Cher-Reading List

Enjoy reading, watching movies, and shopping? Cherbloggin has a list of products on each article page. Order by clicking on affiliate links on this page and throughout @cherbloggin on WordPress. There are over 500+ links to product recommendations including books, movies, appliances, gifts, and subscriptions. Here is a list of books I’ve recently read and enjoyed! Check back as I continue to add to this list with new books and media every couple of weeks.


Books
The Key the Doctrine of the Eucharist
by Abbot Vonier, foreword Peter Kreeft and Aiden Nichols
The richness of the sacrament of the Eucharist and the biblical meaning behind the tradition of the sacrifice at the Mass is explained in this book. I enjoyed this book so much, I read it twice.

Walking with Mary: A Biblical Journey from Nazareth to the Cross
by Edward Sri
Mary was obedient to God’s will, continuing to say yes even under the most difficult circumstances always trusting and believing in humbleness and obedience. This book takes a journey through Mary’s life and shows how she lives her life, filled with faith, with examples that can be applied to our own journey.

Jesus, The Way, the Truth and The Life
by Marcellino D’Ambrosio
If you have ever struggled with reading the Bible, this book pieces the stories and books of the Bible together with clarity using everyday language. There are interesting historical tidbits and facts included which enrich a person’s understanding of the Bible and the time in history in which Jesus lived.

The Power of Humility
by Fr. Candice Bourke
This book explains what being humble means in relation to God, other people, and in the way a person views themself. The power of humility changes a person to live a more virtuous life.

15 Days of Prayer with Thomas Merton
by Andre Gozier, O.S.B.
Thomas Merton, a Cistercian monk, draws from classic and monastic spirituality with daily suggestions of how to pray to have a stronger relationship with God.

Thank You for Being Such a Pain. Spiritual Guidance for Dealing with Difficult People.
by Mark I. Rosen, PhD
This book provides spiritual guidance on how to deal with people who can be challenging and advice on how to work through troublesome relationships. There are several enlightening quotes and stories throughout this book to enjoy and learn from as gems of inspiration.

1984
by George Orwell
A classic novel, and thought-provoking book of what society is like controlled by a government which limits knowledge, demands conformity of lifestyle, and has no legal system but grave punishments for not being aligned with beliefs by the government. Orwell presents the idea of what it might be to exist in a world where Big Brother is always watching, love and free-thought is restricted, truths which have always been taught are re-written to new truths, and vocabulary changed to a new vocabulary.

Photoshop CC Classroom in a Book 2020
by Andrew Faulkner and Conrad Chavez
This book has easy to follow lessons for the most recent version of Photoshop with exercises to follow and a review at the end of each chapter. The book includes a link to download exercise files for each chapter. Additional resources are available in the back of the book including a visual chart for tools and quick keys.

Affiliate Marketing:
How to Become a Seven Figure Affiliate Marketer in Today’s Digital World

by K.M., Kasim

Blogging a 6 Figure Business Strategy in 2020: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide on How to Make a Profit and Passive Income Online for a Living, Using Social Media, Seo, and Affiliate Marketing Secrets
by Brandon Blueprints

Content Machine:
Use Content Marketing to Build a 7-figure Business With Zero Advertising

by Dan Norris

How To Make Money Blogging:
How I Replaced My Day-Job and How You Can Start A Blog Today

by Bob Lotich

How to Start a Blog: Make Money Online in 2020.
A Step by Step Guide to Promote Your Business

by Sarah Miller and Vanessa Manson

How to Write Great Blog Posts that Engage Readers (Kindle Version)
by Steve Scott

The Profitable Content System:
The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Creating Wildly Profitable Content Without Burnout

by Meera Kothand

Dynamic Digital Marketing:
Master the World of Online and Social Media Marketing to Grow Your Business
Dawn McGruer


Movies
Tangled
Starring: Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi
Directors: Nathan Greno, Byron Howard 
Rating: PG
Format: DVD
This 2010 Disney, computer-animated, musical fantasy film is based on the story of Rapunzel, who has magical long-hair with powers to glow and heal. She lives in a castle secluded from the world with her stepmother. After befriending a runaway thief named Flynn in the castle, she convinces him to help her escape and see the world which leads her to her parents. A bright, light-hearted movie for any age!

Sing
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane 
Director: Garth Jennings
Rating: PG
Format: DVD
This 2016, light-hearted, computer-animated, movie produced by Illumination released by Universal Pictures, is filled with music and funny scenes that are sure to make you laugh. Singing animals, each with their own personality, showcase their talents in a singing competition which results in saving their favorite theater. If you love music and animated films—this is one you won’t want to miss.


Subscriptions
Amazon Prime
Watch Thousands of Movies and TV Shows anytime. Music. Unlimited reading. Free Twitch games. Prime members receive discounts on products, shipping, and in-home and in-car delivery.

Amazon Kindle Unlimited
Unlimited reading. Unlimited listening. Any device.


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Personality of Coronavirus

I am surprised at how compliant everyone has been with wearing a mask. It is mandatory within stores and public buildings, but it is just as common to see people wearing masks outside exercising. In Texas, even with the heat in the 100’s, people are continuing to wear masks outdoors, sweating from fear of the Coronavirus.

I think it would be interesting to do a psychological study of people based on how much they are masking themselves. As concern for the Coronavirus has continued, I’ve noticed people covering up their faces more and more. In retail environments where there have been the most people, I have seen people so covered up you cannot even see their face! How can the police even identify a thief anymore? Women are seen wearing large sunglasses and masks so that only their foreheads are left uncovered. Men wear bandanas that cover up the entire bottom half of their face below their eyes. Whereas in most cases it is difficult to implement any kind of policy, somehow wearing a mask is not even questioned. There are very few people who argue with it. How many of these are wearing a mask for prevention reasons and how many are wearing it because of psychological needs for safety, security, love, and belonging?

I have seen people who have their entire face covered. Is this a sign of care and security that the person is trying to create for themselves? Does the amount of coverage of the face signify fulfilling a need of self-love and way of conquering pain in their life, like trying to swaddle themselves in a baby blanket? Or maybe it is coverage from the fear of contracting the virus built up from all the hype and coverage of media, rather than the virus itself.

Perhaps for some, it is a way to physically look better or a means to lose weight. Sweating under a mask burns off calories on an entirely different area of the body than is typical. Similarly, with weight loss, how is it that a person can breathe who is exercising with their mouth and nose covered? I had a gym membership and it was manageable to walk on a treadmill at a slow speed with a mask on. However, any faster cardio activity was nearly impossible as the mask restrained breathing and caused my face to become really hot. Do people who workout intensely masked think it will strengthen their lungs by restraining their air? For those who are self-conscious about the bottom half of their face, it provides a chance to keep it hidden, but for most of us, we need a full supply of air. Likewise, it is a mystery to me how cyclists are able to ride their bikes completely masked. Yet many of them are cycling miles around the lake at the same speed as normal. How many of the walkers and runners with dogs on a leash do not care that the Coronavirus can be contracted to their pet? Where are the pet masks? Wouldn’t it make more sense if both pet and owner wore a mask or didn’t?

Living in a self-expressive era, people are eager to express themselves and show their personality and style. For those who care to express themselves by mask, wearing a unique mask is a way to do this. The number of styles I have seen have ranged from glitter and bling, to exaggerated mouths on the mask, patriotic versions, cartoons, and plenty of different colors and patterns. Those who love to sew, were quick to see the Coronavirus as an opportunity to show their skills. Handmade masks were made and distributed to friends and family members. Many still wear the basic disposable, blue and white mask. Bandanas also have been a quick makeshift for a mask, easily made by folding a bandana into thirds and popping hair bands on each end.

Very few people are actually practicing social distancing with 6 feet of space, but wearing a mask is followed by nearly the entire population and has become a trend. Has self-expression and the trend for fashion tied in with keywords like “social distancing” created a fad to drive compliancy?

Health and self-expression are always going to be top-sellers when it comes to the general public. Having an ailment or a special condition, makes you a commodity. We see this with parents and their children. “My child has ADHD”, or whatever other symptom, suddenly makes the child “special” and the parents have a topic to talk about. Topics revolve around the problem with their child, rather than emphasizing what the child excels in. This is a way parents can converse with one another encountering less feeling of inadequacy. Empathy can be found with a health issue, whereas bragging on talent might create adversity with another parent. The same type of approach applies to adult-to-adult conversation. Adults would rather discuss their woes rather than talk about what is uplifting. How many older people talk about their pains, medications and doctors visits when it would be more pleasant to hear about their life experiences. It creates a concern for self, which results in compassion from the other person. With the Coronavirus everyone gets a special band-aid pasted on their face.

It is understandable that vulnerable populations such as the elderly might have a greater fear of catching the Coronavirus. One would think that children would be of a higher concern as well. In retail store environments, I have heard mothers question why their children must wear a mask or if an exception can be made. Events and kids meals might make exceptions for kids, but with smaller lungs and little bodies, it would seem obvious they would fall into the high concern bracket. Psychologically is it that the parent feels neglected of care and must nurture themselves by wearing a mask while giving the child the benefit of freedom? The parent positions him or herself as the one who needs care above the child, when it should be both.

With the rich and famous, masking opens up more opportunities to be in public and not be identified. For those aspiring to be rich and famous, they too can dress differently and go around town in mask for a different experience. It is a chance for the affluent to be fashionable and show their sense of fashion by affording specialized masks to coordinate with their outfits. An article was posted about the Queen of England who wears a mask that matches her daily wardrobe of brightly colored suits. I also saw a young woman in downtown Dallas who had a mask made of the exact material of her outfit.  

While some cultures such as Islam require head coverings, covering the face is new for most Western cultures. Will this develop a greater appreciation for our mouths? An uncovered mouth is needed for sound and volume. Many hard of hearing must be affected by not being able to hear people who have mouth coverings on. It may create a new vision for how we see people, noticing the person rather than the external qualities. The mouth is also used for reading facial expressions. A person can take a vacation from smiling and no one will even know. I’ve even seen people stick their tongue out at me from behind their mask. And as for revenue from foundation makeup and lipstick, I would imagine sales are down. Personally, I prefer to be mask-free as much as possible, but follow policies where wearing a mask is required.

Wearing a mask is the perfect prelude to a reformation of etiquette in our culture. After being in timeout with the Coronavirus, with shelter in place, we were able to have a greater appreciation for our freedom and ability to interact with one another. Covering the mouth and nose, can visually signify halting gossip and nosiness, which is also indicative of rudeness. When restrictions were lifted for public shopping, it was a renewed experience of respectfulness of distance and the exclusiveness of having space while shopping. People were obedient to this and cautious of infecting others by following social distancing procedures. Now that most places have opened up, there seems to be not much difference as everyday life returns to normal. When we take our masks off, we will see other people’s faces again. What it would be like to remove the band-aids over our mouths and noses yielding a healed and healthy society of people. Furthermore, what if being mask-free meant a world culture safe from the Coronavirus, and one with a greater respectfulness for each other in our interactions and speech.  

Note: It is noted that the Coronavirus is real and has caused many deaths worldwide. This article is written from another perspective hoping to present other points such as how well marketed the Coronavirus has been with precautions followed seamlessly by the majority of the population because of the scare. A lack of respectfulness in today’s culture is equally contagious and deadly, which is a natural segue to this current worldwide concern.


Shop Amazon for Related Products!

ALERTCARE 3-Layer Disposable Face Shield, 50 Counts
by Pleno

Children’s Halloween Pumpkin Printed Breathable Outdoor Cotton F
by Wyongtao 

Making Your Own Face Mask at Home: DIY Face Mask
by Elizabeth Clarke

Coronavirus Ice Mold Tray
by Misshapen

The Case Against Masks: Ten Reasons Why Mask Use Should be Limited
by Kent Heckenlively and Judy Mikovits


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The Signs of Communication

With communication today, two extremities of communication exist: self-expression and speaking with discretion. Self-expression, or speaking openly on any topic without much censorship or use of etiquette, is common by most of the population. The second, opposite extreme, is speaking with discretion and saying very little in order to preserve one’s reputation. This is more typical of professionals and anyone of class, although it may not necessarily always the case. How are either of these improving the way we communicate? How are both of these skewing the line of civilized communication?

Self-Expression
The first extreme of communication is self-expression which has become an acceptable way to communicate today for most Americans. Unlike other countries, the United States does not have laws against hate speech. What a person says has no societal limitations in most settings. With this increase in self-expression, and decrease in societal parameters for civilized speech, the majority of the population feels they can say whatever they want—and for the most part they do. There is little thought put into what is said. Rather than considering how what is communicated might hurt or offend another, the priority is placed on voicing opinions without discretion, using uncivilized expressions, and being heard.

In the past, social standards influenced improper communication. In Roman and Greek cultures, speaking was seen as an art which had to be mastered before a person was given the right to speak on a topic. It could take years to master becoming an orator. The aspiring speaker had to first learn the art by studying the writings of philosophers, mastering grammar, and learning how to speak. In more modern times, within the United States, social standards set the acceptability of civilized speech and good etiquette. Even a minor comment could eliminate a person from social circles. Differences of opinion could certainly make for a worthy topic of discussion. However, being cordial was expected at a minimum for more vivacious discussions which could lead to arguments. It was possible for people to be accepted, although they might have differing opinions, and still be valued and respected with human dignity.

Within the last 50 years, there has been a shift to self-expression. The ability to say whatever is on a person’s mind is acceptable whether in person or online. There are hardly any limits to what a person may speak about. Open communication is seen as a way to provide transparency and the “honest story” of any person or situation. While this has many benefits, it crosses a line when dignity is stepped upon and boundaries are crossed. Consideration is necessary before speaking with regards to whom a person is talking to, if the topic is appropriate, and the choice of respectful words which are said for a pleasant conversation. Talking about anything can be very damaging. In fact, much of what people talk about has veered away from “ideas” and “intellectual topics”. Instead, what is more common is digressive speech such as gossip or speaking of topics which are inappropriate, very personal or sensitive in nature, or comments which might advertise the negative rather than focus on the positive. There is no preservation of the human dignity of a person. What needs to be said, is what is said, regardless of how it may hurt or offend the other person.

On social networks, a simple post can flare up into a war of replies within seconds. This trolling is often classified inaccurately as a “discussion” and “freedom of speech”. It would be better described as intolerance for a different view which triggers others chiming in to counter the post with an escalating degree of negativity and close-mindedness. These can occur even on simple posts that may not have any intent to attract opinions, but which result in a soapbox of negative, heated, responses. While self-expression allows for openness and problem solving, it can also open the door for adversity. Communication on digressive topics, and intentionally creating unnecessary conflict are examples of unhealthy communication. Speaking about anything without consideration of another person is rude and uncivilized.

The Power of Silence
The other extreme for communication is to choose to say very little or to remain silent. By speaking cautiously a person is more likely to preserve their good reputation. It also provides safety, by finding no partiality to any party or issue. The person remains politically correct by withholding an opinion. In many spiritual teachings, silence is perceived as golden. By remaining silent, a person can reflect wisdom. Remaining silent, a person does not reveal what they know or do not know. Likewise, by not speaking, there is less of a chance of speaking in an unintelligent manner, speaking offensively, or divulging information which should not be revealed. Remaining silent is also a way to absorb heated conflict, inappropriate speech, and to buy in time to respond with a more thoughtful response.

There is a time and a place to speak. George Washington said, “If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter”.  While we should speak out rather than remain silent on situations of injustice, on political views or ways that may affect our life, saying less, rather than more can be a way which contributes to civility. Voicing an opinion without consideration, can breed hate more than solve problems. This is where uncivilized speech occurs. In today’s culture, it is more likely that the freedom of speech is taken too far through the self-expression of uncivilized conversation. Self-expression can be the ignition of unnecessary conflict just to express an opinion. When freedom of speech is taken to this extreme, responding with silence can help swing the equilibrium of communication, bringing it back to more peaceful speech and civilized communication. Knowing when to speak and when not to speak is important.

Finding the Balance with Human Dignity and Respect
Some social and professional settings still have standards for communication, although uncivilized speech is more popular. Realizing that there is a place for self-expression while maintaining a standard for civilized communication is the challenge which we face today. Many do not recognize digressive communication. Being desensitized by the current standard, hardly anyone today questions inappropriate speech which is on the tongues of most and found in media and by leaders. If culture continues to accept digressive speech, it is a reflection on our country, acceptability for digression and lack of etiquette, and is an insult to the right to the Freedom of Speech which we have. The First Amendment was created for Americans to speak up for freedom and liberties for all. With an acceptability of hate speech and speaking on digressive topics, society is infected with negativity, hate, unacceptability, intolerance for differences, immaturity, a lack of professionalism, and lack of human dignity. It shows an inability to communicate and interact with others. For a country which prides itself on being a melting pot, this is not congruent. Although not everyone will get along, there needs to be a greater degree of respect for differences whether it is race, belief, lifestyle, ability, economic or any other characteristic. Valuing differences and human life needs a higher tolerance and acceptance. Inequality will always exist, but human dignity needs to be upheld. Since the primary problem of unacceptability stems from inappropriate speech, correcting communication that is off-balance can help set society upright to a culture with a civilized standard.


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Books
Freedom of Speech: Rights and Liberties under the Law (America’s Freedoms)
by Ken I. Kersch

Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World
by Timothy Garton Ash

Free Speech and Censorship: Examining the Facts (Contemporary Debates)
by Harold L. Pohlman

Choosing Civility
by P.M. Forni

The Civility Solution: What to Do When People Are Rude
by P.M. Forni

The Case for Civility: And Why Our Future Depends on It
by Os Guinness

Mere Civility: Disagreement and the Limits of Toleration
by Teresa M. Bejan

Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior In Company and Conversation
by George Washington and Tony Darnel

Movie
Shouting Fire: Stories From The Edge Of Free Speech
Director: Liz Garbus
Documentary
Rating: NR

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Words & Phrases: How To Phrase It

How you speak matters, and so does knowing ‘when to chew it’. The Freedom of Speech does not mean it is acceptable to say just anything. Slander, defamation, and verbal abuse are abuse of the freedom of speech and are even a liability for a civil lawsuit. Knowing how to speak properly makes a difference in employment showing good communication skills. Thinking before you speak gives you a chance to form what you have to say in the most positive and polite manner. This infographic and podcast shares information on how to express what you have to say in a civilized way.

Download the Infographic: How-To Think Before You Speak: Words and Phrases

Are you left tongue tied because of rude speech? Are you wondering how to lick the rudeness? Join Clean Up Dallas with Culture and Kindness as host Cheryl Vaca presents the podcast: Tongue Tied: How To Lick the Rudeness by Using Better Etiquette. Identifying offensive ways of speaking in everyday conversations is a way to improve communication with others. Raise the standard for civilized communication by striving to speak respectfully and with good tact. Be Cultured. Be Kind.

Listen to the Podcast:
How-To Phrase It: And You Can Quote Me

Read the Script for the Podcast:
How-To Phrase It: And You Can Quote Me PODCAST


Shop for these books on related topics…See these affiliate recommendations!

How to Say It, Third Edition:
Choice Words, Phrases, Sentences, and Paragraphs for Every Situation

by Rosalie Maggio

SAY…WHAT!?! About Speech

Image

If you think Freedom of Speech means the freedom to say anything, think again. Defamation and other speech can be civil offenses. On the 4th of July we celebrate our country’s independence and the freedoms we have as Americans. The First Amendment protects the freedom of speech but how are many turning this into the liberty of hate speech? Learn more about defamation, slander, and effective communication. The content below shares valuable information on communication and the different between good speech and traps that we fall in with our tongue. View the infographic and read or listen to the podcast here!

Download the Infographic: How-To Communication with Etiquette SAY…WHAT!?!

What you says matters and speaking well of others is where winners are at. Join Clean Up Dallas with Culture and Kindness for the podcast: How To Phrase It and You Can Quote Me. This podcast talks about how what you say matters especially when Freedom of Speech is taken too far. Learn ways to improve your relationships and how you speak by listening to the podcasts this month and joining this month’s online book discussions. Reach for a higher standard when it comes to communication. Be Cultured. Be Kind.

Listen to the Podcast
How To Phrase It and You Can Quote Me

Read the Script for the Podcast
How-To Phrase It and You Can Quote Me


Read more. Shop Amazon!

Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World
by Timothy Garton Ash

Speak If Thou Dare:
An Absolutist Defence of the Freedom of Speech in the Age of Enforced Silence

by Michael Tapakoudes

Movie
Shouting Fire: Stories From The Edge Of Free Speech

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Spring Into Kindness: International Reach

As a country that has access to the best resources, it is easy to take for granted being able to purchase almost anything we need or want at any time. With rows of brands of the same type of item in supermarkets, we have a wide selection to choose from, and within a reasonable price range—granted, not when under national emergency crisis, but even still there are options. With the convenience of having a gas station or major retail store within a few miles, if not on every corner, shopping is a natural part of everyday life. We don’t think much of spending or spending spontaneously to buy items when we are so inclined. In fact, most of what is purchased is what entices us rather than what we need to get by. Waving the flag of consumerism based on capitalism, not every country is as fortunate. Many people in the United States do not consider how stretching a little by chiseling micro-luxuries from everyday expenditures can substantially make a difference in the life of another. Donating to help another person’s life in an impoverished country which does not have these options, let alone the resources available, can bring relief.

There are plenty of organizations which have the specific mission to assist those in other countries. Supplying food is probably one of the top philanthropical missions of international non-profits, but other organizations help assist with housing, building, and other missionary efforts. One of the best ways to get first-hand experience with how others in the world live is to join a group traveling to another country with a mission to lend-a-hand. Many organizations such as Peace Corp, UNICEF, World Vision, Love the Children, and others service other countries in the world. Churches organize mission trips which you can be part of to travel overseas and help within 3rd world communities. Take the risk and have your eyes opened with a fresh view of all we have and the ease we have to obtain what we need. Pulling away from everyday life here in the United States which we are accustomed to and experiencing places which may not have food, water, electricity, or clothing resources as we have, will create an awareness to the daily life of others in the world with their attitudes and outlook. It also generates a new set of eyes for those who are lacking resources in our very own communities with a new understanding of survival and what assistance can be provided.

Global efforts around the world are just as diversified as the people they serve. There are organizations for the environment, social change, children, special needs, women, business leaders, and other world-wide revolutionary efforts.


For More Information:

www.dfwworld.org/media-resources/charity-organizations
www.charity.lovetoknow.com/Top_100_Charities
www.bizfluent.com/list-international-non-profit-organizations-10665.html
www.greatnonprofits.org/categories/view/international

Download a List of Top 100 Non-Profits found online to research for more information


As you put your action plan together to spring into kindness this Spring, consider ways you can donate, volunteer remotely, and ways you can travel abroad to help. Giving a few dollars a month to fund world-wide charity organizations can make a significant difference in providing a daily meal for someone. What could be more interesting than using your talents abroad helping in person! If you haven’t had the chance to travel abroad with a non-profit to help others, consider researching options and plan an adventure this year to spread your kindness across the globe. Make a difference. Reach and spring this Spring, with kindness.


Read more with these books available on Amazon…Learn more!

Content Marketing for Nonprofits: A Communications Map for Engaging Your Community, Becoming a Favorite Cause, and Raising More Money
by Kivi Leroux Miller

Becoming an International Humanitarian Aid Worker
by Chen Reis and Tania Bernath

How to Be a Global Nonprofit: Legal and Practical Guidance for International Activities (Wiley Nonprofit Authority) – Kindle Edition
by Lisa Norton

Management of International Institutions and NGOs:
Frameworks, practices and challenges

by Eduardo Missoni, Daniele Alesani

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Spring Into Kindness: Cross Country

Who’s in the running when it comes to top non-profit organizations in the United States? With all having different missions, there are plenty to choose from to get involved with or donate to. Tie your shoelaces and see what is available to bring kindness ‘cross the country…

With what time you have to give, there are plenty of opportunities for a person to volunteer locally within the community. Assisting with the homeowner’s association, a bake sale, helping a neighbor, joining a volunteer effort at work, an organization at church, at a local library or hospital, or being on the PTA are just a few ways to volunteer. For those who want to be part of a larger organization, there are non-profit organizations which benefit special interests such as American Heart Association, Susan G. Komen, Make-a-Wish Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, the North Texas Food Bank, Children’s Health, The Salvation Army, Dallas Life Foundation, Catholic Charities or others. In addition to volunteering in person, many of these organizations have ways a person can contribute financially or by donate to without much time commitment.

Volunteering remotely is possible working from the comfort of your home. There are organizations which recruit volunteers from around the country who can commit to a minimum amount of hours. Remote volunteering is a good match for those who want to volunteer but who need a flexible schedule. Websites such as voly.org and volunteermatch.org advertise volunteer positions for organizations which are needing help. Find your passion and make a difference! Searching based on area, interest, and talent yields many positions to choose from. There are many remote opportunities available which you can donate your time and skills to by committing just a few hours that works with your schedule and you don’t even need to leave the house.

For those who can take on more of a challenge and commitment, organizations are seeking board of directors and directors to head up their efforts. The sky is the limit. You might even be inspired to start your own non-profit. If you feel called to start a non-profit of your own, be sure to look online to learn more about how to get started. There are a number of reasons non-profits are started. Typically non-profits are established for a specific demographic with a common interest or as a response to a problem which can benefit the community. They also are formed as a way to channel positive energy and drive community awareness rather than dwell on negativity from a crisis. For charitable non-profits, a community is formed which can raise money by hosting fun events and an outlet is available for those suffering. Maybe you have a family member who has suffered from an illness. Maybe you have noticed an area which can be of benefit to others which you can reach and serve as a non-profit or 501c3 organization. It just takes one person to make a difference, and it’s likely there are others willing to help. Check it out if you are the ambitious type.

Get out your calendar if you are a socialite. The social scene with a charitable mission to it might be an incentive to have fun and donate at the same time. There are plenty of fundraising events in the Dallas area throughout the year which are fun to attend and provide an opportunity to give at the same time. Several of these are hosted by sports teams such as the Dallas Stars, the Mavericks, or the Dallas Cowboys. There are also large social parties, drawing thousands of attendees, which are held every year such as the Cattle Baron’s Ball in October at Gilley’s or the Margarita Society which hosts happy hours throughout the year, a golf tournament, and a large social event held in December which is co-hosted by Love for Kids collecting toys for children.

Other charitable events can be found by searching online or on Eventbrite. Like to run? Literally spring into kindness by racing to purchase a ticket which goes to fund a charity. There are many themed marathons in the Dallas-Fort Worth area happening each month of the year. If you enjoy food, there are several tasting events which are tantalizing ways to give to charity while entertaining your taste buds. Buy a ticket for a chef-catered formal meal, a wine tasting, BBQ, or a black-tie dinner. Maybe fashion is your show when it comes to charity. Walk the walk yourself by attending and donate there. There are even charitable events for the shopaholic. If the idea of enjoying shopping while sipping on glass of wine and eating sweet delicacies sounds like fun, there are events for those who like being catered to while see what there is to buy and take home. Shopping by bidding at an auction while enjoying a formal dinner might be a chance to find an item which is a collectable, an autographed item, or even win a unique trip package with proceeds going to charity. Simply by using your cell phone, you can search for items which are available to bid on, making the process that much easier. There are many ways to give locally or across the country. Search online and see what interests you the most and jump into making an impact!

Resources

Find a Non-Profit or Charity Organization in the Dallas area:
List of Non-Profit Organizations in Dallas
www.nonprofitlist.org/TX/Dallas.html

Search for Upcoming Charity Events based on Interest and Date
www.eventbrite.com/d/tx–dallas/charity-events

Further Reading on Charity Organizations and Non-Profits
www.blog.charitynavigator.org


Search National Non-Profits:
National Council of Nonprofits1001 G Street NW
Suite 700 East
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 962-0322

Online Resources for those Starting a Non-Profit:
www.usa.gov/start-nonprofit
www.trust.guidestar.org/nonprofits-that-help-nonprofits
www.nonprofithub.org/starting-a-nonprofit/starting-a-nonprofit-from-scratch
www.councilofnonprofits.org/tools-resources/how-start-nonprofit
www.cnm.org
…Or visit your local library!

Organizations to Volunteer With:
Email cherbloggin@gmail.com for Clean Up Dallas with Culture and Kindness’ article on Be Thoughtful and Practice Kindness By Volunteering (July 2019) which includes a free PDF list of organizations!


Find more resources on Amazon:

Books
Volunteer Engagement 2.0: Ideas and Insights Changing the World
1st Edition
by Robert J. Rosenthal with an introduction by Greg Baldwin 

101 Wisdom Tips for Volunteer Leaders – Kindle Edition
by
Patricia Naylor Thomas

DVD
The Volunteer’s Guide to Helping Teenagers in Crisis: A DVD Study

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Go Viral: Clean Up

Several months have passed since the first news announcement of the COVID pandemic went viral. Although people have started to venture out, and businesses are re-opening, a hyper-concern still exists for sterilization, practicing social distancing, and keeping our noses and mouths covered. If only there were such a panic or pandemic with the case of rudeness. What we can do is be prepared for the next rude encounter, the next time someone sets us off, or the next time we are about to act inappropriately toward another. It takes conditioning to be able to master civility. If this were everyone’s preparation, civility would come back into style.

Wearing a stylish mask covers the mouth and nose, but cannot contain the nose protruding into others business or exhaling rude words which has become the standard for today’s culture. What better time than the present than to promote civility of speech while we still have our masks on and are advertising “clean up”? It would seem to be a natural transition while the general public is still wearing masks and is focussed on “clean up”. Cleanliness has become an integral part of everyday, why not upgrade that to speech? Rude speech is by far the largest contaminant to society second to the Coronavirus itself and the physical mask already serves as a good reminder to contain what may be harmful.

While so much concern is spent on keeping everything externally clean, very little time is spent cleaning one’s personal house of your very self. We all have areas to work on. Think about ways of how you can be more kind. Cleaning, if done thoroughly, takes effort at first but the results are well worth it. Start by examining how you are not as kind and then make a commitment to work on those areas. Consider ways of being more charitable in words and actions. With a plan in place and a resolution to be more kind, you’ll whisk away old habits of rudeness leaving a new you!

Go viral with “clean up”. While encouraging cleanliness to prevent the Coronavirus is still very important, equally important is the deadly spread of gossip, hate speech, and discriminatory talk that has become acceptable as the standard of speech throughout the United States. Speak well of others and master civility. Correct those who are contaminated with infectious speech. Consider social distancing from those who are rude and offensive. Raise the standard for etiquette with good speech by encouraging “clean up”.

Be Cultured. Be Kind.

excerpts edited from Go Viral: Clean Up @cultureofkind


Search for these on Amazon…

Best Self: Be You, Only Better
by Mike Bayer

Negative Self-Talk and How to Change It
by Shad Helmstetter

The Power of Self Improvement: A Little Change Can Go A Long Way
by ZeeDan CH

How to Make an Examination of Conscience
by Redemptorist Pastoral Publication

Examination of Conscience for Adults: A Comprehensive Examination Of Conscience Based On Twelve Virtues For The Twelve Months Of The Year
by Rev Donald Miller CSSR


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Reaching Higher: What’s to Lose?

Winning and losing is part of life. It takes practice and hard work. Taking a leap for a higher standard with respect and kindness is sure to score. Here are a few approaches to winning:

One way is that a person can play determined to achieve a desired goal. Affixed on the goal, winning can seem to be the only option, no matter what the cost—even at the expense of other people. Being focused on the goal of winning, a competitive person can barrel toward the goal destructive to those in their path. Reaching for a goal, usually means reaching for a higher standard—but if you’re knocking people down in the process it may be a slam dunk of a different kind. Going for the gold could be shinier and leave less slivers. One of the best ways to play is to keep the goal in focus but look out for others as you head for what you are wanting to achieve. If you knock people down, sportsmanship suffers. The game is more fun if everyone can play and also have a good time. As a leader or team member, pass the ball back and forth. Let others have a chance to have the spotlight. Being kind and a good sport is a win for all playing, and it is contagious. Winners work hard, have a positive energy, an enthusiastic spirit, and spring for the basket of success. Regardless of whether they make it or not, a success can be found in how they played and how they interacted with others in the process.

A second approach to winning is by a mastery of self. A person strives to master the solid anchors of morale, character, and hard work. For these people, what matters most is how the game is played and what the response is when subjected to different trials and circumstances. Many who fall into this category work as if everything depends on them, while trusting that everything depends on God. They working earnestly, with the sweat of their brow, and live life with the best possible sense of ethics and fairness toward others and any situation. They give honor to others and to God in their work. Knowing that they put forth their very best and treated those in their path with honesty and fairness, is a win.

A third approach to winning is by selflessly helping others succeed. These people see winning in life as being an instrumental part of the success of others. They accentuate the good qualities in people and find joy in helping others succeed. Not everyone has the same level with intellect, speed, ethics, or talent. Reaching higher means realizing that while the game has a goal, the players matter, and as a team, each can contribute with what talents they have. Every individual has noticeable qualities which can be appreciated. In a work environment, recognizing and utilizing these talents can be an asset to the team. Rather than seeing the deficiencies in others, notice the positive ones! When you find aspects in others you can appreciate, and draw upon them, suddenly you can strategize more effectively for scoring big, rather than missing the shot by causing bad morale.

Winning in life might be a combination of these for you. For most, striving to do good, at least most of the time, with a positive approach to life, and practicing good work ethic, means being a winner, no matter what the outcome may be. If your mouth is akin to dribbling gossip or uncivilized talk, shoot for kinder and more polite speech. If you find you have gotten lazy with helping others, see if you can spring for kindness by helping others. Just like sports, taking the jump to refine civility to the next level takes practice and strategy. Setting higher goals and aspirations, what’s to lose?

Reach higher. Spring Into Kindness.

Edited from an article written for Clean Up Dallas with Culture and Kindness




Click affiliate links to find more books on this topic!

Let’s Go Win: The Keys To Living Your Best Life
by JM Ryerson

 

Introspect on Respect

Respect. A word that is fought for or attempted to be reclaimed when lost. It crosses a line which each of us has where dishonor begins and loss of human value. Many times it can be overcome brushed aside, but disrespectfulness can add up, crossing even into attacking human dignity. Some people allow external factors or negative thoughts to trump over knowledge of their own human worth with the worse of cases ending in suicide. Media and the arts set the standard for our culture for communication, dress, and interactions with one another. It is important to have our personal boundaries established of what is acceptable for ourselves and what isn’t.

Basic respect appears to be lost with the majority of the population. Why is this? Maybe because we are busy and self-absorbed with our life more than others? Being much busier may not really be as much the case, but rather that our latest electronic device is more interesting than spending quality time with the people around us. Electronic communication provides a newfound security as people become increasingly more timid interacting with others directly, but bolder in what they have to say with indirect interactions online. Intimacy is reached quicker, all while hiding behind the ‘safety’ of an electronic device. A watered-down value of the other person is left as respect is screened out. It is about what “I have to say” and less about how I am making you feel and do I even care because within seconds there is the next post on the timeline to read, the next text message to respond to, and the next phone call to take which is more important than the person in front of you.

Respect is also lost because the majority of modern media and reality TV shows are influencing us with a lesser standard of respect. Themes revolve on what shocks, what is intimate, and what is revealed. We find what is gross, insulting, and negative as funny. Even everyday purchases such as birthday cards are centered on less than desirable subjects with bathroom humor as topics. The language which is used in media, the arts, and material goods which we buy all set the example of how we communicate. If the grossness, the insults, and the negativity is not rejected, this lesser quality is what our culture sets as the acceptable standard of disrespectfulness.

Purchases which might impact the respect of our culture extend to the fashion industry as well. Clothes made of sheer and revealing material are easy to shop for while more respectful or gender specific clothing are harder to find on the rack. Would men respect women differently if they wore appropriate skirts more than jeans or pants? Considering what we wear everyday might make a difference. While dressing for comfort is standard for our culture and even in many work environments, how does this cause our presentation overall to slide. There is a greater respect for others and formality in our speech which results from dressing up and caring a little more about your appearance.

This can also be seen in the arts. Historically people dressed up for cultured events and found meaning in performances. This naturally led to quality discussions as part of the enjoyment of the event. Our entertainment has changed in today’s culture to what satisfies quickly, with little meaning in the message, and media strictly viewed for amusement. It is nothing to dress up for and very little meaning impacts us as a result of the experience. It is simply a time to relax and laugh at disrespectfulness in many cases, desensitized to the rudeness instead of being bothered by it. When an event is found important and you dress up for it, the standard of respect found at the event and culture is usually higher. The effort which we put into anything can also create greater respect. Is it because we have quick fixes as we become a more efficient society and give less respect to things which must be worked for? Is it less attractive to pursue those things which have work involved when quick fixes exist? These are all points to think about at least.

If we all choose to be more respectful in how we speak, no matter what the circumstance, we can begin to change the culture of disrespect. Respect could become an art in itself to master. Have you listened to what you say when you talk to others? If you could play it back, would what you hear be statements of respect and kindness? There is something to be said for respectful phrases which have fallen away. We need to build people up, not tear them down. We need to respect boundaries which are set, not bulldoze over them thinking we can do whatever we please. Despite any differences we may have with others, people will respond better with respectful language and actions and the standard of respect in our culture can change as a result.

By practicing a greater degree of respect and kindness, we can be an influential element for a civilized culture resulting in quality relationships, positive energy, and greater happiness. It means guarding our speech and actions until we can make it habit. Civilized people who practice good etiquette always choose to be polite and respectful, give consideration to other people, and are positive.

Being respectful. That’s what’s in.


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