"A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed."
— Desmond Tutu

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Little Sparks


"A great flame follows a little spark." -Dante Alighieri 

For whatever reason, I have had an extremely hard time finding news stories about people who embody ubuntu lately. I thought with the 10th anniversary of September 11th last Sunday that surely there would be a flood of stories about people doing great things in memory of someone, or just because of the talk of "unity" and "solidarity" that abounded. And maybe there were, but if so, their news stories are hidden and buried under a pile of news stories about the 2012 election, trouble in the Middle East, and celebrity gossip. 


So I find myself extremely frustrated and discouraged today. After searching the news for what seemed like hours, and even after going to my standard "good news" sources, I was still coming up empty. Just when I was about to give up and spend the rest of the day, and probably the week, engulfed in the ugliness in the news, I happened upon this story of Heroreports. Under the direction of Yessica Guerra, and started through an initiative by MIT, Heroreports is "a non-profit project dedicated to crowdsourcing and mapping reports of citizen courage and positive social behavior."


The site is full of reports of "small" acts of kindness and courage, which, I'm sure, seem much larger in a city ravaged by violence. There are stories that range from something small, such as witnessing someone give up a seat to an elderly person, to reports of really grandiose acts of kindness. 

So, in a city full of terror and fear, if there are people who can still find heroes in each other, I think I can do a better job of finding the good and the courageous- even in the midst of the news that surrounds us every day. 

Here's the website for the Heroreports based out of Ju√°rez. It's in Spanish, but it's still pretty powerful to see. (Also, Google translate.....)


And here's the project main page with links to other cities and partnership opportunities:

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