Better World Team story fragment, reflection or sketch...
I was a little girl," Maya began, "my family brought me
to Israel to live on a kibbutz for the summer… I don't
remember a whole lot from that time, but I recall that
I was a little frightened and a little excited to be in
such a strange place so far from my suburban life outside
a big American city. Most of all I guess I was a very
curious little adventurer.
was one time there that my curiosity nearly got me into
quite a lot of trouble. You see I'd been told terrible
things by other children and several adults living on
the kibbutz - stories about how different and sinister
Palestinians were - even Palestinian children.
the frame of mind I was in, when one day somehow I wandered
outside the safety of the kibbutz, and got lost in the
desert brush. I was frightened and even more so when I
eventually found myself standing in the middle of a dirt
street in a small Palestinian village." Maya paused for
a dramatic moment.
sat in the audience, my eyes riveted on her, and I felt
a rippling of attentive energy all around me. She had
an amazing presence, captivating and charismatic; a master
storyteller, weaving the words of a simple story into
an irresistible tale of mystery and intrigue. I'd never
seen her like this before.
was so glad that The Team had decided to come along to
Maya's conference for this 'test run' for the Better World
Roadtrip we were planning. I glanced over and saw Artie
behind the video camera. This will make a great clip,
I smiled, knowing the camera would surely capture Maya's
intriguing magnetism. My gaze carried back up to the stage
where Jessica was sitting behind Maya with a panel of
other speakers waiting their turn to share with us. I
couldn't wait to see how she'd do on her first test run
in front of an audience. I was certain she would shine
as well. I felt a rush of pride - what an amazing Team
we'd assembled. Maya was speaking again and my attention
returned to focus on her.
had fallen and cut my knee and it hurt, and I was hungry,
and tired, and very scared, and I was crying, when a small
group of Palestinian children approached. To be honest,
I was a little confused; they didn't look all that different
from the children at the kibbutz. Their clothes were a
little strange, but they didn't seem nearly as frightening
as I'd expected. The kids started asking me questions,
but I had no idea what they were saying, and I started
crying again. Then a man wearing a keffiyah on his head
approached and I gasped again in fear, really expecting
the worst. But he was smiling and he spoke some English
and asked me if I was lost and if I was living on the
kibbutz nearby. Choking back my tears I nodded, and he
smiled again and told me not to worry, but that he and
the children would bring me home.
then his wife had emerged from her doorway and after they
exchanged a few words, they invited me to have something
to eat first. I sat with the man and his wife and their
children and we ate together and they made me feel like
part of their family." Maya paused a moment again and
smiled at us.
though I was so young at the time, that experience really
shaped the way I would see the world for the rest of my
life. Without really putting it into words or even concrete
thoughts, that little girl recognized that biases and
prejudices are often passed on out of fear - creating
a polar 'us versus them' perception of the world. The
truth was that when you really get to know 'them' you
see how much like 'us' they really are, and you realize
there really is only us.
formative experience led me on a life path of learning
that brought me an even deeper appreciation of the interconnectedness
of all people, and to see our differences as opportunities
to celebrate our diversity rather than be afraid of it.
Learning about different beliefs and customs provided
me with fresh perspectives so that I could gain new insights
about the world and myself. That one formative experience
early in my life really led to the work I do today as
an interfaith minister, helping to promote intercultural
and interfaith understanding between people."
looked down for a moment, then looked up with a smile.
"Thank you for inviting me to be here today." She sat
back in her chair as a roar of applause and tears thanked
her for sharing with us.
rest of the conference was a blur. Jessica did her shtick
as the Better World Girl. She was amazing - the routine
was perfect. Her timing was spot on - the audience really
got the mix of humor and serious issues. And when she
got out her guitar and did The Diversity Song we
had come up with earlier in the week, she had everyone
cracking up at times and crying at others …
the whole conference was very heartwarming - so many stories
about amazing things people were doing. Artie got a lot
of it on film and I was sure we'd have all kinds of material
to work with for video clips to post on our website. Definitely
great footage for the Documentary, too.
night as we debriefed over a few rounds of drinks before
Artie and I headed off to our room and the girls to theirs,
we all felt really good about the Team, and the progress
we were making in our plans to change the world. It would
take a lot more time, but we were definitely headed in
the right direction.
next morning we were in the car heading back for the eight
hour drive home. Well, actually Maya's home of course
… but in my mind it really felt like I was going Home
- the place where I belonged.
I glanced in the rear view mirror at Artie and Jessica
laughing about something he was showing her on his laptop,
and then looked over at Maya behind the wheel, I felt
this crazy rush of joy. I couldn't believe how lucky I
was to have finally found a Team to share my mission and
purpose and reason for living, after so many years of
longing and working and dreaming alone.
think I must have gone crazy for a moment. At least that's
what I thought the second after I opened my mouth. The
last thing I had wanted to do was to jeopardize this amazing
reality I'd found.
just love our Team," I said out loud, unable to contain
my thoughts an instant longer. It wasn't loud enough to
disturb the younger members of our group in the back seat,
but Maya smiled behind her sunglasses; a smile that could
launch a thousand ships. And that's when I said what I
instantly wanted to kick myself about. "I think I'm falling
in love with you," I blurted.
and Artie suddenly stopped talking.
one said a word.
tension was so thick, I could barely breathe. I didn't
dare look up at Maya.
2015 Robert Alan Silverstein
from The Better World Factory
Better World Show
Reality Show That Will Change Reality
the past 11 years, I've been wanting to create The
Better World Show, a reality show that would inspire
action for a better world and provide a way for millions
to participate in real-time.
Better World Show: The Reality Show That Will Change
Reality" would be an SNL-like variety show/reality
show that would highlight the many efforts for a better
world that are going on, often unseen, all around us,
and inspire and empower action through humor, music and
cutting-edge and engaging features.
have hundreds of pages of notes on skits, next steps,
a calendar of action, numerous vehicles within the Show
and tons of offshoot-ideas. So, in a last ditch effort
to try to make this happen before another 11 years go
by, I'm putting out this call to either find
a team to launch this webseries, or someone who
might be interested in writing a series of novels with
me based on this concept.
The Better World Show:
The Reality Show That Will Change Reality
An SNL-like variety show/ reality show, inspiring and
empowering a global movement for change in real-time.
THE BETTER WORLD SHOW'S
'SKETCHES' FEATURE THESE AND OTHER VEHICLES,
EACH OF WHICH HAS 'THE CREATION OF THE BETTER WORLD SHOW'
AS IT'S ORGANIZING GOAL:
Better World Factory
The off-beat behind the scenes exploits of a Team of dreamers,
activist-actors and misfits working on The Better World
Show webseries' vignettes of humorous skits, inspirational
features and original music.
Better World Roadtrip: In Search of Utopia
A roadtrip across America highlighting people, places,
organizations and ideas that are helping to create a more
peaceful, just and sustainable world.
Better World Inc
Misadventures of employees in an Office-type setting working
for a Corporation without any products or services but
whose sole purpose is to create a more peaceful, just
and sustainable world.
Better World 101
Sociology professor teaching from The Better World
Handbook, gives his students a semester-long assignment
to create a network of Better World Clubs on college campuses
around the world and a webseries to inspire and empower
the network they've created.
Better World News
A humorously satirical but inspiring take on current events
unseen in traditional media outlets.
Better World Band
Music videos and behind the scenes exploits of musicians
on tour, performing social-issue based songs.
Better World Girl
Shy dreamer has an alter-ego in her graphic novels about
her hipster glasses, beret and scarf-wearing-heroine,
The Better World Girl.
The Better World Couple
BetterWorldGuy and BetterWorldGirl engage in a youtube
video duel to inspire action for a beter world.
Better World Heroes
A team of dreaming misfit superhero-wannabes embark on
a fantastical quest of epic proportions to save the world.
2004-2015 Robert Alan Silverstein