Sarah McLachlan’s $15 music video gives $150,000 to charity

1 12 2017

Fools do nothing when they think the can do little. Canadian musician and song writer, Sarah McLachlan may not have done much to ease the sufferings, injustices and hunger in this world, but she did something, she did what she can. A successful musician, she could have spent 150,000 USD to produce her music video, “World on fire” with all the glamor and glitz, but she decided to use her camera phone instead, and spent just 15 dollars and donated the rest to charity

“World on Fire” music video opens with the singer sitting on a simple chair in a barren room on an otherwise empty set. A title card comes up: “What’s wrong with this video? Well, it cost only $15.” Then the song, featuring the lyrics “The more we take, the less we become / A fortune of one that means less for some,” lists where the rest of the typical $150,000 cost of the film would have been spent (“a producer would cost $7,500”). The twist is that McLachlan’s video dollars are used not on those typical production costs but to help poverty-stricken children and women in Cambodia, Niger, Bangladesh, India, and other struggling countries. (That would-be producer’s salary instead bought “6 months of medicine for 5,000 patients” in a Nairobi health clinic.)





I offered a teen robber my coat to keep warm by Julio Diaz

30 11 2017

Julio Diaz, a social worker, was returning home to the Bronx after a long day at work. Just after he got off the train, a teenager held him up at knifepoint.

This is the story:

So I get off the train. You know, I’m walking towards the stairs and this young teenager, uh, pulls out a knife. He wants my money. So I just gave him my wallet and told him, ’Here you go.’ He starts to leave and as he’s walking away I’m like, ’Hey, wait a minute. You forgot something. If you’re gonna be robbing people for the rest of the night, you might as well take my coat to keep you warm.’ So, you know, he’s looking at me like, ’What’s going on here?’ You know, and he asked me, ’Why are you doing this?’ And I’m like, ’Well, I don’t know, man, if you’re willing to risk your freedom for a few dollars then I guess you must really need the money. I mean, all I wanted to do was go get dinner and, uh, if you really want to join me, hey, you’re more than welcome.’

So I’m like, ’Look, you can follow me if you want.’ You know, I just felt maybe he really needs help. So, you know, we go into the diner where I normally eat and we sit down in the booth and the manager comes by, the dishwashers come by, the waiters come by to say hi – you know so… The kid was like, ’Man but you know like everybody here. Do you own this place?’ I’m like, ’No, I just eat here a lot.’ He’s like, ’But you’re even nice to the dishwasher.’ I’m like, ’Well, haven’t you been taught you should be nice to everybody?’ So he’s like, ’Yeah, but I didn’t think people actually behaved that way.”

So I just asked him in the end I’m like, ’What is it that you want out of life?’ He just had almost a sad face. Either he couldn’t answer me or he didn’t want to. The bill came and I look at him and I’m like, ’Look, uh, I guess you’re gonna have to pay for this bill ’cause you have my money and I can’t pay for this so if you give me my wallet back I’ll gladly treat you.’ He didn’t even think about it he’s like, ’Yeah, okay, here you go.’ So I got my wallet back and I gave, you know, I gave him twenty dollars for it.

You know, I figure, uh, maybe it’ll help him – I don’t know. And when I gave him the twenty dollars, I asked him to give me something in return – which was his knife – and he gave it to me.

You know, it’s funny ’cause when I told my mom about what happened – not mom wants to hear this but – at first she was like, ’Well, you know, you’re the kind of kid if someone asked you for the time you gave them your watch.’ I don’t know, I figure, you know, you treat people right, you can only hope that they treat you right. It’s as simple as it gets in this complicated world.

Story courtesy of Storycorps.org





Great Teen returns a wallet full of cash on camera! 

21 09 2017

With so many dark things going on these days, it is refreshing to see some light; this time from a teen, 18 yr old Tyler Opdyke who  found a wallet full of cash ($1500) as he was walking on a side walk. Guessing that the wallet belonged to the house next door, he went to the house and tried to return it. He rang the door bell several times but the owners would not come out. Realizing that they were watching him from a security camera facing the door, showed the wallet to the security camera, dropped it at the door and backed away.

A woman, Mellisa Vang,  watching from the security camera inside, seeing the stranger and not knowing what he was up to did not open the door… as any prudent person would not.

“I usually don’t open doors to strangers,” she said.

But when the boy left, she came out saw what it was: her husband’s wallet! The boy had found it and was trying to return it, she felt deeply grateful when she realized the wallet was filled with cash and her husband’s credit cards.

Luckily the boy returned to check if the wallet was still there and when she and her daughter saw him again through the camera, they rushed downstairs, flung the door open and embraced him.


The woman posted  his  honest act on her Facebook page and it has since gone viral.

This is a great story, a great example for all the teens out there!






Why we hurt our kids when we don’t want them to struggle like we did 

19 09 2017

A man, an avid Gardener saw a small Butterfly laying few eggs in one of the pots in his garden.
Since that day he looked at the egg with ever growing curiosity and eagerness.

The egg started to move and shake a little.

He was excited to see a new life coming up right in front of his eyes.

He spent hours watching the egg now. 

The egg started to expand and develop cracks.

A tiny head and antennae started to come out ever so slowly. 

The man’s excitement knew no bounds.

He got his magnifying glasses and sat to watch the life and body of a pupa coming out.

He saw the struggle of the tender pupa and couldn’t resist his urge to “HELP”.

He went and got a tender forceps to help the egg break, a nip here, a nip there to help the struggling life and the pupa was out. 

The man was ecstatic!

He waited now each day for the pupa to grow and fly like a beautiful butterfly, but alas that never happened.

The larvae pupa had a oversized head and kept crawling along in the pot for the full 4 weeks and died!

Depressed the man went to his botanist friend and asked the reason. 

His friend told him the struggle to break out of the egg helps the larvae to send blood to its wings and the head push helps the head to remain small so that the tender wings can support it thru its 4 week life cycle. 

In his eagerness to help, the man destroyed a beautiful life!

Struggles help all of us, that’s why a bit of effort goes a long way to develop our strength to face life’s difficulties!

As parents, we sometimes go too far trying to help and protect our kids from life’s harsh realities and disappointments.

We don’t want our kids to struggle like we did.

Harvard psychiatrist Dr. Dan Kindlon says that over-protected children are more likely to struggle in relationships and 

with challenges.
We’re sending our kids the message that they’re not capable of helping themselves.
To quote clinical psychologist,

Dr. Wendy ‘s Moral:

“It  is  Our Job  to  prepare  Our  Children  for  the  Road & Not  prepare  the  Road for  Our Children”





Acid attack victim woman to kill herself but meets Pope Francis 

12 09 2017

​​

For Consuela Cordoba, life had no meaning anymore. Hit by the depth of human wickedness, she had lost faith in humanity and wanted out. She was going to kill herself and had set a date with death and an appointment with a doctor who will kill her (Euthanasia is legal in Columbia)

Once a pretty woman, with chocolate colored skin and gleaming white teeth accentuated her dimpled smile. All that changed in 2000 when her ex-boyfriend poured acid all over her. He was arrested and spent just one month in jail, but for Consuela, nothing would ever be the same again.

She will spend not one month, but the rest of her life breathing through straws tubes sticking out from what was once her pretty nose. Her face or what remains of it must be covered at all time with skin mask or it would desiccate on contact with sunlight. Her life was over. 

After countless surgeries, she finally succumbed to despair. Wickedness has triumphed and evil has had his way with her. There was nothing. She would help her ex-boyfriend finish what he started so that his complete and utter triumph over her would be final. She will end her life and that was that. She paid the required fees to the death doctor and a date was fixed. 

But just before the date arrived, Pope Francis visited Columbia and met with her. 

She was one of the crowds but Pope Francis spotted her and asked them to bring her to speak with him. 

When she stood before him,  she made a simple request, ‘Papa, give me permission to end my life for I am tired of this world”

Pope Francis crushed her into his arms and looked deep into her eyes and said, ‘No”

“Why,” she asked him, weeping and shaking from the magnitude of love she be-held in his eyes

“Because you are very beautiful and I love you”.
That was it.

That moment was all it took.  She changed her mind. 

“I will never kill myself,” she swore to herself.

 Rather, she will live on, determined to be a witness and an inspiration for millions of other people, victims of wickedness. She will give hope to the raped, to those suffering violations of any kind. She will turn the great evil done to her into something good. In her suffering she will share in the sufferings of abandoned children, of mutilated girls and of starving the world over. She will offer her pain in expiation for the crimes of war and injustice throughout the world. In-short her agony will pay the ransom for girls kidnapped and sold into prostitution and slavery in Europe and all over the globe. Her beauty so cruelly and brutally erased she will accept, in exchange and in atonement for those beautiful women who misuse their beauty in pornographic ways to ravage the hearts of men lead and lead them into sin and addiction ruining their families. For every ounce of diabolical hatred with which her ex-boyfriend poured acid on her, she would pour out all her love for every creature for the rest of her life.





​The Christian Sword by Fr Don Calloway 

30 08 2017

Las Lajas, Columbia, 16th Century.  A woman and her child sheltering in a cave from a fierce storm soon realized they were not alone.  The child drew her mother’s attention to a presence behind them. A beautiful woman was standing behind looking at them.  Scared, mother and child ran out of cave. 

A few months later, the child died from an inexplicable illness and the mother was convinced that that woman in the cave could restore her child’s life. 

She ran back to the cave with her dead child in her arms. Neighbors, afraid that she had lost her mind went after her. When they reached the cave, behold the dead child was alive! 

When asked how come, she replied that the woman in the cave had raised the child from the dead.”

Curious, the villagers entered the cave and saw a beautiful painting of a woman carrying a child in her arm. The painting was on the cave wall. 

Someone tried to scratch the painting but the paint would not come off. The entire painting was solid rock. Studies showed that no paint pigments was used, only rock!

This rock image is venerated today in Columbia as Neustra senora de Las Lajas 

With these and many more amazing true life stories, Fr. Don Calloway explains how heaven has given us a sword to fight all evils. This video is worth every minute of your time 





 It’s not worth the risk

22 08 2017

condoms

I had a chance encounter with someone at the swimming pool recently that got me thinking. He works for a foreign NGO that deals with HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in Africa.

“We go around educating people with the illness about the importance of taking their drugs,” he said.

“Why is that necessary?” I asked, wondering why someone living with AIDS would need an agency to remind him to take his drugs.

“They are ashamed,” he replied, “there is a strong stigma attached to AIDS in this country and people simply do not want to be identified or known as having AIDS.”

“I can understand that,” I said.

“Yes.  So, even though we are offering the drugs free, yet people don’t want to come forward to collect them. Many people are living in suicidal denial

“Human beings are very complex,” I said.

“But do you have preventive program as well?” I asked.

“Yes, we promote the use of condoms.”

“Are you aware of the claims that condoms are not foolproof, some even have holes big enough for Aids viruses to easily pass through?

“That has not been scientifically verified,” he countered.

I smiled.

“But I am sure you aware from experience perhaps, that fingernails can scratch holes through latex condoms?” I continued.

He smiled and began speaking truthfully.

“Yeah, you are right,” he said, “many of the condoms are even expired without the user’s knowledge. And many people don’t check expiry dates before putting them on if at all they do.”

“Sex is a passionate affair,” I said, “and in the heat of passion, people get carried away and become careless.”

He smiled. Looking cornered, he said, “In the absence of better solution, what else can we do?”

“But there is a better solution,” I said with another smile.

“Abstinence?” he asked.

I nodded.

 

“I know, but how many people can control themselves?” he scoffed.

”It is not easy I agree, but when you challenge people, they can do a lot. At least warn them of the dangers and educate them about the abstinence alternative.”

He nodded. There was a thoughtful look in his eyes.

I continued, “Consider for a moment how doctors and nurses wear gloves, and surgical masks and gowns when going in for a surgery. Compare that to the level of protection offered by a single condom. Besides, we are not talking about just HIV/AIDS; there is a host of other sexual and nonsexual transmitted diseases which can be transmitted during sexual acts.

He was silent.

“Plenty of different body fluids are exchanged during intercourse” I added.

“You are right,” he admitted again, “abstinence and mutual fidelity is the only prevention worth promoting. The stakes are two high, and it is not worth the risk of using a condom.”

We concluded and shook hands. He was an honest man and I left the pool feeling that I had made a friend.  I promised to send him an article I wrote many years ago on the “Bleak stories behind failed condom campaigns”

 

From the Editor

Chinwuba Iyizoba








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