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.
I find many discussions around diversity and racism to be very black and white. The Latinos are starting to get louder, and even though as a native Angeleno I feel like I'm automatically part Latina, I'm feeling left out of the conversation. What about us Asians??? Thanks to my ancestors, you have tea and guns!
I am no doubt the ultimate optimist, always looking on the bright side and finding the silver lining. I don't have time for party poopers raining on my parade--there is too much life to be lived and enjoyed. So, as I was having coffee with a friend, who had a pretty shitty 2017, I said to her a common response one might say in such situations, "Well, it can only get better from here!"
I went to Shabbat service at the Wilshire Boulevard Temple as part of an educational "field trip" for the Ecumenical & Inter-Religious Studies course I'm taking. We learned about Judaism and Catholic-Jewish relations, and it was such a revelation. I had been to temple once before, back when I was thirteen for a friend's Bat-mitzvah, but I don't remember what it was like. My mom remembers it being long, and she was right. Our Catholic mass is 1 hour long, this service we were at was two and a half hours! Although, that's also because there were two bat-mitzvahs at this service.
When the Time's Up Legal Fund was announced, I felt a fire in my heart. It was like a light finally shining through at the end of the tunnel, because after #MeToo, I wondered what we do now to actually affect positive change. We've broken the silence, so what's next? Seeing Hollywood use its platform and microphone to start the change made me really proud, because it's important that any person or organization of influence use that power to create positive change.
Some people have become savvy to asking, “Where are you from?” and now lead off their question with “You’re not a typical…white American, so [what are you/what is your background/etc.” What am I? I am a human being, though I wish I was a unicorn so that I could fart rainbows and poop cotton candy. What is my background? I guess it depends where I’m sitting or standing.