Thursday, April 28, 2011

Making Peace

Cesar Cruz is making friends, though not in the usual sense.
Through his work at Oakland's East Bay YMCA, Mr. Cruz is bringing together young men who might otherwise end up killing each other.
Gang members themselves call him a hero - and all he needs is a kitchen, some food and a little bit of history.
That and some guts, perhaps.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Breaking Down Barriers in the Desert

In 2007 Ryan Bennett ran his first marathon.
Recently he ran six of them. In five days. In the Sahara Desert.
He says it's all about "breaking down invisible barriers for yourself" - a sentiment we've all heard in one form or another, so often perhaps that it loses its meaning. That is, until we assume an endeavor, accept a challenge, that reminds us how tough we can be, no matter how harsh the environment.
But don't take it from me; my endeavors pale in comparison to what Ryan has done.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Light of Easter

On Easter weekend, there is only one spotlight.
One spotlight that shines all over the world.
On Easter Sunday 2003, Natalie Elders and her family were extraordinarily blessed.
As are all who open themselves to His light.
Happy Easter.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Recruiting Local Resources, Helping Children Worldwide

With her first 'patient', Kenan Malkic.
 A boy in Iraq was playing with his friends when he kicked a bottle lying in the street. Not really a bottle, but a bomb, created by hateful people. In a flash he lost a leg, an arm, an eye and, it seemed, his childhood. Elissa Montanti, a woman from New York, has given these things back to him - not because she is powerful or highly-educated or wealthy, but because she cares enough to find a way.
Thanks to David Kostecki of Honolulu, Hawaii for sharing the spotlight 60 Minutes recently shined on Ms. Montanti.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Lesson in Disaster Relief (from a second grader)

'Many kids have lost homes and some have lost a parent. Many parents told us that before we went and played with them, many kids have not smiled since the disaster.' - from a message from a friend working to help rebuild a kindergarten and a community in Soma, Fukushima.

To put a price tag on rebuilding a community is impossible. People need wood and hammer and nails, yes. Food, clothing and warmth. But there is another element to recovery.

Musashi Eto, a second grader from Robert Hunter Elementary School in Flemington, New Jersey, seemed to understand this. And now he's doing something about it.

Read how a 7-year-old is helping kids on the other side of the world smile again.

Spotlighting better stars.

Spotlight Sublime comes to life inspired by a post from another blog. It would be easy enough to go on a rant about the stupidity of celebrity - an abstraction that takes form via the standards we ascribe to its attainment; the value we place on its achievement; the attention we devote to its excrement. But forget it, there's no time.

We live in a world teeming with amazing people. People with ideas. People who inspire. People turning their love, their hopes, their talents great and small into actions that are worth our attention, worth our admiration, worthy of our time and emulation.

We've only got twenty-four hours in a day for all we need to do - work, eat, play with the kids, keep up with our friends and, here and there, kick back with some ice-cream or a beer. But there are free moments too - or, for some, free hours. Let your mind go where it will. Or send it here for five minutes, meet someone to add to your day.

Because we are the ones who decide who the real celebrities are.

Coming up: A second-grader in Flemington creates a way for his classmates to connect with schoolchildren in tsunami-hit Ofunato, Japan.