Instead Of Donating To Rebuild Notre Dame, Donate To Help Humans

Imagine If We Cared As Much About Human Suffering As We Do About Rebuilding A Building

Imagine if we put that amount of money towards Flint or towards kids who are starving in Africa or children trying to go to school. We need to start putting money into people.

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The beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris went ablaze as millions of people watched around the world. I watched the news as the church was burning and felt saddened that years of architecture and history diminished rapidly. I've never visited the church, but I'm a huge fan of Gothic architecture, and the Cathedral is a stunning landmark that I'd planned to visit at some point in my life. However, as saddening as it was, the burning of the Cathedral just shows that nothing is permanent and that life must go on.

Yet some people took the church's fate more seriously than they should've.

French President Emmanuel Macron stated that he wanted the church rebuilt in five years. The University of Notre Dame in Indiana donated $100,000 to the Cathedral. I'm not saying either of those are bad ideas. However, they are a little naive. Let's break it down. The Cathedral was only built and stood for so long because we put money into the ideas of the people who wanted it to become a reality. Imagine if we put that amount of money towards Flint or towards kids who are starving in Africa or children trying to go to school.

We need to start putting money into people.

I saw a post on Facebook where a woman told people not to donate to the Cathedral, despite her being Catholic! She said something along the lines of, "God doesn't care about stained glass, he cares about HUMANS."

After all, the Cathedral is just a building. It lasted for centuries and it was historical, but not all of it was ruined anyway.

Climate change is attacking our world. FAST. It's about time we really start to take a look at the things that matter and take control of our FUTURE. Not things that have already passed.

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Austin Alexander Burridge, Volunteer Advocate, Shares 3 Great Reasons to Volunteer and Help Others

Austin Alexander Burridge is an avid academic who studies Environmental Science at Winona State University and believes that work in the service of others is a key pillar to personal development.

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Sometimes it's easy for someone to adopt a "me, me, me" attitude. While focusing on oneself, a person may feel nice in the moment, but serving and helping others will bring lasting benefits. While there are many great reasons to serve and help others, there are three universal truths that resonate with volunteers around the globe.

Austin Alexander Burridge's 3 Reasons to Volunteer:

1. Accomplishment

Often, people fall into a trap of focusing on themselves when they are feeling down. Maybe someone did not get a job they wanted. Or perhaps a person gets dumped by an expected lifelong companion. Maybe someone feels they have underachieved after looking at Facebook and seeing great things a high school classmate has accomplished. When feeling down, helping others is a proven way to improve one's mood and attitude, and it can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment. The act of giving to those in need is an inherently good action and leaves people with a wonderful feeling of joy.

2. Gratitude

One can become more appreciative of life by serving others that have less. Whether volunteering at a soup kitchen, visiting the elderly at an assisted living center, or helping families after a natural disaster, service enables people to be grateful for what they have. Seeing people who have fewer advantages, especially those who are spirited and thankful for small things, allows one to realize just how fortunate he/she is in life.

3. Friendships

Volunteering is a great way to build meaningful friendships, not only with other volunteers but also with those who are served. One of the most profound and fascinating aspects of these relationships is how volunteers will learn from those served and vice versa. As these special bonds are built, they lead to impactful connections that last for years to come.

Of course, these are just a few reasons to volunteer and serve others. One can never go wrong by helping others as opposed to merely focusing on oneself. Volunteering invariably and inevitably contributes to personal growth, development, and satisfaction.

About Austin Alexander Burridge: Helping others has been of paramount importance to Austin, and as a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Austin gave back to the community around him. He also has participated in annual peanut butter drives, The Minnesota Sandwich Project for the Homeless and collected canned goods for local food shelters. Additionally, Austin has a passion for the environment, which he pursued when visiting the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and the Amazon Rain Forest while studying at the School of Environment Studies, which investigates ecological systems and their sustainability

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We Are Better Than This

Stop with the shouting and subtweeting and start with the adult conversation

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So, here's the deal. I know that, anymore, there are a million and two ranty political articles out there, but I'm going to truly do my best to keep this article from becoming just another one gumming up your social media feeds. If all goes to plan, you could read this article from start to finish and still not know my political leanings.

That's because I'm not here to argue for one side or the other. I'm not here to tell you why I'm right, and you're wrong. I'm not here to be an advocate for this or a protestor against that. I've simply come to notice something that concerns me about.

No one will just talk anymore.

Any more, people just scream their opinions at each other, digging in their heels and refusing to yield in any way shape or form. No longer are there calm discussions about differences in beliefs and life views. This has not only led to a toxic and ever growing divide between parties, but it has diminished more universal respect of how other people think.

Hot button topics like abortion, gun control, immigration reform, and more all seem to light a fire under people. They take to facebook, twitter, Instagram, or any other social media to vent, and, all of a sudden, mini-wars break out between friends and random strangers alike.

And, we can all agree, it gets annoying. I love a well thought out political meme or cartoon from either side, but after a week of seeing it everywhere, it gets to be a LOT! People are quick to post but slow to talk, and it all seems somewhat counterproductive.

We are so divided politically, it's a wonder anything gets done anymore. With an impending election (or at least an impending race) everything seems to fire up all over again. The aggressive divide between Trump, Sanders, and Clinton supporters are a shadow of the past, but there is still hope for civilized democracy in years to come.

That can only happen if we agree to chill every once in a while and talk, yes, talk, not scream, through our differences. I'm not saying you need to go and befriend everyone at the opposite end of the spectrum, but it wouldn't hurt to hear what others have to say.

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