Identity

Healthy Progress, Not Perfection

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How anyone can keep up with the diet trends these days, I’ll never know. If you’re getting your health information online, what’s good for you and what’s bad for you is simply a matter of science… or opinion… or scientific opinion. It’s all very confusing! But the one thing I think everyone can agree on at this point is that what you put into your body matters. Through much...

Weird, Wonderful Creativity

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I have some issues with the word creative. I feel like it’s a word people say about you when they want to say that you are weird, but you are also in the room. This is really a shame because to be someone who creates (and is weird) is awesome! I create every day in my job at a Shakespeare Theater and most days in my downtime as a way of de-stressing. I have always loved painting. As a kid, m...

The Self-Inflicted Curse of Creativity

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I tend to be called creative a lot. From the moment I chose design as a major in college, I sealed my professional fate as a “creative” in the industry. Fast forward four years, a business minor, and way too many Red Bull-fueled late nights later, and I found myself as a proud… college graduate who was living at home with my parents — sound familiar? Thanks to my decision to pursue a creative care...

What We Hate Most in Others

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“You hate most in others what you hate most in yourself,” Mr. Baxter said, as he looked around my seventh-grade class. Then he focused his gaze on one of my fellow students in particular. She knew those words were meant for her. I saw her tense up. She did not take his words kindly. Why? Because instead of allowing for her to judge another pupil with impunity, Mr. Baxter turned the tables and push...

Our Confusing Selves

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When I was little, my dad had a poster of an adorable chimpanzee next to his desk. This was long before the days of memes, but you may have seen an updated version. The chimpanzee held a thinking pose above the caption, “I think, therefore I am… confused.” My dad explained to me about the concept of philosophy and a man called Descartes. I felt incredibly grown up to be in on what I consider...

Compassion for the Holidays

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It’s been a tense year, to say the least. Political polarization is at an all-time high and people on both sides are angry. Many people don’t just disagree with the other side’s views anymore; they think the other side’s views—and the people who hold them—are abhorrent. It can be hard enough to navigate political differences with strangers and acquaintances. But what are we supposed to do when the...

Road Rage Versus the Grateful Heart

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For me, driving downtown is the worst. I lose all sense of patience and spend my entire commute questioning other people’s sanity and driving abilities. From start to finish, it’s a very negative experience. Then one day, it occurred to me: I could change my mind. Now there’s a thought. I like to think of myself as having a grateful heart. Most of the time, that’s true. Maybe I should say, in most...

Gratitude—The Big and Small of it

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Many of us, myself included, use the words “thank you” as carelessly as “excuse me” or “gesundheit.” We tend to throw around “thanks” without necessarily giving it a thought. We say it at the Starbucks drive-thru, after opening a present, or when someone holds the door open for us. But I want to talk about gratitude, and I’m not entirely sure that thanks and gratitude are as synonymous as we might...

Integrity and Freedom from Judgement

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As I’m writing this, the hearings on the newest Supreme Court judge have just finished. I purposely did not watch them… it was too much for me. Lately, I have been overwhelmed with the feeling that I’m waiting for a dream sequence to end; that I’ll wake up to a world where leaders don’t mock abuse victims, where honesty and integrity are still valuable, where character and courtesy mean something....

Toward Integrity

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I stood by the self-checkout register, running my groceries through the scanner. No one was paying me much heed. You know what it’s like. I sometimes think we self-scanners go to the self-checkout line so that no one will bother us. For me, it’s a race against the annoying voice of the bot who tells me to bag something or reminds me to take my change. Then I got to the Gala apples. Quickly I looke...

Lessons from a Culture that Celebrates Life

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Finding his way through the vibrant “Land of the Dead” in the Disney/Pixar film Coco, Miguel sadly watches an older soul fade away in front of him. Perplexed that someone can disappear, even from the land of those who no longer live, he asks his trickster companion Héctor what happened. Poignantly, Héctor informs Miguel that, “Our memories, they have to be passed down by those who knew us in life—...

Community is Generosity

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I think when we have found community, then we have found generosity. Sharing yourself and your time with those around you is the essence of both of these ideas. I see small generosities every day at my job and in the world. People will give up their seat for someone else on the bus, drop some change into a musician’s case, or offer a hug and a friendly ear. These simple kindnesses are all around u...

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