The Art of Human Kindness

Michael Daube

For today’s Good News Wednesday, I would like to share a wonderful story about an artist, a journey, and the incredible organization that came from them. I’m talking about Michael Daube and his amazing story, which I’ve shared before.

In the late 80s, New Jersey-based artist Michael Daube was backpacking around India. In Calcutta, two small children approached him on the street, begging for money. Michael began talking with them, and soon the children had invited him to accompany them to the place where they had lunch every day.

Michael and the children arrived at a Catholic charity where dozens of children were awaiting their lunch. Michael asked one of the sisters if he could volunteer or help in some way; the nun told him that he better talk to the sister in charge, and led him to another room to wait.

Into the room walked Mother Theresa – whom Michael had never even heard of at the time.

Flash-forward a few years: Michael is back in New Jersey working as an artist, and still thinking about those kids in India. One day he goes dumpster diving for sculpture materials, when he discovers amongst the trash a drawing by legendary British artist David Hockney. This was the watershed moment he had been waiting for. Michael sold the drawing, and in 1997, used the money — along with a lot of travel, determination, inspiration and hard work — to found Citta, an organization dedicated to boost the education, health care and economic prospects of some of the most economically disadvantaged people in the world. Citta currently operates hospitals, schools, orphanages and women’s centers in India, Nepal and Mexico.

Read the Tonic article here

Today, Michael and Citta have a great new venture to raise funds and awareness, and increase the work being done by Citta. Tonic, a website focused on the good that happens each day in neighborhoods all around the world, is hoping to spread Citta’s message of help and hope through a new partnership. Sūtra Scarves are hand-made, beautiful cashmere scarves that feature words of wisdom, strength and inspiration. Each piece includes embroidered Sanskrit translations of words chosen by creative powerhouses including Natalie Merchant, David Bowie, Queen Latifah and Scarlett Johansson  — making them as meaningful as they are luxurious.

The scarves are works of art unto themselves and are knit and embroidered by the artisans at the Women’s Center in Orissa, India, providing the means for locals to empower and help themselves. Exclusively on Tonic, a portion of the proceeds from each scarf goes to help make the next Citta dream a reality.The goal is to raise funds toward the $65,000 needed for Citta to build a girls’ school in Jaisalmir, India. Read the full article on Tonic here.

So, just in time for your holiday shopping – buy an amazing, one-of-a-kind cashmere scarf – and feel great about helping to empower women and children at the same time. Namaste!

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About Shelley Seale

I'm Shelley, a journeyer and learner of the world, freelance journalist and author, yoga chick and dog lover. I pound the keyboard from home barefoot every day, and while my boss is demanding she also occasionally lets me have the early afternoon cocktail. I think not going into an office or collecting corporate paychecks are very good ideas, though not always profitable. I have written for National Geographic, USA Today, The Guardian, Texas Monthly and CNN, among others. Neither the New York Times nor Johnny Depp have answered my letters yet. I love yoga, indie movies, wine, and books, though not necessarily in that order. I believe in karma. Mean people suck. If I could have any dream job I would like to be a superhero. I have performed a catch on the flying trapeze, boarded down a live volcano and was once robbed by a monkey in Nepal. But, I don't know how to whistle. My mantra is "travel with a purpose."

Posted on November 11, 2009, in India, inspiration, news, shelley seale and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. love it…am posting on my FB page!

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