10,000-butterflies-project-inspiration-in-the-angry-placesFlip on the nightly news . . . and there it is. A steady diet of awful! It’s beginning to wear me down. I’ve been angry way too much lately.

Racism and bigotry are on full and ugly display.

The opioid epidemic is out of control.

The number of homeless and hungry people continues to grow.

And it seems like our country is rapidly sliding into “us versus them” camps instead of “we’re all in this together” thinking.

It’s a big ol’ heaping platter of doom and gloom every night — enough to raise anybody’s blood pressure.  But just getting mad is a waste of energy and emotion.

So I went looking for what I call “inspiration in the angry places.”

“Inspiration in the angry places” is what happens when obstacles like poverty and discrimination bump up against  innovative approaches and imagination.

It’s what happens when respect and compassion trump cruelty, callousness, and malice.

When ordinary people decide they can change the future by molding their outrage into an unstoppable force that’s changing lives.

 

My search for “inspiration in the angry places” shifted my frustration into hope and optimism. There are plenty of really good things happening in America.

People transforming communities one building at a time.

Teaming up to solve problems.

Mentoring young girls, helping them achieve their full potential.

And so much more.

For the next few weeks this blog will shine a spotlight on the good stuff. On the “inspiration in the angry places.”

My search for “inspiration in the angry places” shifted my frustration into hope and optimism. There are plenty of really good things happening in America.

For people struggling to make ends meet, finding affordable housing in metropolitan areas is a real challenge. It generally means living in run-down buildings and dealing with higher crime rates.

Successful real estate manager Mary Stagmeier knew there had to be a workable solution that would turn blighted apartment complexes into better living conditions for tenants and bigger profits for landlords.  Her Star-C model program in Atlanta, Georgia combines decent housing and medical care with education support for kids. The Willow Branch complex includes a community garden, after school tutoring, and a partnership with a health clinic that offers low-cost primary care, dentistry, and OB-GYN services to residents.

This is no pie-in-the-sky project. It boasts solid results. Kids in the Star-C program are showing big academic gains. 10,000-butterflies-project-inspiration-in-the-angry-placesCommunity gardening gives residents a chance to grow some of their own food and socialize with their neighbors while cutting costs. A fence erected around the gardens keeps gang members and other people out who used to use the complex as a short cut. That means more security for the residents of Willow Branch. The Star-C/Willow Branch program is a win-win model for property owners and tenants, one that other cities could replicate.

Although shamefully the US is the currently the only country in the world that is not a part of the Paris Climate Accords, many cities, states, and developers are going green — because it benefits their bottom lines. That’s the case for an innovative sustainable living complex in Minneapolis.

The Rose, a new 90-unit complex is designed to be affordable, reduce energy costs, and still be upscale. The green building developers partnered with experts at the University of Minnesota to devise smart building techniques such as a facade that is actually a solar wall providing hot water, a roof that can hold solar panels, and a community garden. According to reports, the building cost about 20% more to build but is 75% more energy efficient. Developers are enthusiastic about other urban areas adopting this model for more affordable, sustainable housing.

Keep coming back to my blog for more “inspiration in the angry places” solution that turn outrage into answers.

 

10,000-butterflies-project-hope-beauty-transformationBecome a contributing artist to the 10,000 Butterflies Project. How do you want to make your life count? It’s easy to be part of the project. Just click here for simple directions.

 

 

 

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Together we can spread hope and beauty and transform our world.

 

 

Bonnie Pond is the founder of the 10,000 Butterflies Project and the international Make Your Life Count Movement. She’s an inspiring speaker and the author of The Power of Three: How to be Happy and Get What You Want in Life (Without Doing Anything Illegal, Immoral, or Unethical) and Unlock Your Creativity: 30 Days to a More Creative YOU! Bonnie is a self-described “Bahooda Kicker” who helps women stop settling for less than they really want in life. Her mission is to motivate women around the world to live their purpose, love their lives, and make them count. 

 

 

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