Collier and Lee Counties Edition
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Letter from Publisher

As a publisher, I feel I should stay on top of the news. Yet scrolling through my inbox or social media feeds filled with daily reminders of all the big things that need to be fixed—from a warming planet, toxic food system and animal cruelty to imbalanced social justice and a broken political system—can feel paralyzing.

We’re tempted to believe that changing the world is all about big actions, but what if the recipe for healing actually starts with small acts of kindness, like helping a neighbor, volunteering at a shelter or complimenting a check-out clerk?

It’s not so hard. As we are radically kind to one another, all living things and the Earth, we sense a shift within and without. Kind connections are reflected back to us. We realize that loving kindness is a radical, life-changing force. Such inspiring acts of kindness are sprinkled throughout these pages.

In Linda Sechrist’s feature article “Youth’s Step Up to the Global Challenge,” we meet motivated young people serving as global ambassadors, organizing youth summits, marching for causes and planting trillions of trees. All are committed to making a difference.

Paul Hawken, a legend in environmental circles, defines 100 ways society can accelerate progress through doable fixes in his book Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming. We can hear him speak on October 22 at Florida Gulf Coast University, and expect the auditorium to be packed.

You may be as surprised as I was to discover that Hawken’s top solution for slowing global warming is a combination of educating girls and family planning! Scientists calculate that widespread implementation of these measures could eliminate more gigatons of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 than onshore and offshore wind power combined. Discover how local activists are working with young girls in our area to teach helpful life skills that are getting results.

Our staff is encouraged to see that seven Southwest Florida communities now qualify as Blue Zones, inspired by practices of the world’s longest-living cultures. The project is benefiting residents and sparking naturally healthy and sustainable living in forward-thinking cities and towns around the world.

Albert Einstein wrote, “The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.” What we believe drives our actions, fuels our emotional life and defines how we relate to others. We are literally writing our life story, and big or small, every choice counts.

Lucky for us we know at least one way to shift our worldview to one that’s more harmonious and friendly. It’s called kindness. Let’s all agree to start there.

Kindly yours,

Sharon Signature

Sharon Bruckman

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