social awareness

#happychallenge

This #happychallenge has been interesting for me.

I’ve been home for the past few days, which means I didn’t get out and around as much as I do when I am in NYC. The past few days were great, but great because I was home. Normal days. Sleeping late, eating good food, spending time with family.

It’s hard to pin-point at the end of the day what in particular made me happy without being too cliche.

I could have said “Family” every single day this week, and it would have been completely true. But I didn’t want to be cliche.

What I did notice over the past few days is how very much I have and how easy it is for me to forget.

When something goes wrong, it’s so easy to be angry. To feel as if nothing ever goes your way. As if  everything is slipping away, and it will never come together.

Over the past few days, my eyes have been peeled for something happy. And I discovered a lot. Mostly tiny things.

Things like:

Waking up in the morning, healthy.

Warm water to wash my face and plumbing so that I can use the bathroom in the comfort of my home, down the hall from my bedroom.

Enough clothing for me to have to decide what to wear.

Having enough food in the house that it’s a challenge for me to choose what I’d like to eat for breakfast.

Car’s at our disposal, so that I can go somewhere with my sisters.

I have not been forced to flee my home. When I leave tomorrow, it will not be against my will (although I’d love to stay home a little longer!), and I will not be heading to a shelter with thousands of other people, where there are crying children and adults having nightmares.

I do not wake up in the morning, wondering where my next meal will come from.

I have sweaters and scarves to keep me warm when the weather outside dips below 50 degrees.

I have parents who try their best to support my dreams.

I am not afraid to express myself. I am free to practice my religion. I have friends that I am so grateful for. I am going on a trip across the country next week. I have a good job. I have hobbies and so many interests.

I have so, so much.

And it’s so easy to take all these things for granted.

The moment dinner doesn’t work out, or it rains when I had a big day planned, it all seems to crumble, and all these things become barely a priority.

This #happychallenge opened up my eyes to all of these things. Bubby opened up my eyes to all these things.

It is so much easier to focus on the bad. And I will be the last one to say that the bad should be ignored. No. The bad in the world must be transformed into good. But instead of focusing on the bad, why don’t we just push it away by bringing more good?

A teacher once taught me that the way to get rid of a bad habit is not to abstain from the habit, but to start a good habit and eventually it will push the bad habit away.

If I have a problem with the education system, it will do no one good to listen to me putting down the administrations and curriculum’s. It will do good if I network with those who can make a difference, and we just make change.

I don’t want this #happychallenge to end. But it’s not that helpful for me to just keep posting about the happy in my life. I do need to keep seeing it though. But I need to do more. More for my Bubby, and more for me.

I don’t have any great plans just yet.

But thank G-d, I was given a brain and a heart, and by putting the two together, and combining them with the rest of all of yours..I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to do something pretty awesome.

#happychallenge

Let’s Talk About: Words

I blog. I’m not a blogger- it’s not my life. I work too. But I definitely blog. I barrage your facebook feed with posts. You know what I’m talking about.

I write.
You read.
We all move on.
Honestly, it reminds me too much of real life.
I talk.
People listen.
People talk.
I listen.
We move on.
Talking is nothing. Talking is useless, when it’s not followed up by action. When it’s not followed by discussion that results in change.
I talk about all kinds of things on here. Mostly about myself, and therefore I should be the only one who has to change.
But.
I want to try to make this a little more about the action and a little less about the talking.
I try to post something at least once or twice a week. Last week, I posted 3 things, because I just had that much to say. Sorry. Two weeks ago, I almost posted nothing. It was just that kind of week.
Ideally, I’d like to post twice a week.
But I don’t want this blog to be just a place for me to vent all my feelings, and then receive your support (which I very much appreciate!)
There are SO many things that I see in my life, and in others lives, that can be changed.
I want to change the world, and I’m starting to realize that to do that, it takes a lot of little actions done by a lot of “little” people.
So those big things I hate in life, can actually be changed, slowly. With all the incredible people that are in my life, and my friends lives, and my friends friends lives- isn’t that how facebook works?
I want to start posting, once a week, a post titled Let’s Talk About: ____.
Then, I beg you. Don’t just like it. Don’t just tell me you liked how it was written. (Although, you can still do those things)
Join the conversation.
Help make change.
Whether it be on facebook, or directly on my blog, help get things moving in the right direction.
You can say your opinion.
You can give ideas on how to create a better world.
Just give of you. Make this a little less of me talking, and you listening. Let’s not stop at the talking.
Let’s practice.
The  first topic I want to talk about is something that I find so often. It comes from all kinds of unlikely sources- people who have lived sixty years, to twelve year olds who don’t understand what they are saying.
I’m talking about that ridiculous habit of saying things like:
“She’s so schizo”
“He’s, like, bi-polar or something”
“That’s retarded!”
You get the point.
Why do people do that?
Why?
Unless you are a mental health doctor, please don’t diagnose people with very real and very serious mental health conditions.
Whenever I ask people to stop using those words while in conversation with them, I always get a roll of the eyes.
“You know what I mean”
Um, no I don’t.
Are you trying to say that your teacher suffers from a severe psychological condition and that is what causes her to give you extra homework?
Are you trying to say that your co-worker has manic, restless highs and depressive, listless lows? Or are you trying to say that he was angry when his coffee spilled after coming in to work with a big smile? Yes, I googled it, because I care to not mis-speak about something that is extremely serious. 
And are we really still using the word retarded?
Talking about this might not change the world. But it might make anyone who reads it think twice before using words like this.
They don’t mean what you are trying to say. There are millions of words in the English language. Use some other ones instead.
If we can all remind ourselves to think twice, maybe we can create a kinder world. A more thoughtful world. 
Start a conversation about this with someone who uses those words frequently.
Next time you use them in a conversation, or hear someone else use them, don’t ignore it. Talk about it. Encourage other people to stop using them.
Think of the people you are talking about, and think of the people that actually in reality do deal with those issues on a day to day basis.
Let’s start being better people.
We can do it.
Share in the comments why or why not you think this is an issue in today’s world, and how you think we can make a real change.
I look forward to changing the world with you.
PS. If you or anyone you know has access to high quality filming equipment, or you want to join me on a social experimental adventure, contact me: ettikrinsky@gmail.com