serve your community

Promises - Alfie Solomons

Hey, could you please do an imagine where you were a nurse during the war and became really close with Alfie, like he got injured and you had to take care of him. Once the war was all over, he tracks you down because he cannot stop thinking about you. Love your blog and writing!! :)

Promises - Alfie Solomons

His return to Camden Town after the war had not been easy. Settling back into the life that he’d had before the war proved difficult. His bakery was still intact and his workers still loyal but they had few clients and the fear that Alfie instilled before seemed to have disappeared around the same time he did four years ago. But he worked tirelessly to rebuild what was lost and to gain even more respect than when he left. All that time spent on the bakery kept Alfie distracted from the only good thing he had brought with him from France. The memory of a young woman, an English nurse in the hospital in Paris, plagued him as equally as his memories of the front lines did. You came and went in his sleep, a face and a name he seemed unable to put behind him.  

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21 things you can do now to organize in your own community, brought to you by some of our generation’s leading activists and organizers.

1. Get familiar with your elected officials. Take a couple of minutes to double check your elected officials, their voting records and public stances. Whether you agree with them politically or not, learning a bit more about elected officials can be an effective way to understand and humanize them. Find your elected representatives here. — Mallika Madhusudan

2. Call and meet with your representatives. Politics is local, so contact your elected representatives on issues that matter to you. Whether it’s a member of your local school board or your senator, here’s how to do that effectively. Document your meetings on social media, on a podcast, in video or in writing. What did you discuss? What did you learn? How did it change your opinion or make you see things in a new way? Elected officials regularly review phone calls from constituents to get a sense of how they should vote. So this absolutely matters. Make your voice heard. Literally. — Mark Kogan

3. Lead a protest at your representative’s local office. Hashtag protests might get us likes, but they rarely change policy. Remember, most elected officials are not savvy on social media. So if you really want to make your voice heard, gather a group of friends and lead a protest outside your elected official’s local office. Call your local television station before you do so and make sure they bring their cameras. Alert reporters at local media companies and make sure they write about it. Even a group as small as 20 people can make a big difference if they are vocal and get attention. This kind of pressure becomes impossible for elected officials to ignore. — Mark Kogan

4. Run for office. There are over a half million elected officials in our country, and elections happen every year! Check out the new site RunforOffice.org or RunforAmerica.us to get started. Maybe it’s for your school board, town council, neighborhood commission or something else. Running for office is the highest expression of citizenship and one of the most important contributions to our system of self-government. — Nick Troiano

5. Take action every day. Sign up at www.FightTrump.co to receive a single action you can take every day. For example, this week you can call members of Congress and read them excerpts from Breitbart stories to protest Trump’s appointment of Steve Bannon to the White House. #FightTrump will send you actions you can do every week, every month and after Jan. 20, when Trump actually takes power. Get involved. Act. — Mark Kogan

6. Understand your local and state voting processes. Registering to vote is not as easy as it sounds — particularly for certain demographics, those without access to driver’s licenses or those without easy access to online or mobile registration. Investigate how people different from you experience voting. Learn about the challenges they face, such as voter suppression and disenfranchising regulations. — Shreya Ganeshan

7. Construct local monuments. When the Berlin Wall fell and so many countries were freed from Soviet-style communism, some of the first actions they took were to bury the dead, lay flowers at important public spaces and consecrate the public spaces that were now sacred sites for new democracies. Communities in profound political transition need to mourn. What are the sacred spaces in our communities right now — those that remind us what democracy means and why we will fight to keep it alive? How do we consecrate them and make them into places where we can all continue to meet and remember why we care about this country so much? — Szelena Gray

8. Fight to reform our political system. The operating system of our democracy needs an upgrade. Many of the structural incentives work to push us apart rather than bring us together. Support groups that are working to reform our political process. For example, FairVote is working on redistricting reform, Electoral College reform and voting reform. Some of these reforms can start at a local level. — Nick Troiano

9. Meet your fellow Americans. Try to meet and hold discussions with people unlike you. Get to know your fellow Americans. Strike up pen-pal connections or organize Skype and FaceTime chats with folks in different communities from your own. Focus on discussing tough issues and getting to know what is important to one another. — Mark Kogan

10. Move your money. Donating to worthy causes is an important way to make change. But if you don’t have a bunch of money to spare, commit to changing the way you spend the money you do have. Support black-owned businesses. Or consider moving your bank account from a large bank to a community bank or credit union. I recommend Amalgamated Bank. — Joelle Gamble

11. Commit to national service. Serve your community and the country by participating in public service. Participate in projects that emphasize community building and recovery. You don’t have to join the military or AmeriCorps: Find a local community project or state effort, meet people and help improve the lives of the people around you. — Mark Kogan

12. Make a plan for civic purpose. Check out Pathways, a nonpartisan civic leadership program. It’s a unique approach that provides a space where people can identify, plan and make moves toward their civic purpose. The idea is that people have to identify and own their decisions themselves, not be persuaded what to do. It’s intentionally nonpartisan and uses methodologies from several fields to design a program structure that is as empowering as possible. — Alex Torpey, Pathways program director

13. Disrupt the two-party duopoly. Both parties are over 150 years old! They no longer represent most Americans. We’re the generation that has revolutionized virtually every other industry, and it’s time we did the same for politics. A majority of millennials are political independents who consider themselves “fiscally conservative and socially liberal.” The Centrist Project is organizing this movement. Get involved and help shape it. — Nick Troiano, Centrist Project executive director

14. Exit your bubble. Diversify your news sources. Use an aggregator like RealClearPolitics for daily opinion pieces across the political spectrum. If you’re conservative-leaning, get a subscription to the New York Times. If you’re progressive-leaning, get a subscription to the Wall Street Journal. Recognize that your social media feed is likely an echo chamber and proactively work to challenge your thinking. — Nick Troiano

15. Learn from work being done globally. There is incredible work being done overseas, which provides valuable insights that can be applied to doing better community empowerment in the United States. So much “development” at home and abroad ignores the agency of a particular community. Organizations like Spark MicroGrants do really amazing jobs at being authentically community driven. — Alex Torpey

16. “Bring us together.” Richard Nixon adopted this slogan during his campaign after his aides saw a teenager carrying a sign with those words during a rally in Ohio. This should be the message we bring to every elected official after 2016. Bring us together, please. Make this the next political sign on your lawn, the next branded message on your social media profile — just make it the next thing you ask your elected official to do. Because it is the single most important thing for any of our leaders to do now. — Szelena Gray

17. Rebuild the Democratic Party. Go join that Democratic town committee you once joked about being a retirement home, and get your friends to come. Find your state offices and ask them for a calendar of events. Recruit the bravest, smartest people you know to run for local office. Or maybe you should run. Challenge elected officials in both parties to do better. Swamp their offices, jam their phone lines, list your demands. — Frank Chi

18. Go home more often. This Thanksgiving, remember that even one’s own family members and friends might be outside your political-thinking bubble. Acceptance and change can be hard without any exposure but might be easier coming from a loved one. Are you a transplant to a city from a small town or rural area? Do you work on this every day but your family in the suburbs doesn’t think about it much? Visit your family, visit other people’s families, share what’s important to you and organize within them. We need to show our representatives that we value compromise and coming together. —  Adrienne Scott and Brenna Conway

19. Stay woke. Rhetoric can persuade and mislead. As a new administration takes hold, there will be a flood of talk about what will and will not come out of Washington. Our job is to pay attention now, not a few weeks before the next election. Politicians can make promises and change stances. But actions speak louder than words. Learn who is being put in charge of government, research their background and see if what actions they talk about actually align with the change you hope to see. Sign up for listservs and updates from organizations who care about government accountability. Follow organizations who have a mission of fighting for the communities you care about. — Joelle Gamble

20. Challenge others to keep caring. A lot of people are really upset right now — far beyond individuals who are generally politically engaged and even beyond those who generally vote. Keep bugging your friends, family and neighbors to stay engaged. When you do something political or issue-driven, bring someone along. — Dominic Russel

21. Activate your skill set and leverage your expertise. Are you a creative in advertising? Design the resistance. Are you a developer in tech? Create technology for organizers. Are you in entertainment and work with celebrities who are outraged? Make sure they amplify the voices of those on the front lines. We shouldn’t all be doing just one thing. We should all be doing what we are best at. Moments like this require us to ask what we are experts on and how we can maximize our skill sets and our networks to make the most impact. — Frank Chi

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Ship Positivity

Shipping Meihem, or RoadRat, or WidowTracer, or Reaper76, or Gency, or McHanzo, or MercyKill, or PolarBear, or BunnyRibbit, or AnaHardt, or any other ship, in any fandom, doesn’t make someone a bad person.

What makes someone a bad person is when they attack other people, wish them ill/harm, or are just generally a dick to them simply because of the things they ship.

Remember to treat others as you would want to be treated. Be respectful. If someone says that they don’t like your ship, that does not make it ok to attack them. Attacking another ship to defend your own is counter-productive. It is especially not ok to attack other people personally. Bringing another person’s race/gender/sexual orientation/etc. into the discussion is just low and only serves to make your own community look worse.

Also please try to remember not to judge the many based on the actions of a few assholes. Every community has some bad apples. Try not to let that spoil the bunch.

Let’s try to bring some positivity and love back into our communities.

You cannot put a price on serving the gods and your community

Something has really irked me. I’ve been checking out a lot of different priestess training courses, workshops, and retreats. I expected some cost, but the prices I’m seeing are on par with a semester of tuition at a state university. While some of them do seem legit and cost can be justified (I.e. Week long retreats that cover all lodging, meals, and materials). But many are 100% online with a few video chats! To me that sounds like a con artist. What about people who cannot ever hope to afford that? Are they simply not worthy? I’m rather disgusted. I get the feeling these facilitators wouldn’t know real priestesses if they stood in front of them! I’m definitely starting to see a place in the community I may be able to fill.

Reminder: your ask box is not google

Hi team, over the coming couple of years I’m predicting that we’re going to see qn upswing in malicious online trolling from racists, xenophobes, misogynists and assorted creeps, and the prime tactic they are going to resort to is exhausting us.

They know we don’t have infinite energy and they know that we believe in explaining ourselves to a fault. They will ask dumb questions, they will try to trick you into educating them again and again and they will not listen because that is not the game they are playing.

Some tips for the upcoming bullshit we’re going to have to deal with:

1. Do not feed them - their goal is to exhaust you and make you repeat yourself, do not reply to their messages, do not publish their asks, if you are even a little suspicious delete their message immediately.

2. Google exists - if a person really wants to be educated on a topic they can do so themselves. Even if a person is genuinely curious they should not ask you to perform the labour they will not and make it easy for them.

3. Educate for yourself - if you want to make a post or write an article about a topic, do so, but never do so in response to a troll, this just gives them more openings to question you and others in the future. When you shout from your rooftop the word will get out, but if you answer questions at your door the only people listening will be the door-to-door misogyny salesman.

4. Education is a job - and if someone wants you to educate them on trans issues 101 they should be prepared to pay you for the privilege. You are not their textbook.

5. The third law of robotics comes first - protect yourself above all else. You have limited time and you have limited energy. Even the most good hearted person in the world with the most genuine curiousity does not have a right to that time or that energy. Protect yourself before you serve your community.

6. Work smarter, not harder - ask yourself before each post whether this will do what you want it to. You cannot educate everyone on everything so be conscious of your audience and be conscious of your message. Stay on topic, keep it short and keep it sweet.

——

I believe in all of you, the next few years are going to be tough and we are going to give them hell. Save your strength, fight when it counts and we are going to kick these nazi homophobe chauvanistic nightmares right in their goddamn teeth.

Western philosopher: what is the meaning of life? 

Moses: obey the law. serve God by serving your community. You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Western philosopher: what IS the meaning of life?

Isaiah: Undo the bonds of oppression, let all the imprisoned free. Then your light shall break forth as the dawn.

Western philosopher: what is the MEANING of life?

Jesus: Whatever you do for the least among you, you did for me.

Western philosopher: what is the meaning of LIFE?

Talmud: To repair the world

Western philosopher: WHAT is the meaning of life?

Calvinist: suffering is inescapable because it is certain that God abhors you.

Western philosopher: *gingerly puts Calvinist book aside*

Victor Hugo: Have a care of the manner in which you turn towards the dead. Think not of that which perishes. Gaze steadily. You will perceive the living light of your well-beloved dead in the depths of heaven

Western philosopher: what is THE meaning of life? nobody knows! there’s no answer! nobody has figured out the problem of evil! We are all Hamlet! Macbeth was right!

Frederick Douglass: The silver trump of freedom had roused my soul to eternal wakefulness.

Helen Keller: Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it. My optimism, then, does not rest on the absence of evil, but on a glad belief in the preponderance of good

JFK: The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it–and the glow from that fire can truly light the world. Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.

James Cone: Where there are two or three together, there is hope, possibility. That’s why I keep teaching.

Western philosopher: what is the meaning OF life? 

Carl Sagan: Every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there - on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

Western philosopher: but, WHAT IS, the meaning of life? ,

Douglas Adams: lmao if you think you’ll get a straight answer

Western philosopher: but, the meaning of life! ? what could it BE?

Social Darwinist: Life is defined by a warlike brutal struggle for survival.

Western philosopher: *sits up suddenly* Wowza! But is there more?

Neoliberal: Individual participation in market competition through entrepreneurship will maximize wealth and bring ultimate personal career fulfillment.

Western philosopher: This is it! This is it! It’s real !

Western philosopher:

Western philosopher:

Western philosopher:

Western philosopher: Why does life still seem dreary and meaningless?

Asshole filmmaker: I’ve got like two dozen art films under my belt that deal with angsty old men who fail to answer this very question, all at 99% on Rotten Tomatoes, and I will keep making them until that last one hundredth critic stops calling me “a shallow turd puddle”

Western philosopher: holy shit

Horoscope: July 11th, 2016 - July 17th, 2016

Aries Rising: On Monday and Tuesday, you may be feeling very romantic and easygoing with your significant other. On Tuesday, you may want a lot of attention from your partner and others. On Wednesday and Thursday, you may feel the need to be secretive. This may be a confusing feeling for you, because you’ll also want to talk about yourself a lot on these two days. It’s best if you have some “you time” on these days. On Friday and Saturday, you may feel extremely restless. You just want to go out and explore the world on these days. Go out and explore today, but take it easy. Despite feeling like you can keep going 24 hours a day, you can’t. On Sunday, you may get some recognition for your hard-work, and that will make you feel so great. Unfortunately, if you don’t get recognition today, you may feel down. Congratulate yourself if this is the case! You’ve done a great job, Aries.

Do’s For Aries Rising (Remember, these are suggestions!):

  • Exercise
  • Give advice
  • Try new foods
  • Do volunteer work

Do Not’s For Aries Rising (Remember, these are suggestions!):

  • Go shopping
  • Express your ideas to new friends
  • Bug anyone for attention
  • Start group projects

Taurus Rising: On Monday and Tuesday, you may care a great deal about helping and serving others. On Wednesday and Thursday, you may feel very dependent on the different partnerships in your life. If you’ve ever been interested in trying something that may be considered weird in your relationship, now may be the time when you’re most motivated to ask for your partner’s thoughts. On Friday and Saturday, spend some time bonding with the people you haven’t seen in a while. On Sunday, you may be feeling very optimistic and excited. Hold onto that, because Monday may be a very dramatic day for you.

Do’s For Taurus Rising (Remember, these are suggestions!):

  • Express yourself
  • Watch movies
  • Create something
  • Propose!

Do Not’s For Taurus Rising (Remember, these are suggestions!):

  • Meet new people
  • Go shopping
  • Spend time at home
  • Try to achieve new goals/complete bucket list items

Gemini Rising: On Monday and Tuesday, you may be feeling very creative and dramatic. You also may want a lot of attention today, so spend some time with old friends that you haven’t seen in a while. They are bound to pay attention to you. On Wednesday and Thursday, you may be intensely thinking about changing your diet or exercise plan. These would be good days to try out those new plans to see if you enjoy them. On Friday and Saturday, you may be feeling very optimistic about your relationships or about finding new ones. These are great days for networking, as networking on these day may lead you to a better job. These are also great days to get out and meet new people. On Sunday, take it easy. Spend some time alone, because you may be feeling like you haven’t had much of that recently. While you’re alone, work on something. Plan for your future, make a bucket list, or go shopping online (especially for furniture). 

Do’s For Gemini Rising (Remember, these are suggestions!):

  • Spend time at home
  • Spend time with children
  • Write in a journal
  • Buy new furniture

Do Not’s For Gemini Rising (Remember, these are suggestions!):

  • Go near a lot of hospitals or jails (There will be really bad energy there for you)
  • Get a hair cut
  • Buy new makeup/face wash
  • Travel far away

Cancer Rising: On Monday and Tuesday, you may feel very secure within your home. Spend time in your home, and if you can, call your mother and chat with her for a while. Now would be a good time to ask her for advice, or to follow advice she’s given you in the past. On Wednesday and Thursday, you may be feeling very dramatic and emotional. Be careful who you spend these days with, because if it’s anyone who has a tendency to get you riled up, avoid them. It may feel as if they are being extra annoying these days. On Friday and Saturday, add an extra hour or two into your daily workouts, or spend some time cooking. If you usually burn everything you cook, these days may be days where your cooking seems better than usual. Give advice out to others who are searching for it on these days. You may be extremely honest yet caring and aware. On Sunday, take your significant other out on a date. You may be feeling very determined to make sure everything goes perfectly. If you’re single, take some time to do some extra work for your job, or if you’re not a big fan of your current job, search for new ones.

Do’s For Cancer Rising (Remember, these are suggestions!):

  • Share ideas
  • Speak with strangers
  • Visit libraries
  • Spend time with siblings

Do Not’s For Cancer Rising (Remember, these are suggestions!):

  • Go on group outings
  • Have sex
  • Go clothes shopping
  • Seriously, do not have sex this week…

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4 REMINDERS FROM PROVERBS WHEN IT COMES TO WAITING

1. CHASE AFTER GOD, NOT MAN (Proverbs 16:1-33)

Never let your emotions cause you to chase the wrong one. God is the one you need to be chasing. If you struggle with constantly checking your phone for text messages, wishing someone would ask you out, or desiring a compliment for someone, it’s time to change that focus. Spend more time worshiping God, getting involved serving in your community, praying, reading God’s word. Let these things consume your life. Chase after The Lord and everything else will follow.

2. NOT ALL GOOD CHRISTIAN MEN ARE TAKEN. GOD IS STOLL PREPARING THE SINGLE ONES (Read Proverbs 24:27)

There are many men out there who are following The Lord and living right but God is still preparing them and preparing their hearts. Don’t stress yourself trying to understand guys because it can’t be done. God is the one in control of everything..so let Him lead the way. There’s no reason to stress!

3. DON’T ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE WITH SOMEONE WHO ISN’T READY (Read Proverbs 22:3)

Don’t allow yourself to enter a relationship with someone who isn’t ready in hopes that they will change. Don’t allow yourself to become intimate or emotionally attached to someone when they aren’t focused on what’s right. If you are having trouble identifying these things, surround yourself with accountability partners that will pray with you and help you identify these things before it’s too late and you find yourself with a broken heart or in a situation you don’t want to be in.

4. TRUST THAT GOD KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING (Read Proverbs 3:5-6)

I know it may seem like you’re running out of time. I know it may seem like everyone you know is pressuring you to date around or jump into something you’re not ready for. But I just want to encourage you to trust God. And when people tease you or don’t understand why you aren’t worried about dating casually, then gently and lovingly remind that you are trusting in God with all your heart, because ultimately, He is the one who is directing your path.

Be encouraged #quitewomen!
Praying for you,
Morgan

Dallas police chief told protesters to apply to be officers — and it worked

When Black Lives Matter protests erupted in Dallas a little over three weeks ago, Dallas Police chief David Brown tried to motivate protesters to get involved with law enforcement. "Serve your community,“ Brown said at a press conference following the July 7 shooting that left five police officers dead. "Don’t be a part of the problem. We’re hiring. Get off that protest line and put an application in." People seem to be heeding Brown’s request.

memph-and-toya-deactivated20140  asked:

I often hear from white people, and have heard again recently since Michael Brown's murder, that black people should be more concerned with the violence against their own people in their own communities. I know this is a completely irrelevant argument when talking about police targeting blacks, and is another topic of discussion altogether. But when people say this I don't know how to refute them. Do you have any suggestions on how I could respond?

Yes, let’s not worry about the cops killing us off, let’s worry why we summon them in the first place… the VIOLENCE in our community!

Violence anywhere is a problem, but we should focus on the gangs in our hoods, the riff-raffs strolling through with their loud speakers in their cars. The “niggas”, the “gang-bangers”, the “ballers” and “shot callers”. They are the reason why we need the police and if we focus on our own, then the police would have less of a reason to go in there with guns a-blazing! Genius!

The problem with this logic is that there’s a certain demographic that doesn’t want us to do this. Ironically, it would be the government.

See, the original “gangs” were formed to protect the community. They were called The Black Panthers. They were formed to protect the community from… get this… the police. 

You might be thinking “why would the Black community need protection from the police?”

Because back in the 60s (and even before then), Black people were still be treated like second class citizens. The police only protected the White people. While some may served the Black community, it’s only because they HAVE to. But the majority of them wouldn’t do their jobs, or worse, they would get away with any type of abuse or murder. So, the Black Panthers were formed to protect the Black community for the cops. 

And to be a Black Panther, you can’t just want to have a gun. You need to understand their 10 point system. You need to understand the laws of the land. The Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the local city laws. Once you have that knowledge, you used it to serve your community. 

They were there to keep the cops in check, not to kill them. 

And there lies the problem. Black men, educated, with guns and keeping the PIGS honest while improving their community, developing programs, feeding their own, making sure local businesses thrives.

You think the government like that? No. 

They didn’t like it when Marcus Garvey united the Black community a couple decades before then either. They took care of him by forming operation COINTELPRO. They also used this to stir up trouble within the Black Panther party, blackmailed Martin Luther King and kept close eyes on Malcolm X. Why?

According to internal records… to stop the rise of a “Black Messiah”

Because of this, a new form of gangs start to emerge that have a distrust for the cops AND the positive movement. 

See… as much as we want to stop violence… we have to deal with escalation. And now it’s gotten to the point where there’s no “Black community”.

So, before you go around saying “black people should solve their own problems”… question… how in the world did we inherit the problems in the first place?

When you point one finger… keep in mind that there are three more fingers pointing back.

(P.S. - the picture on the top… er, most likely made by White people. They are too scared to leave their original site up)

irlgore-archive  asked:

Hi, for the national boycott on black Friday: is it in every store, or just specific ones? And is it okay for white people to do? I want to show support but i definitely dont want to overstep my boundaries. Thank you so much for the info!

These are some good questions! And I’m going to respond with a general overview of boycotting.

Boycotting is the voluntary act of abstaining from, or refusing to do, some thing. When people boycott businesses, to put it simply, the business does not receive any of their money. If this is done on a large enough scale, the business will take such a huge hit in a loss of money that to sustain the business in the future they have no choice but to bend to the will of the people.

In the case of boycotting Black Friday, people are voluntarily abstaining from shopping on that day. People are refusing to shop because businesses have unethical practices—such as discriminatory hiring practices, or paying their workers below a liveable wage worldwide—that directly contribute to the oppression of people. By refusing to shop, people will not give their money to these businesses, which means those businesses will lose money.

The boycott of businesses often only work if they are done en masse, because the sudden loss of tons of money is devastating for any business. Some people think boycotts don’t work, and refuse to participate in them; however, it is their ironic lack of participation that makes boycotts unsuccessful, because they continue to put money into a destructive entity. Whenever you give a business your money, even if you have no choice but to do so, you are supporting their decision to operate as usual. So, if you care about systematic oppression, I urge you to boycott Black Friday regardless of whatever identities you possess. Businesses need to understand that we do NOT support their unethical practices.

I personally believe that in the case of Black Friday, it is not necessary to refuse to participate altogether. I suggest boycotting giant corporations, such as Wal-Mart or honestly any place that is not locally owned by someone who actually lives in your community, because these businesses often have the money to resist unethical practices but refuse to do so because they are greedy and want to keep the money for themselves.

However, if you have some ethical qualm with a local store, by any means do not shop there. Boycotting Black Friday is an opportunity for you as a consumer to demand what you will and will not accept from businesses that hire/serve you and your community.

Ideally, a boycott would last longer than a day. In fact, I think the only way we can show large corporations that we mean business is if we regularly do not give them our money. So I also urge you: shop local and small all the time, if you can afford to.

Here is a black-owned business app.
Here is a list of apps you can use to find local businesses.
I could not find apps for any other people of color, but if any of my followers know of some, PLEASE add to the list. 

If you cannot afford to shop local or small, don’t worry about it. Especially in the United States, we are so dependent on others that it’s kind of impossible for us to shop unethically. It’s good for us to refuse to put our money into large corporate chain businesses, though. So here is a list of the top 100 businesses (in the U.S.). As you can see, Wal-Mart has been #1 for at least the past six years. DON’T SHOP AT WAL-MART IF YOU CAN HELP IT. Their business model is literally to keep their workers so poor so that the government has to pay for their food and healthcare instead of Wal-Mart.

Also, there are some precautions you can take in general to ensure your money goes to the right place:

1. If you are going to buy some item that is specific to a culture, buy that item from someone who is part of the culture. You can almost guarantee that you won’t be buying it from big business.

2. Research the business practices of your favorite stores so that you can determine whether or not you want to support them this Black Friday. Stores where people sell things they made themselves are often free of unethical assembly labor practices (but they could still be getting their materials for cheap due to exploitation of some people). Also some large stores do what they can to make sure their laborers aren’t exploited, like American Apparel.

If anyone has any more tips, add them to the list.

Takeaways:

1. Any and everyone should boycott Black Friday as much as they possibly can.

2. With boycotts, the power is in numbers—it’s imperative that you participate in this boycott because a large amount of people participating is the only way it will work.

3. Don’t give up hope. The Montgomery Bus Boycott was 381 days—and it worked. Businesses will try to do everything they can to convince us that boycotting won’t work, but it is simple economics; if we don’t give them our money then they don’t get more money.

anonymous asked:

What if I am angry at God. How do you cope with the frustration and anger towards Him?

Hey dear friend, I’m really sorry. There must be many things happening internally and externally, and I’m with you and for you. So is everyone here.

I have to tell you up front: I’d much rather be mad with God than mad without Him.

That’s not some cute little statement that only works abstractly on Instagram. I’m dead serious. If you’re angry with God, at the very least, you’re talking with Him. He’d rather you be mad at Him than displacing that anywhere else. God isn’t put off by our barest, most raw emotions: because He made them, and He made you, and He’s going to work with that.

I’m embarrassed to admit that there have been hundreds of times I’ve been mad at God for various reasons, some more legitimate than others, and I always thought it was outright “heresy” or “blasphemy” to approach Him this way. But then there are pages upon pages of the Bible where all our heroes and heroines are yelling at God, cussing Him out, shaking a fist, and challenging His goodness. Go no further than Job, David, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Naomi, Habakkuk, Nahum, and Martha. I’d often read them thinking, “Are they allowed to say this? Won’t God tune them up?” And I slowly realized, God never, ever shamed them for their questions, doubts, and frustrations. He might have flexed His glory now and again to keep them humble, but He received every complaint with the patience of a clerk at the Zootopia DMV.

Sure, it’s possible that your anger can get the best of you in the worst way possible, and I don’t recommend it as your normative wavelength of faith. I know there are impossible things in life that are so unfair, we want to jump out the church window and never come back. I can only hope that your anger, somehow, would keep you running back to Him instead of away, and that the conversation would remain ongoing. That in your frustration, you’d choose to take it out on Him, and not others, because He can handle that. Keep serving, meeting up your community, venting to mature people, hashing it out. I hope that eventually, slowly, painfully, daily, your joy would be restored in Him as you realize God is not taken aback by your anger, but He fully and wholly understands, and that He is often just as mad at injustice as we are, and it’s why He became one of us, to so profoundly inhabit our experience in solidarity that we’d know: we have someone who gets us exactly as we are.

— J.S.

Hello 2015

We said our goodbyes and now it’s time to say hello to the new year! A whole year to learn new skills, make awesome costumes and impress on the con floor!

Cosplay Tutorial wants to help you meet your costume goals and make this a page that serves the community well. Your feedback helps with this!

So going forward, what would you love to see here / see more of? Do you have a favourite type of post? Is everything perfect just the way it is?

You have been told to follow your dreams. But, what if it’s a stupid dream?

For instance, Stephen Colbert of twenty-five years ago lived at 2513 North Ridge with two men and three women in what I now know was a brothel. He dreamed of living alone–well, alone with his beard–in a large, barren loft apartment, lots of blond wood, wearing a kimono, with a futon on the floor and a samovar of tea constantly bubbling in the background, doing Shakespeare in the street for homeless people. Today, I am a beardless suburban dad who lives in a house, wears no-iron khakis, and makes Anthony Weiner jokes for a living. And I love it!

Because, thankfully, dreams can change. If we’d all stuck with our first dream, the world would be overrun with cowboys and princesses.

So whatever your dream is now, if you don’t achieve it, you haven’t failed. And you’re not some loser.

But just as importantly–and this is the part I may not get right and you may not listen to–if you DO get your dream, you are not a winner.

After I graduated from here, I moved down to Chicago to do improvisation. Now, there are very few rules to improv, but one of the things I was taught early on is that you are not the most important person in the scene; everybody else is.

And if everybody else is more important than you are, you will naturally pay attention to them, and serve them.

But the good news is, you’re in the scene too. So hopefully, to them you’re the most important person, and they will serve you.

No one is leading. You’re all following the follower, serving the servant.

You cannot “win” improv.

And life is an improvisation.

You have no idea what is going to happen next, and you are mostly just yanking ideas out of your ass as you go along.

And like improv, you cannot “win” your life, even when it might look like you are winning.

For instance, I have my own show, which I love doing, full of very talented people who are eager and ready to serve me. And that is great. But at its best, I am serving them just as hard. And together we serve a common idea–in this case, the character “Stephen Colbert” who, it’s clear, isn’t interested in serving anyone. And a sure sign that things are going well is that no one can remember whose ideas were whose, or who should get credit for what jokes, though naturally I get credit for them all.

But if we should serve others, and together serve some common goal or idea, for any one of you, what is that idea? And who are those people?

In my experience, you will truly serve only what you love, because service is love made visible.

If you love friends, you will serve your friends.

If you love community, you will serve your community.

If you love money, you will serve your money.

And if you love only yourself, you will serve only yourself, and you will have only yourself.

So no winning.

Instead, try to love others and serve others, and hopefully find those who will love and serve you in return.

—  Stephen Colbert, 2011 Commencement Speech, Northwestern University x