An NBA Team With A Kind Voice


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.

Lorelei Decker

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.



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.




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.
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


Travels with Charley

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.”
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.


Common Unity

The original idea of ‘community’ meant ‘common unities’ – people with a common purpose and values living in unity. We all have kind voices, it’s how we share the good within us, our kind voice is a common unity. How we use our kind voices, determines the quality of the communities we create.


When we reach out to each other…

Novelist Jack London once wrote, “I would rather be ashes than dust. I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than be stifled by dry rot. I would rather be a superb meteor than a sleepy, permanent planet.”

Someone once read those words to Kenny Stabler and asked the former quarterback what they meant. Stabler paused a moment, then said, “Throw deep.”

At A Kind Voice our way of “Throwing Deep” is to create ways for people to share their kind voices.

We currently do this by producing radio programs on a variety of topics and we are also working on organizing live musical events called “Kind Voices Coming Together” and a free call in line, so that a kind voice is only a phone call away.

In football a pass is the instrument of conversation between the quarterback (giver) and the receiver. Our mission is to make our world a kinder, more connected place, one conversation at a time. And the instrument of conversation between the giver and the receiver is a kind voice, an open ear and a warm heart. We believe in the Alchemy of Kindness…That when we reach out to each other we both receive.

Kenny Stabler1

Creating Ecosystems

Did you ever wonder why the concepts of green or sustainable enterprises does not necessarily include fair labor practices? I posed this question to our guest Bjorn Claeson, the Executive Director of the Sweat Free Purchasing Consortium, and he said the way businesses treat people, workers and communities are all part of the same puzzle of responsible living. I liked that answer and many of the other insights Bjorn shared during his interview (below) on A Kind Voice Radio.



The picture on the above interview illustrates a social commons. In the social commons the Sweat Free Purchasing Consortium is creating, governments, businesses and individuals serve each other in fair ways and in doing so are helping to create a beautiful social commons. Another way to visualize this relationship is to picture big, beautiful trees growing along a rich stream. The people who serve and are served by this ecosystem lead rich lives. Where as streams who supply goods made from unfair labor practices have a very different appearance.

The Sweat Free Purchasing Consortium helps organize the efforts of cities, states and other communities to buy products made by organizations with fair labor practices. It helps governments use their “kind voice”. Remember that our governments are funded by our tax dollars and we each have the right to ask our city and state governments to spend our tax dollars in ways that create a beautiful social commons.



On last night’s episode of A Kind Voice on Sports we had the great pleasure of interviewing Craig Muder, the Director of Communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. Craig shared interesting insights and fun stories.



Going into the program I was a bit concerned about pulling back the curtain on something I have such high regard for. It did not turn out well with the Great & Powerful Oz. However this time pulling the curtain back revealed something more wonderful than I realized going into the program.

The Hall of Fame was founded in Cooperstown based (in part) on the Abner Doubleday myth, which we now know is false. Prior to the show I thought anything founded on an untrue foundation had to be flawed. However, what became clear during the interview was even though Cooperstown came to be in part because of the Abner Doubleday myth, this myth is not at it’s foundation. At it’s foundation is a very big idea about honoring the people who played the game with excellence.

This idea is planted in the soil of the picturesque village of Cooperstown located in majestic upstate New York. There are three parts to the Hall of Fame, the actual hall which contains the bronze plaques of the Hall of Famers. The hall has a cathedral like feel. Then there is the museum which has wonderful displays telling the stories of baseball’s great players and rich history. The third part is the library, which has a physical file on every single player who played the game. Every single one. As well as all the details of the games history.


Cooperstown is a living place, inducting new members into the Hall of Fame each year. This year’s induction weekend will be July 25th – July 28th . The Class of 2014 features Bobby Cox, Tom Glavine, Tony La Russa, Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas and Joe Torre. Induction weekend is a great place to see and interact with former players who are more accessible than in other circumstances. The players who are being inducted are not always polished speakers and they give very geniune speeches as they are deeply honored to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Cooperstown is not located close to a big city so it is a bit of a pilgrimage to get there. However as Terry Cashman says in his song below “it’s worth the trip”.



The spirit of this blog is to have some fun with the idea of a community garden of kind voices. The posts include everyone from iconic figures to fictional cartoon-ish characters to everyday folks. A post can also be about an idea or event, it can be a song, poem or video. The only limitation is we don’t include religious or political posts. If you’d like to plant a seed (submit a post) please click here.


Today’s Post:
“Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson




What started out as a missed called by umpire Jim Joyce, denying pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game turned into a great story about responding with a kind voice.


Grand Mountains

Could one live in constant view of these grand mountains without being elevated by them into a loftier plane of thought and purpose. – General Palmer after first seeing Colorado Springs


Grand mountains can take on all shapes and sizes…People using their kind voices to help others is an example of a grand mountain.


Generous Gesture

Our kind voice is how we use the good within us and the resources we have to make a positive impact. This is a wonderful story of a local man, Kenny Thompson, using his kind voice to pay the delinquent lunch accounts for more than 60 children at Houston’s Valley Oaks Elementary School. The kids with negative balances were receiving different lunches than the other kids: cold cheese sandwiches instead of a full tray of food. Click on the picture below to get the full story.



Dr. Seuss

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr. Seuss
Dr. Seuss

Soundtrack: The Story of the DJ

The Disc Jockey uses sound to create art and has come a long way since the first radio broadcast over a century ago. Even further, there are as many types of DJs and techniques as there are types of music. However, no matter what their style may be, their job remains the same and that is to make sure that their audience is having a great time.

On Friday’s show (January 31) I had a great time speaking with DJ Zimmie about his upcoming documentary “Soundtrack: The Story of the DJ”.



Inspired by the success garnered from his article “The End of DJing,” which was something he wrote on his blog that talked about the common problems and stories shared by many professional DJs.The article was so successful that letters and comments came in from all over the world. “There’s a much bigger story here, this needs a little more than just a blog post to be discussed,” DJ Zimmie told me during the broadcast. The film would serve as a voice for the DJ community while providing information to those that are curious about the profession.

Music can unite people from different walks of life. It forms connections and impressions deep within us on a level that most cannot understand. Certain songs can influence how we feel and bring up memories of different times. “Think about where you were the first time you heard a certain song,” he said “There’s a soundtrack for everything.” This soundtrack is where he came up with the title for this project.

The story of the DJ is the story of a group of people that have dedicated their talents to making other people happy. If you ask two DJs that have never met about their experiences, odds are that there will be strong similarities in their stories. This bond is what brings the community its strength and ability to understand each other on a level beyond words.


With more than a decade of experience and thousands of parties under his belt, DJ Zimmie would qualify as someone that can put the type of love and attention into a project such as this. However, he is not doing it alone. Many top names in the industry have offered to help him get this film made and will be part of the actual production, because they too know the importance of getting this information out there to the public.

Whether we realize it or not, there have been times in our lives where a DJ has changed our moods for the better. Be it the studio DJ on the radio during your commute to or from work or the DJs playing in nightclubs, we have all been touched by what they do. With this Kickstarter campaign, it is an opportunity for us to do something for DJs of all kinds everywhere.

Throughout the conversation, it was apparent that DJ Zimmie has a true passion for what he does. This film is not about him, but the culture and art to which he’s committed his life.