At age 14, Easton LaChappelle met a 7-year-old girl who had a prosthetic arm. The limb could only open and close, and yet it cost $80,000. He thought he could do better, and do it for under $1,000. He set to work in his bedroom, and later the family garage. 3D printing of prosthetic arms became an affordable reality.
In less than 3 years, he was making a prototype limb for under $500 that was actually interfacing with the nervous system of its owner.
What’s more, he is only doing this to make the world a better place! He could have made millions on his discoveries thus far, but instead, he releases all his intellectual property to the world by making them open sourced!
At age 19 he founded Unlimited Tomorrow, a company with the aim to make affordable yet extraordinary robotic limbs. Take a look at what youth can do when they are left to follow their passions:
Bonus: A TED Talk by Easton!… He is so authentic: funny, nervous, passionate. What a delight. Take a look if you have a few more minutes.
Great stuff! Lovely to see a future “thought leader” just getting started. And it does rekindle the flame of hope a bit.
Keep reminding yourself that the negative 24-hour news cycle is only showing us the dramatic dramas of the “outliers”.
That said, you can count on everwideningcircles.com to bring you a refreshing, positive story like this every day. We are reaching 190+ countries now and building a global community around the fact there is still plenty of good news to share. Take a look at the diversity of the wonder our articles reveal:
WANT TO SEE MORE POSITIVE NEWS, FUN, OR INSIGHTS?
Or just scroll down to the bottom of this page where you’ll find a few more incredible articles like this one!
Meanwhile, stay open, curious, and hopeful!
I struggle with staying in the present moment.
While zooming through my days for friends, family, business and service projects, I have now added a new item on my to-do list: an urgency to slow down and be totally in the moment.
Now that this particular insight is praying on my mind, it makes the whole treadmill of life seem even stranger. I feel like I could get off the treadmill (that seems to be accelerating) but I just can’t quite reach the stop button, it’s juuuussst out of reach.
I knew I needed to cut through the chaos of life to more wholeheartedly include the better part of myself in moments with friends and family, but I couldn’t seem to be mindful often enough to master this.
Then I came across the remarkable person we will introduce you to today, and here’s his simple advice:
Sound a little vague? Stay with me. Here’s the story!
An Ever Widening Circles fan sent us a link to the following story some months ago, but I could tell where it was going, and for some reason I put off viewing it. Why I opened it this morning is a mystery, but I’m so glad I did! Beyond the music, and the story of a single, wonderful youth, It seems to be about what’s essential.
Have you heard about the young man who wrote a now very famous song called Clouds? The song reached #1 on iTunes and has been sung by the largest choir ever assembled. Zach Sobiech was 17 years old and diagnosed with osteosarcoma (a rare form of bone cancer), with only months to live when he wrote the following song. The rest of the story is absolutely transforming, so stay with us. First, here’s Zach’s song, sung by celebrities who were delighted and inspired by Zach’s message too!…
Zach Sobiech liked to dream big. Here’s some quotes from the inspiring video that we are sharing next.
“Life can be beautiful moments one right after another.”
“It’s really simple. Just try and make people happy.”
“I was really sad I had to miss the picnic. There’s nothing like a good picnic. Stupid lung.”
“I want to be remember as the kid who went down fighting and didn’t really lose.”
Zach’s vision was to teach us that we don’t have to learn we are dying to start living. Enjoy this and see if it takes you somewhere you might need to go…
What if it’s that simple?
Zach thought it was awesome to sit with someone who was smiling and know he put the smile on their face. What if, in most all our encounters, we were leaving something for people to lean on when we are gone?
This is surely something to consider. I know a few folks who lash out quickly and harshly at others, especially the people they love. What are we to do with that? Where does that lead, both in the moment and when we are gone…or when they are gone?!
Our time here is the greatest uncertainty. It’s time to get beyond our first impulses, and master ourselves in the moment.
And haven’t we all had our expectations dashed in a store, restaurant, healthcare setting, or school, and been harsh with some innocent person who happens to be the poor soul standing in front of us? I once lashed out at the John Deer repairman because my grass-bagger on my lawn tractor wasn’t working. I felt so bad that I sent them a huge note of apology, and that note is still pinned to their bulletin board, 15 years later. I asked them why. They said, “Because we get yelled at all the time, but no one ever apologizes.” I told them that most people probably feel like they should apologize, but don’t think they can write. I encouraged them to let my note stand in for all those good intentions.
(I can be accused of having “rose colored glasses”, because I always believe in the best in others. Naive? Maybe. But it has served me on many occasions.)
When we want to be harsh to our son, the teacher, the repairman, or whoever disappoints us,.. can we pause and get our heads into The Clouds for a change? Life can be surprisingly short.
Stay open, curious and stay hopeful!
~ Dr. Lynda
WANT TO SEE MORE POSITIVE NEWS, FUN, OR INSIGHTS?
Or just scroll down to the bottom of this page where you’ll find a few more incredible articles from like this one!
Zach’s song, ‘Clouds’ is available on iTunes and other online music stores and that proceeds benefit the Zach Sobiech Research Fund of Children’s Cancer Research Fund http://www.childrenscancer.org/zach
Here’s the recording of Clouds sung by the world’s largest assembled choir…
If you’d like to see another inspiring story that goes along perfectly with this theme, check out an article we did about a fabulous book called When Cancer Strikes a Friend.
Have you ever made a snowman, or even a snow fort? How about a snow shark as big as your garage?! Or a snow turtle bigger than a minivan?! Every year some teenage boys in Minnesota make a snow sculptures that are mind-bending.
Depending on from where you hail, chances are pretty good you have, as it’s seemingly a rite of passage for the youths of snowy places (we at Ever Widening Circles are from Vermont, USA, so the winter months are riddled with six-inch to two-foot snowstorms all through late November into sometimes April!).
Before we get started, take a listen to an interview Dr. Lynda did with one of the boys this past January. As you’re listening, scroll through the photos below.
So while I’m betting many of you have made a snowman of some sort, how about a snow sculpture? You know… something like this:
…even a lifetime, snow-covered Vermonter like myself has to admit: that’s no snowman. That’s a snow sculpture, a downright work of art!
Introducing the Bartz Brothers
As noted in the image above’s caption, these three gentleman are Austin, Connor, and Trevor Bartz, three brothers living in New Brighton, Minnesota, each with a penchant for creating gigantic works of art out of snow. For 2015, the brothers three decided upon a sea turtle, in typical grandiose fashion:
Standing at over 12-feet tall, the Sea Turtle snow sculpture might not be their largest overall sculpture (see the Shark above), but it was perhaps their best work: clocking in at over 300 hours (!!), the craftsmanship is, I think we can all agree, simply stunning.
More of the Bartz Brothers Snow Sculptures
Along with the previous two sculptures, the Bartz boys have done a wonderful job each year for now four years running in wowing the crowds of onlookers… including national media coverage like The Today Show and other popular syndications. Let’s take a look at a few more of their incredible creations.
Keep up to date with the Bartz Brothers by following them on Facebook at facebook.com/BartzSnowSculptures today.
Lastly… Here’s an television interview with the brothers after their very first sculpture 4 years ago:
We hope you enjoyed this little adventure into the wonder of regular teens doing great things just for the love of the task! We need more of that. They are teachers to us all in some ways.
Just scroll down to the bottom of this page where you’ll find a few of my favorite articles about other kinds of “teachers”,.. innovators in all sorts of fields who are pushing back the boundaries of what is possible!
WANT TO SEE MORE POSITIVE NEWS, FUN, OR INSIGHTS?
Meanwhile, stay open, curious and hopeful.
~ Dr. Lynda
There are heroes for causes and there are heroes for humanity.
Today we introduce you to the latter; a 17 year old girl who may go down as one of the most influential women in the history of man-kind, for if she has her turn at shaping the future, “man” will become kinder to all children.
If she has her way, everyone will have the opportunity of an equal education, and the whole world will be able to lurch forward with progress.
Why a hero for humankind?
You’ve probably heard of Malala Yousafzai, who at age 17, is the first Pakistani and youngest person to ever receive a Nobel Peace Prize, and she’s the best spokesperson for the voices of the children of the world (wait until you hear her speak in a moment!).
This is not just a simple feel good story today. Stay with this.
I thought I knew all I needed to know and then I watched a half dozen different videos of Malala’s speaking engagements and I was bowled over by her magnetism. I tried to pick two that would give you some idea of the scope of her personal charisma and eternal wisdom, and I think you’ll see she seems somehow, otherworldly.
Dr. Chuck, my husband and co-founder here at EWC watched Malala and her father in these two talks, and was literally speechless. (Really,.. he talks a lot, so that’s saying something!)
You may know one of the toughest parts of Malala’s story: In 2012, Taliban insurgents boarded Malala’s school bus and shot her along with three other school girls at point blank range. It is nothing short of a miracle that all three survived. And the positive part of this story?… Her efforts to support education for all children have not wavered and she continues to speak with an extraordinary wisdom.
Did you know 66 million girls on the planet are deprived and education? 66 million! I had no idea of the scope of the problem she is championing.
With that one statistic, we have hobbled ourselves as a species. We can’t possibly solve the problems we’ve created if we are missing that much brain power. Here’s something that Microsoft founder Bill Gates once said to an assemble group:
Bill Gates recalls once being invited to speak in Saudi Arabia and finding himself facing a segregated audience. Four-fifths of the listeners were men, on the left. The remaining one-fifth were women, all covered in black cloaks and veils, on the right. A partition separated the two groups. Toward the end, in the question-and-answer session, a member of the audience noted that Saudi Arabia aimed to be one of the Top 10 countries in the world in technology by 2010 and asked if that was realistic. “Well, if you’re not fully utilizing half the talent in the country [suppressing women],” Gates said, “you’re not going to get too close to the Top 10.” The small group on the right erupted in wild cheering.” 1
I know Ever Widening Circles has many, many fans from places that do not give all children the same opportunities, but I’m going to have to agree with Bill Gates. It’s just the math of brain power folks: thoughtful people realize that if we don’t release the total creative potential of every human mind on the planet, we can never solve the problems that we have created.
Malala is doing something about this and it will be a gift to us all as she succeeds.
Now without further ado, take some time to listen to one of the best public speakers I have ever heard. Ever. She wastes not a word and we hang on her pauses. It seems we could applaud almost every sentence. Enjoy…
Here’s Malala Yousafzai – just a few weeks before she won the Nobel Peace Prize – in an interview with Christiane Amanpour.
There is a 7 minute introduction, that will really get you up to speed about this remarkable young woman, so hang in there! What a corker! You can see her dad know’s he has his hands full!
“Magnificent” is too small a word for her genius. Now enjoy the speech Malala gave when she accepted the Nobel Peace Prize.
It’s slow to get started too, but when she’s finished acknowledging everyone who helped her, she gets to the heart of the matter and nearly brought us to our feet right here in the office a few times! Enjoy…
Her candid passionate speaking style is mesmerizing and her message undeniable.
If you’ve been inspired, you can find Malala’s equally amazing book on Amazon here.
To join her movement to see #TheLast go to http://malala.org.
“my great hope is that this will be the last time we must fight for the education of our children. Let us solve this once and for all.”
That about says it all.
Thanks for visiting us here at EverWideningCircles.com. Are you just discovering this project?
If so, welcome!
We are here to demonstrate that the world is still an amazing place, despite what the negative 24-hour news cycle tells us!
Malala’s story certainly does that!
Want to see a few more inspiring articles?
Scroll down to the bottom of this page for a few I can recommend (there are some really good ones down there today!), or head to our homepage to scroll down there through many more.
That will give you the scope of our aim to change the negative dialogue about our present and future.
Visit us daily for a dose of insight and wonder.
Stay curious, open and optimistic!
~ Dr. Lynda