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I do, however, have the unusual ability to use both hands equally well. I don’t have a third arm protruding from the center of my chest or anything of the sort. When I was little, I thought of my ambidexterity as a fun trick. I always liked to play with people when learning a new skill: “Okay, now are you right or left handed? ” “I don’t know,” I would answer with a comical smile. Or even better, “Pick one for me.” It’s a bit silly, but I enjoyed the simple satisfaction of being different. For me, ambidexterity has always meant versatility. From using my left hand in a restrictive corner while doing yardwork to switch-hitting in baseball depending on the context of the game, my hands give me the flexibility to adapt to my surroundings. As I’ve grown, however, I’ve realized that ambidexterity means more than just its quirky face value. It’s synonymous with many of the other components of my character. Ambidexterity is part of who I am, yet it’s something few people know I have. It makes sense that only my closest friends know about my dual-handed capabilities. Although I use my talent throughout my day, it usually blends in with the normal functions of anyone else’s hands. In this sense, ambidexterity isn’t some glaring anomaly: It’s only when you realize it’s there does it become special. Similarly, much of who I am remains unnoticed at first glance, not because of insignificance but because of initial perception. Most of the people who know me have no clue I’m valedictorian; I’m the kid making paper airplanes at the end of class. The rest don’t realize I “do more than just school” but are pleasantly surprised to see me dancing around as Risky Business Tom Cruise for Halloween or just hanging out all over town on weekends. I like to think that ambidexterity helps me juggle these different parts of myself without letting anything go. In my job as a Little League umpire, I have three distinct identities. 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Before me are mounds of freshly-baked goodies and colossal stacks of books piled on bookshelves as high as the ceiling. Pressing my nose against the glass cover, I don’t budge until the ginormous chocolate-chip cookie is within my possession. With one hand holding my cookie, I collect as many books as my chubby arms can hold and plop into my favorite blue armchair. I would look forward to this routine: every Saturday, when the big hand hit six, my parents would take me to Timothy’s, their coffee shop, and I would begin the day’s quest. To my childhood self, Timothy’s was my bridge to Terabithia. Seuss’s topsy-turvy Thneedville; an acrobat, weaving words into webs with Charlotte; and a palace spy in Wonderland, fighting for my life in a game of flamingo croquet. Braving these adventures instilled in me a sense of invincibility that pushed me to tackle new experiences, even engaging in mischievous absurdities, both in this world and reality. Draping myself in jewelry constructed out of straws and cup sleeves, I would unabashedly strut all around the café. Expressions of this unwavering self-confidence and sense of invincibility were not solely limited to my sense of fashion, but rather, it was ingrained in every thought and action that I had. I believed that Timothy’s should’ve been called Anna-Banana’s, that the blue armchair was my throne, and that the deliveryman’s dolly was my royal carriage. Ignorant to the laws of gravity, I once jumped off the dolly after reaching peak acceleration, wholeheartedly believing that I could fly. With a bruised ego and scraped knees, I learned a valuable lesson: invincibility is a mere delusion. I realized that Timothy’s was never a world constructed solely for me, at least in the way I had imagined. There were no adoring crowds, and the blue armchair wasn’t mine. While I had imagined glorious adventures, in reality, my family’s livelihood depended on the success of this café. Moving to Canada without any support, my educated parents relinquished their professional aspirations to build a stable business to provide for me. Awareness of my parents’ sacrifices for my success imbued my understanding of the interdependency of people, their successes, and their failures, providing me with a new lens to construct my understanding of the world. Shifting from being front and center to an observant spectator, I began to see beyond myself, picking up the art of people-watching. As if placing an invisibility cloak on, I would quietly sink into the blue armchair, discreetly watching peoples’ behavior and interactions with one another. I found myself creating whimsical backstories of circumstance for each passerby, intertwining chance encounters and meaningful exchanges. People-watching not only helped me to become more aware of those around me, was also as an opportunity to explore undiscovered parts of myself. I learned that despite the many sports that I have experimented with, I am the MVP at bench-warming. I make a mean latte, often topping my creations with adorable foam cats. I adore Broadway musicals and am always ready to showcase my dancing at a flash mob. I passionately believe in advocating for human rights, actively engaging in Amnesty International’s initiatives. And, I discovered that I am not only an advocate for but also identify with the LGBTQ community. To say that I have figured out all of who I am would be a lie. Unlike the world of fantasy, there is no single defining moment – no Excalibur, no Sorting Hat – that marks my complete evolution. My niche in the world constantly changes, but what remains steadfast is my commitment to a life of service and adventure, albeit it isn’t as cozy as the blue armchair. The secret to developing realistic drawings lies in your ability to study every nuance of the object in front of you,” my art teacher advised. “Try sketching with one eye closed; it’s all about perspective, people! ” My classmates accepted his advice and I watched as they attempted to make sense of the lifeless apples and pears that lay on the desk in front of them. I, too, clamped my left eye shut, pretending that this technique altered my view in the same manner it affected my peers. With one eye closed, my fruit appeared precisely the same as it had with both eyes open. As a result of a Retinoblastoma diagnosis at two years old, my world, which my parents dotingly refer to as “Jillian’s world,” has always appeared slightly different from that of others. I have no recollection of having binocular vision, so depth perception has always been a non-existent ability. For the majority of my childhood, I felt ashamed by my prosthetic eye, purposely pushing my hair toward the left side of my face and avoiding all eye contact that surpassed ten seconds. I hated that my eyes did not appear the same, and constantly worried how others would perceive my abnormality. It was not until last summer, when I received a government scholarship to study Hindi in India, that my perspective regarding “Jillian’s world” was altered by one unlikely symbol: the swastika. I encountered it upon entering my host-family’s home for the first time. It was plastered directly on top of their front doorstep in between two mosaic footprints. I had seen the swastika millions of times in history books and documentaries, but blatantly confronting it in person was an entirely different story. My heart started to sting as images of skeletal bodies and families torn apart raced through my head. The swastika was the face of the bigotry and discrimination that I strongly denounced. I could not wrap my head around the fact that I was about to spend my summer with people who displayed a hate symbol in front of their home. Within a matter of days I discovered that my host-family was the complete antithesis of the negative characteristics I had originally associated with the swastika. They took me to lavish weddings and temples and taught me how to cook Indian cuisine. My host-mom showed me traditional techniques to create art and we shared many laughs at my many failed attempts at bargaining with market shopkeepers in Hindi. By the mid-way point in my program I had fallen in love with my host-family and their vibrant culture. It was then that I realized that I needed to take another look at the swastika through my host-family’s lens. One afternoon, I asked my host-mom what the symbol meant in her culture, informing her that it was an infamous hate symbol in the United States. With wide eyes and a furrowed brow, she answered, “A hate symbol? No no, we believe the swastik is a symbol for peace and good fortune. ” When I mentioned the Holocaust, she appeared even more confused. After further researching the symbol, I found that the swastika, known as the swastik in Hindi, had been a Hindu symbol of peace thousands of years before it was ever a symbol of evil. We sat across from each other, both amazed at how our views of one symbol could oppose one another, yet be equally valid in their own respect; this was the beauty of perspective. Since returning from India, I now push my hair away from my face with headbands and my fear of sustained eye contact has vanished. My disability does not limit “Jillian’s world,” but rather, gives me the ability to see far and wide, apples and pears included. In the US, legal adulthood comes at 18, but it is my understanding that adulthood comes through responsibility, tears, laughter, and most of all: parenthood. It is effortless to watch other people’s children grow and flourish, but having my own was a terrifying new world for which I was ill-prepared. I was not ready for my first, Stanley, but now I cannot envision a world without him. Today, I am the proud parent of not one, but seven beautiful, boisterous, carnivorous plants. Within my small family I have four sundews, two Venus flytraps, and one tropical pitcher plant. Of course they have scientific names, but I only use them when I am angry and my inner-parent reveals itself. Many might ask, “How does a person become the parent of seven carnivorous plants? ” and I can only answer that with a story, my story. It was an ordinary Wednesday afternoon when I came home from school only to find a charming plant that resembled a leafless, dew-splattered fern perched on the counter. With the eloquence that only a teenager could muster, I asked my mother, “What’s that? ” She carefully explained that he was our new carnivorous plant and he was going to be on fruit fly kitchen duty. Over the next couple of weeks my fascination with him grew, and eventually I adopted him as one of my own. In all sincerity, I did not begin as the ideal parent. I would give Stanley water to drink if he looked drier than usual and that was the extent of my nurturing efforts. Come winter, around his half birthday, Stanley became afflicted with a mysterious ailment. His stems curled and his one delicate green frond dried up. After carefully examining him, I concluded that not only was the lake water I had been using contaminated with some sort of root-eating larva, but my mother’s African violets had given him aphids. It was then that I was faced with the harsh reality of the situation: I had a plant that I was absolutely obsessed with, but knew nothing about. 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Fortunately, there is not much going on this week, which means I have some wiggle room with what I can say. The loud buzz of the intercom whines throughout the school, and the silent apprehension of the day is met, somewhat unexpectedly, with a greeting of 20 “yo’s” and a long, breathy pause. I artfully maneuver someone else’s writing into my own words, keeping the original intent but supplementing the significant lack of humor with a few one-liners. I conclude by reminding everyone that just because the weather is miserable today does not mean that we have to be as well. And despite the fact that I urge everyone to interrupt my history teacher’s classes to wish him a happy birthday, I get to keep my job for another day. I have people coming up to me left and right, telling me that I made them smile. For the rest of the month, I work to make sure that people hear my message: even though we are at the time when school and winter are beginning to seem endless, there are still reasons to grin. I urge people to attend basketball games or sign up for spring sports. Before every day, I make sure I have a message that will make people think, “you know, today might not be so bad after all.” After my month ends, the announcements have been changed. The next readers tell jokes or riddles, or sing songs and invite others to sing with them. I watch the announcements evolve from an unfortunate but necessary part of the day to a positive and inspiring event. It is now more than just a monotonous script; it becomes a time to make sure that everyone has at least one thing to smile about. Life shouldn’t have to be a dreary winter day; it should be the satisfaction of a good saxophone solo or the joy of seeing one’s friends every day at school. It is the enthusiasm of a biology teacher, the joy of a sports victory, and even the warm messages of a disembodied voice on the intercom. I use that message to help freshman feel less nervous at their first race or to encourage my friend to continue taking solos in jazz band. And in the most dismal time of year, I use that message in the daily announcements.

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- Being born and raised in America, I have grown to love my country, and my nationality. I am apart of many cultures, I am ethnically Swedish and am Christian. All of these are different cultures that I could have chosen to write this paper on. But if I had to pick a culture that I think is the most prevalent in my everyday life, it would be the American culture. I feel like all of these sub-cultures I am apart of are only possible because I am a part of the American culture.... [tags: Culture, United States, American culture] - Anxiety and affluence are terms that are often applied to the post war decades in an attempt to define them. The newfound wealth that Americans enjoyed after World War II wrought changes on the American social landscape that many may not have been able to predict. The push for heavy consumerism that accompanied the sudden upswing of the U. economy gave way to concerns about the decay of moral character in the American home. Increasingly filled with anxieties over the ever-present threat of Communism, which most Americans were aware was an issue they themselves could do little about, the population instead turned towards new distractions, such as television, to attempt to reclaim some sense... [tags: American Culture] - Hispanic American community are rooted from their origins in Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and other Spanish speaking countries that have come together and form a culture in the United State of America. The culture is built in different categories; for instance, religion, social custom, health practices their privacy, and birth. They come from a comprehensive familiar culture that has been called the second in America. Because of their pride and affection they feel unsafe to give up their past. Their notoriety in the United State has been their resistance to assimilate; their guarded image of Hispanic-American culture has been the tongue of flame.... [tags: Hispanic, American, Culture, Dancing, ] - Throughout the semester we have covered many different topics during our study of contemporary American culture. We studied topics relating to our everyday lives such as, relationships, life habits, work, and school. The various readings, films, and discussions during class have helped me reflect upon my life. I would like to elaborate and focus on the aspects of this class that directly influence the way I see the world today. Before I took this course my mental image of materialism, happiness, and love were entirely different.... [tags: contemporary American culture, culture, USA, mater] - Near the core of American culture that dearly loves liberty, lies its love for fast food and all that it offers. The fast food industry was initially created as a moneymaking enterprise that marketed itself as a time effective source of food, but over the years it has strayed from its marketing promise to save Americans’ time. Many Americans are regulars at one, or more, of the numerous fast food restaurants in the United States, because they want to save valuable time that otherwise would be squandered in the kitchen.... [tags: American Culture, Health Risk, Marketing] - In Stuart Hall’s “What is This “Black” in Black Popular Culture? ” the historical implication of popular culture in the U. However, since America has always had a large ethnic population due to slavery, the true face of American popular culture was black American vernacular traditions.... S is examined and the influence that blackness has in it is deconstructed. [tags: Black people, African American, Popular culture] - The effects of divorce on the American culture are immense. According to the text, the departure of European concepts of culture after WWII sparked a hegemonic shift as the United States emerged as a world power. Social scientists have been studying these effects for many years now. The studies are continuing to confirm that the climbing rate of divorce in the American culture is hurting the society and also frequently devastating the lives of many American children. There are many areas in which divorce has a negative effect in the life of a child or an adult. Many of these effects also directly correlate to the effect on a society. [tags: Divorce, American Culture, USA, marriage, children] - George Schuyler’s article “The Negro Art Hokum” argues that the notion of African-American culture as separate from national American culture is nonsense. To Schuyler, all seemingly distinct elements of African-American culture and artistic endeavors from such are influenced by the dominant white American culture, and therefore, only American. The merit of Schuyler’s argument stems from the fact that it is practically impossible for one culture to exist within the confines of another without absorbing certain characteristics.... [tags: Literature, American Culture] - In the poem Howl, Allen Ginsberg challenges the modernity of American culture, which enforces the “best minds” (1) to give up their freedom to conform to the desired sense of normality. Ginsberg states “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked/ dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix” (9). His expression of Moloch The angry fix is what all of these “best minds” look for after being stripped of their freedom to conform to the new American culture after World War II.... [tags: american culture, freedom] - Earth, with all of her wondrous splendor and magnificent awe, is a land of patience. It took more than 4.5 billion years for the world to evolve into its current state. Yet, it took only several hundred years for humans to deface and destroy much of that beauty. A logical question would be how can human beings, a product of nature, be so destructive to their own mother. A close examination, however, reveals the root behind the heinously destructive behavior that has so pitifully defined human history.... [tags: Dying American Culture 2014] - I still remember the shock I got when I first moved here. What a terribly superficial culture this country has, I thought. They don't really want to know how you are, and if you make the mistake of actually giving them a detailed account of your well-being, they'll shun you for weeks. The way people treat each other, especially in conversations. On the other hand, you're required to immediately embrace all new acquaintances with the standard "Nice to meet you." Maybe you weren't even in the mood to meet somebody at this particular moment, and if she or he turns out to be just another perfectly intolerable human being, then you lied to... [tags: American Culture] - Curanderismo or traditional folk healing in Mexican culture is a very ancient belief system. Curanderismo comes from the word curar which literally means to heal. The founding fathers (predecessors) are considered Don Pedrito Jaramillo, Teresita, and Niño Fidencio. These people were not all from the same time period (era) the common belief shared was to rid the patient as he or she is called of an illness whose roots come from evil or evil doing done (performed) by someone else. This system of belief is not to be confused with brujeria or witchcraft as that is an entirely other belief system with its own credos.... [tags: Mexican-American culture, traditional folk healing] - As a result of the war, America felt a new patriotism. As the wealth of the country increased the people were inclined to celebrate their success. They also celebrated having a much easier life than in comparison to the hardship and compromises of the war years. This was evident in the products that were designed to save Americans time and effort. There was advertising particularly aimed at women in the home household products. The consumerist beliefs were perpetuated by the mass media, radio, television, cinema and print media.... [tags: American Culture, World War II, USA, patriotism, ] - Consumption in American Culture at the End of History In the novel Brave New World , the denizens of Aldous Huxley’s dystopia live in a rigidly structured consumer culture. From young ages, they are conditioned to hate the outdoors so that as adults they will prefer activities that require large amounts of manufactured products and long trips that utilize the maximum amount of infrastructure. That is what keeps the world humming, and there are important similarities between Huxley’s vision of social control through pleasure and the rigid policing of tastes, activities, and consumption in our own 21st century culture.... [tags: American History Culture Cultural Papers] - Baseball is an integral part of American pop culture. Many Americans grow up with baseball, playing it before they can even count all the bases. When we play baseball, we find a respect for the game. The respect we gain from playing it has turned the game into a tradition of American culture. It has formed itself into the business of professional baseball, namely major league baseball. Professional players have become recognized all over the world. [tags: Baseball Sports Athletics American Culture Essays] - ENLIGHTENED SURRENDER How many essays have been written about American culture. How many books dedicated to the intense scrutiny of every aspect of our modern society. Countless thoughts, countless theories—many of them lost in the very chaos that the authors spent 300 pages explaining. There are always solutions, which their creators seem entirely convinced will solve this mess, but the truth is that these ideas are often impractical and unrealistic. But no one writes an entire book complaining without offering us something at the conclusion.... [tags: Thomas de Zengotita American Culture] - "What is not illusionary is the reality of a new culture of opposition. It grows out of the disintegration of the old forms, vinyl and aerosol institutions that carry all the inane and destructive values of privatism; competition, commercialism, profitability and elitism It's not a "youth thing" by now but a generational event; chronological age is the only current phase". The previous quote was written by Andrew Kopkind in Rolling Stone on the Woodstock festival observing that a new culture was immersing from the roots of the adult American life (1960's 198).... [tags: American Culture] - Music has played a vital role in human culture and evidence based on archaeological sites can date it back to prehistoric times. It can be traced through almost all civilizations in one form or another. As time has progressed so has the music and the influences it has on people. Music is an important part of popular culture throughout the world, but it is especially popular in the United States. The music industry here is, and has been, a multi-million dollar business that continues to play an important role in American popular culture.... [tags: Culture ] - Although Canada and the United States share the same continent, they are divided by their unique ideas and views. After WWI , Canada broke its ties with Britain and new independent nation was born with a unique culture. This new culture developed through the Canadian citizens. As a Canadian citizen, Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie helped achieve autonomy from Britain and solidify national unity at home. Canadian inventor , Fredrick Banting ,maintained his culture as Canadian and contributed to the world through his invention of insulin.... Farrell, professor of history, American studies, and American conversations at St. Olaf College wrote his article “Shopping for American Culture,” there were more malls than high schools within the United States. Malls were also generating more than 46.6 billion dollars in sales tax, which is “almost half of all state tax revenue.”1 Farrell recognizes these statements in the introduction of his article. In fact, he uses these statistics and determines that because of the population going to malls, shopping centers accurately reflect American culture.... [tags: Culture] - Immigration and assimilation is a divisive topic that has been heavily debated in America ever since we became a country. There are two stories that explore the assimilation issue from different viewpoints’; in Mary Pipher’s story; “The Beautiful Laughing Sisters – An Arrival Story”; provides the viewpoint of immigrants leaving a hostile home for America. Elizabeth Wong details her journey to break with her culture and become Americanized in, “The Struggle to be an all American girl.” and (Mc Whorter, 2010 pp522-529).... [tags: Culture ] - A site of contestation is a figurative or literal place where there has been struggle or a challenge for control. Pop culture studies our attitude towards topics that are mainstream. Much of the time, we are in a context of conflicting ideas. For example, though we may remember the late 60s in the USA as the time of the hippies of Woodstock, the Civil Rights movement and feminism, President Nixon was elected by “the silent majority” – the good, hard-working, patriotic Americans. Here, the site of contestation was the presidential election, and thus figurative.... [tags: Popular culture, Culture, High culture] - Assimilation on self-identity Since the creation of the United States of America, the country has been a place that attracts immigrants from all around the world. As a result, The United States became a culturally and ethnically diverse country. This is due to the large-scale migration from many culturally, racially, and ethnically different countries throughout the history of the United States. The recent generations of culturally diverse immigrants see themselves assimilating to the American culture differently than the immigrants who came to the US two or three hundred years ago.... [tags: United States, Race, Culture, The Culture] - Counseling the Culturally Diverse The American culture is considered the cultural ‘melting pot’ of the world. Culture can be described as one’s values, beliefs and traditions, which are shared by a group of individuals. There are numerous different cultures, which means as a counselors one must be aware of diversity and have an open mind to culture differences. It is imperative to also be familiar with the various cultural groups such as the African American, Hispanic and the Lesbian- Gay Bisexual and Transgender Community.... [tags: African American, Family, Racism, Race] - Introduction As a born and raised Canadian, I do not see many dissimilarities between the American and Canadian cultures. This may be a direct result of American pop-culture (television, books, and magazines) making its way to Canadian citizens. Now studying this case, I feel rather guilty for not taking responsibility of researching and learning more about my Canadian culture, and just adopting what I’ve been exposed to over the last several years. S.-Canadian magazine dispute, and the efforts of the Canadian Governmental Committee to help Canadians adopt and understand a sense of their own culture.... [tags: Culture, Canada] - American culture needs no excuse to gather in small or large groups for nearly any occasions. It could be a simple gathering of friends to discuss books, watch a movie or even just relax and enjoy ones company. Although, the American culture is formed on informal encounters, we tend to be time conscientious; therefore appointments are expected to be kept and timely. For that reason, if I were invited to a gathering, my promptness would be expected. Thus, once I arrived I would eat and chat and leave rather quickly.... [tags: Culture, Cross-cultural communication] - Cultural assumptions create values, in which the values guide the academic focuses in American University. Cultural assumptions are the beliefs of various cultures perspective of the world, and different cultures have different views of nature. Universities in the United States focus on helping students to perform better in their future career. The mission of Seattle University is that “Seattle University is dedicated to educating the whole person, to professional formation, and to empowering leaders for a just and humane world” (Mission, 2016).... [tags: Culture, Education, Learning, University] - As a professor who teaches American History in China through the Fulbright Program, and as a fourth generation Chinese-American, people always ask me, where can I feel the influence of Chinese culture and American culture respectively. It is difficult that one needs to summarize his experience, that one does not know when he acts in Chinese or American ways, especially that one needs to reflect upon many questions which people seldom do. [tags: Asian American, United States, Family, Hawaii] - Like many less-informed Saudis, after high school I adopted an already existing paranoia of studying. In 2007, studying in America was kind of a no-no after the events of 9/11. I was exposed to the American culture because of many factors. Therefore, I was unusual in that I had an immediate desire to achieve a goal, as many young people around my age had no such constructive aim. Saudis in 2007, did not want to go abroad, so I was one of few people. In fact, studying abroad it was only for the aristocratic members.... [tags: Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, Study abroad, United States] - Culture is one of the major stresses for Asian children due to facing their heritage culture and host culture because most of the time a child sometime cannot balance both culture but they often need to fight to keep both culture to connect with the family and the outside world. According to William Ming Liu; “Asian Americans is often related to the interchangeable use of race, ethnic identity, and culture to describe this community. For the purposes of this research study, we define culture to be the “customs, norms, practices, and social institutions, including psychological processes .... [tags: Education, Culture, Entrance examination, Race] - America has been known to be a successful and free country. Through popular music, art, film and literature, we can discern that American identity is defined as being based on freedoms within the country, helping others and treating everyone as equals. One means of experiencing American culture is, the movie, The Blind Side, shows what it means to be an American by telling a story of helping others and treating everyone as equals. The movie is about a seventeen year old African-American boy, named Michael Ohr, who is homeless and has drifted in and out of the school system for years.... [tags: Culture ] - Media is something that is essential in a person 's life today. It can be in forms such as books, film, music, and others. The media can play an important role in where it can show society how they should view certain images and it changes over time. Previously before, the Asian image created by the media had been different from what it is today. Many media scholars had argued that the Asian and Asian American image in popular culture were often negative and demeaning. Ever since the beginning, when Asians first started to migrate to the United States, the mainstream media had symbolically destroyed the image of Asians and Asian Americans.... [tags: Asian American, United States, White American] - “Failure is not a single, cataclysmic event. Instead, failure is a few errors in judgement, repeated every day” (Rohn1). Viewing pop culture it is common to see people who are being judged. These people are judged and put down in harsh ways, most frequently these stars are doing simple things that the average person would do. Is it so abnormal for a young woman in her twenties to drink. Is it so bad that people lose control of things occasionally under stress.... [tags: pop culture, egoism, relativism] - Baldwin was successful in telling readers of The New York Times about the disrespect of African American culture by using pathos, ethos, and logos. In Baldwin 's article If Black English Isn 't A Language Then Tell Me What Is. starting off by telling the readers about French speaking people. He is explaining how different dialects doesn 't mean people aren 't speaking the same language. Going deeper about language saying that it ties into the culture. Give an example of Black Culture and how their expression of English is different.... [tags: African American, Jazz] - The American culture has changed so much in the last10 years. People’s moral values are below normal standards, and the older generation is outraged and distributed by the way things are being handling in today’s society. In Chapter 1, Wilson defined popular culture as “the culture of everyone in a society, and the customs and practices handed down from generation to generation” (Wilson, 2001). In order to understand American culture, one must have knowledge of the history and the tradition of the country.... [tags: American History, Sociology, Cultural] - Reflection Two Learning about other cultures really helps me understand other races and its help me put myself in their shoes. The Latin American Culture has a lot of differences from my own culture and my life. While learning about African Americans in the US I realized how horrible it is to discriminate against race and how much racism is still around. Learning about Caucasian Americans, not everyone has lived a perfect life and you can push your self to change. Then finally, substance abuse is something every one needs to learn and practice safe drug/alcohol use.... [tags: Black people, African American, United States] - Mexican-American Culture Mexico underwent a number of challenges during the second half of the 20th century. Some of them were related to politics and economics, but the others were directly linked with the social and cultural problems. These problems had many causes, such as religion, defensive attitude of some people toward the neighbor American culture and contradictions that the younger inhabitants of the country could not overlook. It caused still more problems on the personal level and on the level of a community.... [tags: Gender, Woman, Mexico, Mexican American] - While thinking back on my observations in the Middle School particularly, I realized there were three different cultures. There were the students that were of Hispanic culture, the African American and the Caucasian American culture. These cultures were then subdivided into whether they were underprivileged or well-off students. It was interesting to see that the students weren 't focused on the culture as much as they were more focused on hanging around with the individuals that had the same financial background as they did.... [tags: Education, Culture, Learning styles] - African students inhabit a unique space within the Black population. While some Africans choose to recognize the differences with African and African American cultures in many aspect so their lives, some decide to fully assimilate into the American culture. My research aims to understand whether or not African students have found that they are effortlessly able to switch between their identity as a black person in America and their identity as an African person. I also hope to understand how the positive and negative stereotypes that are associated with these two categories play a role in the lives of these students.... [tags: Black people, African American, African diaspora] - Slavery was an institution which everyone expected to end but they did not know how it. Thus it expanded and laid its roots deep into the American culture. George Mason may have subconsciously touched an important point which I believe was the primary reason why slavery got completely embedded into American history. Mason “bragged about how Virginia and Maryland had banned the ‘infernal traffic’ of human beings. However, he worried that if South Carolina and Georgia were allowed to import slaves, then the greed of those states would want them to get slaves as well” (Page 10).... [tags: American Civil War, Slavery in the United States] - The phrase “More than just a game” is used often (to describe the passion someone has for a particular sport) so when you hear it, it may go in one ear and out the other. From the outside looking in, some may not view sport as beneficial beyond exercise purposes or pure entertainment purposes. It provides significant incentives that last far longer than just the duration of your participation. Sports serves as a fundamental aspect of American culture and their values are significant when it comes to their effect on economics, politics, mass media, relationships, and public influence.... [tags: Sociology, Culture, Society, Sports culture] - Media plays an extremely important role in shaping aspects of North American culture. Mediums such as magazines, television, radio, and film portray stereotypes of men and women while reproducing predominant culture and society. As such, the media has become an important factor in gender inequality; the types of occupations males and females choose, and their relative incomes. Today, in North American popular culture there is unequal gender portrayal with stereotypes pertaining to women as homemakers, dependent on men, or as objects of male attention.... [tags: Gender, Sociology, Popular culture, Culture] - Japanese-Americans (JA) have an extensive history in the United States. Immigrating in the late 1800s and early 1900s, there were roughly 800,000 Japanese-Americans during the 2000 census. It is estimated that there are more than that, however, and that many of those who identify as Asian typically identify as two or more races (Tanabe, 2000.). The Japanese-American culture has evolved through the decades since their arrival. While some families have remained steadfast in their cultural beliefs, others have experienced varying levels of acculturation.... [tags: Health care, Culture, Patient] - As Huntington said, Anglo-Protestant culture is founded in hard work and moralism. It is hard to deny the strong notions of Anglo-Protestant ideas in American culture. Americans are, despite the stereotype of being lazy, hard workers. Studies have shown that Americans not only have the longest work day, but they also, take the lest vacation days and retire late. Furthermore, Americans care about morals and the morals of their leaders in ways that other developed counties seem indifferent. According to pew research, more than half of Americans would be less likely to vote for an Atheist president, whereas, there are a number of Atheist leaders in Europe.... [tags: United States, Mexican American] - Over the years, American culture and values have constantly evolved. This evolution has been aided by the invention of new technologies, gaining new knowledge and discovering new things, and the transmission of foreign items and social practices (D. Immigration can also be a driving force in the evolution of a society for all of the information and practices we have gained from other cultures. America is often called a melting pot because for hundreds of years people from all over the world have come to seek the American Dream.... [tags: Culture, Cultural relativism, Morality] - Americans describe America by our love of liberty, our efforts to reach out with the hands of democracy, and our extensive freedoms of religion, speech, and just about everything else. This is the view that our country wants to promote and the view that our country want all other countries to aspire to be. Our television shows are better, our food is better, our music is better, our lives are better, our pop culture is better, our country is better. Unfortunately, when the pushing of our popular media and culture comes to the shoving of American ideas down the throats of foreign countries that is when American pop culture starts being seen in a more negative light.... [tags: Popular culture, Culture, High culture, Youth] - Every second of every day, the Muslim American youth is exposed to fashion, music, and entertainment. The American culture glorifies Hollywood and all of this special kingdom’s “stars”; immersed in this environment, Muslim Americans intuitively start to follow these trends as they yearn for popularity and acceptance. When one walks toward Hollywood, Hollywood runs toward this individual, sucking him or her into the utopian paradise through magazines, reality shows, and celebrity news like a high-powered vacuum.... [tags: culture, entertainment, social networking] - Culture Appropriation of African American Culture Have you ever taken offense when you saw someone dressed in traditional garments from your culture. Some people may not recognize it and some refuse to acknowledge that it even exists. Cultural appropriation is a situation in which a dominant culture steals aspects of a minority culture’s, such as hair, clothing styles, and music. “Cultural appropriation refers to picking and choosing elements of a culture by a member of another culture without permission” (O’Reilly).... [tags: Black people, African American, Race, Jazz] - Culture is defined as the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time. Is it a grab bag of different cultures or something completely different. People within the American society have different ways of defining American culture. John Adams was the son of a farmer, who would become the second President of the United States. His wife, Abigail Adams was the daughter of a wealthy Congregational minister. In 1774, he was elected a delegate in the First Continental Congress and thus begun his journey away from his family.... [tags: United States] - Have you ever noticed the different policies and influences that have affected you and the generations before you. The American culture and influences have changed greatly over time. I believe that the policies and influences of American culture have changed since John F. Kennedy or as many people called him “Jack” was born on May 29, 1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts in a large and wealthy family with 9 other brothers and sisters. Growing up John was very sick and was in the the hospital for a long period of time.... [tags: republicans, kennedy, clinton] - “American” Me. Descending from minority-driven ancestries, it’s hard to truly call myself an American, ethnically at least. I’m going to dispel the notion that being an American is a way of describing someone. No one is truly American, not even natural born citizens. We are all descendants of either Natives, Africans, Asians, or Europeans, and even those ethnic groups were derived from even earlier ancestors. The point is: the suggestion that an American identity exists, is a myth.... [tags: United States, Latin America, Americas] - If you have been living in the Coastal Virginia area for any amount of time, you have heard the cheer of, “Hail to the Redskins.” Recently, controversy has been swirling over schools, universities, and professional sports with team names and mascots related to Native Americans heritage. Such team names as the Redskins, Seminoles, Braves, Indians, and Apaches are now facing criticism over team names and they represent the Native American culture. Differing world-views are apparent with the controversial use of Native American names and logos; however, each of the opposing views is a result of spate culture realities created by both history and tradition.... [tags: Native Americans in the United States] - As we look back on American Culture, each individual has a different point of view. What I took from the readings and lectures was that there are multiple American Cultures throughout history. The autobiographies of Benjamin Franklin and Harriet Jacobs are proof of this notion. American Cultures are created through the slave culture and popular culture proving there is more than one American Culture. People can argue though that these cultures make one American Culture instead of many making this decision very difficult. American Culture was greatly impacted by the slave culture.... [tags: Slavery, Slavery in the United States] - I came from Viet Nam to United States, and my life has been affected by the Asian culture a lot. It has changed for the better since I moved to America. I have had a chance to experience so many things that I have not ever done before, especially English and American culture. Living in a culture that was very different from my own could be an exciting and challenging experience. I have had to learn different cultural practices and tried to adapt to them. American culture has influenced my thinking and behavior while living in this land of freedom and opportunity.... [tags: Family, Culture, Sociology, Asia] - The culture I was born and raised on was that of Mexican-American culture. My parents were born and raised in Mexico, and when they came to America and had kids, they instilled a hybrid of their culture, and American culture, in us. Due to the belief of not using contraceptives because of religious reasons, families tend to have more than two children.... Nunca nos dejes,” are the words my mother says to me every day. They were each raised in the Mexican culture, but wanted us to be raised as Americans also, and added this to our upbringing. [tags: Family, Marriage, Roman Catholic Church] - “Ya de viejo uno no serve. Little does she know, that I never plan to leave her side; I do plan to cater both my parents as they age. They both have sacrificed and invested enough time and money to get where I am now. However my parents don’t understand the purpose of my job title. A time where we all entered to the first steps of building an education.... [tags: Family, Mother, Nursing home, Parent] - The two cultures that I identify myself with Haitian culture and American culture. The American culture is more dominant and I identify myself most with this culture. Although I was born in Haiti and Haitian culture was once my dominant culture, it is now my co-culture. Nonetheless, a combination of these two cultures would be Haitian-American culture. People who are part of the Haitian-American culture, like myself, are either born in Haiti and moved to the U. and have assimilate to the American culture or were born in the U. [tags: Haiti, Haitian Creole language, Dominican Republic] - The family is the fundamental base to learn patterns associated with behavior in society. Mexican-Americans are the largest ethnic minority group in the United States. The Mexican-American culture is mostly based on traditions and values that are passed on for generations. This is one of the main cultures in which parents teach their children the same ideals, values, norms and social roles they were taught while growing up. For Mexican-American family is essential and fundamental to their culture.... [tags: Gender, Female, Male, Gender role] - Popular culture has given people the opportunity for people to have a chance to shine, and many have had their lives changed. For example, when American Idol had launched in 2002, the winner, Kelly Clarkson, had her chance to shine for the entire time she was competing and eventually won the competition. Her success provided her with the ability perform not only nationwide, but also worldwide. But how exactly does popular culture enable Filipino Americans to have a chance at success. In order to answer that question, one must look for the means which drive them to popular culture.... [tags: Filipino American, Philippines, Hip hop music] - Introduction Culture is customs, arts, social institutions, and achievements of a particular nation, people, or other social group. It includes behaviors, attitudes, beliefs, values, and norms that is shared by a group of people to sustain their lives. Mexican culture is influenced by their familial ties, gender, religion, location and social class, among other factors.... [tags: Health care provider, Health care, Patient, Family] - Rebecca Block and Lynda Hoffman-Jeep. 8-12 Block and Hoffman-Jeep’s journal article served as the inspiration for the thesis concerning Frida Kahlo’s fashion and persona as opposed to the one crafter by mass media, imperialist magazine producers. “Fashioning National Identity: Frida Kahlo in ‘Gringolandia’.” Woman 's Art Journal, Vol. Due to the in depth analysis of photos taken of Frida through the 1930s, and analysis of her paintings which portray Frida between America and Mexico shows the influential imaginary wall between American culture and Mexican Culture; and the divergence in historic paths.... [tags: Mexico City, Mexico, Diego Rivera, Mask] - The Nerd Are stereotypes true. Yes, because if it weren’t true it wouldn’t be a stereotype. However, stereotypes are generalizations that are usually taken from facts. Therefore, the only problem with stereotypes are that they are not true for all cases. Not all Asians are short, nerdy, bad at sports, bad at driving, know how to do kung fu, and have small eyes. Not all African Americans are good at basketball, use drugs, or have a large appetite for watermelon and fried chicken. Not all Americans are fat, racist, undereducated, or arrogant.... [tags: Educational years, High school, Human] - The Unites States was established as a result of a struggle between autonomy and autocracy, and from this fight for freedom emerged a new idea that became vital to the American identity- individualism. According to Robert Bellah, “Individualism lies at the very core of American culture”, and it is absolutely basic to the American identity. Americans value and preserve the individual, and condemn anything that would undermine or violate the rights of the individual. Even though, as Bellah points out, individuality is the foundation of our aspirations, it is also the root of some of our greatest difficulties as individuals and a society.... [tags: Individualism, Individual, Individual rights] - From the United States to Hispanic countries like Spain, the countries share their love for the same sports even though they are oceans apart. While they have their similar interests, sports interests differ in each of the countries as well. Without sports in the world, our cultures we know and love would be completely different and dull. They help shape our cultures and the people within them. Sports like soccer, football, and baseball are sports that we know and love in Hispanic and American countries.... [tags: United States, American football, Mexico] - Psychological anthropology is the study of individuals and their personalities and identities, within particular cultural contexts. In this paper I will identify two different cultures in the world which are the American and Japanese. Then, I will examine their traditions through various life cycles. Based on the behaviors, customs, and beliefs of each of the two cultures, I will discuss how personalities and identities are formed and shaped within the two different cultures. Finally, I will be giving two specific examples for each of the selected cultures.... [tags: Culture] - Stereotypes about the African American culture have existed since dispersal of African descent, dating back to the colonial era. They have evolved from slavery, to black face shows, to the modern drug lords and welfare queens. But one stereo typed that has remained constant is that African Americans are inferior to white people in every aspect of life. Through this very stereo type black people are forced to combat prejudice and discrimination in their everyday routine. The stereotype that’s blacks are inferior to whites originated during the colonial era.... [tags: Race, Black people, African American] - Brooke Whitby Britta Peterson Dance History May 4 ,2016 . The universe is forever creating history that effects the present and the future . I would like to focus on one aspect of history that has and will forever influence America today . Swing dance is a crucial element in the develop-ment of American culture . Swing dance is a style that could only have developed in America during the 1920 's and have the impact that it did . Without swing dance in America , American culture would be different in every aspect .... [tags: Jazz, African American, Swing, Swing music] - World War II brought upon many changes to the American people. Besides the soldiers who had to face the devastating first hand effects of violence and cruelty of war, Americans in the Home front were faced with new cultural and societal changes that left them unsure for the future of American culture. These changes in American values frightened White American males, as these changes put women and minorities in a position of social power that had previously been suppressed by the White Male populace in America.... [tags: United States, Racism, Hawaii, White American] - Influence of Jazz on American Culture Now a days, many believe that jazz is not that important of music genre, but with our history, jazz plays a big role. “Jazz does not belong to one race or culture, but it is a gift that America has given to the world.”, quoted by Ahmad Alaadeen. Jazz in the 1920’s opened the eyes of whites and invited them into African American culture; it evolved Americans to where we are today since it brought a change to the music scene, an acceptance of African Americans, and a change of lifestyles.... [tags: music, african americans, genres] - August Wilson’s famous 1983 stage play Fences explores African-American lifestyle in the 1950s. It tells the story of racial relations and African-American culture during that era. The main character in Fences is Troy, a mid-age African American man struggling to take care of his household. In August Wilson’s plays, the characters are developed to reflect the struggle of African American people, especially black males. These men are struggling for a power that is out of reach to them because the power is held by others.... [tags: African American, White people, Black people, Race] - The United States of America is a ‘melting pot’ of diverse cultures. Though primarily Western in nature, due to the large-scale immigration of variant ethnicities from other countries, as well as differing birth and death rates of natives, settlers and immigrants, the ‘white’ American culture has taken on the hues of a rainbow. Within this society, the Asian-Americans, are often perceived to be at the highest stratum due to high income and good education. These people have almost successfully integrated themselves into society thus resulting in a blurring of lines.... [tags: western, large-scale immigration] - Women in Native American culture had a very prominent role in intercultural relationships; they held far more power and influence than their European counterparts. Europeans have long used treaties written and signed by men to govern how relationships, trade and land are developed. Indians have sought to develop kinship ties to to develop those same traits and since many Indian cultures are matrilineal, women maintain a high status. Women have been revered in Native American culture, perhaps this is most evident among the Cherokee Nation.... [tags: Native Americans in the United States, Cherokee] - In the poem Howl, Allen Ginsberg challenges the political modernity of American culture that enforces the “best minds” to give up their freedom to gain the desired sense of normalcy that is glorified. He states “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked/dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix” (Ginsberg 9). That angry fix that he describes is what all of these “best minds” look for after being striped of their freedom to conform to the new American culture after World War II.... [tags: literary analysis, howl, allen ginsberg] - ... With death-defying stunts and crazy antics, Knoxville and his crew fashioned the ideology that pop culture was no longer satisfied with live TV shows and music videos. Shows such as Jackass promote instability in subscriber’s minds (which happen to be early teens to young adults) by portraying idiotic acts of pure suicidal dangerousness. This instability has become increasingly evident in today’s culture in the show Ridiculousness, also an MTV sponsored production mimicking America’s Funniest Videos.... [tags: reality TV, promotion of iappropriate content] - Consumerism stands as a tenet of the American culture. Our common desire to possess the newest or most popular products drives our daily lives. We strive to have the possessions of those to whom we compare ourselves – friends, family, neighbors, associates – in the hope that we may feel a semblance of fulfillment. Yet, this path of obsession over objects merges our individual identities with the objects we covet. In the novel A Mercy, the character Jacob Vaark epitomizes this modern materialist trend.... [tags: Slavery, Slavery in the United States] - No one can escape advertisements. Whether sitting down in front of a television, a computer screen or driving on the highway. Most are harmless ploys by a company promoting their products. But some try specifically to target a group of people, weather that be a race or a gender, leaving them feeling alienated or offended. The problem is that advertisements are so prevalent in today’s culture that stereotypes can easily be broadcasted to millions worldwide. Over all, advertisements are a perfect vehicle to reinforce stereotypes in American culture.... [tags: Gender, Male, Super Bowl, Female] - The Beatles were more than their music. They influenced the lives of millions of people unlike any musicians before them. They were the first and most popular band in one of the most important music movements in American history, the British Invasion. The year 1964 was the year both the British Invasion and “Beatlemania” came to America and forever changed the landscape of music in the United States by introducing the genre of pop, as it is today. [tags: The British Invasion] - The effects of divorce on the American culture are immense. Social scientists have been studying these effects for many years now. The studies are continuing to confirm that the climbing rate of divorce in the American culture is hurting the society and also frequently devastating the lives of many American children. More often than not people decide to get a divorce before they really think about the effects of divorce. People usually decide to get a divorce based on emotion rather than logic which can hinder their long term happiness.... [tags: child and family studies] - The Importance of Nursing in American Culture Nursing is a field of work that so many people find themselves fascinated with, as well as harboring a degree of respect. We look to nurses with a sense of admiration and reverence, and look to them for security in times of need. What makes nursing such a desirable and enthralling field to other people. The urge to consume food must be satisfied every single day, in fact a few times a day. Despite the fact that doctors are normally under the spotlight, nursing is of profound importance in American culture. American food brands and products are patronized by its consumers. Nurses provide comfort and security, as well as a knowledge of medical aid.... Although America has a cultural mix of cuisines they are Americanized. [tags: healthcare, nurses, comfort, security] - The Fuel to the Body They love to eat. Food in American represents a culture, in which can reflect the lifestyle and socioeconomic status of one. Food is profoundly in American’s culture it is like a social essential necessity....

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Each and every day, we’re inundated with stories about how the world is going to hell. all manner of atrocities are flung at us from all directions, and it’s enough to draw even the most lighthearted person into a pit of despair. Fortunately, a great way to counteract all that ugly is to the change we want to see. None of us can change the entire world all by ourselves, but by making small amendments in our own lives and encouraging others to do the same, a snowball effect occurs that can affect the entire planet in time. Here are a few simple ways that you (yes, even you) can help bring about positive change in the world: For every bit of horrible dreck floating about on the Internet or in the news, there’s an amazing, beautiful story to counteract it. Stop wallowing in the fear-mongering ugliness that the general media tries to fling at you, and instead, let yourself be inspired by the wonder, beauty, and compassion in the world. Websites like The Daily Good, Positive News, and even Huffington Post’s “Good News” section are all filled with uplifting stories that can serve to remind you that there’s a hell of a lot of good in the world. Once your heart is glowing, tweet, and pin those stories so others can be inspired as well. You’d be surprised what a little patch of green space can do for the environment, and if you have a bit of land that you can turn into a garden, you’ll make more of an impact in your corner of the planet than you realise. Planting and harvesting your own food means that less has to be carted in from other countries, which decreases the amount of fuel that’ll be shot off into the atmosphere. If instead of food you’d like a flower and herb garden, plant flowers that attract and feed pollinators like bees, butterflies, and birds: they’re disappearing at an alarming rate because of pesticide and insecticide use, so an organic garden full of delicious blossom and seeding plants (like sunflowers, amaranth, and millet) will help exponentially. If you don’t have your own land but have a thoroughly green thumb, consider getting involved in a community garden project: you’ll help others to develop their gardening skills, help to empower them by showing them how to be self-sufficient with their food security, and that garden will become a supportive ecosystem to all kinds of insects and small animals. You don’t have to follow any particular religion or philosophy to meditate, and nor does meditation have to involve sitting cross-legged on the floor while chanting in a language you don’t understand. Ultimately, meditation is just a mindfulness practice that involves calming your thoughts and emotions so you can be in the present moment. This helps to calm frayed nerves to alleviate stress and anxiety, and creates a sense of peace and tranquility of spirit. That inner peace reflects upon all other facets of life: you may have more patience with others, or have greater self esteem, or even just be able to appreciate the little bits of beauty you come across instead of being swamped by all the negativity in the world. If there are issues that concern you, use your voice to bring attention to them. Sign petitions, write letters to your member of parliament, make an appointment to sit down with someone who has the power to change things, and discuss your worries with them. If someone you know treats another badly, then call them out on their bad behaviour: saying nothing is basically just condoning said poor behaviour, and will make the one getting hurt feel that no-one is there to support or defend them. Should you find out that the company that makes your favourite chocolate bar/deodorant/drink has questionable practices, then find a more ethical product that you enjoy just as much, and write to the company you’re now boycotting to let them know why you’ll no longer support them. Your voice can make a profound impact, so let it be heard. You’re probably quite vigilant with regard to disposing of garbage properly, but others may not be quite so conscientious. If you see a piece of rubbish lying about that some jerk has tossed out their car window or just dropped on the ground, throw it out. Keep a pair of rubber or latex gloves in your bag if you don’t want to touch anything that’s potentially “icky”, but keep in mind that every little bit of effort helps when it comes to cleaning up our living spaces. If you live in Canada and love all things aquatic, consider getting involved in the David Suzuki Foundation’s Great Shoreline Cleanup: join forces with others to clean up rivers, lake shores, ponds, creeks, and even beaches along the ocean. So thirsty that your throat started to close up and your lips were cracking and you thought you were going to die? There are similar initiatives in other countries, so just do a quick search for environmental clean-up groups in your area, and get involved! Consider the fact that our bodies are comprised of nearly 70% water, and nearly all animals and plants require water to survive. Then think about the fact that only 2% of all water on earth is drinkable, and a significant amount of that is now polluted because of all the crap we keep dumping into it. Every drop of chemical cleaner, every drop of hair dye, every bit of pesticide, paint, non-biodegradable laundry detergent, toilet bowl cleaner, etc. gets into the water system, and although the drinking water in cities is filtered a great deal, most of those toxins still leak into the soil and underground water table, killing life around the planet. People and animals all over the world often have to choose between dying of thirst, and poisoning themselves with tainted water supplies. Be very conscious about what it is you pour down your drains or use on your lawns, and try to be as eco-friendly as possible. If you dye your hair, try plant-based dyes or henna instead. Instead of harsh household cleaners, all you really need are vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils. To help take action for clean drinking water, look into groups like Waterkeeper Alliance, which has chapters all over the world that you can get involved with. Write a list of the items you normally buy at the grocery store, and consider doing a bit of research on where these items come from. Does your favourite brand use mostly GMO ingredients? If you eat meat, is it from local sources where the animals are treated ethically? Are your eggs free-range, or do they come from a place where the birds are crammed into small cages? Are your organic vegetables picked by people who earn a living wage? Delve into the sources of your food and determine whether you’re contributing to the well-being of others, or if your habits could be a little more compassionate and conscientious. Just like food, clothing has to come from somewhere, but few people take the time to really research the origins of their clothes. Does the company that makes your shirt source pesticide-laden cotton from a developing country? Have your jeans been sewn by children’s hands in Thailand or India? Were any animals harmed to source real fur trim for your jacket or boots? Was any water polluted to create the PVC in your bag or shoes? Educate yourself so that you can educate others, and speak out against mistreatment when you come across it. There are many different ways to donate your time to others, so don’t feel that you have to put yourself in a position you’re uncomfortable with in order to make a difference. Some people might be happy working in soup kitchens or helping street youth, while others may not, and that’s totally okay! There are volunteer opportunities for people of every age, profession, and physical ability. If you like the outdoors, consider doing some volunteer work to help clean up parks. Offer to walk dogs at an animal shelter a few times a month, or maybe help to campaign for the World Wildlife Fund, SPCA, etc. Consider donating an hour or so a month to help mentor young people who wish to follow in your footsteps. You can use up spare yarn by knitting or crocheting warm hats, scarves, and mittens for those in need, like women and children in shelters, or even overseas orphans and refugees. Trust that there’s charity work that’s perfectly suited for you out there, and it doesn’t take a lot of effort to make a dramatic difference in another’s life. We all get frustrated and upset on occasion, but the energy that we put out into the universe tends to have a domino effect: the person you yelled at in traffic might take their frustrations out on a barista, who’ll then go home and yell at her kids because she’s had a bad day, and the kids will fight with one another because they don’t know how to handle the negativity that’s been forced upon them. On and on it goes, with the web of hostility growing larger and larger as it sweeps through the population. If you change your tone and be more compassionate with the others involved, can you achieve a more positive outcome? If you find yourself irritated or frustrated by a situation, take a step back and really consider what’s going on. In addition to reacting positively to upsetting circumstances, we can also take the initiative to pour some good into the world. Practicing random acts of kindness also creates a domino effect, as others appreciate what was done for them and then decide to do good in turn. Paying for someone else’s coffee in a drive-through will instantly brighten their day, and there’s more than a 90% chance that they’ll pay for the person behind them in turn, and so on. This video illustrates that concept rather perfectly, actually. The actions mentioned above don’t take a great deal of effort to do, but if each and every person on the planet implemented just a few of them, we could see real change happenfor the betterment of all on this gorgeous planet. Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all. This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you. Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role? ” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role. It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job. It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager. If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with. Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer. Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel. Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that? Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person. Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment? If so, then this may not be the right match for you. Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution. Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research! Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit. This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization. For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities. Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground. A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start. To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for. A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state. All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you. In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make. If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals. Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one. Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role. If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for? This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer. This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions. Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace? Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground. What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart. As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you. On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information. First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong? Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that? Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things. Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area. Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you. Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work?