Stories by Jen (4 matches)

Crumpled Ten Dollars From a Laundry Machine

Last week, my friend was leafing through a bunch of clothes when he found a crumpled up note. Right then, he turns to me and says, "I don't know what amount this is, but it's yours. Pay it forward, leave 'em a smile card and lots to smile about." That bills ends up being a ten-dollar bill. All week I've been wondering what to do. Saturday morning rolled around and I had to drop off a couple of bags of clothes at Goodwill. I had been to this particular Goodwill store before and as I'm driving, my mind wandered to the people working at the store. There is a large room at the back of the store for dropping off items and there are always people in the room sorting through the dozens of bags left for donations. I thought to myself, that's not the most ... Read Full Story >>

5414 Reads

Not An Ordinary World Cup

The soccer ball sounds like the clatter of a rattlesnake's tail, fans are barred from cheering too loudly and the sidelines are clear plastic walls meant to keep the players in-bounds -- clearly not an ordinary World Cup. Save for the goalkeepers, all of the athletes are legally blind.

Welcome to the fourth World Championships of Soccer for the Blind. Spectator Marcelo Gonzalez, who coaches blind teenagers and 20-somethings in Argentina, said he still marvels how sightless players are so attuned to sounds, vibrations and the fast-changing position of their competitors.


2688 Reads

Courage and Composure

Remaining calm and level-headed in moments of crisis is a challenge -- particularly when you're only nine years old. But when second-grader Jimmy Steven's mother fell unconscious behind the driving wheel, he knew just what to do.

Jumping onto his mother's lap he steered the car to the side of the road, put it in park and dialed 911. For the next eleven minutes, he calmly directed paramedics to the car where he and his younger siblings were waiting. Jimmy's courage and composure saved his mother's life, and his bravery earned him a medal from the local police and other honors from the town.


1797 Reads

Wired to be Inspired

Most theories in social sciences say that people's actions and feelings are motivated by self-interest. So here's a puzzle: why do we care when a stranger does a good deed for another stranger?

Psychologist Jonathan Haidt has been pondering this question for years. Haidt uses the phrase "elevation" to describe the warm, uplifting feeling that people experience when they see unexpected acts of human goodness, kindness or courage -- and the power of this feeling to inspire widespread compassion.

Examples of elevation exist across cultures and historical eras. While psychology has traditionally focused its energy on studying the origin and impact of negative moral emotions such as guilt and anger, Haidt's work seeks to look scientifically at the compelling effects of goodness.


1579 Reads

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