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Category Arts & Culture

From artistic collaborations to creative problem solving, the arts have the power to lift us up and transform our future. These stories celebrate art, creativity, and culture in all its forms.

89 min listen
Image: Gen-la Lobsang Phuntsok

After Adopting 123 Kids, Former Buddhist Monk Transforms Education with Gen-la Lobsang Phuntsok (Episode #104)

There is nothing quite as enlightening as listening to the insights of someone who has been to the edge and back. Today’s guest - Lobsang Phuntsok - had been to many edges of human existence. He was abandoned at birth, left under dry leaves by his 13 year old mother, but rescued to grow up as a Buddhist Monk. After an amazing journey of insight, he is now “Dad” to 123 children in an amazing family that is also a school and community that could fundamentally change the goals of education worldwide.
Read MoreAfter Adopting 123 Kids, Former Buddhist Monk Transforms Education with Gen-la Lobsang Phuntsok (Episode #104)
62 min listen
Image: Doug Barnard

From Unemployment to World Traveler: Turn Setbacks into Opportunities with Doug Barnard (Episode #101)

Ever dream of traveling the world? Is it possible to visit places less traveled with almost nothing more than a radiant smile? It is! Our guest today—YouTuber Doug Barnard—has attracted a global following of almost 500,000, at age 26. People in places like Mongolia, Saudi Arabia, and Alexandria, Egypt are recognizing him, and often embracing him on the street. Best of all, his popularity is not due to outrageous behavior, but rather his sense of celebration of every person he meets. His energy is contagious.
Read MoreFrom Unemployment to World Traveler: Turn Setbacks into Opportunities with Doug Barnard (Episode #101)
Image: Anton Thomas drawing on his map of North America

Beyond Borders, What Connects Us? This Hand-Drawn Map of North America Shows Us

Maps are just maps… right? Just pictures of the world that show oceans and land; countries and states. That’s what you’d think, but as it turns out, maps can show us a whole lot more than that. What if a map didn’t just show us borders and countries, but things that made our homes, our states, the places we love so unique and special?
Read MoreBeyond Borders, What Connects Us? This Hand-Drawn Map of North America Shows Us
Image: A rice paddy mural in Inakadate, depicting Buddhist diety Acala surrounded by clouds and lightning

How Rice Paddy Murals Saved this Japanese Village

Each year the town of Inakadate, Japan is flooded with tourists who come to see something incredibly special: their annual murals. What’s so special about these murals? They aren’t sketched or painted on a wall, they are planted in epic proportions in the town’s rice paddies. And these massive starchy masterpieces aren’t just breathtaking... over the past three decades they have revived a once struggling town!
Read MoreHow Rice Paddy Murals Saved this Japanese Village
Image: A valedictorian at commencement, facing the crowd of graduates the way this non-speaking valedictorian did in her speech.

Non-Speaking Valedictorian Gives College Commencement Speech

College commencement ceremonies highlight the transition from being a student to going out into the real world. The moving speech at Rollins College – a private college in Winter Park, Florida – on May 8, 2022, admonished the graduates to use their own voices and serve others. It was especially poignant because the valedictorian is a non-speaking autistic woman who never said a word.
Read MoreNon-Speaking Valedictorian Gives College Commencement Speech
5 min read
Image: A man walking down a side walk in front of an orange mural with blue writing that says "Good", using street wisdom practices.

Turn off Autopilot: See the World with Fresh Eyes Using Street Wisdom

How often are we on autopilot when we are on our routine commutes? When was the last time you really noticed your surroundings as you walked through downtown? Did you really notice the sounds of the birds when you walked into your backyard to tend the garden? We spend so much time getting from one place to another to “do things” that we hardly ever look at the spaces between those tasks and see their richness. Here's how we can change that with Street Wisdom.
Read MoreTurn off Autopilot: See the World with Fresh Eyes Using Street Wisdom
41 min listen
Image: Marion Abrams

Why Shared Struggle is Awesome: Secrets of the Spartan Races with Marion Abrams (Episode #92)

Marion Abrams sees people turn enormous struggle into personal leaps forward, in almost every aspect of her work with the famous Spartan Races. Turns out, we don’t even have to be going for “super athlete” status to be transformed. In this interview she completely upends what we may think about the Spartan movement and her insights point to how any of us can find the awesomeness in friends, family, co-workers and even strangers by finding a role in a Spartan event.
Read MoreWhy Shared Struggle is Awesome: Secrets of the Spartan Races with Marion Abrams (Episode #92)

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