Exit the Terrarium: Why Your Community Needs You!

IMG_20160613_191409.jpgI’m not going to lie, since the tragedy in Orlando, I’ve been having trouble mustering up the emotional energy to write a blog post. Instead, I found  myself furiously Googling and making plans to build a terrarium. It’s not TOO strange when you consider that I am a proud lizard owner (see Dandy, pictured above), but it is a weird thing for my mind to be mysteriously fixating on in the wake of this tragedy. However, I think the feeling mirrored my desire to close myself off in my own social ecosystem. In times like these, it is very easy for us to choose one thing to focus on, and huddle up with like-minded friends in a miniature version of the “real” world. Continue reading

How to Argue Better!

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Life in 2016 is fraught with controversy. Politics are growing more and more polarized, casual racism and microaggressions are becoming less socially acceptable, and traditional gender roles are being challenged. No matter where you stand on the issues (or if you have yet to form an opinion), chances are, you’ve got someone yelling at you on either side. This makes staying cool, respectful, and rational all the more difficult. Here are some tips on how to share your opinions on controversial topics in a way that is most likely to get your point across without any hard feelings: Continue reading

Ways to Make America Great (Besides Voting)

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These day, election coverage is unescapable. While I am thrilled that some of our front-runners are making “YUGE” gains in raising awareness about the struggles faced by oft-neglected demographic groups and issues, many of the articles and memes don’t capture the full story. Since our news feed is already fully saturated with stories about how candidate X will boost the economy, candidate Y will improve the U.S.’s international standing, and candidate Z  is possibly the Zodiac killer (really?), I thought I would focus today on some real talk: What can you do to make America greater in your everyday life? Continue reading

Announcement

Hello readers! As some of you may have noticed, I have been experimenting with different posting frequencies, and I have also been lucky enough to have my posts featured twice on the official blog of GuideStar.org (if you are not familiar with GuideStar, they are an excellent resource for finding information and documentation about IRS-registered non-profit organizations). I also participated in an outstanding workshop organized by The Op-Ed Project. I did some soul-searching this week and decided to focus my efforts more on trying to get work published on other sites besides this one, and provide more fast-paced social media coverage of relevant topics rather than trying to update this blog consistently every single week. I will continue to update this website once a month with a relevant, original post, and will add updates with other content as it becomes available. I even have a fun collaborative post in the works for December, so do stay tuned!

Please know that I am still around, and as I plan to step up my social media game, follow me on Facebook and Twitter if you’d like to stay in the loop about what I’m up to. Thanks for reading!

Does Activism Mean Never Being Satisfied?

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Activists have done so much to bring important issues to light and create real social change, despite the fact that change often comes much slower than we would like. There is no doubt that there is a lot of work left to be done, but how do we balance our own happiness with the happiness of others, and where do we draw the line between being comfortable and being complacent? Continue reading

How Do We Value Activism?

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We all know that different levels of activism will naturally have different levels of social impact. Activism that is well-researched and informed will have a greater social impact that activism that isn’t, and giving $2 to a cause will not have as great an impact as giving $2 million. That said, not all of us have $2 million that we can afford to give away, and not all of us have the time to thoroughly research a 30 page position paper on the issues that affect our world. Being an activist means that you are doing something – even something small – to make the world a better place. While many detractors would pick on people who make low-stakes investments in a cause (such as social media sharing), shouldn’t we instead be directing our energy toward a positive impact?

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Why and How to Forgive

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No matter who you are, chances are you have some kind of emotional baggage weighing you down. Maybe it makes you nervous and upset whenever you think about a bridge you’ve burned with someone you care about, maybe fear of losing face and admitting wrongdoing is preventing you from reviving relationships or partnerships that could otherwise improve your life, or maybe you still haven’t forgiven yourself enough to pick up where you left off. Whatever is holding you back, the fall season is a great time to make peace with others and yourself, and start afresh. Continue reading