December is in full swing and as joyous a time it is, it can also be super chaotic. So, I'm going to give you my top tips for maintaining your sanity and holiday cheer throughout the month and therefore prevent you (hopefully) from losing your mind before we enter the new year.
I recently spoke with Mickie Zada on her podcast Surviving Abuse Network. Mickie lived in abuse for 34 years and essentially restarted her life at 50. She started Surviving Abuse Network, to create a positive and supportive space for survivors, and also offers a helpful tool for helping those who many not realize they're in an abusive relationship.
Brett Kavanaugh's Confirmation is not a Surprise but Don't Worry Gen Z will Make Sure Handmaid's Tale Doesn't Become a Reality
Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation as a Supreme Court justice is not a surprise because we as a society still have centuries of misogyny and abuse of power and control to unlearn. It's sad and disappointing that still, many people do not take sexual assault seriously, but look at who's sitting in the oval office. What concerns me more after seeing Kavanaugh's and the Republican party's response is that people still support Brett Kavanaugh is that people still support him as a Supreme Court justice after he behaved completely unprofessionally and abhorrently. If they're not concerned with having a potential sexual predator serve a lifelong appointment in the highest court of our land, if they're not concerned about his position on certain major issues, his behavior and responses should have given pause to those that support him. Even the way he responded to questions about his position on different issues outside of the sexual assault accusations were concerning, though he certainly showed his true colors when being questioned about the sexual assault claims. All we saw was an entitled, privileged white man with a tiny mouth behave like a childish, egotistical maniac. Although maybe I shouldn't be surprised by that either, since again, look at who's sitting in the oval office. There's now officially a boys' club of "Tiny Mouths with Big Entitled, Privileged Egos." Despite all this, I have hope. I have hope, because I went to speak to about sixty eleventh graders at High Tech High North County in San Marcos, California--yes, that's the actual name of the high school--and these students showed me they won't let Handmaid's Tale happen to us.
One of the worst and most frustrating feelings is feeling unwelcome and disrespected in your own home, especially when that home is your country. It's hurtful and carries the level of disrespect that is inhumane. This week, Mesut Ozil, unquestionably one of the top players of my generation, announced he would no longer play international football for Germany, the country he was born and raised in and calls home, because of the increasing amount of racism and disrespect he has been receiving, particularly from the German Football Association (DFB) since he took a photo with Turkish President, Erdogan, at a London charity event in May. Ozil's family originates from Turkey and he is a practicing Muslim. In his letter, describing what has led to this difficult decision, Ozil reminds us of the deeply hurtful issue to which every minority can relate--being treated like an outsider in your own home.
I feel very flattered when people tell me I look confident and natural when I’m doing any sort of public speaking, because often times I feel the exact opposite. However, I learned a few tricks when I was younger and they’ve certainly helped me out in many a situation, so hopefully they’ll help you, too.
This Father's Day, I've been thinking about redefining masculinity. Well, I've been thinking a lot about this in general, but especially on Father's Day, because our fathers, those of us lucky enough to have our fathers, are usually the first masculine figures in our lives and thus the first person to teach us what "masculinity" means and looks like. Over the centuries, we've created a definition of masculinity that is at the root of inequality and it harms both men and women.
As part of the Ecumenical & Interreligious Course I recently completed, we visited a mosque and took a dip into Islam. I was really excited about this part of the course because there are so many misconceptions about Islam and Muslims. So here are 7 things I learned that stood out and everyone should know these thins, too, because we’re not so different. In fact, we’re all cut from the same cloth and the same way I don’t agree with my parents on everything, Muslims, Christians, and Jews also don’t agree on everything, but we are all children of God--the same God!
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), and there are many things we can all do to look out for one another better and prevent sexual harassment and assault. We've all heard of the bystander effect and it's time we hold ourselves more accountable to each other. By being more aware of the signs of sexual harassment, and learning how to diffuse such situations and taking action when we sense something is wrong, we can change our culture.
Trauma is something that stays with us our whole lives. Even when we're doing great, it lives with us in different ways, sometimes triggered in unexpected ways and sometimes affecting us in unexpected ways. Traumatic events like this week's mass shooting may re-trigger trauma for many. One of the ways it can affect us is in our sleep, but there are ways you can treat trauma related sleep issues, and of course other PTSD symptoms.
Let's face it. There's a lot we can learn from each other, but on a recent field trip to Hsi Lai Temple, the Buddhist Temple in Hacienda Heights, I was enlightened by what I learned. Of course, my mind was flooded with so much more curiosity, and I was amazed by how many similarities there are to Christianity. As we got in a little Buddhism 101, two things struck me deeply as lessons we Christians could and should learn if the Christian community, particularly the Catholic Church's goal, is to create unity among Christians.