Social media or soapbox?

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Social media has proven to serve as a platform of opinion. Of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and they have the given right to share their thoughts.

But at what cost? Someone else’s feelings, thoughts and beliefs?

 

Today several of my Facebook friends changed their profile picture to a pink equal sign with a red background as part of the Human Rights campaign, which advocates equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. The campaign has been trying to gather online supporters as the Supreme Court begins hearings on gay marriage in Washington DC today.

Many Facebook profile photos were changed and statuses were written pro- or anti- gay marriage.

I once had a professor say, the best topics, papers and subject matter can be discussed without stating ones opinion. Therefore I’m not going to state my opinion. I’m not wanting my opinion to be the focus.

I’ll share what others are saying.

“I do not agree with hating on those who are homosexual but also don’t agree with legalizing their unity. We all should be allowed certain freedoms, but I feel this isn’t one of them. Being homosexual shouldn’t define a person, so why do we need to legalize it for them to feel whole?”

“What if you have a gay/lesbian child and they wanted to get married but couldn’t. I bet you’d fight tooth and nail for their right to be happy with the one they love. So why deny other people that right?”

“What are you opposed to, their treatment by government and law, or the fact it would be declared a marriage in the Christian sense of the word?”

Even Chick-fil-A and Starbucks presidents, CEOS weighed in.

Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer, Dan Cathy said Chick-fil-A is “very much supportive of the family-the biblical definition of the family unit.”

Starbucks chief executive, Howard Schultz, received a complaint from stockholder, Tom Strobhar saying earnings were disappointing after the company announced its support for gay marriage. Schultz responded by saying, “If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38% you got last year, it’s a free country. You can sell your shares in Starbucks and buy shares in another company. Thank you very much.”

Everyone has an opinion and the mouth to say it and the fingers to type it. Whatever your opinion is I think there needs to be respect toward others, especially when sharing thoughts is as easy as updating a status. Just like bullying in schools isn’t condoned, bullying of emotions, opinions and ideas shouldn’t be condoned. You don’t have to agree or disagree, that’s not the point. There are too many people in the world to agree with. Respect yourself and respect others. Tolerate.

and I couldn’t have said it better than this:

“Facebook is a really good vehicle for exacerbating another’s anger. Whatever side of the fence you’re on, display poise and common sense enough not to make yourself look like a boob; that goes for anything in life.”

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Modern magic

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There is something electrifying about New York City. No, it’s not the never ending lights of Times Square.

It’s not perfect; not even close. There are hoards of people everywhere, all the time. It can be a struggle to complete a mundane task such as purchasing groceries or traveling from point a to point b. It’s more than twice as expensive as my home in Ind. and while getting dinner it might be an hour wait to be seated.

Everything about the city screams the need for patience and few people have it. The taxi drivers honking horns and the lady yelling at people for getting in her way. With large amounts of people, traffic patience is needed.

People in New York can be rude, but then again people everywhere can be rude. With so many things suggesting the city is a hassle I was trying to figure out what it was I loved about it and I realized it’s the drive, work and motivation of those who live or move there.

People have a dream and need to live their life the way they want to and are willing to struggle to make it happen.

I met a singer/songwriter this weekend who moved from Ohio to New York and told me he was waiting tables at a restaurant while he pursued his dream of music. He was literally running himself ragged to be able to spend a few spare hours writing and singing music.

My cousin, who lives in Manhattan, took a chance and moved to the city with only a nannying job. Five years later she is still happily living in the city and has worked at A&E and is now employed by the Game Show Network.

The city allows opportunity, hope and the pursuit of happiness. It is a place where people are going through similar struggles to make sure they succeed and if they don’t? They work even harder to make sure their dreams are attained. That is modern magic.

Life advisors at 18?

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When did High School seniors become miniature Buddhas covered with hair?  Are they normal students during the day and superheros at night?

Or, maybe is it the fact they are simply teenagers who look toward their futures with optimism, hope and refreshing determination.

I was typing in forms we got from the high school for the education page of the newspaper and some of them said things like “I love ____ because he’s a stud” or “my favorite band is One Direction, they’re so cute,” etc. but  there were also some really insightful answers. My favorite six:

6.) Don’t wait until the last minute to decide what to do. Also, don’t let it stress you out.

5.) Try different things to find out what you enjoy doing.

4.) It’s never too early (or late) to start preparing and planning for your career

3.) Explore your options. Ask questions and at least try the thing you have doubts about because you’ll never know if you will change your mind.

2.) Once you find your knack, learn as much as you can about it.

1.) Try everything. Explore. You aren’t going to find what you love to do unless you experience different things.

Well played, you wisdom-filled 18-year-olds. If this can’t brighten your day and pull you out of the Monday blues, I don’t know what can.

“A generation of kids choosing love over a desk. put those hours in and look at what you get.” 

Simplify your year, life

Hope. Belief. Optimism. Resolution. New Beginning – New Year.

Each New Year we get the opportunity to begin again. To make resolutions, goals and follow through with them. No matter the year we’ve had, we get the chance to start over. Each year I make a goal to be healthy, work out more, be nice etc. This year I have one resolution – to simplify my life.

I have a habit of over-planning and stressing over the smallest issues. My New Year’s resolution is to stop worrying, to stop doing things I don’t want to do and to be kind to myself and others.

As creatures of habit usually New Year’s resolutions involve improving oneself. I respect that, but I challenge people to make an effort to do something kind for others this year. Being kind to others will result in a person being kind to his or herself.

Have a healthy, happy and kind year, everyone.

“Love, we need it now. Let’s hope for some.” -The Lumineers 

Real World Optimism

A lot has happened throughout the past year.  Including the college graduation milestone.  I logged into my wordpress account today for the first time in a few weeks and took a look at the paragraph under my blog domain name.

It reads: “Entering the final lap in my college career before taking a huge (but chic) stride into the unknown.”

I have been applying for jobs and internships vigorously since January. I have also been stressing out about having to finish my last two college credits during the summer, and I now only have three days left of class.  Although what will come in the future is still unknown, things are starting to fall into place. My mother told me that things will work out, and I’m beginning to watch that happen.

Three weeks ago I got offered an internship in Pennsylvania for a newspaper and two weeks ago I accepted the position.  No, I’ve never been to Pennsylvania. No, I’ve never lived out of state for an extended amount of time. No, I’ve never lived ten hours from the place that I have called home for the past 22 (almost 23) years of my life.

I will not, I repeat, I will not let that hold me back.  I plan to move to Pennsylvania in a week and a half and I plan to start working in two weeks. I plan to make that huge (but chic) step into the unknown and I plan to do so with the fresh optimism that only a recent college grad could have.