The Wayne Foundation

Today, I had the immense privilege of listening to the life story of a very strong woman. Jamie Walton was a victim of child prostitution and currently heads a new non-profit called The Wayne Foundation. She told her story to Kevin Smith (filmmaker and podcaster) on the podcast “SMinterview with @ThatKevinSmith” (Episodes 2 and 3 – free to download on ITunes and worth every minute of your time). What is amazing about Ms. Walton is her ability to forgive, to consider her abusers’ point of view (how many people could or would want to do that?!), and her remarkable transformation into the highly capable, successful woman that she is today. And it is not just her personality that is impressive, it is the mission of her non-profit The Wayne Foundation.

This non-profit is special: not only does it plan to give assistance to young girls who are trying to escape sex trafficking, it plans to give them every tool they need to completely rehabilitate themselves and become productive members of society. Ms. Walton is trying to do for other girls what needed to be done for her, but what didn’t happen. With the loving support of her amazing husband, Jamie Walton tread that path independently. She emerged as an amazing woman who not only survived and overcame her trauma, but was able to transform that experience with a passion I have rarely seen, and she has formed this foundation from scratch to help victimized girls (and hopefully some day the boys too she says). Ms. Walton is not the face you see on TV that reeks of talking points, fake optimism, and a hidden agenda. She doesn’t sidestep the unpretty parts. She takes them head on. She tells her donors that it will take awhile to achieve her goal; that the goals of The Wayne Foundation are large; that if donors are looking for a successful result they may have to wait ten years because that is how long it takes to make this happen. Oh, and she’s not getting paid. Maybe someday with enough support. What’s more, Ms. Walton is eternally optimistic.  When asked how she managed to avoid hating the world for the trauma she experienced, Ms. Walton said (paraphrasing here–), “I embrace the world because even though I recognize there is a lot of evil and nastiness in the world, there are some individuals that are not like that, and if you tell the world to go f#@& themselves, you tell the good people to go f#@& themselves as well. So, that’s not really fair…. I can’t tell those people [that]….  If we all [do that], think about how much worse it’s going to get…. Let’s look at the good part, let’s focus on the positive… it brings people together.”

That type of attitude and perseverance should be celebrated, commended, and mirrored by every member of society. And I think it should be rewarded however we can. I hope you will take a moment and visit The Wayne Foundation website (site still under construction) and listen to the podcasts linked in the first paragraph. You will learn more about their goals, plans, and financial agenda in the second podcast.

Please spread the word. You can also “like” it on Facebook. You can follow Jamie Walton on Twitter: @JamieWalton

And thank you all for reading!

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Yes S.I.R.!

Hey everybody! I recently took out an ad about Be Nice. on a fabulous new internet radio station: S.I.R.  and I do believe the blog will be having some new visitors sometime soon!

Hello S.I.R. listeners!

Welcome to Be Nice.! So glad to have you here. Hang around, check it out! The pages at the top are full of the origins of this project. Subscribe at the right and you’ll get posts right in your email or on your Twitter/Facebook account!

It might seem ironic for a blog on civility and “niceness” to be a fan of the boundary-pushing stories and oeuvre of the fabulous Kevin Smith, but think again! This ain’t the 1950s! (I mean, McCarthyism and Jim Crow laws weren’t very nice — we probably shouldn’t idolize all of the 50s….) Being nice isn’t about the suppression of language or ideas. Being nice is about your intent, how your actions and thoughts affect others, and about being forthright and sincere. And that is what Kevin Smith and his friends do. In my opinion, their candid conversations make this world a better place!

Swearing and candid talks on sex, excrement, relationships and society are never out of reach of the Be Nice. project (and if you have spoken with me personally, you know it’s not out of reach for me either)! And while this blog also hits on more sober topics in life, you can always find what you need when you ask for it!

So! To my loyal readers and my new readers:

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO READ ABOUT?

Send me your questions!
What topics do you want me to address?
What issues make you sweat? Let’s dissect them here?!
Want to weigh in on a topic? Send me your stories and I’ll throw my two cents in (I know, cheap, but I’m a broke artist so it’s all you get!)!
Need some perspective from a totally unqualified somebody? I’m your girl!

Send me your letters (via the “Contact” page above) or comment to your heart’s delight on my blog! I want to hear from YOU!

Special thanks go to S.I.R. for giving me the opportunity to share my project with their listeners. Thanks!

And the Backers are…

A BIG thank you goes out to all those who supported the Be Nice. Guide to Farting and Pooping Kickstarter fundraiser!

Below are the names of the fifty-two supporters that pledged funds to help me reach (and exceed!) my $300 goal.

THANK YOU ALL!

M. Eliot Payne
AshleyABishop
Heather Carroll
Oren Krimchansky
Shawn Stanley
John Iovine
Sarah Gable
Greg Beck
Sarah Elizabeth Hemm
Catie Riley
Peter C. Harris
Superjudge
Shelly
Gail Vachon
Steven
Wusster
Lisa
Lindsey Bathke
Liz Noonan
Annette
Kirsten
Denise Winiski
vetters
Mark Bieraugel
karrie
Angie Hadley
Ben Hunold
Marie Bannister
Yaminay Chaudhri
Meaghan O’Connell
Apt Blue
Eileen2000
angrywarhol
Samantha Patterson
Meagan Haberman-Ducey
Andrea Miller Bard
Jennifer Noland
Jonathan Beer
Jas Mowgood
Jennifer Beaven
Richard Nolan Jr
Liz Lerner
Rosaura Johnson
Alexandra Davis
Suzanne Boatenreiter
Heather Middleton
Faythe Levine
Matt Barrett
Linda Baxter
Gabe Gentry
Katie
CJevic

Fully Funded!

Today is a very happy day! I am pleased to share that the Kickstarter fundraiser for the printing and distribution of the Be Nice. Guide to Farting and Pooping brochure was SUCCESSFUL!

Thanks to the generous support of 52 Backers – and a number of people who spread the word – the project received $543! The original goal was beat by almost 15o bucks! I am so thrilled, so elated, I cannot begin to express it! THANK YOU!

What this means is that the project will be available to many more people and the extra funds will go to more printing and/or a few other ideas I have currently shaping in my mind. Your enjoyment and support of this project is a blessing, and something that gives me joy on a daily basis. Thank you for letting the work be a part of your life!

🙂

Help distribute Be Nice!

Hi all! I would like to share my new project with you. Up to this point, the Be Nice. project has depended on the reach of my personal connections and your willingness to generously spread the word. The print-runs of the pamphlets and postcards have all been self-funded–and due to my financial limitations, their reach has also been stunted. I would like to change that and get the new Guide to Farting and Pooping into the hands of as many people as possible! After all, who doesn’t love (or need) to talk about poo? No one, right?! To this end I have created a Kickstarter project. For those of you unfamiliar to Kickstarter, here’s the gist:

Kickstarter is a platform for creative projects to be “backed” by people all over the world. Ideas that may never have come to fruition otherwise are successfully achieved due to this website. People can pledge any amount of dollars to the project, and for that gift they are given a reward. The pledges are only dispensed to the project owner if the project achieves its funding goal within the allotted time frame. If it doesn’t reach its goal, no money is delivered. Basically, it’s all or nothing.

I have chosen a duration of 90 days to raise $300. That 300 bucks will cover 2/3 the cost to print 1000 pamphlets and the mailing and distribution of the rewards. I would love your support in any form, whether it be emailing this post to your friends, donating your Facebook status and Twitter updates with a link to the page, or even a little pledge! Simply by sharing this project with your friends, you are making it more successful regardless of the outcome of the Kickstarter project!

Click HERE to go to the Kickstarter page. There you can find social widgets and links that you can post to your blogs, websites, and social networks to promote the page. You can also see a video of me talking about the project and read more about why I’m doing it and what the rewards are!

Thank you so very much for your support, your comments, and your emails! They mean a great deal to me.

Happy 4th!

source: Cholmes75 from wikimedia commons

Driving home after a snazzy Indian food dinner tonight, my husband and I had a conversation about being part of the status quo. The status quo I’m thinking about is the type of life many people live: working 40 or more hours a week at a job they tolerate, a commute to and from work, a life outside work loaded with chores and household maintenance, and a hobby or passion that there is barely time for after all the preceding stuff. Nothing scares us more–especially the thought of having no time for our passion: art. Not that we mind parts of that life (working of course, being the necessary evil), but it seems that the normal “life” stuff can consume a person–the dishes, laundry, errands, chores, socializing, fitness. So much to do, but where is the passion? I try to live each moment with a sense of passion and purpose,  but even that can be taxing. Balancing all the areas of your life with unending positivity and purpose can be daunting, exhausting, and frustrating. It’s hard to always be pushing, pushing, pushing… always working and striving and trying. Sometimes in a moment of irritation and desperation, we irrationally think, “Why do I do any of the things I do?” And sometimes–even worse–there’s no real good answer.

Then I thought about the three basic options we have in life: progressing/striving (sometimes struggling), maintaining/floating (occasionally called laziness), or regressing (typically prompting an intervention). When faced with these three basic options, I like to believe that regression is the worst option. Why lose everything I worked for? At least “maintaining” will keep my life at the standard I’ve worked to achieve…. And indeed, at least a few times a year I coast for a while. Recharge my batteries, wrap up half-finished projects/hobbies, watch a lot of movies, hang with friends. It is incredibly necessary (and a luxury too). But that gets boring after a while. And then I start to push again–not because I have to (even though I do have to), but because I want to. I say to myself in those moments, “Now this is when I know I’m not mediocre or living life without passion,” because I keep trying. I keep moving on. It might be hard to do, and a roller coaster for sure, but it’s worth the effort.

This  subject seems extremely relevant on Independence Day weekend. Think of the constant struggle older generations have faced to get us to where the States are today. Man, do we have it good! Just look at my last 2 paragraphs. Seriously, how lucky am I to be contemplating the boredom that comes with “maintaining” a lifestyle?! It seems, as human beings we are always trying to improve our situation; trying to do more, have more, be more. But sometimes we should give it a rest, don’t you think?  So this weekend, do me a favor. Coast. Enjoy the fireworks, the barbeques, the company of friends and family, the nice weather, the time off. Just relax. And throw in a tiny moment of gratitude, recognizing how really good we truly have it.

Thanks for reading!

Challenge: “Follow-through” style courtesy

Absentminded courtesy is commonplace in our society. How many times have you done this: 

Walking down the stairs at work, you see a colleague coming up the opposite direction, and you say,  “Hey, how are you?” without stopping to hear his/her response. 

It was your way of saying “Hello” right? Neither of you probably bothered to give or hear an answer because it was not expected.  There’s nothing wrong with this practice, but why not change it up? Here’s a good challenge:

Just for one day, follow-up your “How are you’s” with another question. It could be, “Is it supposed to rain today?” or “Is your work day going quickly?” or,  it could be, “Wow, you seem rushed. Anything I could do to help?” It could also be, “Did you cut your hair? You look different.” Anything will do. What it tells the person opposite you is: someone caresYou cared enough to connect with him/her past the typical “Hello’s” and “How are you’s” that are usually met with absent-minded (or inaccurate) responses. And that makes you pretty darn terrific!

Bonus: you will be amazed at the exciting new things you learn or the way it will make you feel. I recommend taking on this challenge when you don’t have a crazy schedule. You might find yourself in some lively, unexpected conversations that slow you down (worthwhile I promise)!

 

© Be Nice. Creator and Be Nice.(somethingsonice.wordpress.com), 2008-2009.