The Lift | Brian@GrowthWorks

The Lift | Brian@GrowthWorks

Hope and Forgiveness...

by Brian McDermott on 08/31/15

The nine women in this chorus, The Lady Lifers, are serving life sentences in prison in Pennsylvania. Under that state's laws "life" means there is no option for parole. Their only hope for ever walking free is for commutation by the governor -- something that has happened twice since 1989.

I clicked to watch this 9-minute video not knowing most of those details. I was compelled by current events and questions about social justice to follow the link. I come away still not knowing the full individual stories, but compelled again -- this time to spread their shared story... our shared story.

We've been dealing with race and poverty issues in the United States for a long time, and we don't have things figured out. Until I saw this video, these women were out of sight out of mind.  The thing that moves me most is that they are not pleading innocence, but they are posing a universally important question: Is it right or even beneficial for our society to broadly and irrevocably strip part of our community of all hope of freedom and mercy? Is that who we want to be?

I believe it's worth seeing these issues through different eyes and hearing them  through different voices. If you agree, watch and please share this video.

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Make a Difference,


Brian

Toys from a Tot... and a Shot of Pure Joy

by Brian McDermott on 08/14/15

He's six. Maybe he doesn't truly understand what it means that he has lost both his parents. Maybe. But for sure he know what it means to spread joy.

Remember?

(Email subscribers Watch Here)


Make a Difference,


Brian

Just Breathe: Lessons on Dealing with Anger--from Kids...

by Brian McDermott on 05/25/15

The world can be an  angry place. Hang in for the final breathe of this 4-minute video and you will come away with insights and hopes about redirecting energy that is often so poorly spent.

These are some really smart kiddos...

(Email Subscribers Watch Here.)  
Thanks to Julie Bayer Salzman & Josh Salzman at Wavecrest Films!

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Brian

Remember Zach Sobiech...

by Brian McDermott on 05/20/15

Zach Sobiech died two years ago today. I'm holding onto the lessons his story left with me.

Here's what I wrote and the videos I shared in 2013... (Email Subscribers Watch Here)

This is a powerful 22-minute documentary about "a kid who went down fighting and didn't really lose." It's heart breaking to know the 17-year old star, Zach Sobiech, died today (May 20, 2013) , but he lived his short life so well that his story is going to live and inspire a long time. It has and it will change lives. Maybe yours.

In February (2013), I posted a Blog item about Zach under the headline: If I Only Had a Little More Time... Inspired by the song, Clouds, which he had written, performed and posted on YouTube, I asked, "If you only had a little more time, what would you do? What would you change?" Zach, a high-school senior in Stillwater, MN, had osteosarcoma cancer and was told it would take his life by this month. He was about out of time.

He made the choice to embrace every day with hope and joy. And in this documentary from director, Justin Baldoni, he puts it pretty straight: "You don't have to find out you are dying to start living."

Watch... and please share.



And this is the original music video:

Make a Difference,

Brian

The Power of Giving...

by Brian McDermott on 04/13/15

What I appreciate most about this story is the glimpse it provides into homelessness -- especially in the final segment.

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  • A link to an article in The New Yorker about a decision in Utah to give homes to the homeless. "Handing mentally ill substance abusers the keys to a new place may sound like an example of wasteful government spending. But it turned out to be the opposite: over time, Housing First has saved the government money."
  • A link to an article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune about a tiny-homes initiative in Madison, Wisconsin.


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Brian

Street Cuts...

by Brian McDermott on 04/07/15

Another individual doing small things that make a big difference for others.

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Thanks: Video from KarmaTube

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Brian

A Slice for Life...

by Brian McDermott on 03/14/15

A great story about how a small gesture can make a big difference.

(Email Subscribers Watch Here -- 3 minute video)

Thanks Upworthy!

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Brian

The Heart Remembers...

by Brian McDermott on 01/02/15

There is so much to like about this story -- about a man with no memory who remembers to buy his wife flowers because his love is so instinctual.

A great couple of minutes to help start the new year...

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Make a Difference,

Brian

A Little Bit of Healing...

by Brian McDermott on 12/15/14

Another Secret Santa story from CBS' Steve Hartman, this one with a little different twist -- a bonus gift of helping build a little trust between cops and the community, in what has been a tough year in law enforcement.

(Email Subscribers Watch Here.)



Make a Difference,


Brian

A Christmas Lift...

by Brian McDermott on 12/13/14

"Whether you believe in Santa Claus or God or fate," Steve Hartman begins this video, you are going to love this story.

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Make a Difference,


Brian

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