An NBA Team With A Kind Voice

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A Kind Voice on Sports was honored to talk with Dan Mahoney, Vice President of Corporate Communications and Community Relations with the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team. In his interview with host Demetrius Means, Dan shared the remarkable story of Lorelei Decker and her victory in her battle with cancer. Please click here to read the full story of how she has been inspired by the Oklahoma City Thunder and how she has inspired them. You don’t want to miss the very touching video at the bottom of the story.

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He also discussed the wonderful community of Oklahoma City and their special relationship with the team. To spite being the third smallest market in the NBA, their season ticket sales and renewals are among the highest in the league. The organization is never satisfied with where they are and is always trying to get better. As a community Oklahoma City has been through a lot of disasters, which have helped bring the community closer together.

What jumped out at me, during the interview is his desire to get every detail right and give credit to others. When discussing the Lorelei Decker story, Dan was quick to point out that all the other NBA teams do great work and talked about the NBA Cares program. As we work to tell the stories of people and organizations doing positive work, we have invited other professional sports teams to come on our program and tell us about how they help in their community. A few have accepted our invitation, but the Thunder was the first. If you listen to the interview (below) you will hear an authentic kind voice who is part of an amazing organization that is a source of positive energy both on and off the court.

Thanks to Dan Mahoney and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

 

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The Alchemy of Kindness

Alchemy is to separate and to join together. Alchemists combined common metals into gold. The transmutation of common metals into gold symbolized evolution from an imperfect state towards a perfect state. At A Kind Voice we believe in the Alchemy of Kindness. Two strangers joining in a conversation, with the intention of sharing and being kind to the other are practicing the Alchemy of Kindness.

Alchemy is turning common metals into gold. Kindness on Russian Dashboard Cameras contains examples of people who responded to the odd shaped circumstances life offers us, with the kindness in their hearts and created something better than gold.

 

If there was an Anthem that captured the spirit of The Alchemy of Kindness this would be it.

It is inspiring how one lone kind voice can transform an entire arena into a beautiful symphony of kind voices. Using the kindness in our hearts to connect with strangers in their moment of need, large or small, could have an amazing impact on that moment as well as a ripple effect impacting future moments.

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The Alchemy of Kindness
 

 

Games

Games are played for fun and the challenge of doing our best. The processes used by games, such as Scrabble, can be transplanted into other endeavors making those endeavors more fun and efficient. In Scrabble the objective of each turn is to take the random letters on your tray and create a word that connects with the pattern on the Scrabble board in a way that scores the most points.

The tiles on each player’s tray can be metaphor for the thoughts and energy that live inside him or her. Each day we try to connect those thoughts and energy with other patterns, say business patterns, just as the Scrabble players try to connect his tiles with the pattern on Scrabble board.
 
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By connecting with a business pattern we get dollars instead of points. Learning new skills places higher valued tiles on our trays, that when connected with a business patterns will get us more money. More lucrative businesses leverage our energy, as placing ones tiles on a triple word score multiples ones points in Scrabble. IBM’s Serious Games uses processes found in games to make businesses more efficient.

At A Kind Voice we are creating a kind of Scrabble board. The shared experiences of movies, books, sports, music, etc… create a common frame of reference for people to connect their tiles with. Volunteers available to discuss personal issues or experiences also create a place for those who need to talk, to connect with. Our game has been designed to create a bridge allowing callers to connect with a pattern of hope, love and kind energy.

It also has the randomness of some of our favorite games. A call can connect a school teacher in Portland with a construction worker in Albuquerque. Speaking with a stranger from a different place, can be both fun and a good learning experience.

When people connect to share the kindness in their heart, no individual scores need to be kept as the objective is to create community prosperity, so that everyone who plays wins. Each call fulfills our mission of making the world a kinder, more connected place, one conversation at a time.

A Kind Voice is just getting started, each conversation, radio program, song created, piece of social media content shared, is helping to create a web of kind voices. The end game is for there to be a kind voice will be available whenever and wherever one is needed.
 

Seeds + Pattern

 
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Travels with Charley

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Travels with Charley was one of John Steinbeck’s final novels. It’s about a journey he made across America with his dog named Charley in a vehicle called Rocinante, named after Don Quixote’s horse. He wanted to see America first hand, so he could write from experience. He aimed to “tell the small diagnostic truths which are the foundations of the larger truth.”

His journey starts in New York, heads up to Maine, then West to Washington State. He is a master story teller, telling us of the colorful people he met along the way, brilliantly mixing interesting conversation with insightful narration. It is a warm book, with some humor mixed in.
 
One of the most thought provoking sections of the book occurs in New Orleans. He arrived there during the Fall of 1960 to attend a demonstration against Ruby Bridges, a six year old girl who was courageously becoming the first African American to attend an all white elementary school in the South. He was sickened by the hateful words and actions during the demonstration, but would “not let illness blind me after I came so far to look and to hear”.

He acknowledged that there are many haters in the world, but asked “Where were the others?” and concluded “I don’t know where they were. Perhaps they felt as helpless as I did, but they left New Orleans misrepresented to the world. The crowd, no doubt rushed home to see themselves on television, and what they saw went out all over the world, unchallenged by the other things I know are there.”
 
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Writing so beautifully in the America of 1960, was his way of challenging the hatred, that was left unchallenged on that day in New Orleans. His words inspired some of the other things he “knew were there” to materialize.
 
His words continue to inspire today and are one of the inspirations for starting A Kind Voice. His question, ‘Where were the others?’, can be extracted from the circumstance he was writing about and placed into the circumstances many of us encounter in our everyday lives.
 
At A Kind Voice we share stories about people using their kind voice to make our world a kinder, more connected place, one act at a time. We share these stories to honor those who lived them and to inspire others to use their stories as source material, to create their own stories.

 

John Steinbeck Travels

John Steinbeck and his Travels with Charlie are there for all to read. Rocinante and some of the authentic articles from their journey are in a museum. His thoughts, their journey, live on and continue to inspire new stories. The story of A Kind Voice is one of the living stories their journey has inspired. We hope that you join us on this journey.

 
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Making Good Things Come Together….

Our guest on last night’s radio program, Vanessa Vargas Wilson (aka Crafty Gemini), uses her kind voice to connect people with each other and the art of making good things. Her passion is for crafting, cooking and growing things in her organic garden. Then telling the stories about the things she makes/grows/does on her You Tube Channel, which now has hundreds of videos and millions of views.

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Her unscripted videos do a beautiful job of explaining the topic at hand with an authentic voice and a natural enthusiasm which engages her viewers. We also discussed some of the nuances of being a video content provider, things like the importance of “Watch Time” in getting your video listed in a good place in searches and the You Tube Partner program that allows one to monetize their videos. She was one of the winners in a You Tube contest for up and coming video content providers and got great prizes and was flown up to the Google offices in New York where she met all kinds of people in the You Tube world, including the people who do search algorithms and learned more about building community and audience on You Tube.

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The most satisfying thing about her work is when she gets a joyful post with a picture of a wonderful thing one of her viewers created using one of her videos. She does not just use her kind voice to push content out. Sewing and quilting are very solitary types of hobbies, so Vanessa created an online quilting guild that has over 900 members to bring people together and create a sense of community. Within that club she randomly connects “swap partners” who make things for each other. Then last October she brought the online guild into “real life” by organizing a quilting retreat that attracted quilters from 15 different states and 2 Canadian provinces. It was a joyous experience, that Vanessa describes beautifully in the show below.

 

 

Creating Spaces

We often hear about running out of spaces, resources, stuff… Which creates a feeling of scarcity. Last night our guests on A Kind Voice Radio, David Burns and Austin Young are working to create a story of abundance. Their Endless Orchard organizes things in imaginative ways, plants new seeds and facilitates people working together to create organic spaces where new life will grow. They are creating a sustainable, edible, living public artwork; fruit trees are planted in public spaces and mapped by the volunteers for everyone to share.

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The project started when the Journal of Aesthetics & Protest asked for proposals that use the agency of activism, to engage people in activities not to protest what they are against, rather create what they are for. And who wouldn’t be for fresh fruit right off the tree?

David and Austin view this Endless Orchard as a kind of art work, not as a static piece, but as a living mosaic created by a diverse community of individuals. To quote David Burns ”The point of the project is to change the way you experience the city or a place that you think you already know. It’s about groups of people coming together and using something and making something and changing it’s meaning over time and ultimately I think that’s what the job of art is, to capture our imagination as people.”

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The Endless Orchard creates a space for a wonderful fusion of nature, technology and the human spirit. The experience of people working together in this collaborative way, could be translated back into beautiful music, a painting or a meaningful story. And the beautiful trees that are a result of this story which will bare fruit over a long period of time, is a sustainable living art work that will continue to nourish a community.

Please click on the interview below to listen to the wonderful story they are creating and go to their Kickstarter project to learn how you get help.

 

 

Garden of the Greater Good

If there was a Garden of the Greater Good it would be filled with imperfect people, striving to plant and nurture good seeds.

There would be gardeners who utilize capitalism, to build organizations that provide honest work and serve with a kind voice.

There would be worker bees who use their kind voices to bring these organic organizations to life.

There would be people paying it forward, backward and side ways to cross pollinate and make good stuff grow.

There would be musicians using their kind voices to sing the story of new life growing in our garden. Growing toward the sun of serving each other.

There would be poets, artists and film makers sharing stories that make us laugh, cry, think and act.

It will not be all sunshine… There would be weeds, things will die and people will disagree, but do so with civility.

It is a garden of people sharing their kind voices to make our world a kinder, more connected place.
 

 
To Get Specific….

The video above is of a Community Garden Cooperative where residents of Mountain Park, Georgia work together to grow things and we share what we grow. I believe the good tasting vegetables and beautiful flowers are a by-product of a right effort and the real fruit of the garden is building community. The experience of working in this garden led me to believe a bigger garden exists and our programs on A Kind Voice Radio explore this garden to see what others are up to. Here are some examples.

 

Sean & Jackie Sykes of The Greater Good Cafe Steve McLeod of the “Salad Box”

 

Jordyn Lexton of Drive Change Wendy Ulman and Steve Zeavrink of Live Station Farm and the Hearth & Market

 

Claire Bloom of End 68 Hours of Hunger Our interview with Denise Cerreta of One World Everybody Eats

 
 
 
 
 
 

A Believer

Henry J. Kim is a man with a story to tell. Together with his partner Al Attles Jr, he has spent the last 7 years, documenting a wonderful story about believing and community. Their historical documentary, The Believers, tells the true story of the Golden State Warrior and their fans. However, Henry’s thoughts on having a pure purpose to serve a worthy mission can apply to many different things.

His story connects with a larger story of kind voices coming together, to create a beautiful tapestry. To help visualize this tapestry please take a look at the video below. Freezing it at different points, will allow you to see shapes expanding and exploding, creating new streams and bridges connecting with other shapes and patterns.

 

Henry’s story can be viewed as one of those expanding shapes. And Henry wants to create a bridge to share how his beautiful shape and the joy he has experienced during his journey, with other film makers not as far along on their path. Who knows, maybe he can inspire other fans/film makers to make films telling the positive story of the community around their team. How great would that be, if The Believers can encourage other believers to tell the story about what is good about their teams and communities.

At A Kind Voice we are working to make our world a kinder, more connected place one conversation at a time. The Tapestry of kind voices coming together won’t fully materialize until enough kind voices join the conversation. Below is our full conversation with Henry, which includes information on how you can help make his beautiful vision materialize.

 

 

The Museum of Lost Things

Last night we interviewed Gregory Cioffi (listen below) about his new film “Museum of Lost Things” based on a short story by Dennis Pahl. The film is about a man who randomly walks into a museum that contains objects that he has lost in his life. The movie starts by exploring rooms with tangible objects and then goes onto to explore rooms containing more abstract things, like lost illusions.

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What made this film a good fit for A Kind Voice radio is one can imagine a room in this museum containing the results of the experiences of using one’s kind voice.

Our kind voice is how we share the good within us, with the world around us. Sometimes the experience resulting from using our kind voice does not always turn out the way we hoped it would, or it could have turned out the way we hoped, but there is potential for it to have had a bigger impact. This room contains static folders with the stories from the past experiences where we used our kind voice.

What if one can go back into this room and distill a story folder down into a seed which captures it’s essence and that seed can then be fused with the energy/spirit of it’s author, so that the story takes on new life.

The film presents a rich metaphor to help us visualize possibilities….

 

 

Hey Cubs – Let’s honor an Everyday Hero

It would be a great thing if the Cubs would ask Erika Amundsen to throw out the first pitch in their first home playoff game. It would bring good karma. For those of you who don’t know who Erika Amundsen is, she in the security person who shepherded a frightened Steve Bartman to safety on a very dark night. The story of how she risked her own safety to help someone in need can be seen in this video.

She is an everyday hero, and telling the story of what she did would be a way to forgive all the wrong that happened on that night. It would make our world a kinder, more connected place if the Cubs and their fans would use their kind voices to honor this lady. Baseball has led the way before in showing us how to use our kind voices to build good futures.

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Mojo

I have a dog named Mojo, who sometimes jumps on people. I thought he was jumping to assert control… until I saw the video (below) from Dog Trainer Zak George, that starts with the idea that a dog is jumping, because he wants is a little interaction with your hands. Then he explains gentle techniques for facilitating that interaction, which creates a positive experience for everyone.

What I love about this video is, if a story is viewed as interconnected Legos, Zak examined the Legos at the foundation and replaced them with different Legos. These new Legos allow us to change the Legos that come next and construct a different pattern, i.e. create a new story.

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If you look at a waterfall, the rocks at the top determine the character of that waterfall and life downstream. It is a nice when we come across opportunities to use our kind voices to change some legos (or move some rocks) and find new channels to connect good actions and create better stories. I think changing the smaller stories, that are part of our daily lives, creates hope that we can use our kind voices to impact bigger stories or create new stories.

 

The Lighthouse Cafe

Lighthouse Cafe

We will be starting a new segment called the “Lighthouse Café” that will be heard on A Kind Voice on Good News. The segment is inspired by Chris Reeve who was paralyzed during an accident and found hope when he was able to move one finger. He said that hope was a species of happiness. In his book “Nothing is Impossible” he says:

“When we have hope, we discover powers within ourselves we may never have known-the power to make sacrifices, to endure, to heal, and to love. Once we choose hope, everything is possible. We are all on this sea together. But the lighthouse is always there, ready to show us the way home.”

His vision of Lighthouses as symbols of hope, will be brought to life during the Lighthouse Cafe segments where we will share stories that inspire hope.

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Currency

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Kenny Fulton the host of A Kind Voice on Music , talks about kindness as a currency.

It is a currency that must be use in the current moment, the moment we are in right now, or it will dis-integrate. It is the currency that comes from the good within and flows out thru our kind voices to connect with others.
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When kind voices and open ears come together a kind of alchemy is created, where everyone in the conversation is enriched. And when enough Kind voices come together, enough currency can be generated to light up a room or a nation.

This is not just a dream we have at A Kind Voice, it is our daily work. We are on a journey to make our world a kinder, more connected place, one conversation at a time. We accomplish this thru our radio programs where we have conversations with an eclectic group of people including musicians, sports figures, authors, business people, film makers, philosophers & everyday hero’s. The common thread is they all use their kind voices to make a positive impact. Taken together these threads form a kind of tapestry.

 
 
 
 

Creating Opportunity

Our guest Carlecia Wright, shared the wonderful story that the Office of Business Opportunity (OBO) in Houston, Texas is creating. Not only do they use cutting edge technology like Tweet My Jobs to bring residents and businesses together, they also offer a comprehensive suite of services and programs that provide the soil for a beautiful ecosystem to emerge. The OBO is a hub that connects partners like the Kauffman Foundation and Goldman Sachs with the people & business of Houston.

As you will hear in the interview below, the kind voice and good spirit of Director Wright is what brings this tapestry to life. It is a shining example of what can be, and hopefully other communities will emulate this model. Director Wright also stressed the important role Annise Parker, the Mayor of Houston, has played in the evolution of the OBO.

Director Wright closed the program with a message to people starting businesses in Houston: “You don’t have to go it alone.” For more information check out their website – http://www.houstontx.gov/obo/