What happens when a little girl decides to set up a lemonade stand for peace outside the Westboro Baptist Church headquarters in Kansas? Members of the community step out in droves to show support, even as the hate group tries to quash it.
Five-year-old Jayden, the daughter of Jon Sink, founder of the philanthropic arts group FRESHCASSETTE – Creative Compassion, decided to set up a stand selling pink lemonade at The Equality House on Friday afternoon. The Equality House is a rainbow-colored building directly across the street from Westboro’s Topeka compound. The house, which was painted the colors of the pride flag in March, was bought by Aaron Jackson, one of the founders of Planting Peace, a multi-pronged nonprofit set up in 2004 and aimed at spreading goodwill and equality around the globe.
Jayden, who is from Kansas City, decided to set up her stand at the Equality House after her parents explained to her the significance of its construct. After being told that the church across the street had a message of hate, she set a goal of raising money to go towards a message of love and peace.
So she painted a banner for the event reading, “Pink Lemonade for Peace: $1 Suggested Donation.” She put the stand in the grass and waited. But the waiting didn’t take long. Supporters came in by the droves and $1 turned into hundreds of dollars.
During the day, Westboro sent representatives outside to try and find a way to stop the event. They apparently attempted to call the local police and stooped to yelling profanities when that didn’t work, like calling a group of soldiers who rode out on their motorcycles to suport the event “bastards.”
Westboro’s hate couldn’t stop Jayden. She not only raised $400 during the day on Friday, but she has also collected over $1000 with an online campaign set up through Crowd Rise. Some people donated as little as $10 and as much as $230. One person gave $26, dedicating it to every person killed six months ago in the Newtown, Conn., massacre.
“As we all know, the Westboro Baptist Church puts a lot of hate into the world,” Jackson told HuffPost in an email Friday. “Since we cannot stop them, the next best thing is to smother it with love. That is what 5-year-old Jayden accomplished today! Jayden set up a lemonade stand in front of the church. Not only did she quench the thirst of a lot of loving supporters, the money she raised was donated to Planting Peace so she could help Planting Peace promote a more peaceful world.”
“Jayden represents the natural humanity we are born with,” Davis Hammet, Director of Operations at Planting Peace, added. “We come into this world compassionate, caring beings and only become hateful if we are taught to be.”
- ‘Lemonade for Peace’ stand generates $23,000 (cjonline.com)
- 5-year-old girl’s lemonade stand draws ire of Westboro Baptist Church (fox2now.com)
- ‘Lemonade for Peace’ raises funds for Planting Peace (cjonline.com)
I, like many others, have a burning desire to DO something for the world, and I try to do my part every day at work. The last couple of years I have also been reading many books about issues related to the world today, and watched documentaries and movies that also inspired me. After some time, excitement rose as I understood how ideas, psychology and internet have the potential to accomplish things we could not before. Some people say it`s too many bad things out there, we can`t do anything, anyway. I simply believe that is not true. Those words are uttered by bullies not affected by people starving and losing their jobs, as long as they can fly their jets, live in mansions and wear expensive suits.
From working with traumatized people, some of the most lovely persons I`ve ever met, and feeling the unfairness of people USING their kindness and warmth against them, making them feel bad and unworthy, when in reality the roles could have been reversed. Also reading about how psychopaths can climb to high positions in the society EXACTLY because they don`t fear stepping at toes (Watch the documentary I am Fishead for more on this) scares me even more. But, remembering that just 1 – 2 % of the populations truly have no conscious (still the number is so high that we all will encounter one of them quite often. The staggering number is still big when you think about how many people inhabit this planet. Some have even noticed that capitalism is as built for psychopaths, what do they care if Greece goes bankrupt as long as they get their cash and power?
All this made me realize: People trying to make the world worse, will always be a challenge, but they will NOT accomplish this if others protest. The internet makes this possible, and by spreading an attitude of compassion, we can work against this tendency. In his book, “Defense Against the Psychopath,” author Stefan Verstappen outlines the greatest and stealthiest danger in the human jungle. Leaders throughout history – the people we vote for – are rarely moral leaders. For them, lying is as easy and natural as breathing. It is completely unnerving and rattling to face the fact that someone can have absolutely no empathy. This realization is so frightening, most would rather go heavily into denial and fantasize that our helping them succeed is a good thing.
“Because of the tremendous destruction psychopaths reap on society, it is vital for everyone to be aware of their existence and to recognize their behavior traits. Understanding them is the first step to defending oneself against them.”
Peace one day want to make one day a year, a “peace day”, and what about a “kindness day” ? Philip Zimbardo, one of the greatest scientists, have introduced Heroic Imagination Project where he encourage people to take heroic act. Do you know that often it is enough that ONE person protest, for others to join in? In fact, they found that the Milgram Experiment of obedience (where you must deliver shock to others) the willingness to do what they “felt” was not right, went down if they “by coincidence” saw somebody else say no. This means: It helps to follow your heart, when something is not “quite right” even if authority tell you something else. Some do anyway, because they trust their gut-feeling enough to do what feels right, but most people look at what others do (cognitive heuristics) because it is easier.
So, if somebody else does kind things for others, would you not want to, also? If your best friend always smiled at strangers, would it not be easier for you also?
But you need energy, to be there for others. For that reason: Take care of your own needs first! Many feel egoistic if they do, but it`s actually the other way around. By not taking care of yourself, you neglect the energy and happiness necessary for giving others what they need. If an oxygen mask fall down, take your own mask first. Not because you don`t care about your children, but because then you are more able to help others, afterwards.
Psychopaths run the world
- Developers wanted for Peace Games scheme (develop-online.net)
- Treading the path to peace: London event explores ways of tackling conflict around world (standard.co.uk)
- Welcome to the Muslim Peace Day Project (meccastars.com)
- The Psychopathic Corporation – A Clinical Diagnosis (PCLR), by Dr. Robert Hare (humanchessdotorg.wordpress.com)
Two posts have tried to give inspiration on what you can do for others. The following post, focus on what people actually have done. Hope this will make you smile:)
|Photo: Damon Carson, Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post|
Damon Carson is a self-described tightwad. The tattered desk chair in his Denver office was pulled from a Dumpster—a decade ago. He drives a used ’99 Chevy Silverado and wears thrift-store clothes. For several years, Carson ran a garbage company in the ritzy Colorado ski towns of Vail and Breckenridge, which regularly brought him to a local landfill. There he often saw brand-new windows and cabinets amid the rubble, and sometimes rescued these items from the pile. “It was heartbreaking to see perfectly good things about to be buried,” he says.
In 2010, eight years after Carson sold his trash company, an artist friend in the billboard industry mentioned that the massive ads, removed from their boards, made great drop cloths for painting. The wheels in Carson’s head began to turn. He found a few billboards for sale, and put out feelers to friends in the agriculture and construction industries to see if they had any use for them. Thanks to his intervention, the billboards were reborn as tarps to cover hay and building materials. “We quickly ran out,” says Carson, who was so encouraged that he started reaching out to more industries—from bowling pin manufacturers to poultry farmers—to inquire about purchasing hard-to-recycle items.
Soon he’d founded Repurposed Materials, a company that turns would-be trash into valuable commodities. Torn-down billboards become pond liners, projection screens, even makeshift Slip ‘N Slides. Synthetic turf from football fields is refashioned into cushioning for egg-laying chickens. And when one customer intuited that street-sweepers’ brushes, stood on end, could be back scratchers for livestock, Carson sold two to the Bronx Zoo for its rhinoceros pen. “We’re helping industries pool their knowledge,” he says. “And our customers spend far less than they would buying similar products new.”
Carson now spends his days devouring trade magazines and visiting businesses to examine what they’re throwing away. “This is my second foray into the waste stream of America,” he says with a laugh. “Round one, I was burying things in the landfill. Round two, I’m trying to keep them out.”
It’s a clever concept, and one that’s proving to be effective: check out the page of past campaigns and the amounts they’ve helped to raise. What an appealing way to do your good deed today, am I right?
After the birth of my first daughter, my best friend surprised me one evening by offering to do the midnight watch. She handled all the diaper changes and feedings, allowing me and my husband to get a full night’s rest.
I enjoy raking leaves, but last year I did not have the time or the energy to do it, and my neighbors knew how frustrated I was. One night I came home from work to find that they had raked all the leaves in my yard.
The Dalles, Oregon
Recently, Don Hill was on driving home through the North Georgia Mountains above the small former gold rush town of Dahlonega, Georgia when on a grassy island in the middle of a hectic and dangerous intersection he saw a German Shepherd pacing back and forth. Obviously frightened to death, the dog was emaciated and holding up an injured hind leg.
“My heart was pounding in my chest,” Don said. “I was so scared it was going to run out in to the very heavy traffic before I could do anything and I was going to see it die right there in front of me.”
Don crossed two four lane highways to reach the dog and then slowly, over the course of 20 minutes of Don calmly coaxing the dog while crouched down on the ground, the dog summoned the courage to sniff Don. Just at the moment when Don was about to slip a leash around his neck, someone sounded their horn and the dog flew into traffic. Without hesitation, Don dove across the lanes too and grabbed the dog and carried it back to safety on the shoulder. A state trooper who witnessed the incident said, “said, “Mr. Hill, that was either the dumbest or the bravest thing I have ever seen.”
Don credits his guardian angel for leading him to the dog that day and for keeping them both safe during that dangerous rescue.
- Inspiration and Change (seymoursolutions.wordpress.com)
- Purchase Clothing From Sevenly To Donate To Different Charities! (losangeles.cbslocal.com)
Sunday, June 30, 2013
Thought for the Day: Are Humans Instinctively Selfish or Cooperative? http://Wesley Autreyn Wesley Autrey? On Jan. 2, 2007, Mr. Autrey jumped down onto the tracks of a New York City subway platform as a train was approaching to save a man who had suffered a seizure and fallen. A few months later the Virginia Tech professor Liviu Librescu blocked the door to his classroom so his students could escape the bullets of Seung-Hui Cho, who was on a rampage that would leave 32 students and faculty members dead. In so doing, Mr. Librescu gave his life.
The question about why we help is an interesting question, that has a lot of answers and nuances, and we will write more about this in later posts. One of the questions has been if we ever do good deeds without some hidden agenda. Scientist are wondering if the reason of altruism is that we then have a higher chance of suriving oneself (because people return favors). But is this distinction important? If you feel good, and somebody else does too, how can that be negative?
Under you see a video were a stranger helps another one, for no reason at all. The old lady gets help, and the traffic starts moving again, and I think everyone who saw that random act of kindness, must have felt a little tug in their heart. It`s good to see others do good things, too, and it inspires us. Some even go out there and do things for others, afterwards. Its good to feel that one can do small things to make the world a little bit better
There has been a grassroots movement to promote random acts of kindness. This 58 second video shows a random act of kindness by someone going out of their way to help a stranger.
What would you do if you saw this happening at a busy intersection? Has something like this ever happened to you or someone you know?
Have a wonderful week, dear readers.
POSTS ON RANDOM KINDNESS
Random acts of kindness (kalliebugg.wordpress.com)
- Random Acts of Kindness (womenofbslc.wordpress.com)
- Coca-Cola designs new campaign to inspire random act of kindness (newsheralddotme.wordpress.com)
- Kindness Captured (alliebrownphotoblog.wordpress.com)
- Random Acts of Kindness (scrollwriter.wordpress.com)
- Random Acts of Kindness (sprinklejoy.net)
- Next step in creating positive change – community (video) (motivatingforpositivechange.wordpress.com)
- It is in giving, that we receive… (halfdozendaily.typepad.com)