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Merry Christmas (Especially to Those Who Hate the Hubbub) - Some Stone Soup

"A rich man's soup - and all from a few stones. It seemed like magic!”

Marcia Brown, Stone Soup

Dear friends (particularly to those who hate Christmas and the holidays for various reasons - chaos, pandemonium, loneliness, materialism), time for some warm, hearty soup made possible by readers (what stone soup is

Thanks for your uplifting, heart-warming, and mind-boggling contributions. Please keep them coming...for all of us on the this ending of the old and beginning of the new:

Dip in below: One-minute stories, Jimmy Valvano’s ESPY speech. From TEDx Taipei, “Everything is connected."

One minute stories (sent to me by Karen, not sure of the original source):

1. Today, I interviewed my grandmother for part of a research paper I'm working on for my Psychology class. When I asked her to define success in her own words, she said;

“Success is when you look back at your life and the memories make you smile.

2. Today, after my 72 hour shift at the fire station, a woman ran up to me at the grocery Store and gave me a hug. When I tensed up, she realized I didn't recognize her. She let go with tears of joy in her eyes and the most sincere smile and said;

“On 9-11-2001, you carried me out of the World Trade Center."

3. Today, after I watched my dog get run over by a car, I sat on the side of the road holding him and crying. And just before he died;

he licked the tears off my face.

4. Today at 7AM, I woke up feeling ill, but decided I needed the money, so I went into work. At 3PM I got laid off. On my drive home I got a flat tire. When I went into the trunk for the spare, it was flat too.

A man in a BMW pulled over, gave me a ride, we chatted, and then he offered me a job. I start tomorrow.

5. Today, as my father, three brothers, and two sisters stood around my mother's hospital bed, my mother uttered her last coherent words before she died.

She simply said, "I feel so loved right now. We should have gotten together like this more often.”

6. Today, I kissed my dad on the forehead as he passed away in a small hospital bed. About 5 seconds after he passed.

I realized it was the first time I had given him a kiss since I was a little boy

7. Today, in the cutest voice, my 8-year-old daughter asked me to start recycling. I chuckled and asked, "Why?" She replied, "So you can help me save the planet." I chuckled again and asked, "And why do you want to save the planet?"

Because that’s where I keep all my stuff," she said.

8. Today, when I witnessed a 27-year-old breast cancer patient laughing hysterically at her 2- year-old daughter's antics, I suddenly realized that,

I need to stop complaining about my life and start celebrating it again.

9. Today, a boy in a wheelchair saw me desperately struggling on crutches with my broken leg and offered to carry my backpack and books for me. He helped me all the way across campus to my class and as he was leaving he said,

“I hope you feel better soon."

10. Today, I was feeling down because the results of a biopsy came back malignant. When I got home, I opened an e-mail that said, "Thinking of you today. If you need me, I'm a phone call away."

It was from a high school friend I hadn’t seen in10 years.

11. Today, I was traveling in Kenya and I met a refugee from Zimbabwe He said he hadn't eaten anything in over 3 days and looked extremely skinny and unhealthy. Then my friend offered him the rest of the sandwich he was eating.

The first thing the man said was, “We can share it."


(From Matt)

Jimmy Valvano's ESPY speech (about 15 min). You will laugh, cry, and learn.


(From J:)

Everything Is Connected TEDX Taipei (about 18 min) (I was having problems here with the link, you may need to go to and key in Everything is Connected, Tom Chi)

Here's how the transcript of that Ted talk with Tom Chi (above) begins

My name is Tom Chi,

and ever since I was a young child,

I was determined to understand how the entire universe worked,

and that fascination led me to my first job, at age 15 -

I did astrophysical research with the Harvard-Smithsonian Observatory

in active galactic nuclei.

Now, years after being a scientist and astrophysicist,

I slowly kind of matured out of that and entered the world of people.

It actually turns out that the world of people

is way harder to understand than the entire universe.

But I stayed with it,

and in the process of being a technologist,

an inventor, and an entrepreneur,

I've learned a lot about people.

What I'm going to talk to you today is a little bit of what I've learned.

Because as I learn about people,

I get very interested in the gaps that still remain

for us as human beings and us as a civilization,

relative to the challenges that are in front of us.

And one of those gaps that I've seen is around this concept,

and the concept is a really simple one.

It's the concept that everything is connected.

You've probably heard this many, many times, in fact.

It's an element of almost every spiritual tradition of humankind

throughout all of history.

But whenever I hear people talk and mention this phrase

that "we are all connected," they do so in a way

where it's something they wish that they could believe was true,

that it's something that's abstract; that it's esoteric;

that it's a thing that is unprovable,

but they just really wish the universe was like that.

And today I'm here to describe that everything really is connected,

and not in some abstract, esoteric way but in a very concrete, direct, understandable way.


And to wrap up this Holiday Stone Soup from one who wishes to remain anonymous, Christmas Together, the Supporting Act:


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