One minute of joy: Random acts of kindness

What act of kindness will you do today?

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What a wonderful world

I see trees of green,
red roses too.
I see them bloom,
for me and you.
And I think to myself,
what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue,
And clouds of white.
The bright blessed day,
The dark sacred night.
And I think to myself,
What a wonderful world.

The colors of the rainbow,
So pretty in the sky.
Are also on the faces,
Of people going by,
I see friends shaking hands.
Saying, “How do you do?”
They’re really saying,
“I love you”.

I hear babies cry,
I watch them grow,
They’ll learn much more,
Than I’ll ever know
.
And I think to myself,
What a wonderful world.

Yes, I think to myself,
What a wonderful world.

Isn’t it amazing how sports create joy and unite people – and how technology can help?

As Haris Seferovic, whose family immigrated from Bosnia Hercegovina to Switzerland in the late 1980s, scored the winning goal in Switzerland’s 2-1 victory against Ecuador, I heard, here in Zürich, loud yells of excitement from cars and homes – many of which were beautifully decorated with colourful flowers, Swiss flags and flags of other nations. People shouted “Hopp Schwiiz” cheering on the Swiss national football team. At that moment, which was indeed full of positive emotions, I saw an elderly woman walk past with her dog. As we got eye contact, we both smiled. I came to think of this moment of joy, as I later on listened to this 2 minute video and this 1 minute video in which United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-Moon – in the first video – and Mr. Nelson Mandela – in the second video – both talk about the powerful ability that sports  have to unite people.

 

Technology / media – including social media – can indeed contribute to creating these feelings of joy and unity around the world. A few examples:

  • Studying this visualization that I came across via this tweet by Open Data Zurich, I noticed that quite a lot of players on many participating teams at the world cup in Brazil have parents or grandparents who come from other countries than the country for which the respective players play during the tournament.
  • I have been fascinated about the technological innovation at this year’s world cup. This posting that I came across through this tweet by Paul Sloane sums up quite well, I think, some of the value adding innovations. For example, I find the goal line technology useful – a technology that reminds me a bit about the hawk eye technology used at tennis tournaments. Also, I like the vanishing spray that umpires can use, for example at free kicks, to keep players at the required distance from the ball and to define the correct placement of the ball.
  • A visit to the creatively made Google doodles of the world cup is also worth it. My favourite is world cup doodle # 15 – perhaps because I recall that I in my childhood spent hundreds of hours kicking a ball against walls. To see the other world cup 2014 doodles, simple change the last character in the url to another number, for example 1, 2, 3 etc. Or simply click on the arrows pointing to the right or left.

 

A tour through the gardens of Den Gamle By in Aarhus, Denmark

During a tour – guided by the 2 people on the first photo below – through the gardens of Den Gamle By – The Old Town in Aarhus, Denmark, I learned some useful things. The first stop on the tour featured the Bernstorff market nursery. Here, I learned that there are plants which people many years ago used to put in their ears in order to avoid getting an ear infection. See photo # 2 below. At this first stop on the tour, I also learned about a blue flower that tastes like a cucumber and can be used as an ingredient in a salad – thereby adding both colour and taste to the salad. See photo # 3 below.




At another of the gardens that the many people, who participated in the interesting tour, had the possibility to experience, I learned that many plants can be used as nature medicine. This garden is called Apotekerhaven, the pharmacist garden. On the second photo below, an example of a nature medicine plant is shown.

The photo below is taken at the mayor yard. Here, I learned about Peter Holm, the founder of Den Gamle By. To learn about other historic gardens, click here.


Create conditions that help growth happen

Via this posting, I came across the 2 minute video below with Sir Ken Robinson. Reflecting on what Mr. Robinson says, I imagine that the interesting insight of his could be applied across a number of areas, for example management, innovation, health, cities, and – as Mr. Robinson mentions – education and gardening.