Blogmas day 3 – 25 days of kindness

Day three! So far so good. How is everyone else doing?

Today’s act of Kindness as to open the door for someone else. Pretty easy but it can be very helpful and I feel like less and less people do it these days. So here is how my day went!

I only managed to this once today as it was a stay at home and do chores kind of day. But I did go out for a little Christmas party at my grandfathers home. It was quite interesting. My grandfather has Alzheimer’s and is at the point where he is pretty much non-verbal and always sleeping. Everyone in that home are in similar stages of their personal battles. So while there was a singer there wasn’t much engagement or singing along.

Not really related. But it is christmasy.

Not really related. But it is christmasy.

The singer was really good though and it put me in the Christmas spirit. I feel like just seeing all these people coming to see their loved ones and the one lady in the home mouthing the words was just heart warming. Everyone was helping each other out and it was great to see. I also might be imagining this but I felt like the residents of the home where happy. They might not understand what is going on but some part of them somewhere knows that this is for them and the Christmas spirit is alive and well. I saw that in my grandfather too, he didn’t know who I was, he fell asleep four times in the hour long party but some part of me still thinks he had a good time and liked seeing family there.

So there we go an inexplicable feeling of Christmas in an unlikely place. Getting back to the challenge I held the door open for my grandmother and uncle as they walked in to see my grandfather so that counts!

As always let me know how you did! Here is tomorrows challenge:

text three friends or even just people you know and wish them a good day

I hope you had a lovely day! See you tomorrow!


Blogmas Day 2 – 25 days of kindness

Welcome to the first official day of the 25 days of kindness! If you are a bit confused as to what I am talking about please follow this link here .

For this first day I decided to start slow. My goal today was to smile to three people. An easy task but a simple smile can make someones day or at least make them feel a bit happier. These days I feel people (myself included) are really tied to their phones and sometimes somewhat anti-social. Smiling to someone when walking down the street can be a good way to make this world a bit more kind.

Of course don’t be creepy about it. There will be people who you will smile to who will give you a glare in return. In those cases don’t take it personally that person might just be having a bad day. Just keep doing what you were doing and try again. My challenge when I started the day was to smile to three people and make them smile in return. If you are doing these challenges with me you can change it to just smiling at three people whether they return it or not.

So here is how I did with today’s challenge:

I was away at an event all day but that just helped me meet more people than usual. I started my day by smiling to some people on the bus. Some smiled back some gave me looks.  When I got to the event I smiled at some people and started a conversation. This ended up making me some friends for the day and we spent the day together. They were really nice and we had some really interesting discussions about the SDG event we were at! I also talked with a lot more people at the event and guess what? It always started with me smiling. On the way home I made sure to smile at some people on the bus as well. One person was lost so I helped her find the right bus stop to get off at.

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Screen Shot of a picture I took today at the event. Go check out my twitter for more!

So I that makes well over 3! It’s something so simple but It just made me so happy to brightens someones day even a little.

I know this post was a bit late but this one is so simple you can definitely fit it in tonight or tomorrow with the next goal. If you do let me know!

Tommorow’s goal: To start off I will explain briefly how these posts will work in terms of the goals. Everyday I will write a post on how I achieved the daily goal. On the bottom will be the goal for the next day so we can attempt them at the same time! So here is tomorrows goal that we can all attempt:

open the door for someone else

To see why I picked this and how I did come on back tomorrow!

In the meanwhile have a good evening and spread some kindness!


Blogmas Day 1- Introduction to 25 Days of Kindness

Hello everyone!

Today is the first day of December and the first day of Blogmas! Blogmas for those who don’t know is similar to vlogmas on youtube. It’s basically a goal to post something on your blog everyday in the month of December. While most people might be doing Christmas themed posts such as gift guides and decoration tricks (which are great and I will be following those as well) I decided to do it Powered Crowd style!

What does that mean? Well I am going to set a goal to do an act of kindness everyday until December 25th and I will be blogging about them everyday. My hope is that you, dear readers, will join me to see how I achieve those goals everyday but also join me in doing an act of kindness every day until December 25th.

IMG_20171130_071543

Picture taken on a calm winter morning

This year I have had a couple of events that made me reflect on Christmas. When I was younger the presents were the main appeal to Christmas as it is for most children if I dare say. As I grew up I learned that Christmas was more about spending time with family and the spirit of Christmas which to me is being kind and helpful to others in need, it’s seeing communities coming together so that everyone can enjoy a happy holiday.

While I am not a saint and still love receiving gifts on Christmas, I do my best to make sure I do my part in helping others be able to receive a little something in the Christmas time. I won’t say much more as you will see a couple of things I usually do or am trying to do this year throughout the month!

Lastly I just want to address the fact that not everyone celebrates Christmas which is completely Ok! Diversity is what makes the world great! I do think however that kindness is universal, so if you want to participate even if you don’t celebrate Christmas or even use these acts of kindness to promote your culture or religion please feel free to do so!

I would be so happy for everyone to participate in this 25 days of kindness initiative. Use #poweredcrowd on twitter or comment on my blog, Facebook page and Instagram. I will retweet all the wonderful acts of good and maybe feature some on my blog as well!


Champions of Change club orientation weekend

This weekend I had to opportunity to go to a Champions of Change club orientation weekend, as the blog post name suggests. 😉 What is that exactly? Well, it was a gathering of girls across Canada who are part of the Champions of Change clubs. Champions of Change clubs are an initiative by Plan Canada’s Because I am a Girl movement and they strive for the goal of Gender equality.

I a part of the University of Ottawa’s club for a little while now and am part of the exec team this year. Being part of the club is an amazing experience, not only have I had amazing opportunities from the club and the Because I am a Girl initiative but I have also met some amazing people that inspire everyday. Now anyone can start a club at their high school or university. (more information here if you want to start your own club or learn more about Because I am a girl https://plancanada.ca/girl-clubs )

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We discussed many things during the weekend but the two main points I took from it was a)Male involvement and b)the real definition of gender equality.

Let’s look at both these points in a bit more detail…

A) Male involvement.

When we hear about movements on gender equality especially when those movements have names with a women centered focus like because I am a girl those, we think it’s solely a girl issues. And I mean it is a girl/women issue but it’s also a boy issue. Gender equality mean girls and boys having the same rights and this isn’t possible if both girls and boys work together towards that goal This weekend we talked of this approach and on how we can get men more involved. We also talked about how while women do face many inequalities here in Canada and abroad men also face some inequalities and pressures to look a certain way and act a certain way.

It was a good way to get back in focus and think it’s not a matter of Boys vs Girls but of the two sides working together.

B)The real definition of gender equality

Another thing that we discussed is the difference between sex and gender. One being biological and one being how one self identifies. This being said gender equality includes everyone not just people who self identify as Male of female. We learned about the long list of diverse terms that people can self identify as and me being someone who strives to see equality for everyone and who works towards spreading kindness and understanding was really interested in how there was much more self identifying terms than I thought there was.

To close up this blog post I want to mention a bit of round up on what else was done. We did some group games and trainings we learned about initiatives in Canada and in other countries that Because I am a Girl was working on, we learned about facilitation, fundraising and getting more people involved and aware of what was happening in the world and the list goes on.

I am so happy to have participated in this weekend and I met some amazing girls and women who are so kind and passionate about making a difference. It makes me think of the big group of us who are passionate to make positive change. I encourage all of you out there who are reading this to be part of a powered crowd for positive change. Join the conversation on my social media or use the hashtag #poweredcrowd!

Until next time be kind, understanding and lets create positive change!


Short Story – Far isn’t so far

The other day through a group of people I am part of we had a discussion with someone who is a refugee. I am trying to give as little details as possible as to keep this persons confidentiality.

This person shared their story and it really hit me. This person was so positive and had such great goals to change the hardships they lived.

What that person said really hit me. You hear about what is happening with refugees fleeing different countries around the world , you hear it on the news, on social media, in newspapers ect.. But to have someone who is around your age talk so openly about what they have been through in a small group setting it really makes the issue so much more real. It made me think more than ever on how the world is so much smaller nowadays with modern transport and communication tools and we really need to put some effort into helping people who do not have the same advantages as we do.

That person also said something that I think is really important( I am paraphrasing here by what I can remember) “I don’t feel sad about the past because it happened but I now need to move forward. You can get stuck in the past because people who do get sick. So it’s best to look forward at what you can do.” I think this is such an important message as it shows the power of positivity. It’s sometimes hard to resist falling into harmful memories of the past, sometimes it is necessary to revisit them in order to overcome them but whenever that happens I will think of what this person said and gear myself back to the future and the goals I have in mind.

I want to encourage a Powered crowd to grow and create positive change. I want to create positive change and I know it is all possible if I look towards hope, look towards the future and look towards my goals. Because as a friend once told me, it is easier to look run towards a goal than to run away from something you don’t want.

UN Sustainable Development Goal Training Seminar

UN SDG event

A little while ago I heard about a United Nations Sustainable Development goal training seminar at my school. These trainings are by an organization called FES (Foundation for Environmental Stewardship) and they are doing them across Canada to educate people about the SDG’s (Sustainable Development Goals). Unfortunately by the time I found out about it all the tickets were sold out! A week or so later I heard that they needed 5 volunteers and I jumped at the opportunity to participate.

Turns out the volunteering was to be done in the weeks before to prep for it, at the beginning of the event, at the end of the event and once the event was over. Which meant we were allowed to fully participate in the training and get a certificate like everyone else that completed it.

Volunteering gave me a unique look on how much work really goes into an event like this and how organized you need to be to make it work. The behind the scenes at the beginning of the event was a bit hectic but once I got to sit down and listen to the speakers and network with other people who attended I got to think about some very interesting things.

1. What are the SDG’s? They are a group of goals that the UN members committed to achieving by the year 2031. Here is a picture of the goals

UNSDGs

2. What goal is most important to me? All the speakers talked about what goal is most important to them and I thought to myself how it is hard for me to think of one specific goal that is the most important. I think all of the goals are really important and in a way they are interconnected. For example you can’t have zero hunger if there is poverty. You can’t have Climate action without Affordable and clean energy. The list goes on.

If I was forced to choose one that is important to me(like I said we need action on all of these this is just one that has personal meaning for me) , It would be #10 reduced inequalities. This one really captures most of the goals. If we reduce inequalities than that means reducing climate impact on some people, it means not having anyone rich while others are poor, it means gender equality and more peace and justice. In short it means a lot of things. Everyone deserves equal right and every step in that direction can have multiple ripples of good in many different areas that are not always clear at first.

3.We all need to get involved. These goals are huge and we can’t do it without working together. As one of the speakers said it’s about partnerships. We have to get people with a bunch of different expertise to work together to make this possible.

We need a powered crowd geared towards positive change!

So my question to you is what goal or positive change goal is important to you? Let me know in the comment or on social media which is all linked above!

What is health anyway? Body image and health misconceptions

I have been thinking lately of the concept of health. What does it mean, how can I get it? I have realized that the idea of health is much more complicated than it seems and that is so closely tied to body image.

To start I will say what I originally thought health was. I thought it meant being able to run marathons or 5km race, I thought it meant eating salads and not fast food, I thought it meant not being a victim of any mental health issues and being happy.

Now here is what I thought the perfect body was. Small waist, strong legs, big eyes and perfect makeup.

Here is what I think today. It’s all lies! There is not one perfect version of health and one perfect version of a body. This concept is what has caused me and so many others so much pain. Think about it, everyone has different dreams, everyone has different obstacles they face, everyone has different genes and medical issues and diagnosis’s and the list goes on. So, with all of these wonderful differences how can we be expected to all fit in two molds of perfect health and perfect body? We can’t, that’s the answer, it’s unrealistic, but this concept has been ingrained in all of us. We see it in all the media, we hear it from our friends,loved ones, bullies, teachers, fellow students, peers, work collegues etc… It’s everywhere. I challenge you right now to look around you and not see one thing that represents this image of perfect mental and physical health and perfect body type. I am sitting in a class room and I see at least 3 examples.

Now I am not saying everyone is judgmental and wants you to lose weight and be perfect. But I am saying that these doubts that sometimes we are not good enough is in most if not all of us.

Some examples of this are coming out and people are denouncing it. I love how people are starting to be more open about these unrealistic expectations we put on ourselves as well as the negative effects it can do to us. Some are obvious such as eating disorders, this might seem like a small problem but did you know that:

  • Thirty-seven percent of girls in grade nine and 40% in grade ten perceived themselves as too fat. Even among students of normal-weight (based on BMI), 19% believed that they were too fat, and 12% of students reported attempting to lose weight.

  • AN has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness – it is estimated that 10% of individuals with AN will die within 10 years of the onset of the disorder.

  • Adolescent girls who diet are at 324% greater risk for obesity than those who do not diet.

  • facts taken here (http://nedic.ca/know-facts/statistics)

Then we can add all those people who obsessively go to the gym everyday for 3 or more hours. Some do it in healthy ways and for outside goals or careers, but some just put too much pressure on their bodies.

We can then look at the negative effects that these unrealistic expectations have on mental health, self perceptions and confidence. Some examples of these where are again coming out, fighting the negative perceptions of social media with positive body loving messages. For example there is the example of the famous singer pink who did a speech about her daughter who at such a young age felt ugly.


There was the same thing with this entrepreneur who wanted to make a doll for her daughter who also felt ugly.


How is it ok that girls and boys at this young age already feel ugly and not good enough? There is a problem with the system is at this young age kids are already being pressured to try and fit the of mold of health and perfect body.

Here is an old commercial which represents this well. I used to hate this commercial and want to see the ads and was angry at the monkey. Now all I have to say is well done monkey, well done.


Now, It’s not just about young girls and boys it’s about adults too. We have to learn that we all have different body types and they are all good.

I talked about what I used to think health and a perfect body was. Here is what I think it is today. Having a body size or type that fits your goals. You can be what society calls fat as long as your are physically healthy(not at risk for diabetes, health problems able to walk without panting.) You can be beautiful in whatever you wear as long as you embrace and love yourself and your style. You can be healthy and suffer from mental illness. Most people battle with mental illness all their life, there is ups and there is downs but it doesn’t mean that for your whole life you have to be considered unhealthy or miserable. Even if you are bigger than society ideals and overweight you are still beautiful. If you are healthy and able to be active at your weight than embrace it. To be healthy you don’t need to live on salad and vegetables it’s about making a life change that you can stick to and changing small things such as healthy portions and healthier alternatives such as multigrain. You can be healthy and have fast food from time to time.

The most important thing in all this is the idea of loving yourself. Without self love it is almost impossible to make lasting changes that are good for you in the long run. It’s also important to remember the point I made above that all body types are different everyone has different fitness and health needs and body types are not one size fit all. There is no such thing as a perfect body or perfect health because everyone is different inside and out.

So knowing this it’s important to always keep reminders of the beauty of our differences. There is a body positive movement out there that is trying to denounce hurtful media and diets and trying to promote loving yourself. ( Please be advised that not everyone who is outspoken about body positivity is correct in what they say so make your own educated choices.)

To end this post I will say the obvious which has been repeated a lot already in this post. Love yourself. I will also give you a name to start your body positive research if you so choose. This person named Samantha Clusiau ( twitter @SamanthaClusiau ) is one of the first people who introduced me to this movement and makes body positive art. She is very talented and often posts things about this subject on her social media.

All credit and rights belong to Samantha Clusiau.

All credit and rights belong to Samantha Clusiau.

Next time you start feeling ugly or start hating yourself remember these points I’ve made. If you see someone struggling with self love take a minute to tell them their beautiful. Be part of a PoweredCrowd for positive change!

International Day of the Girl 2017

A lot has been going on for me lately. As always I am working on a million and one projects on top of my school life/work and my job. I have attended some very inspiring events lately (Stay tuned for my take back the night post) but today is all about the girl. The title will probably have given it away but today is international day of the girl. What does that mean? Well it means a lot to different people, to me it means hope, it means working for a better future where gender equality is a reality and a norm.

There so much that goes through my mind on a day like today. I think of the girls forced into child marriage I think of these devastating facts :

  • The majority of the 1.2 billion people living in extreme poverty are girls and women.

  • In developing countries, girls are twice as likely to suffer from malnutrition.
  • Each year, 15 million girls under 18 will be married – that’s one girl every two seconds.

But like I said before I also think of hope and the bright future I know is possible for those girls that are suffering or in disadvantage because of their gender.

As some might know I am part of a Because I am a Girl club at school. This club is affiliated with Plan Canada’s Because I am a Girl organization. This organization started a hashtag #GirlsBelongHere. This Hashtag is to represent that girls should not be affected by a dream gap and should be able to have any future they want to have. Be it an astronaut, a scientist, an engineer or a makeup artist.

day of the girl 10

It is fascinating to see the posts in this column, to see people declaring that girls belong everywhere they want to be. One girl even became prime minister of Canada for a day! (http://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/prime-minister-justin-trudeau-shows-that-girlsbelonghere-by-sharing-his-role-with-young-woman-for-the-day-649775133.html)

Our club decided to do something for this day so we planned an event on our campus and came up with a plan for a video to see what people on campus and our lives thought about girl issues. We asked girls, what is your dream or your dream for all girls? We asked guys, where do girls belong? We got some really interesting answers. Check out the video here to know more https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgYZZoJlP3M ( Edited and almost all filmed by yours truly)

 

So after seeing this video you can see why I have some hope for the future, we are all different, we all have different dreams and hopes but the answers all had one thing in common, a sens of hope for a future of gender equality.

Now, I know that some people do not believe in gender equality. For example while I was trying to get people to stop at our club table I used the phrase “do you believe in gender equality?” to make people stop and then ask them for a minute of their time to talk about our club and ask if they were ok in being in our video. I had a lot of people saying yes, as they quickly walked by, then we had the brave souls who not only stopped to listen to what our club was about but also accept to be in our video in support of gender equality. But we also people who said no as they walked by or who looked right at us and didn’t answer. Was it an automatic response? Was it people who really did not believe in gender equality? I don’t know. But I do know that not everyone see the importance I see in this topic.

But some do! Let’s get back to that hope feeling. Through this same club I had the opportunity on October 4th to talk with Caroline Riseboro CEO of Because I am a Girl and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau! This day was amazing, along with a small group of amazing girls we discussed these gender issues, the “dream gap”, we then saw Justin Trudeau talk at the ceremony for missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. After we met Maryam Monsef a Member of Parliament and then attended question period where out group was mentioned in the opening remarks. All of this was amazing and I am so blessed to have had that amazing experience which boosted my motivation and taught me so much. One of the many things I learned was how there’s people out there both in influential power and girls like me who are doing their best to make some positive change. That is all I really need to know. Knowing this I can see how, if we all work together we can raise awareness of the issues facing girls, of the reality of gender equality and of what we need to do to work on a world that is gender equal!

In the lead up to International Day of the Girl, Plan International Canada Global Ambassador Sophie Grégoire Trudeau joined a group of passionate youth advocates in a discussion about the barriers that girls face when pursuing their dreams. (CNW Group/Plan International Canada)

In the lead up to International Day of the Girl, Plan International Canada Global Ambassador Sophie Grégoire Trudeau joined a group of passionate youth advocates in a discussion about the barriers that girls face when pursuing their dreams. (CNW Group/Plan International Canada)

By the way, if you are a boy reading this this is not just a girl issue. We need boys to support gender equality as well because only together can we really be a powered crowd and create positive change!

So all of this to say that on this international day of the girl, raise your voice, be heard and know that what you dream you can achieve and that there is so much hope for the future even when their seems their is not.

Happy international day of the girl!

Until next time be part of a powered crowd for positive change!

Social media for good

***As seen on Rogers TV “Entre Nous” on September 22nd

Everyone has heard about the negative effects of social media, it develops short attention spans, it causes online bullying, nobody talks to each other in person anymore, kids are always glued to their phone, texting and acronyms develops trouble in spelling correctly and the list goes on. While it is true that social media and technology in general has totally changed our world in many ways and that some of these changes are not really positive. This blog post will focus on how we can use social media and the technology at our fingertips for good. It will show how social media has the power to do great things if only it is used for good. ( I feel like this is sounding a bit like the spider man speech “with great power comes great responsibility”, but in this case social media and freedom of expression is a form of power and we have a responsibility to use it well)

In today’s world Campaigns for charity’s and for good causes can have a much bigger impact. Social media and technology in general ( planes, internet etc..) has made it so we can share information to someone across the globe in seconds. This phenomenon has created a globalized world where someone living in a country on the other side of the globe from you is in fact not so far away anymore. Because of this these charity campaigns or movement for positive change can reach a worldwide audience with a click of a button. This permits more people to here the message or call to action, it permits more people to get involved and it allows people from anywhere to easily donate or contribute to a cause that is half a world away.

This when you think about it revolutionizes the old methods of promoting a cause. Instead of doing protests, using posters, putting stalls in the streets asking for funding or even doing a charity fundraising events people can do it all sitting at home on a computer. The women’s vote movement had to depend on those in person tactics and promotion by the newspapers to spread the word of their cause. They got it done, it took a long time but women can now vote. Putting things in perspective today a girl getting mistreated at work can go viral in a day and can make a company responsible for those actions withing a week. In short today if we want to stand up for something or promote a cause that we care about it’s easier than ever before. ( Disclaimer: I am not saying we can make as humongous a social change as the right to vote in one day, with no effort and only using social media, but that we can spread the word and reach more people more easily, look at the womens march who went global after Trump was elected.)

Here are a couple examples of how social media can be used for good and in these cases were used for good.

A first story is a current one. Hurricane Harvey. This was the main topic in the news for a long time (we are now seeing a bit more about the Mexico situation, it’s been a bad last few months for climate disasters) and for good reason. So many people were affected by this and the pictures were a bit scary, thinking how not too far away these events were happening. ( I will make a post later on about media and how it focuseses much more on North American situations than the disasters happening all over the world every day and why this is the case.) What I loved to see with this sad event though was how people were using social media to help each other. People from around the world were tuning in and trying to help in any way they can. There was fundraisers started by various people communicating via social media, there was donations and fundraising movement organized by social media. The list goes on about ways people were using onto social media to help other people out. One of my favourite stories of social media doing some good in this context was the case of the twitter user @symooneee she tweeted this picture below saying “Please help us, she a new born” then giving her adress. This picture got shared so fast and everyone was giving their support. Before you knew it ( within a couple hours) they had found a boat for her and she tweeted that she was safe with all her family and the baby.

baby harvey

Image belongs to @symooneee

In much the same way the demand for boats on social media was answered in droves. As as can be seen in this video of the boats lined up along the roadway to go and help. (https://twitter.com/Stealthy_Marine/status/902694717791641600?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.statesman.com%2Fweather%2Fvideo-shows-line-trucks-towing-boats-texas-highway%2F0EjyW12syCvoqTo8pvtpsM%2F)

More great stories on this topic can be found but I have more examples to give!

Next up, this event which happened a little while ago. A man with a wide social media following (or so I am told I was not one of those followers) called Jerome Jarre heard about the level of poverty and the lack of food and water in Somalia. He was really bothered by it so used his social media and followers to share the program. It eventually developed into him, some other friends and Ben Stiller, the actor, using their social media to convince an airline to donate a plane and then proceeded to fund raise enough money to fill that plane with food and send it to those people in Somalia that needed the food. I mean talk about amazing! I haven’t heard anything really from them since the (though I haven’t really researched it) but the fact that this movement which started with one person denouncing a problem happening in the world exploded into sending a plane filled with tons and tons of food to people in need in another country using just the power of social media is incredible! This really shows how this tool can have the power for good! I would love to right more details on this but don’t want an extremely long post. ( see more about the story here https://www.buzzfeed.com/ikrd/jerome-jarre-asked-an-airline-for-a-flight-to-fill-with?utm_term=.qsj4NwDo8#.mxMLOB096 )

love for somalia

Image found on Buzzfeed news. Image belongs to the Love for Somalia campaign

Another social media campaign that does a lot of good is the bell let’s talk day. For those who are not aware of this it’s a day where every tweet, facebook post or instagram post that uses the hashtag #belllet’stalk donated one dollar to mental health initiatives. This amazing campaign is a huge help in breaking the stigma on mental illness and spreading the word that so many people are infected by it directly or indirectly.

A last example. There is just too many to list! Is the Hashtag #Dreambigprincess This campaign was made by a partnership with a UN foundation initiative called GirlUp and Disney. The goal here was to post a picture or retweet a picture that was already taken and share the message that girls can be who they want to be and also has a goal to encourage them to dream big. The pictures like the one below shows girls in princess dresses breaking the gender norms of the prim and proper princess. Disney donated 1 dollar for every post with the Hashtag #DreamBigPrincess and in the end reached their goal of 1 million dollars!

dream big princess2

So there are a couple of countless examples that show social media doing some good! It can be such a powerful tool when used for good deeds. I love in all these example seeing people rising up and spreading some kindness, in many cases people rising up and standing for equal right, understanding and overcoming and denouncing inequalities. It shows how there are so many people out there doing good, something that is easy to forget when looking at all the pain suffering and bad news in the journals and news broadcasts. It also ties in to the message of this blog of being part of a powered crowd with a goal for positive change!

With that said how can you get involved?

Following the theme of this post here is some social media initiatives that you can contribute to.

1. Telus is donating 1$ to charity for every volunteer hour you tweet or share on social media with the hashtag #millionhours (here is the website with more information https://community.telus.com/million-hours-of-giving/ )

2. Poweredcrowd.com You are already here! Great first step! Now use social media with the hashtag #poweredcrowd to share your work towards positive change. This simple act will show people that there is a Powered Crowd of us working towards positive change. Feel free to tag me in the posts (social media links are on the top of the page) and I will share almost all posts that follow this blogs goals. Let’s make this movement grow!

You can also go to my How to get involved page which is on the top of the screen.

3. Start following people like @PlanCanada, @Malala, @Youth_Ottawa, @YouthAssembly, @OneYoungWorld, @KofiAnnan, @metowe, @SeeDifferentCAN and the list goes on! There is also more local people that are great to follow such as @ThatHannahAlper and @LittleVBooks and much more! Following these people who are all working toward amazing goals is so easy. All you need to do is click the like or follow button and it makes these movements grow in strength. Bonus you can learn great things by following them!

4. Use your social media for good. It’s great to share some cool pictures, some memes or gifs, what your favorite celebrity did. But incorporating some tweets with some causes that you care for from time to time (healthcare, accessible water, education, gender equality, climate change etc.) is an essential step in spreading the word of what is going on in the world and is also essential in making everyone see that we are all part of the solution!

If we all do these things it can spark some amazing change. It might take time but in the meanwhile you know you are doing some good and becoming part of a PoweredCrowd for positive change!

Until next time!

*** since I finished writing this I found this cool initiative that is worth checking out. It’s all about wanting people who have disabilities to have equal rights, specifically in this case for jobs. The person who started this is at the moment I am writing this live tweeting about her journey on horse back across Columbia in route to One Young World in order to create awareness of her cause. Go on twitter and search @valuabletribe and @WeAreBinc to find out more.

Going through stressful times

I am still here!

School has started and I am a bit overwhelmed with everything I need to get done. I will be getting into the swing of things soon and be able to post more. I am working on better organizing my time and I am also working on a exciting project that I will not divulge just yet. So very very busy but |I look forward to some more content soon including the first interview in my Message from another walk of life segment!

For now, here is a post I wrote a couple weeks ago and forgot to post!

I hope you enjoy it!

Everyone has their ups and downs in life. I sometimes feel bad when I complain or just tell people about negative things that are happening in my life. I think of how lucky I am and how compared to other people what I am going through isn’t a big deal. But something I learned is that it’s not a matter of who has it worse. If someone is living through something that to them is difficult it matters. Everyone will have different things that create a permanent mark or shift in their life. In my opinion we need to give respect to everyone of these things even if it’s as small a pet hamster dying or as big as seeing someone killed in a terrorist attack. We don’t know what one event means to a person and I don’t think we should feel guilty about being sad or stressed out. We should keep in mind the people out there who are in need of help, and keep in mind that we are blessed in so many other ways than the negative event happening but we should never feel guilty about being sad or about sharing our story. Because Talking helps, sharing your story is essential to growth and to moving past events or obstacles.

With that said I will share an event happening in my life right now and how I see it tied to the message of this blog.

Currently I have 3 family members who are fairly sick. I won’t say more than that because I want to respect their privacy and the details are also part of my private life that I don’t share on the internet.

What I do want to talk about is the effect this has on me and the people around me. Love is a powerful thing. The quote that goes along the lines of it is better to have loved and be hurt than not love at all rings true to me. But when someone you love is sick it plays not only on your emotions and mind but also on your body. I have seen a shift in some people that are also close to these people and how they try to look on the positive side but that the fear of loss settles in. This fear is tricky because you don’t want to acknowledge it until it’s absolutely necessary but it is always in the back of your mind… what if…

With this fear comes changes in mood, sleep, anxiety, stress. I took the time today to really look at the different reactions and I noticed one main thing, everyone copes differently. This may seem an obvious fact to some but it’s something that is worth looking at more closely. I may be feeling some things and need some things from others but these people might need something different. For example if there is an issue and person A let’s call them Judy feels sadness and needs to be alone in order to process some things but person B let’s call them Bob feels anger and needs to vent, it causes an issue. Bob and Judy care for each other and the person that is suffering but need different things. When Bob goes to Judy for companionship Judy pushes him away because she wants to be alone. Bob feels hurt and tries again, Judy wants to be alone and get’s angry at Bob, Bob get’s angry at Judy for being angry at him, they push each other away and both end up angry and suffering in silence.

That ending is one I want to avoid. I have to constantly remind myself that I need to get support from my friends and family but also respect what my family members need. This can be brought to many situations and is an invaluable tool in trying to understand others, prevent conflicts, and practicing kindness in a way that will be well received.

If we keep in mind what others might be going through and how that person deals with it we can prevent these disagreements and find ways where both will be able to get what they want without making one person or another feel left out or alone. It’s likely there will be still be high emotions and things will sometimes escalate but take the time to back off think about what you both need, if that is treating each other with respect an understanding but taking some time apart than that can sometimes be a good choice. Just remember to keep trying to support that person when they need it.

All in all it’s the same values I try to share on this blog,Understanding, kindness, equality etc.. a PoweredCrowd for positive change, I think that this tool while maybe obvious to some is something that needs to be brought forward every once in a while. I know I need a reminded every now and then. ; )