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"Believe, when you are most unhappy, that there is something for you to do in the world. So long as you can sweeten another's pain, life is not in vain."
- Helen Keller
 

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September 3, 2014  


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Our weekly e-magazine, delivered every Friday morning, poses questions about living the good life and gives practical ways to get more good into your life with these features:
  • The GoodLetter itself: a letter by us or one of our contributing writers (could be you!) about a person, non-profit, work practice, or life event that is worth talking about and doing something about.
  • Readers Respond: what you're saying and loving about life and the GoodThings in it.
  • Good Gravy: links to books, movies, public radio stories, and music. The stuff that, when placed on top of your life, makes the whole thing taste just right.
  • The Upshot: ever eclectic. It's the little pay-off for scrolling all the way to the end. We've covered the community benefits of karaoke to ways of helping recent earthquake victims.
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Archives

#122 January 23, 2003
A Farewell GoodLetter
All good things must come to an end.

#121 January 9, 2003
Looking In, Looking Out
In this personal testimonial, a woman considers her life's dual challenge. How can one invoke the internal emotion required to write good songs while maintaining the external vision to make a difference in the world? In other words, can you feed your soul and feed the world?

#120 January 2, 2003
Favorite GoodThings 2002: An Encore (Part 2)
With the announcement of our annual list of ideas, actions, and organizations creating a better world, we offer a much-needed reminder of all the inspiring "goodthings" that happened during a tumultuous 2002.

#119 December 26, 2002
Favorite GoodThings 2002: An Encore (Part 1)
With the announcement of our annual list of ideas, actions, and organizations creating a better world, we offer a much-needed reminder of all the inspiring "goodthings" that happened during a tumultuous 2002.

#118 December 19, 2002
Breaking the Silence
Alarmed by recent reports of the toll of HIV and AIDS on the young girls of the Caribbean, a woman with a passion for film dedicates its transformative power to tackling the crisis.

#117 December 12, 2002
Favorite GoodThings 2002
Once again, we announce our favorite ideas, actions, and organizations creating a better world.

#116 December 5, 2002
Gifts from the Soul
The holiday season is a time of anticipation. But what is it we're waiting for? One woman shares her own ritual for changing holiday expectations: her gifts give something back.

#115 November 28, 2002
Thanks Is All Around
A serendipitous summer walk offers a reminder of the importance and beauty of giving back to the community. It also reveals a lesson in thanksgiving.

#114 November 21, 2002
A Child's World
A children's author with a passion for peace talks about her experiences collecting the courageous stories of women and children in war-torn Afghanistan and makes a powerful case for why every child should have chance to read them.

#113 November 14, 2002
Healing Waters
Where clean, safe drinking water flows, lives flourish. One international organization's mission is as simple as it is elemental.

#112 November 7, 2002
A Lullaby of Peace
Three weeks ago, bombs rocked the peaceful Indonesian island of Bali, killing and injuring hundreds of innocent people and adding what seemed to be yet another reason to be afraid in today's world. But from the tragic trenches of the relief effort, one global citizen makes a hopeful case for moving beyond fear.

#111 October 31, 2002
Braiding the Strands of a New Economy
The global economy remains stifled. There could hardly be less public confidence in large corporations. It's time, says one organization, to open the door to a fresh, fair, and green new start.

#110 October 24, 2002
Make Friends, Not War
Throughout the world, uneasy relationships exist between those who have lived their lives in certain communities and those who have only recently moved in from other places, even other countries. But every day, international exchange students offer a positive story: they're starting new lives in strange places, building extraordinary bridges across cultures, and learning what it means to share "one world."

#109 October 17, 2002
Neighbor Unknown
Thirsty for a way to connect to the people in her neighborhood, one writer takes a risk and discovers a vibrant sense of community all around her.

#108 October 10, 2002
Putting A Life Into Words
Remembering the life of a loved one with compassion after they've passed away is a common ritual. But what if the tradition were to gather to celebrate extraordinary lives well before they ended? One woman awakens to her grandmother's legacy and offers a fitting tribute.

#107 October 3, 2002
Tomorrow's Another Day
What impact can one summer camp in nestled in the forests of Maine have on the futures of the youth of Afghanistan? A dedicated Seeds of Peace staffer weighs both the profound challenges and the incredible opportunities.

#106 September 26, 2002
Jump-Starting Life
Ever feel as if you'd love to volunteer to do something constructive AND plan a good vacation, but don't have time for both? With one non-profit group, adventurous souls have found they can have their cake and eat it, too.

#105 September 19, 2002
The Way I See It: A Global Snapshot
It's easy to be focused on our own backyards. But can looking a little more carefully out our windows connect us with the world as a whole? The way one reader in South Africa sees it, the experience of watching the migration of birds and other wildlife can make a person more aware of the world around them. [Encore of GoodLetter #60]

#104 September 12, 2002
The Wisdom of Children
One year ago this week, we featured the words of a San Francisco kindergarten teacher who learned a simple truth from her students on September 11, 2001. A year later, how much does their wisdom still ring true? [Encore of GoodLetter #55]

#103 September 5, 2002
Alive and Fishing
For breast cancer survivors, a chance to return to the land of the living. [Encore of GoodLetter #76]

#102 August 29, 2002
Hot in the City
A graceful, human solution to a summer energy crisis? [Encore of GoodLetter #43]

#101 August 22, 2002
True Colors
Lives change, heroes emerge. [Encore of GoodLetter #45]

#100 August 15, 2002
A Century's Worth of GoodThings
After 100 weeks of giving life to refreshing stories about the ways real people are making a difference in the world, we decided it was the perfect time to invite you to be a part of our own little centennial celebration.

#99 August 8, 2002
Detox for the Spirit
What's the purpose of summer camp? One inspiring visionary knew with all his heart that it was the perfect place to sow the Seeds of Peace.

#98 August 1, 2002
Toward True Corporate Responsibility
With egregious scandals from Enron to WorldCom to Tyco to Global Crossing, most agree that corporate America could use a strong dose of financial responsibility. But is the conversation complete without a heightened corporate commitment to social responsibility, as well?

#97 July 25, 2002
Dogs and the People Who Need Them
People need people, but dogs need people more. There's nothing quite like a dog to illustrate the value of relationships and the importance of taking responsibility for the things that matter.

#96 July 18, 2002
That Human Touch
Motivated by examples of how genuine human kindness has the power to turn people's lives around, one woman envisions her own constructive pursuit and resolves to begin it.

#95 July 11, 2002
Means To A Better End
Women whose incomes fall well below the federal poverty level often have to choose between feeding their children and health care. One organization is helping homeless women avoid having to make that choice.

#94 July 4, 2002
Whose Land Is This Land?
As a purveyor of songs that existed to make a difference, Woody Guthrie created a "national anthem" for the ages and left a legacy of true patriotism.

#93 June 27, 2002
Can A Song Make A Difference?
Sometimes, when we need a clearer picture of the world around us, it works best to rely on music for both information and inspiration.

#92 June 20, 2002
The Love of the Game
Are sports really a "goodthing"? One youth sports coach says his game is great for kids and community.

#91 June 13, 2002
Fatherly Forgiveness
Laughing at Dad or making kind-hearted fun of him is easy. But, says one humor writer, forgiving him is a whole different story.

#90 June 6, 2002
A Promise Worth Keeping
With no end in sight to rising costs of education, is there any reasonable way to keep college dreams alive for the youngest among us?

#89 May 30, 2002
A Little Means A Lot
One entrepreneur learns from experience in Latin America that when you build a business and double the bottom line, everybody wins.

#88 May 23, 2002
Fall On Me
At the beginning of life on her own, a recent college graduate remembers her unique family's grace under pressure.

#87 May 16, 2002
First Things First
Is there any way to end the cycle of homelessness? Says one ground-breaking school, it's by dedicating heart and soul to the children.

#86 May 9, 2002
Through a Mother's Eyes
Her daughter passionately making a difference in the lives of schoolchildren all over the world, a proud and gracious mother reflects upon an extraordinary gift.

#85 May 2, 2002
Knocking to Open Doors
In Zambia, the simplest solutions can sometimes make the most difference.

#84 April 25, 2002
Making Music Matter
A true citizen of the world finds a non-profit that makes her soul sing and her heart dance.

#83 April 18, 2002
No Coincidences: A Story of Safe Havens
The impassioned work of a dedicated advocate for children saves a life and lends energy to a movement.

#82 April 11, 2002
A Retrospective
Our inspired (and inspiring!) founder reflects upon her very favorite goodthings.

#81 April 4, 2002
Food, Glorious Food
How sharing slow, savory meals and meandering conversations could save the world.

#80 March 28, 2002
Becoming the Big Picture
In rural Nicaragua, a Peace Corps Volunteer creates a vibrant international connection for the children of her village.

#79 March 21, 2002
Sing A New Song
If someone played all the world's national anthems at the same time, would the world hear?

#78 March 14, 2002
Hope Takes Flight in Kosovo
A vivid, youthful glimpse of a brighter future in the former Yugoslavian province.

#77 March 7, 2002
Catching a Good Wave
An Indonesia-based organization combines passion for the ocean waves with a drive to make a difference.

#76 February 28, 2002
Alive and Fishing
A unique program offers breast cancer survivors a chance to return to the land of the living.

#75 February 21, 2002
Victory Over Poverty
In the Olympic spirit of peace and justice, CARE gives people the tools to rebuild.

#74 February 14, 2002
A Priceless Valentine
Finally, a Valentine worth far more than what money can buy.

#73 February 7, 2002
The World Through Art
NOVICA.com uses the World Wide Web to put the heart back in business.

#72 January 31, 2002
Warm and Caring Voices
CASAs lend simple voices and a little support to children in need.

#71 January 24, 2002
A Season for Nonviolence
Action-oriented tribute to two of the 20th century's most important human rights leaders.

#70 January 17, 2002
A PATH to Awakening
Women in Kenya may find themselves on the PATH to better health.

#69 January 10, 2002
Seeking Out the Good in Kids
Shifting the focus to what's good about what youth are doing.

#68 December 20, 2001
By Popular Demand
An encore of the inspiring Ten Ways To Have A Happy Holiday Season (Really!).

#67 December 13, 2001
Short, Fresh Radio Waves
There's a whole world out there and the radio keeps us connected.

#66 December 6, 2001
Favorite GoodThings 2001
In a year short on good news, a few reasons to keep your chin up.

#65 November 29, 2001
Just Say Ja
Joining cultures in marriage makes the world feel like a small town.

#64 November 21, 2001
Giving Rituals
Adding real depth to the meaning of rituals of thanksgiving.

#63 November 15, 2001
NetAid, Net Gain
The unsung heroes of Afghanistan's humanitarian crisis.

#62 November 8, 2001
Home Is Where Humanity Is
Finding meaning, constructing better futures in Costa Rica.

#61 November 1, 2001
Safe and Empowered
Breaking the cycle of violence in schools.

#60 October 25, 2001
The Way I See It: A Global Snapshot
From a window in South Africa, you can see the world.

#59 October 18, 2001
The Finest Art
Art and how it changes the places we work.

#58 October 11, 2001
Reunited
The importance of friends during uncertain times.

#57 October 4, 2001
The Kids Are Alright
There are so many stories of kids changing the world.

#56 September 27, 2001
What's Normal?
After September 11, will anything ever be "the usual" again?

#55 September 19, 2001
The Wisdom of Children
Sometimes, the wisest among us are the youngest.

-- September 14, 2001
The Saddest Day
September 11, 2001

#53 September 6, 2001
The Best Family Vacation Ever
The glorious memories of family vacations past?

#52 August 30, 2001
Once, Twice, Three Times Better
Making a difference with a better cup of coffee.

#51 August 23, 2001
The Gift of Film
Filmmaking as a metaphor for the good life.

#50 August 16, 2001
Pieces of Beauty
Creativity makes your world and your dreams feel more real.

#49 August 9, 2001
Voices of Freedom
Opportunity, empowerment, and flexibility in the workplace.

#48 August 2, 2001
Under Sail
When your job brings wonder to the eyes of children.

#47 July 26, 2001
The Root of All Good
Welcoming a child into the world where the roots grow deep.

#46 July 19, 2001
The Mighty Pen
Using the power of language to change the world.

#45 July 12, 2001
True Colors
Lives change, heroes emerge.

#44 July 5, 2001
Thicker Than Water
No one knows you better than a sibling.

#43 June 28, 2001
Hot in the City
A graceful, human solution to a summer energy crisis?

#42 June 21, 2001
Firmly Planted
What can plants teach us about our own personal journeys?

#41 June 15, 2001
Ten Good Reasons
Have you told anyone about GoodThings today?

#40 June 7, 2001
Music to the Ears
Are music and arts education programs really "non-essential"?

#39 May 24, 2001
The Unwritten Rules of Community
Are there unwritten rules for being a good neighbor?

#38 May 24, 2001
To Live Is To Fly
There's nothing quite like a bird in flight.

#37 May 17, 2001
World Wide Wingspan
The skies are as friendly as you want them to be, and they can make the world feel like home.

#36 May 10, 2001
Girls Rock at Team Sports
Sports aren't just for the cool kids anymore -- and they're not just for the boys.

#35 May 3, 2001
You Could Meet Somebody
Employees at one company are finding volunteering contagious.

#34 April 26, 2001
A Soft Heart at Rush Hour
Even skeptics can use yoga to conquer rush hour.

#33 April 19, 2001
Dad, the Harley-Riding Eco-Man
Surprising folks are celebrating Earth Day.

#32 April 12, 2001
A New American Family
International adoption benefits more lives than one.

#31 April 5, 2001
What Have We Done For You Lately?
GoodThings: we're not just the GoodLetter anymore.

#30 March 29, 2001
Girls Whirl: A Mother-Daughter Bike Trek
Nine weeks and 3,000 miles on a tandem bicycle with your mom?

#29 March 22, 2001
Heroes Are People, Too
Soul of a Citizen author talks about the real Rosa Parks.

#28 March 15, 2001
"Good" TV Far From Perfect
Our "I Want My goodTV" campaign winds down.

#27 March 8, 2001
Hurdling Great Divides
The digital divide is shrinking.

#26 March 1, 2001
Talking Across Our Generations
Grandparents tell the best stories.

#25 February 22, 2001
Passion in the Wind
Being selfish to be selfless.

#24 February 15, 2001
Creating Your Own Luck
The power of taking a risk.

#23 February 8, 2001
They've Made a Village
Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year.

#22 February 1, 2001
The Power of One
Deep Roots, a non-profit founded in memory of a Peace Corps volunteer.

#21 January 25, 2001
Good Dog Karma
What goes around, comes around.

#20 January 18, 2001
Save Paradise, Take Down a Parking Lot?
The Commuter Challenge and sustainable transportation.

#19 January 11, 2001
Tunes in Every Nook and Cranny
How to find new, good music.

#18 January 4, 2001
You Hold the Key
The importance of mentoring.

#17 December 28, 2000
The Horse Knows the Way
Alternative therapy.

#16 December 22, 2000
"It's a Celebration, Not a Deadline!"
Alternative ways to celebrate.

#15 December 14, 2000
"Where the Wild, er, Good Books Are"
The value of children's books.

#14 December 7, 2000
"Good Fix for NPR Addicts"
The appeal of public radio programming.

#13 November 30, 2000
"Don't You Just Love Your Job?"
Finding meaning at work.

#12 November 22, 2000
"The Real Good Gravy"
Thoughts on giving thanks.

#11 November 16, 2000
"It's Shining Cats and Dogs"
Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.

#10 November 9, 2000
"Eat, Drink, and Make a Difference"
Tahoma Food System and sustainable farming.

#9 November 3, 2000
"Won't You Be My Neighbor?"
Thoughts on the value of neighborliness.

#8 October 23, 2000
"Gardening by Heart"
The power of patience in gardening and in life.

#7 October 17, 2000
A special thank-you to our early subscribers.

#6 October 13, 2000
"They've Been Workin' on the Railroad"
R.E.M. fans unite to save a landmark.

#5 October 10, 2000
"Green Is No Dream in Dry Cleaning Scheme"
Sustainable dry cleaning practices.

#4 October 5, 2000
"Giraffes Deal with Waning Anonymity"
The Giraffe Project honors community heroes.

#3 October 3, 2000
"One Letter Goes a Long Way"
The U.S. Postal Service's Breast Cancer Stamp.

#2 September 28, 2000
"Remember to Request the Window Seat"
A story about the big picture.

#1 September 26, 2000
"Vacation Slide Shows in the Conference Room?"
Vacation policies as a good business practice.

 



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