I’m diving deep into this world of blogging and I come across so many influential geniuses along the way. My search for my own writer’s identity has me on myriads of websites and down dozens of rabbit trails. There are always a few that speak my soul language and make me want to shout, “YES, everyone needs to hear this!” I’ve started to take note so I can go back to their article/video and glean information you might find helpful.

At this point, my list of interests is long: civil rights in the U.S., living overseas, unleashing my creativity, feminist issues, successful bloggers, simplifying life, and if these topics are addressed through a faith lens, even better!

My personal motive as I sift through articles and information is to pinpoint what I am authorized to write about. What do my experiences make me an expert on? How can I add to the conversation? What value can I offer?

I think that’s what we’re all trying to figure out, isn’t it?

Since knowledge is exciting, I’m happy to share what I find inspiring and encouraging. Yesterday, a writer I admire told us that learning activates the same pleasure centers in our brain that light up during sex, gambling, and drug consumption. No way! I Googled it, and she seems to be right!

So let’s get to the feel-good part!

Here are the TOP FIVE videos/articles that grabbed my attention:

  1. Why I Stopped Watching Pornography by Ran Gavrieli (15 minutes)
    • My Christian faith has influenced my value system, but Sunday school answers are not enough. I value answers that respect the human experience regardless of someone’s faith background. Many of the responses you’ll get from a Christian viewpoint just don’t go deep enough to apply to non-Christians. That’s not good enough. Truth should be applicable no matter what. This video is so honest and Gavrieli’s perspective appreciates the complexity and intimacy of sex, regardless of his faith background (which isn’t mentioned). His two main points are that 1) porn brings anger and violence into our fantasies and 2) we indirectly, but surely, increase the “demand” for human trafficking. Expect lots of food for thought beyond those two points, although it’s quite raw and really only for adults comfortable discussing this topic.
  2. I’m Possible by Jeremy Cowart
    • This celebrity photographer wasn’t satisfied with a life of typical success. He realized that something beautiful and significant happens when you put someone constantly overlooked in front of the camera. He started a project called help-portrait that consists of events all over the world where professional photographers take portraits of the forgotten. The goal: 1)Find someone in need, 2)Take their portrait, 3)Print their portrait, and 4) Deliver them. This video is incredibly inspiring and my friend Stacia caught that dream. Together, we narrowed this dream down to a plan. Stacia and I (but mostly Stacia) did a bit of coordinating and made this happen for a group of 50 girls from a group home in the capital city of Madagascar. I was truly honored to be a part of these girls’ lives for a short time in this way.
  3. Teach Girls Bravery Not Perfection by Reshma Saujani
    • “Most girls are taught to avoid risk and failure.” This video is a must-watch for any woman who wants to change the world or any man cheering on an influential daughter, girlfriend, or coworker. As women, even when we have encouraging dads, sisters, or friends behind us, we often display certain behaviors that suggest we are conditioned and socialized to make calculated, educated steps towards success. That doesn’t sound so bad until Saujani suggests that boys are taught to take wild risks to reach for success and mistakes are not looked down on. This video frames the typical behaviors of most women, even influential women, so that we can see the difference between being perfect and being brave.
  4. The Esther Project by Erin Kirk
    • Here is another big dream lucky enough to have a few masterminds behind it to bring it to pass. The life and beauty of what happens within Mercy Ships is sparked by special people that decide to go above and beyond what’s required of them. That is what The Esther Project was about: Bring 50 girls from a group home in the highlands of Madagascar to the ship. Mercy Ships has sent several teams to this group home as training. It was finally time to bring the girls to us, and to the beach, for the first time. I can’t do justice to this story the way Erin can. Read the inspiration here, or click the link in the title to read about the overall success and little victories of the project.
  5. Your Heart Is Mine blog by Kelsey Rowell
    • A former coworker from Rochester posted an article from Kelsey’s blog on improving the relationship between floor nurses and ER nurses. Immediately I knew I had to keep up with this girl! Kelsey is a nurse of 3 years and writes about the real nursing experience with energy and a positive attitude. I enjoy checking in with her blog to remind myself of what nursing at home is like, but there is plenty we have in common despite our different countries. She reminds me that being a nurse is rewarding and exciting, and we’ve all been through those tough days. Her support and enthusiasm for nurses is tangible through the screen.
What have you been watching or reading lately?
Have you read anything that actually impacted your day to day life?

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2 comments on “What Caught My Attention in March”

  1. – I loved Vernã Myers TED talk. It’s about becoming aware of your biases and how to deal with them: https://www.ted.com/talks/verna_myers_how_to_overcome_our_biases_walk_boldly_toward_them
    – As I already mentioned on Facebook, ‘a Life Overseas, is a blog with a wide variety of writers living as a missionary: http://www.alifeoverseas.com/
    – Another blog about expats is ‘the Culture Blend’, he doesn’t write very often, but it’s interesting: http://www.thecultureblend.com/
    – Do you know Sarita Hartz? She writes about missionary life. http://www.saritahartz.com/
    – Another blog from a christian expat. Al her posts are interesting, but this one is really good. Especially for us long termers: http://www.djiboutijones.com/2013/02/20-things-expats-need-to-stop-doing/
    – We have quite some TCK and/or MK’s on the ship and this is an interesting blog to understand them a little better: http://theunlost.blogspot.co.id/
    – I’m educating myself a lot about white privelege, and one of my friends gave me this tip. I haven’t listened to it, but he was very enthousiastic. It has a lot of links to other articles as well: http://www.theliturgists.com/podcast/2016/3/29/episode-34-black-and-white-racism-in-america
    – Another one about white privilege with links to other articles is this one: http://prestonyancey.com/blog/2015/6/22
    – Already in 1988, people talked about white privilege. This article is quite famous and still relevant, because it gives so many examples and makes it really practical: https://www.deanza.edu/faculty/lewisjulie/White%20Priviledge%20Unpacking%20the%20Invisible%20Knapsack.pdf
    – ‘Colorlines’ is a news page focused on Gender/sexuality, arts&culture, Islamophobia and police violence. You’ll see news that only rarely makes it to the big channels. http://www.colorlines.com/
    – I guess you already know about ‘Everyday Feminism’? http://everydayfeminism.com/
    – An interesting blog post about the question ‘What do I want?’. http://qz.com/584874/you-probably-know-to-ask-yourself-what-do-i-want-heres-a-way-better-question/
    – ‘SheLoves’, is a community of women who talk about books, faith, relationships and other relevant things. http://shelovesmagazine.com/
    – Corinne Rogero is an interesting writer as well. She describes herself as a ‘vindicated vagabond’. http://corinnerogero.com/
    Wow, it became quite the list. A couple I have mentioned to you before, but this might be useful for other readers as well.
    I’m looking forward to see what other people come up with.

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