We’re inundated with news of violence, trauma and drama. Yet we are also choosing so much kindness, nonviolence and the miraculous.

This tribute shares 10 courageous and heart-warming choices people made in 2015. From kids to the elderly, homeless people and doctors, ordinary people like you and me are changing the world.

There are thousands of inspiring stories occurring around the world every day. Feel free to add your own favourite in the comments below.

What will we choose to create as our reality in 2016?

Peace of the Circle is grateful for our expanding international work with schools, police, prisons, organizations, families, collaborative divorce, and communities. You’re invited to our upcoming Peacemaking Circles training in Vancouver, Canada, February 20-21.

1. Muslim groups raised over $100,000 to rebuild Black churches that were burned down and to support victims of arson. The campaign called “Rebuild with Love” is a powerful united stand against hate.

planting trees2. Jia Haixa, blind, and Jia Wenqi, a double amputee, work together to plant trees. “I am his hands. He is my eyes.” They have planted over 10,000 trees so far.
“What’re we going to do today, eyes?” “The same thing we do every day, arms; save the world.”

helping tie3. An older gentleman helps a young stranger struggling with his tie in a train station.

4. Dr. Jim Withers has practiced ‘Street Medicine‘ for over 20 years  – bringing homeless people free, quality medical care. His one-man mission has led to a citywide program and beyond.

5. When James Willmert was bullied at school, five 5th grade boys made a pack and decided to have his back.

bride and groom serving refugees6. Bride and Groom, Esra Polat and Fethullah Üzümcüoğlu, donated the savings from their families and spent their wedding dinner helping to feed 4,000 Syrian refugees.

7. Hailey Fort, nine years old, builds shelters and grows food for the homeless.

coats8. A group of young Canadian girls went on a mission to help the homeless stay warm this winter by dressing up lamp posts.

9. Brice Royer, battling stomach cancer, set off a chain of kindness. He posted a Craigslist ad for free “unconditional love” that went viral. Francesca Murray, living in a shelter with her daughter, saw the ad and offered to cook for Brice. When he found out Francesca was living at a shelter, Brice worked with Ruso Llanera to send a weekly delivery of organic food. When they learned she will have to leave the shelter, Brice and Rousseau then successfully raised enough money to surprise Francesca with a forthcoming “tiny home”!

unconditional love

 

10. Antoine Leiris’ wife Helene was killed in terrorist attacks in Paris. Watch his incredibly moving tribute – “I won’t give you the gift of hating you“.

And what else is possible?

 

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Calling for a Smart Justice Approach

September 14, 2015

Guest Post written by Smart Justice Network of Canada (SJNC) – a non-partisan, non-profit network of volunteers from different walks of life and communities across Canada. We […]

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Peace of the Circle – Ancient, New, Simple and Profound

February 10, 2015

Gathering in circles has been a part of human experience throughout the ages. Our ancestors gathered around the fire to share and survive. In the midst of […]

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Peace of the Circle Around the World

December 18, 2014

Peacemaking circles are a structured yet flexible approach to communication, suitable for a wide range of purposes and settings. Grateful for the amazing people and places this […]

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Mind the Gap – a way forward

December 5, 2014

I just spent a month in England, facilitating peacemaking circles trainings and public speaking. While in London riding the tube, we hear “Mind the Gap” whenever the […]

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Restorative Justice Week – Inspiring Innovation!

November 18, 2013

Happy Restorative Justice Week! Restorative Justice Week was initiated by Correctional Service Canada and has been celebrated since 1996. It’s now gaining international attention – time to […]

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Smart Justice – An Invitation

October 2, 2013

It’s abundantly clear that the justice system has many limitations and ‘get tough’ approaches to crime are ineffective. Rather than focusing on what doesn’t work, I’m always […]

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Love and Human Rights

August 22, 2013

Millions celebrate LGBT Pride around the world (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender; there are variations, such as LGBTQI – adding queer and intersex). As I post this, Reykjavik […]

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School Violence: “You Can’t Build Peace With a Piece”

March 8, 2013

Schools are supposed to be places of learning and development. Many schools have become war zones instead. The USA is well known for its gun related and […]

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New Year, Tibet & Love

February 12, 2013

A new year is upon us. According to the Chinese lunar calendar, we have just entered the year of the Snake. As I write this, Losar – […]

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Nonjudgment & Goodness – Happy Holidays!

December 18, 2012

Wow, 2012 is coming to a close. What an incredible year it’s been. Thanks for your interest in my work! For my last blog of this year, […]

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Restorative Justice Week and Beyond

November 29, 2012

Canada led the way in annually celebrating Restorative Justice Week; this year’s theme was “Diverse Needs; Unique Responses”. I agree with Dr. Theo Gavrielides that we need […]

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Asking Questions, Loving & Creating a New Reality

November 5, 2012

What question could you ask that would contribute to a new reality? I’ve come to appreciate the power of questions. This was brought home yet again when […]

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Connecting and Self-Care: a restorative retreat

September 24, 2012

I’ve come to appreciate how important it is to connect with other colleagues and to also do self-care. We tend to be so busy and there seems […]

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Heartspeak: Videos on Restorative Justice

August 29, 2012

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. So imagine what a documentary is worth?! Documentaries are a great resource for learning and educating. Prison Fellowship […]

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Talking Sticks & Communication: in memory of Stephen Covey

July 24, 2012

I was surprised to hear of Stephen Covey’s passing on July 16. He was 79 and died peacefully in Idaho, USA, from residual effects of a bicycle […]

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How is as important as What: international symposium on restorative justice & human rights Part II

June 20, 2012

As a facilitator, I consciously create space and discuss how we are going to talk. As an educator, I spent years learning about how we learn. This […]

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International Symposium on Restorative Justice & Human Rights

May 30, 2012

I’ve had the honour of being invited as one of twenty people to present at the first international symposium on restorative justice and human rights in Greece. […]

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BC Justice Review Submission

May 14, 2012

I’ve been thinking about “justice” for as long as I can remember, including how do we actually achieve it? I applaud governments who are willing to critically […]

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Murder, Life without Parole, and Our Youth

March 26, 2012

Murder is a terrible, heinous crime. No doubt about that. We need to question though how we best respond. Especially our knee jerk reaction of lock ’em […]

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