Monday Morning Roundup: Holiday Recovery Edition

As we all recover from holidays – however you celebrate (or ignore) your holiday of choice – let’s focus on getting through the last week.  2016 has been a harsh year, so we’re looking at stories with some positive vibes.

Extraordinary acts of generosity

Much like Prince, the loss of George Michael this weekend revealed an iconic artist, unafraid to be who they were, who quietly did hundreds of acts of quiet, anonymous generosity. We’re sad to lose such a talent (though we secretly think some kind of super group is forming in a parallel universe: David Bowie, Prince, George Michael, Sharon Jones, Leonard Cohen, Leon Russell, Merle Haggard, Phife Dawg, Joey Feek, Vanity, Paul Kantner, Glenn Frey…). We believe in direct action to help others, and while we hate the reason, we love that a light is being turned toward the generosity of others.

The Sierra Club wants to help us remember what we gained in 2016

Highlighting some of the wins from 2016, the Sierra Club calls out our successes in lowering mercury pollution (down 74%!), lowering the levels of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide pollution in the air as we move away from coal plants (69% and 75% lower, respectively!), a march to meet the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan 13 years ahead of schedule, 47% retirement of US coal plants (hard on the economies – our next challenge – but great for people and the planet). Not only that, states across the US are committing to continuing the push for renewable energy in spite of the rise of certain petro-greedy climate deniers to power.

Alexander Betts on fixing our broken refugee system

Some words of wisdom from this TED talk by Alexander Betts on how to create positive change in the system.

Brené Brown on Vulnerability

I want to leave you with one of my all-time favorite TED talks, in the hope that it helps you as we enter 2017. There has never been a more frightening time to be vulnerable, to show empathy, but I truly believe we need both to hold on to the gains we’ve made in diversity, inclusivity, hope, the economy, and more in the coming years. I encourage you to try.

image credit Anton Repponen via Unsplash