feeding the worms and roll-poly’s
everyone’s got to eat
all meals are free and served with love
“food is our common ground.”
what a surprise and delight
it was to meet peter
(who is known as jonathan when in trouble)
the proprietor of a tiny shop near the beach.
how was i to know
that he was
a visiting nurse
a gentle spirit
of local lore, directions, recommendations
who worries about what will happen to his store
when he is gone
if the people who take it over
will be able to make enough money
in spite of some adversity
he was brimming
with happiness and passion
as we spoke at length
about the joys of sea glass
with all of its pits and scratches and imperfections
that only serve to prove
it’s the real thing
a long and challenging journey
having arrived at last
on a soft and sandy shore
collected by hands
that appreciate it for all of its beauty
exactly as it is
“for me, the difference between an ‘ordinary’ and an ‘extraordinary’ person
is not the title that person might have,
but what they do to make the world a better place for us all.”
wells, maine – august 2019
*GLOBAL DETROIT is a nonprofit regional economic development initiative that believes immigrants and refugees are critical to job creation, regional growth, and prosperity. Global Detroit is revitalizing Metro Detroit’s economy by mobilizing its immigrant potential. We are an innovator and expert in connecting international talent with regional businesses’ unmet talent needs, catalyzing the growth and development of immigrant entrepreneurs, revitalizing neighborhoods, and building a globally-competitive and inclusive region.
In addition to our local efforts, Global Detroit has spearheaded the creation of the Welcoming Economies Global Network (WE Global), a ten-state regional collaborative
of 20 peer local immigrant economic development initiatives across the Rust Belt. WE Global Network is a project of Welcoming America, run in partnership with Global Detroit.
“make a difference about something other than yourselves.”
thank you Toni Morrison, for your many inspirational words.
credits: *global detroit (image and story), WE global
Children at San Rufo elementary school in Salerno, southern Italy, are swapping plastic for books. A bookseller/cafe owner in southern Italy is offering free books to schoolchildren who bring him one plastic bottle and one aluminum can to recycle. Michele Gentile, who founded the Ex Libris Cafe bookshop in Polla, a small town near Salerno, said he wants to encourage kids to read while doing something for the environment.
“My goal is to spread the passion and love for books among those people in Italy who do not usually read, while at the time helping the environment,” he said. “I hope the initiative becomes so viral that it affects the whole country. It will be revolutionary, not only for the planet but also for the education of children and their job prospects,” he said.
The books being donated for the initiative are the so-called “pending” or “suspended” books (“libri sospesi” in Italian), a concept introduced by Gentile a few years ago that earned him headlines in national media. The term derives from the “suspended coffee” Neapolitan tradition, born during World War II, of purchasing two coffees: one for yourself and the second one as an anonymous gift for the next customer in need who walks into the bar. Similarly, Ex Libris customers can buy one book and leave the second one “suspended” for whomever needs it.
The idea for the “plastic/metal for books” recycling initiative came to Gentile while he was looking at a huge pile of metallic waste left abandoned on a field. “It was worth at least 300-400 euros ($338-$451), enough to pay for a middle school kid’s book allowance for a year,” he said. “So, I talked to a local school, and they organized an aluminum collection. Results were extraordinary, about 2 quintals ($564) in two days.” With the money he got from the recycling center, Gentile bought books for a whole class. “So, I thought: Why not (give) away books to kids who bring me plastic bottles and cans?” he said.
His initiative, which involves individuals and schools, has already reached northern Italy, with children from Bordighera, in the Liguria region, sending him 23 bottles and 23 cans to recycle. “Yesterday alone, I donated 60 suspended books,” Gentile said. “Imagine if this becomes a small game: Every child in the world swaps a plastic bottle and a can for books. I know it’s just a dream, but why not do it?“
“it takes generosity to discover the whole through others.
If you realize you are only a violin,
you can open yourself up to the world by playing your role in the concert.”
-jacques yves cousteau
credits: cnn world news, gianluca mezzofiore