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

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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

The Secret to Being a Kinder Person

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If only it were as simple as putting on a bunny costume.

Everyone wants to think of themselves as a good person, but actually doing the right thing, or even knowing the right thing to do, is not easy. However, there is one simple thing you can do that, once you start doing it, will almost immediately make you a better person: It’s called trying. Like any other achievement, being a better person starts with simply putting in a little effort. Here are a few things to try: Continue reading

Self-Kindness vs. Kindness Toward Others: A Non-Battle

This is what you look like when you try to save the world on no sleep.

Ever feel bad rejecting someone? Saying no to working on the weekend? Telling a friend you don’t have time to hang out simply because you’d rather be doing something else? Does doing nice things for yourself make you feel guilty? Why do we feel so bad about neglecting other people’s needs, but not our own? Too often, we think of kindness toward ourselves and kindness toward others as conflicting interests, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, self-kindness puts us in the right state of mind to better support the people around us. Here’s how: Continue reading

More than a Warrior: The Social Justice Hero

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I will be honest, I have some difficulty wrapping my head around how “social justice warrior” became an insult. After all, doesn’t our society typically reserve some respect for warriors, particularly when they are fighting for a noble cause such as justice? That said, there’s a big difference between fighting for justice, and winning that fight. Today’s post will center on what it means to be a social justice “hero” as opposed to a “warrior.” Continue reading

When you’re thinking of giving up…

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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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Advocacy in the Face of Stigma

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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)

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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

Being Logical and Being Compassionate are Actually the Same Thing

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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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