Archive for the ‘Overall’ Category

My 1000 Small Steps – March 20, 2020

Posted on: March 20th, 2020 by Kathie England | Time for Success 1 Comment

Five Big Steps

by Kathie England

Inspired by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s newest book, Tightrope, I step boldly away from proposing small steps this month. Instead, I share five big steps they suggest to regain America.

High-quality early childhood programs

Kristof and WuDunn believe this may be the single best thing we could do in the United States to help at-risk children. They cite findings from the National Academies of Sciences, Medicine and Engineering 2019 report that “each year child poverty costs Americans about $1 trillion in crime, education and welfare costs and related expenses. It is estimated that child poverty could be cut by more than half in ten years with a series of steps costing about one-tenth as much, $100 billion a year, while also creating jobs.”

For families living under the poverty level, childcare now consumes almost one-third of family income.

Universal high-school graduation

In the U.S. one child in seven doesn’t graduate from high school on time (including one-fourth of black students). These dropouts rarely have much of a future. This number is in sharp contrast to graduation rates in Japan, Russia, Ireland, and Finland where the drop-out rate is less than 3 percent. Offering apprenticeship programs, vocational training, career academies, and other similar efforts would increase the odds that students who stick with high school will be able to find a job at the end.

Universal health coverage

This idea was first proposed by President Harry Truman seven decades ago. Universal access to affordable healthcare would prevent millions of Americans from slipping through the myriad of cracks discussed in Tightrope, including impaired national competitiveness, reduced life expectancy, and the individual heartbreak described by Kristof and WuDunn, not only in Yamhill County, Oregon where Kristof grew up but throughout the United States.

Elimination of unwanted pregnancies

“Teenage pregnancy is a major precursor of poverty.” Ample evidence shows that free access to long-acting reversible contraceptives and other types of contraceptives can reduce unwanted pregnancies. A $1 dollar investment in this type of program reaps $7 in savings. It dramatically improves the odds of teenage girls graduating from high school. It also means fewer abortions.

A monthly child allowance

“Research shows that a government payment of about $250 a month to each household with a child would give poorer children a better start in life.” This type of allowance has been successful in Canada, Australia, and nearly every European county. This allowance would virtually eliminate children living in extreme poverty in the United States.

Last month I urged readers to sponsor a child through Save the Children. The five-year-old girl I sponsored lives in South Carolina where nearly 25% of the state’s children live at or below the poverty line. 40% live in extreme poverty in the communities where Save the Children works.

Once again I invite you to take a small step by sponsoring a child through Save the Children.

https://savethechildren.org

I end this month’s post with a quote from James Baldwin. This quote opened that last chapter in Tightrope titled “America Regained.”

“I know what I am asking is impossible. But in our time, as in every time, the impossible is the least that one can demand.”

James Baldwin

My 1000 Small Steps – February 20, 2020

Posted on: February 20th, 2020 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

Tightrope

by Kathie England

Tightrope, the title of the newest book by Pulitzer Prize-winning authors Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, is the metaphor describing the life of America’s working class for whom one misstep is frequently a catastrophe. “Stagnant wages, weak education, bad decisions and a lack of healthcare force millions of Americans into a precarious balancing act that many of them fail to master.”

Speaking in Portland, Oregon earlier this month they posed three questions often heard as they researched their book:

  • Isn’t this crisis really about personal responsibility?
  • Isn’t this situation really hopeless?
  • Why should I care?

With vivid examples, many of them drawn from Yamhill, Oregon where Nick grew up, Kristof and WuDunn offer an alternate view. If America is to remain vital, it must empower all its people.

They shared stunning statistics from research by Ron Haskins and Isabel Sawhill of the Brookings Institution. For people who graduate from high school, get a full-time job, and marry before having children, only 2 percent live in poverty. Of those who do none of those three things, 79 percent live in poverty.

Kristof and WuDunn acknowledge that many individuals do make irresponsible choices, yet the results are also caused by the collective irresponsibility of society. They propose three solutions that could dramatically impact the lives of working class Americans:

  • Early childhood education
  • Drug rehabilitation
  • Job creation

How does this conversation fit with My 1000 Small Steps?

Each of their books ends with “Ten Steps You Can Take in the Next Ten Minutes to Make a Difference.” Here is one of the ten steps from Tightrope: sponsor a child in the United States through Save the Childrenhttps://savethechildren.org. On this website you can click the link about sponsoring children in the U.S.

I just sponsored a five-year-old girl. Will you accept this challenge and do the same?

 

My 1000 Small Steps – January 20, 2020

Posted on: January 20th, 2020 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

Three Minutes a Day

by Kathie England

On this fourth anniversary of launching My 1000 Small Steps journey, I share the perspective of Richard Davidson, the Founder of the Center for Healthy Minds based at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Davidson’s work has demonstrated the neuroplasticity of the human brain – a cause for hope.

The goal of My 1000 Small Steps journey is to prevent the results of the presidential election on November 3, 2020 from leaving so many of us with the same feelings of disbelief, despair, and doom we experienced on the morning after the 2016 presidential election.

It is ironic that this anniversary of my first post on January 20, 2017 coincides with the week that the impeachment trial of the president begins in the Senate.

This month’s post was inspired by Davidson’s October 2019 TEDx Talk in San Francisco where he explains how three minutes a day can begin to help each of us create a healthier mind. He begins by identifying four challenges facing society today: distraction, loneliness, depression, and low-life purpose. Each of these challenges affects our well-being. (I wonder how these challenges facing so many people in this country impacted the results of the 2016 election.)

Emphasizing the power of neuroplasticity, Davidson’s work has identified four pillars of a healthy mind: awareness/attention, connection, insight, and purpose. He explains that it is possible with just three minutes a day to begin to establish daily habits that nourish our minds.

I invite you to step into this realm of possibility by watching Davidson’s recent TEDx Talk.

https://www.ted.com/talks/richard_j_davidson_how_mindfulness_changes_the_emotional_life_of_our_brains_jan_2019?utm_campaign=3b359861f4-Jan2020_TEDx1D&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Center+Members&utm_term=0_4a32dc39b4-3b359861f4-9744669

You can even begin your own practice of developing a healthier mind by downloading this app: https://tryhealthyminds.org/ That small step will nourish your mind and change our world.

“Everything that is done in the world is done by hope.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

My 1000 Small Steps – December 20, 2019

Posted on: December 20th, 2019 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

How Do We Want to Live?

by Kathie England

Throughout this year I have continued to find inspiration and solace in the On Being podcast by Krista Tippett. This podcast (www.OnBeing.org) explores what it means to be human. It asks: How do we want to live? Who will we be to each other?

The On Being podcast has inspired me to translate the Prayer of St. Francis, the Prayer of Peace, into a loving kindness meditation with the goal that this meditation is more inclusive and might connect with individuals of diverse beliefs and cultures.

For the past two years I have shared the Prayer of St. Francis in its original form as my December post. I share my new version with the hope that it will provide perspective – on the past year and the year ahead as we begin the third decade of this century.

I hope the monthly posts of My 1000 Small Steps have offered examples of small steps we can consider to answer those questions asked by the On Being podcast: How do we want to live? Who will we be to each other?

May this Loving Kindness Meditation inspire us to what is possible!

Make me an instrument of peace.

  • Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
  • Where there is offense, let me bring pardon.
  • Where there is discord, let me bring union.
  • Where there is error, let me bring truth.
  • Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
  • Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
  • Where there is darkness, let me ,bring light.
  • Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.

May I not seek as much to be consoled, as to console.

May I seek not as much to be understood, as to understand.

May I seek not as much to be loved, as to love.

May it be in giving that I learn to receive.

May it be in pardoning that I allow myself to be pardoned.

May I be happy, may I be healthy, may I be at peace.

May you be happy, may you be healthy, may you be at peace.

May we embrace this message to help us find the courage to take many small steps in 2020!

My 1000 Small Steps – November 20, 2019

Posted on: November 20th, 2019 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

“I wonder if…”

by Kathie England

At the beginning of November I attended the International ADHD Conference in Philadelphia. The keynote address by Ross W. Greene, PhD inspired this month’s post.

Titled “Collaborative & Proactive Solutions: Moving from Power and Control to Collaboration and Problem Solving,” Greene’s keynote introduced the CPS (Collaborative and Proactive Solutions) model that has transformed thinking and practices in families, schools, inpatient psychiatric units, and residential and juvenile detention facilities throughout the world. This model is as applicable to adult-adult interactions as it is to adult-child interactions.

Greene explains that power doesn’t work! Collaboration does work. The goal is to shift from power and control to collaboration and problem-solving – with children and with adults.

Problems are highly predictable and by the time they show up, it’s too late. Punishment doesn’t teach skills. Incentives don’t solve problems or teach skills. Developing skills creates the opportunity for collaborative problem-solving.

“I wonder if there is a way…” is language that provides an opportunity to find a solution that works for both parties.

I wonder if you would take a small step to learn more about the work of Ross Greene. Visit these websites and explore how his work could impact your life.

My 1000 Small Steps – October 20, 2019

Posted on: October 20th, 2019 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

Reason for Hope

by Kathie England

“Only if we understand, will we care. Only if we care, will we help. Only if we help, shall we all be saved.” (Jane Goodall)

TIME magazine’s September 23, 2019 Special Climate Issue included an article by Jane Goodall that reminded me of her book, Reason for Hope. Published in 2000, Reason for Hope talked about how we are destroying our planet, yet she still had hope.

Few people have traveled more widely to raise awareness of this destruction that is even more imminent today. In 2000 Goodall stated, “If we truly care about the future of our planet, we must stop leaving it to ‘them’ out there to solve all the problems. It’s up to us to save the world for tomorrow: it’s up to you and me.”

In 2019 Goodall believes we can slow the climate crisis by solving four problems that seem unsolvable: eliminate poverty, change the unsustainable lifestyles of so many of us, abolish corruption, and manage our growing human population.

Her reasons for hope today are: the resilience of nature, the human brain, social media, and the power of young people. Just as many young people are working to end gun violence in America (March for Our Lives), many others like Greta Thunberg are rallying the entire world to take action about climate.

In 1991, Goodall launched Roots & Shoots, a program where young people from kindergarteners to university students create projects to make the world a better place for animals, people, and the environment. https://www.rootsandshoots.org/take-action/ This program now exists in more than 50 countries.

Perhaps this crisis still feels too overwhelming, so I want to close with the words of Malala Yousafzai, another young person who is making a difference.

“When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful!”

How will you use your voice today?

Posted on: September 20th, 2019 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

My 1000 Small Steps – September 20, 2019

Hope and Courage

by Kathie England

“Vulnerability is courage. It’s the willingness to show up and be seen in our lives. And in those moments when we show up, I think those are the most powerful, meaning-making moments of our lives even if they don’t go well. I think they define who we are.”

Those were the words of Brené Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston and presenter of one of the top five most-viewed TED Talks in the world, during her interview by Krista Tippett for her On Being podcast.

https://onbeing.org/programs/brene-brown-the-courage-to-be-vulnerable-jan2015/

Last month in writing about hope I quoted Vaclav Havel, “Hope is an ability to work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed.”

I also shared definitions of hope by Jonathan Rowson and Roberto Unger – “It’s not just so much about thinking things will be better, but actually seeing a place that’s worth going to and orienting your will towards that.”

Brené Brown believes – “Hope is a function of struggle.”

Are you willing to engage in the most existential struggle we face on our planet – the climate crisis?

Are you willing to show up and join young people throughout the world in climate strikes September 20-27?

https://globalclimatestrike.net/

I close by paraphrasing Albert Schweitzer – we often don’t know how our lives impact others, but it is the courage to keep trying.

To face the climate crisis we must allow ourselves to be vulnerable, find the courage to keep trying, and remember that “hope is a function of struggle.”

Who knows how our showing up can impact the future of our planet?

 

 

My 1000 Small Steps – August 20, 2019

Posted on: August 18th, 2019 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

Hope

by Kathie England

With the recent mass shootings in Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton, plus the ICE raid in Mississippi, hope often feels hard to find.

Listening to the On Being podcast by Krista Tippett helps me not abandon hope. Her recent conversation with Jonathan Rowson offered many thoughts on hope that I share in this month’s post, including words of Vaclav Havel and Roberto Unger.

Jonathan Rowson has studied the brain, philosophy, economics, and education. He directed the Social Brain Centre at the Royal Society of Arts and is co-founder and Director of Perspectiva — a research organization in London that examines the relationship between systems, souls, and society.

Words of Vaclav Havel:

“Hope is a state of mind, not of the world. It is an orientation of the spirit and orientation of the heart; it transcends the world that is immediately experienced and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons.

Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed.

The more propitious the situation in which we demonstrate hope, the deeper the hope is. Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.”

Thoughts by Rowson:

“…with the question of hope, I think it’s incumbent on anyone who would define their work as being in some sense about changing the world — and that can be quite a hubristic notion, of course — but anyone who is trying to fashion better forms of living, they need some working theory of hope. And I like the definition of Roberto Unger*, as well, which is that hope is the ‘visionary anticipation of a direction.’ It’s not just so much about thinking things will be better, but actually seeing a place that’s worth going to and orienting your will towards that.

When I quite recently created a new organization called Perspectiva, the purpose of the organization, in some ways, is to paint a vision of the future and a pathway of getting there that does instill a certain amount of hope. I think the only way we’re going to do that is if we get better at linking together what we call ‘systems, souls, and society’ —complex systems, including the economy and politics and all that, the totality of our inner worlds, and then, how we talk to each other and how we live together. I think, if we can get better and more nimble and more generous about how we move between those worlds, then the chance of creating a hope that makes sense for all of us is all the greater.”

I invite you to find hope by taking the small step of listening to the entire podcast.

https://onbeing.org/programs/jonathan-rowson-integrating-our-souls-systems-and-society/

*Roberto Unger is a Brazilian contemporary social theorist, politician, and law professor at Harvard Law School

My 1000 Small Steps – July 20, 2019

Posted on: July 13th, 2019 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

Soul Box Project

by Kathie England

“One person can make a difference. Everyone should try.” These words of John F. Kennedy aptly describe Leslie Lee, founder of the Soul Box Project.

After the mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed 59 people and wounded 441 on October 1, 2017, Leslie’s despair tuned to action when she asked herself, “What can I do?”

The Soul Box Project idea began when she discovered that more than 168,000 people were killed or injured by guns between 2014 and 2017. Leslie found a photo of the Ohio State University Stadium that holds nearly 105,000 people. What does it say when even a stadium as large as large Ohio State’s cannot hold all those killed or injured by guns within the most recent three-year timeframe?

Leslie realized how difficult it is to comprehend numbers like these. As an artist, she pondered how a visual statement could make the astounding number of victims more real. Her idea – create a small origami box to represent the life of each soul gunned down – a SOUL BOX. Then display thousands of Soul Boxes in public places like libraries, shopping malls, the halls of Congress, and maybe even at gun shows. Perhaps this visual display would motivate people to write their Congressional representatives, lock up their guns, and demand common sense solutions to the epidemic of gun violence in this country.

A famous and impactful visual display, the AIDS Memorial Quilt with each panel representing one life lost to AIDS, was initially the idea of one man, Cleve Jones. First exhibited on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in October 1987, it helped Americans pay attention to another epidemic.

Perhaps the Soul Box Project has the same potential!

I recently hosted a small Soul Box Party for a few friends. We made almost 40 Soul Boxes which I will deliver to the Soul Box workshop in Portland, Oregon. We decorated many of these Soul Boxes with the names of individuals recently killed by guns. Several of mine showed the faces of a one-year old, a two-year old, and a three-year old. Just the act of researching those who have recently been killed by guns was an emotional experience.

I invite you to visit www.SoulBoxProject.org to learn more, to be inspired, to take action, and remember JFK’s words: “One person can make a difference. Everyone should try.”

My 1000 Small Steps – June 20, 2019

Posted on: June 15th, 2019 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

“Everything needs to change – and it has to start today.”

by Kathie England

At age 15, Greta Thunberg created a movement when she began protesting to demand action on the crisis of climate change. She walked out of school and sat outside the Swedish parliament every day for three weeks. Her actions inspired more than 100,000 children world-wide to become involved in a movement called Fridays for Future.

In 2018, Greta spoke at the United Nations COP24 in Katowice, Poland, where her speech went viral. In January 2019 she was invited to the World Economic Forum in Davos where her speeches again made a worldwide impact. She has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and was named one of the world’s 100 most influential people by TIME magazine.

Listen to Greta’s talk on the TED Radio Hour broadcast by NPR where she said that instead of looking for hope, we need to look for action. “Everything needs to change and it has to start today. It is only then that hope will come.”

https://www.npr.org/2019/06/07/730383662/greta-thunberg-are-we-running-out-of-time-to-save-our-planet

Prompted by Greta’s call for action, I want to share the action that Steve Oldham and his team at Carbon Engineering (https://carbonengineering.com/) in Squamish, B.C. are already taking.

I heard Steve at TEDx Portland on April 27, 2019. Watch and listen to his idea that could save our planet. The cost Steve says is only 1% of GDP, which happens to be the amount of money spent on one day of the year, Christmas. What could be a better gift to the children of the world?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZu7N3LAbUM (This link is to all the speakers at the 2019 TEDx Portland, so scroll across to 27:00 to watch Steve. His talk is about 15 minutes long.)

I conclude this month’s post with the words of poet Jericho Brown in his conversation with Krista Tippett https://onbeing.org/programs/jericho-brown-small-truths-and-other-surprises/.

“Hope is always accompanied by the imagination, the will to see what our physical environment seems to deem impossible. Only the creative mind can make use of hope. Only a creative people can wield it.”

We are creative people who can take action that starts today!