He’s built an incredible oasis one tree at a time.

In 1979, 16-year-old Jadav Payeng was heartbroken when he spotted several snakes that had died from heat exhaustion on a desolate, Indian island.

“It was carnage. I alerted the forest department and asked them if they could grow trees there,” he said. “They said nothing would grow there. Instead, they asked me to try growing bamboo. It was painful, but I did it. There was nobody to help me.”


He planted a few hundred bamboo trees to give other snakes a home and hasn’t stopped. Today, that island is a lush oasis of more than 1,360 acres.

After Payeng’s initial discovery, the government committed to a 5-year-long restoration project. After its completion, he stayed behind and kept planting trees.

Payeng carries a young tree to plant.

Payeng in the forest named after him.

Decades later, government officials visited the island when they were looking for elephant poachers and they discovered something incredible.

Payeng had singlehandedly transformed the once barren landscape into a beautiful island full of lush trees.

“People from all across the globe come here now because this forest amazes them,” he said.

And there were even more surprises to be found.

It’s now home to a number of exotic animals

[rebelmouse-image 19397533 dam="1" original_size="800x547" caption="Photo by Jugal Bharali/Wikicommons." expand=1]Photo by Jugal Bharali/Wikicommons.

The island oasis has been renamed in his honor. And for planting more than 10,000 trees over 40 years, he definitely deserves recognition.

But the incredible transformation his efforts have brought extends far beyond the treeline.

The forest that once was literally a graveyard for stranded creatures is now home to over 100 elephants, Bengal tigers, rhinoceros, deer, rabbits and a number of species of birds. A number of baby elephants have even been born on the island, leading Indian officials to ensure it is a safe space free from poachers and other threats.

Payeng is a living legend. But his real legacy is how all of us can make a difference one small step at a time.

In 2014, William D. McMaster made a documentary called “Forest Man” about Peyeng. With is 40 year project largely complete, Payeng says he’d now like to expand it to other islands and vulnerable locations across India.

He’s already accomplished something truly incredible and it’s a reminder to everyone that we all can make a world of difference even with seemingly small gestures.

Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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Alberto's legs can't even reach the pedals, but that doesn't stop his little hands from flying expertly over the keys as incredible music pours out of the piano at the 10th International Musical Competition "Città di Penne" in Italy. Even if you've seen young musicians play impressively, it's hard not to have your jaw drop at this one. Sometimes a kid comes along who just clearly has a gift.

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