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To my most inspired and well-traveled friends,

I'd love your input on a really cool research project I was hired to work on for a book that's being put together highlighting moments between people that give us insight and inspiration regarding the commonalities we all share and the things we learn from one another throughout our lives and travels. There are many ways to go about researching and sourcing this kind of stuff, and I've been working through those channels, but I always find that the best and most precious stories are the ones that you hear from people, and I'd like to include as many items like that as possible. You, my dear community, are a vast source of amazing stories and insights that you won't find anywhere else and I'd love to include some of them in the book.

Could you take a moment to think of one (or more if you want) memory or true story from your life- something you've either experienced or been told (particularly while traveling abroad if possible) and had an experience that felt like it really gave you hope for humanity or just blew your mind in a really beautiful way? Not just a random act of kindness, but something that went a little deeper and highlighted the connections or commonalities between people, esp. in surprising or unexpected ways?

They can even just be fleeting moments between people that you've witnessed- for example:  

  • An Egyptian family at the pyramids gives an American stranger their six-month-old baby to hold, momentarily belying the media-fueled perception of strife, craziness and anti-Americanism and suggesting the alternate perspective  that most people in the world are trusting and loving of others despite their nationalities and what their leaders may try to tell them...  

  • A Vietnamese family of four negotiating heavy Saigon street traffic on a scooter, with an infant wedged in sideways between his parents while his mom feeds him from a bottle...

  • An unemployed woman in Detroit dances in the street to greet morning commuters, saying if you do what you love, the rest will come. She becomes a fixture on the streets, bringing smiles to all who pass, and gets offered a job as a dancing statue of Liberty.

Names can be changed of course to maintain anonymity. Any stories, insights, beautiful moments you've experienced and don't mind sharing with me because they could be inspiring to all, etc. are much appreciated. 

Sarah

PS.. I do hope to get back to shooting soon! It's been quite a busy summer! Miss you all!

   
Junior
cheerful
Registered: 03/05/11
Posts: 15
Location: California, USA
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I will reply with a couple of small stories from my first month in Zambia, just need to find the time to write them down properly.

   
Chatty
Registered: 03/05/11
Posts: 44
Location: Manchester, UK
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Thans so much Ruud! Looking forward to hearing your stories!

   
Junior
Registered: 03/05/11
Posts: 15
Location: California, USA
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I was talking to my housemate Julius about his childhood in Uganda. He grew up in a rural setting, a child from a big family that owned some livestock and a farm. Aged 10 he was given the task to look after a small herd of goats. He was also given a small panga (the african equivalent of a machete). This made him feel confident. Julius explained to me that, allthough he was the goatherd, the goats had a mind of their own and usually the goatherd just followed where they wanted to go. Unfortunately, this meant the little 10 year old boy often had to follow the goats into a small forrest, where he knew there were dangerous snakes and other ferocious animals. "At first I was almost too scared to follow them into the dark wood" Julius told me, "but then I remembered I had been given a panga and my father trusted me to look after the goats and I felt that if I have a panga and my father thinks I can do this, then I cannot be afraid!" He followed the goats into the forest and brought them home safely.

I told this story to my wife, who often works with groups of employees, or community groups, that find themselves in similar situations: unsure about their own capabilities and not confident enough to take charge and change things. She has used the story of the little goatherd in Uganda and helped to inspire confidence in people in the UK.

 

Ruud

   
Chatty
Registered: 03/05/11
Posts: 44
Location: Manchester, UK
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Thank you Ruud! Very touching story! I appreciate the time you took to share it!

 

Hugs,

Sarah

   
Junior
Registered: 03/05/11
Posts: 15
Location: California, USA
5 posts :: Page 1 of 1