Midweek Inspiration: Talk to Your 10 Year Old Self

I am a big fan of Soul Pancake, which is apparent by the multiple videos of theirs I’ve used for this blog. Once again they have delivered inspiration with a touching reflection on what it means to grow up and look back. When I was a kid I wrote letters to my future self for various assignments, but how often do we look back and reflect on what we would say to ourselves when we were 10?

Sometime this week I think that I will try this exercise and see what I come up with. I encourage all of you to do the same!

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Midweek Inspiration: Zach Sobiech

This video about this inspirational teenager has gone viral on the internet, especially on the social networking site Facebook. I cam across the video on the website Upworthy which has been posted an reposted on my own newsfeed. Initially the longer length of the video turned me off from watching it, but I decided to give it a shot and was not disappointed.

Not a lot can be said about this video. I encourage you to watch it and let yourself feel inspired to live everyday as if it were your last. I know I was.

Rest in peace Zach.

Anyone interested in donating should donate to theĀ research fund created on Zach’s behalf.

Midweek Inspiration: #FitchtheHomeless

Ambercrombie & Fitch is a company which I have never endorsed myself, but this video gives us all an opportunity to take something bad and make it good. In response to the news that A&F burns their clothing rather than give it to needy people, this individual has decided to take the Ambercrombie & Fitch clothing at his local Goodwill and give it to the homeless.

I encourage all of you to do the same! I was always told that you vote with your dollar, but in this case we can vote with what we GIVE.

Midweek Inspiration: Mikey’s Run

In the wake of a tragedy it takes a special person to do something inspiring which can help the lives of many, but that is exactly the kind of people brothers Harris and Michael Stolzenberg are. Aged 17 and 13, they were both very moved by the Boston bombings, especially since Michael is a quadruple amputee. Together they made a website “Mikey’s Run” to raise money for amputees.

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Photo Credit: Mikey’s Run

Read more about Mikey’s Run!

We all have our own experiences, so it is important for us to remember what our gifts, talents, and experiences are when it comes to making a difference. These young men were able to come up with an idea all on their own which will raise thousands of dollars to help those in need of prosthetic legs. It just goes to show that you should never let your age, socioeconomic status, education, or any other obstacles you face prevent you from making this world a better place.

We all have something to give to our communities, don’t be afraid to make the world a better place! You’ll surprise yourself with what you are capable of.

Interested in donating? Go directly to the website Mikey’s Run to help make a difference!

Midweek Inspiration: Real Beauty Sketches

After a week full of bad news, I think we all need a positive perspective. Those of you who are on social media often might have seen this video, but if you haven’t it’s definitely worth a watch. A forensic artist draws sketches of several women both of how they see themselves and how others see them. The result is really quite moving!

Too often we neglect our emotional needs and let our self esteem suffer. In a world that is so focused on physical appearance, we tend to let that be the driving force of how we see ourselves. That isn’t the case though, as the video showed inner beauty is what defines our outer beauty, not the other way around.

As Gandhi had said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” I think we all want the world to be beautiful, radiant, and kind. Let’s all make sure to give ourselves that same attention and see the beauty within ourselves! Then we can let that shine in our work in interfaith, our families, friends, and everywhere else in our lives. Let your inner beauty define you and your world!

Midweek Inspiration: Compliments

This video just warmed my heart and I wanted to share it with all of you. The video encourages people to give each other compliments through a set up microphone on the street, something goofy and out of the ordinary. I know that I tend to not thank my family and friends enough for everything that they do for me or tell people the things I appreciate about them, so I would have taken this opportunity to tell the person I was with that I care!

I don’t have a lot to say, except don’t be afraid to tell people the good you see in them. It’s so simple but means so much!

Enjoy.

Midweek Inspiration: Sam

If there’s one thing that this blog is about, it’s perspective. Not only is interfaith cooperation all about learning what people have to say about other perspectives, but life is really about learning about what it means to walk that mile in another person’s shoes. As the Easter season comes upon us and many of us, regardless of religion, have a couple days off to spend with family and friends, I think it’s important for us to remember some of the people who might not have the homes and families we have. People with a different perspective, like Sam.

Although this is a brief clip, it really made me think. When we think about homeless people, we don’t think of a young gymnast and martial artist like Sam, who is really just trying to get by. If I had seen Sam on the street, I would not have pegged him as being someone who’s homeless. But that’s what made his story all the more real for me.

It can be easy to forget that there are people out there who really just got the short end of the straw. “Never judge a book by it’s cover.” How true that is when it comes to people who’s lives are so different from our own. Rather than passing judgement, we should give a helping hand.

For me, Sam’s interview shed a new light on homelessness which I had never seen before. I encourage everyone to keep an open mind and perspective when meeting new people like Sam, you never know what you are opening yourself up to learning and experiencing. It could be something great.

Midweek Inspiration: Awareness

Today’s “Midweek Inspiration” is a little different than ones in the past, but still I think is worth a watch. I don’t want to spoil the video for you so I won’t get to detailed, but what I have to say is something universal: We need to be aware of those around us.

The world has a lot of things that need to be changed. How will we know that there are conflicts happening across the globe if we aren’t actively looking to see what is happening? Unless we are aware the problems of hunger and homelessness exist in our community, will we really notice how many people are sleeping in boxes and on park benches when we walk by? If we don’t take the time to sit by that person in class or at work who never seems to say anything, how will we know that they are actually really struggling and need a listening ear? On both the global and local scale it is imperative that we are aware to help those around us.

On the flip side, we won’t see the beauty in the world around us if we aren’t aware. In my personal experience, I would never been writing this blog in the first place unless I took a new class and became aware of the beauty of other faiths, especially Islam. The moment when you stop and watch the sunset on the drive home from work or the time that you really do actually stop and smell the roses are the moments that really take one’s breath away. There is something to be said for being aware of the good things around us too.

“We don’t see what we’re not looking for.” Let’s all be looking to make the world great, and be looking for the great things in it already.

Midweek Inspiration: Love

Today was a big day for the world with the naming of the new pope, but I’m going to save that for tomorrow’s post and keep today’s post nice and short. Today, I want to share with you this video about love.

What I love about this video is how much variety there is in the different submissions. While watching other people’s surprise parties and memories, I started to think about my own family memories and what I see love as.

I guess that’s something that we all have in common with each other, knowing the feeling of love even if we all believe in different things or live different lives.

So what does love look like to you?

Midweek Inspiration: Kitten Meets Hedgehog

Does one really need an excuse to post an adorable video like this one? Not really. But being the writer that I am, I have a metaphor for these extremely cute critters.

When watching this adorable video of a tiny kitten meeting a little hedgehog for the first time, two things crossed my mind. The first being something along the lines of, “OH MY GOODNESS THEY ARE JUST THE CUTEST THINGS IN THE WORLD.” However once the hypnotism of adorableness wore off enough for me to return to my normal thinking capacities, I looked at this video a second time and saw an analogy for friendship and meeting new people.

Think about it, we have all felt like that little kitten before. Looking at someone we don’t understand and being extremely wary at first of who they are and what they are about. A hedgehog looks a lot different than a cat, therefore one could see the hesitation on the kitten’s part just like when we meet someone who is vastly different from us for the first time.

But as the video continues the kitten gets closer and closer to the hedgehog, and even plays with it a little bit. Likewise, when we start to talk to new people and get to know them, their differences aren’t so scary anymore. We get more and more comfortable with each other until eventually a friendship is born. Maybe they become your new best friend or maybe you just have a new and different perspective on a group of people that once frightened you.

Either way, that’s pretty awesome. Like hedgehogs and kittens.