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 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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What NOT to do when raising awareness online

What NOT to do

I did a post recently about getting beyond “slacktivism” and actually posting on social media in a way that is impactful. Today, I wanted to dive a little bit into what NOT to do. When you’re a person like me who cares a lot about a cause, or even many causes, it’s very easy to get worked up and start posting things that make you feel good and use some activist language, but are not actually effective at creating social change. Here are a few examples of things that might make you feel good, but do not actually do anything to improve the world we live in.

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Launching a Career in Public Service

Speaker at Business Conference and Presentation.

This week’s post is for those of you looking to take the concept of helping others and having a positive social impact to the next level by making it the center of your career aspirations. Joining me on this topic is Professor David Campbell, Chair of the Department of Public Administration at Binghamton University. Not only could I not have written today’s blog without his help, but I also wouldn’t have been able to launch a career in public service myself!  Today, we’ve decided to tackle some of the big questions about entering a career in this field. Continue reading

Adopting a Rescue Pet

casperdog

If you’re looking to bring a new pet into your home, one of the nicest things you can do is adopt a rescue animal. With so many pets out there looking for a home, adopting from a shelter can truly help you to save an animal’s life. Better yet, shelter pets could save you over a grand by coming pre-vaccinated and spayed/neutered. There are a lot of myths about shelter adoption, and also a lot of things you should know first.

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Embracing Empathy Part Two: Taking Kindness to the Next Level!

Embracing Empathy

My last post explored the ways that empathy is deeply ingrained in human nature, but also some of the psychological ways that humans are bad at harnessing empathy to have a positive impact on ourselves and those around us. Today I wanted to give some practical tips on how to embrace empathy in your everyday life in order to improve your personal happiness and sense of purpose, and make life better for those around you.

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How to find a satisfying and meaningful volunteer opportunity

Group Of Young People Stacking Their Hands

As we get ready to ring in 2015, I know there are a lot of people out there looking to lend some of their time as a volunteer – either to build experience for themselves, give back to their community, build their connections, or all of the above. Today I decided I would give some advice for those of us looking to get involved in a cause: Continue reading

Socially-Conscious Holiday Shopping

Hello loyal blog readers! In order to make it easier for all of you to keep up with The Goodness Geek, I’ve decided I would like to get on a dedicated blogging schedule. I am planning to post updates by 8am (or hopefully sooner) every Tuesday morning from this point forward. If I don’t, please feel free to (gently) harass me until I do.

Now that it’s officially mid-December, many of us are scrambling to get our last-minute Holiday shopping done – I know I am. And, in doing so, I know many of you are trying to avoid buying gifts that are harmful to our social, economic, and literal environment. This is a particularly challenging task when so many companies show blatant disregard for worker’s rightsconsumer privacy, and cultural sensitivity. Here are some tips for shopping with a conscience this Holiday season:

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Beyond Slacktivism: What Makes Social Media Impactful?

Best Internet Concept of global business from concepts series.El

Thanks everyone who participated in my poll. The people have spoken, and the people want to know what the deal is with social media activism. Can posting and sharing your thoughts and feelings about major social issues really lead to meaningful change in the world? Well, in a lot of ways, yes it can. A recent study found that nearly two thirds of Americans (64%) said that they would be more likely to take some kind of action on an issue (including donating, volunteering, or sharing information) after “following” or “liking” an organization on social media. Today, I’m going to talk about how you can use social media to amplify the effect of the good you’re doing in the world, not to take the place of it.

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