAreness during REsuscitation), involves the collaboration of 25 major medical centers through Europe, Canada and the U.S. and will examine some 1,500 survivors of cardiac arrest. TIME spoke with Parnia about the project's origins, its skeptics and the difference between the mind and the brain. What sort of methods will this project use to try and verify people's claims of "near-death" experience? When your heart stops beating, there is no blood getting to your brain. And so what happens is that within about 10 sec., brain activity ceases — as you would imagine. Yet paradoxically, 10% or 20% of people who are then brought back to life from that period, which may be a few minutes or over an hour, will report having consciousness. So the key thing here is, Are these real, or is it some sort of illusion? In my book What Happens When We Die? ... I wanted people to get both angles — not just the patients' side but also the doctors' side — and see how it feels for the doctors to have a patient come back and tell them what was going on. There was a cardiologist that I spoke with who said he hasn't told anyone else about it because he has no explanation for how this patient could have been able to describe in detail what he had said and done. He was so freaked out by it that he just decided not to think about it anymore.

Note: How interesting that when something amazing happened that this cardiologist could not explain, he chose not to think about it rather than consider that there might be some deeper explanation. For an excellent analysis of how this kind of thinking stops scientific progress, see our essay on fluid intellignece available here.





Note: For an abundance of other highly inspiring material, see our Inspiring Resources page.


Kindly donate here to support this inspiring work of love.

Subscribe to one of our free email lists of inspiration and education.


The Web of Love is a PEERS empowerment website

"Dedicated to the greatest good of all who share our beautiful world"