When you’re thinking of giving up…

YouCanDoIt

Hi everyone! This is a hectic week for me, so I thought I would take a break from the stress and write something low-key and hopefully uplifting. Working toward a positive social impact can be an exhausting job, but giving up on something you believe in is never the answer. Here are some things to consider during those times when you’re feeling overworked, overwhelmed, and overstressed.

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Be Good at Being Charitable

Lantern

If you are looking to make a positive impact in the world, giving to charity is one of the most direct ways that you can contribute. But, with over 1.5 million different nonprofits in the United States alone, figuring out how to give in a meaningful, impactful way can be an incredibly daunting task. Here are some ways for you to narrow down the causes and charities that will be most meaningful for you:

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Kindness Isn’t Easy, But It Is Important

Elephants touching each other gently (greeting) - Addo Elephant

Feeling genuine compassion for others who are struggling can be difficult and painful. In order to not constantly be sad about all of the terrible things happening in other people’s lives, human beings have grown adept at suppressing our kindness and compassion for one another when it suits us, and a lot of the time we don’t even realize we are doing it. In a way, this is a necessary skill, but sometimes we take it too far. Here are some tips on how to be more caring, without sacrificing your own sanity or happiness.

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Advocacy in the Face of Stigma

fear shadow

Standing up for a disadvantaged or oppressed group takes great personal strength, and can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. This week I am pleased to be joined by Felicia Johnson, Mental Health Advocate and Author of Her the Book, a novel which explores the real-life complexities of struggling with mental illness and what it means to be a survivor. This type of advocacy (or any type, really) is stressful and can take a toll on a person, but it also can pay off in a big way. Today’s post offers some tips for staying motivated and achieving your goals as an advocate for a cause.

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How Social Good is Becoming a Real, Measurable Thing (and why that’s wonderful)

MeasureSunshine

Once upon a time, the “goodness” of an individual person or entity could only be measured in vague perceptions of public opinion, and “well-being” could only really be measured in terms of financial comfort. Interestingly enough, despite the fact that philanthropy and social welfare have existed as concepts for hundreds (if not thousands) of years, the concept of thinking strategically about social problems is very new, just gaining in popularity over the past few decades. We are still new to this age of organized efforts to improve the world we live in, and though we have not yet come out with one standardized measure of social impact or well-being, we have come out with many different tools for measuring benefit to society and well-being. Do-gooder culture is indeed shifting in favor of us data nerds (or perhaps us data nerds have just been more effective at doing good?). Continue reading

Strategic Acts of Kindness are Better than Random Acts of Kindness

KindnessMethod

First off, I want to say that I think that it’s wonderful that the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation teaches children the importance of being kind, and I very much agree with the idea that kindness is contagious (in fact, it’s been backed up by science). However, the randomness factor is one I never understood. Showing kindness is not a random act, and it doesn’t even need to be a selfless one. Many studies have demonstrated helping people not only makes them happier, it also makes you happier. This led me to the belief that being compassionate and being logical are actually the same thing. So why are we labeling acts of kindness as “random”? Here are some reasons why I think we need to look at kindness from a more strategic perspective:

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New Resources for Goodness Geeks!

NewResources

Hi all – my post this week is just going to be a short announcement. I created this blog to be a resource to people who are looking to have a positive impact in the world, but truth be told, there are already lots of existing resources to help you have a better impact on the world, statistically speaking. That’s why I created this handy resource page. That page is there to link you to other sites that will also help you on your journey to be a better, smarter person – whether it’s through philanthropy, volunteerism, ethical business, or simply having the facts you need to tackle the big issues.

Know a cool resource you think a missed? Please shoot me a message and let me know. While you’re at it, here are some other good reasons to send me a message:

  • You have an idea for a topic you’d like me to cover
  • You’d like to collaborate on a post
  • You think this site is really cool and you’d like to get involved somehow
  • You have an opinion/suggestion for how I could improve the site
  • You’d like to know who designed my adorable owl logo

Being Logical and Being Compassionate are Actually the Same Thing

Vulcan

Like many of you, I was deeply saddened to learn of Leonard Nimoy’s passing this week. Since this is a blog about being both compassionate and logical at the same time, I think it is pretty clear that I, like so many of my fellow nerds, hope to follow in Mr. Nimoy’s footsteps – not just in being an intelligent, accomplished person, but also in being a caring and compassionate one. Today, in his honor, I wanted to talk about the many ways in which being compassionate is actually a quite logical choice.

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How to be a supportive friend in times of crisis

Close-up of psychiatrist hands holding those of her patient

We all want to be a caring and supportive friend to the people in our lives, but we are also all human beings, so we’re not 100% good at it all of the time. Here to help me lend a little insight into the art of being a good friend, is Licensed Mental Health Clinician Christy Paul. Christy is Head of Personnel and Training at TalkSpace – an innovative new app that lets you talk anonymously to a therapist in real-time, making mental health care more accessible to those of us who can’t afford to visit a therapist regularly and in person. Today, Christy is helping me reflect on being a supportive friend, even over long distances and in times of crisis, with these tips:

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