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

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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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How stigma hurts (and how to fight it!)

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Stigmatizing members of our community who are already at risk is, sadly, extremely common. When you see someone in need, sometimes it is easier to suppress your compassion than to offer help. You might even think that this will help to make them more resilient or encourage them to work harder or become more independent, but in truth, perpetuating stigma against marginalized groups makes life worse for them and for the health of our community. This week I am going to explore how stigma hurts and how you can help fight it. Continue reading

Kindness Isn’t Easy, But It Is Important

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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

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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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Strategic Acts of Kindness are Better than Random Acts of Kindness

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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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What NOT to do when raising awareness online

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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

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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

Goodness Geek Valentines!

Is there a special someone in your life who happens to geek out a lot about the state of the world we live in? Perhaps a huge nerd who likes to think about compassionate subjects in terms of cold, hard statistics? Maybe you just know and love someone who is seeking a higher purpose and is fascinated with issues of social justice?

Well good news for anyone lucky enough to be dating (our casually flirting with) a social justice nerd – I went and created some special Valentines just for you! I’ve got Valentines for every kind of goodness geek:

For the heroic…

GG Valentine #2

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