“Always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don’t, then who will?” – Marilyn Monroe

Lesson of the Week

Anyone around us could be a person we remember for the rest of our lives. And I do literally mean anyone. Once, a few years ago, I was eating alone at a small restaurant, and was seated in the back next to a mother and daughter who were chatting about foreign travel. I happened to overhear something about a place I had always wanted to go, chimed into the conversation, and wound up eating with them, and making a friend who I hope will be close to me for years to come. Now, it doesn’t always have to be so romantic a setting as that, but I think it’s easy to forget that you never know what the people around you have to offer, and what you have to offer them- not in a karmic “give and take” way, but in your mutual abilities to make worthwhile connections that add to your life. I guess this is a little preachy, but I would encourage everyone to go a little outside of your comfort zone in talking to others. Whether its sitting with someone who’s alone in a restaurant, or striking up a conversation in a checkout line. Even asking a friend you aren’t very close with a deep question about themselves could spark a connection. And I believe that the more meaningful connections you make, the more amazing and unusual things you discover, about yourself and the world.

Positive News of the Week

  • The marching band of Talladega College in Alabama got invited to play at Mr. Trump’s inauguration, possibly pointing to a more moderate social climate in the future Trump presidency.
  • Workers in France now have a legal “right to disconnect,” allowing them legally protected time away from work related communications such as email, in order to encourage higher quality personal lives.
  • UC Berkeley psychologist Rick Hanson says that one of the best ways to overcome negative obsessions is to first own up to them, and then challenge why you have it, rather than simply pushing it off.
  • In Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, hundreds of Syrian refugees participated in a science and technology workshop aimed at giving them inspiration to pursue careers in technology.
  • After becoming a triple amputee in college, Dr. B. J. Miller is in the process of developing a method of palliative care, which aims to care for those approaching death in a more human and relatable way.

Challenges of the Week

  • Internal Challenge ∅ This week, try to give yourself the “right to disconnect” and spend an hour away from your phone and computer.
  • External Challenge ∅ This week, try to ask a family member or close friend something that you wouldn’t normally, and get to know them on a deeper level.