It is important to be nice no matter what

Shut Up and Just be nice

Politics are so important, and the environment is so important, and human rights are so important, but in all our passion, and desire for change, and yeah yeah yeah "good intentions," we've forgotten the most important thing. People.


Shut up. Yeah that's right, I'm talking to you. SHUT UP. You, with the masters in environmental science. And you, with the big cushy job on Wall Street. And you, with no job and no house and no education. And you, with every luxury in life that you could have ever wanted. Please for the love of all that is good, stop talking.

Stop talking about how much you hate Donald Trump, or how Obama destroyed the economy. Stop talking about how your rights are breached based on someone else's decisions on their body, or how life doesn't start at conception. Stop talking about who does and does not have the right to marry, and stop telling everyone who calls themself a Christian that they are inherently hateful. Stop talking about whether you're conservative or liberal and start talking about how your kids doing, or how your mom is recovering from her back surgery.

Start talking about sports, and literature, and music, and art, and life, and death, and beauty, and pain, and suffering, and joy, and start actually getting to know the humans around you for what they are-people. Beautiful, wonderful, intelligent, passionate people who you're about to miss out on because all you can do is focus on that "I'm With Her" sticker on their car.

Don't get me wrong, educate yourself. Be awake and aware and even involved in the world around you. Grab your soapbox and shout your beliefs until your voice is gone, but not at your grandfather over Thanksgiving dinner. Go and vote your conscience and pray and pray that your candidate got elected, but don't damn those who voted for the other. Go and have coffee with your Muslim friend and ask them about their belief in God, but don't tell them that they're going to hell when *ahem* nobody asked.

Politics are so important, and the environment is so important, and human rights are so important, but in all our passion, and desire for change, and yeah yeah yeah "good intentions," we've forgotten the most important thing. People. We've stopped seeing our neighborhoods as communities and started seeing them as grass propaganda. We've stopped seeing family dinner as a time to catch up on each other's lives and started seeing them as the time to convince your dad to see your side when it comes to immigration (when, news-flash honey, he never will). We've stopped seeing our co-workers as well, co-workers, and started seeing them as conservative or moderate or liberal. There are places to speak your mind and leave your mark and you absolutely should. In fact, you're wrong not to. But those places are in voting boxes, and courtrooms, and political rallies. And there are appropriate places to sit down and have respectful, open-minded conversations with people of different beliefs, and I encourage those conversations. But those places are at prescheduled forums, organized debates, and yes-sometimes a facebook post (just maybe not every facebook post).

The fact of the matter is this, we have forgotten how to just live our lives and we can no longer recognize that eating lunch with a Trump supporter is not the same thing as lobbying congress-unless somehow you get to eat lunch with Paul Ryan then, lobby away! The world is a dark and scary place and we are allowed to be outraged and terrified. Our passion and emotion is not the issue. It is right to call people out for acting immorally or to seek to rectify injustice. But if the man checking you out at TJ Maxx is gay, and you believe that homosexuality is a sin-well sorry, but there's no injustice here. Last time I checked he was asking you to sign the receipt, not his marriage certificate so I guess it really doesn't matter if he's gay or not, now does it? In that very moment, he is a person doing you a service, and you are a person giving him business. The relationship here is symbiotic so shut up and just be nice. If the guy mowing the lawn next to yours happens to also have a squad car in the driveway, cool. Awesome. Mow the lawn, and give him a wave, and maybe even invite him in for a beer, because right now he's not a police officer and you're not the leader of a police brutality rally. You're neighbors. And you might even be best friends. That is, if for two seconds you could just shut and be nice.

Cover Image Credit:

photographer: Meghan Smith

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.


My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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11 Things You NEVER Say To A College Girl Trying To Get Into Shape

Just never talk about a person's weight.


When my family and friends joked that I was going to gain 15 pounds in my freshman year of college as a result of the "Freshman 15," I thought it was what it was supposed to be: a joke. However, as the year has come to an end, I realized that I actually did put on a couple of pounds, albeit it wasn't the predicted 15.

As I told those that I wanted to get into an ideal shape for my body, I was met with some insensitive and ignorant remarks. Everyone thought that I mean just losing the weight I had put on.

1. "You walk to all of your classes, why aren't you losing weight that way?"

My legs are more toned than they ever have been before. However, most of the weight I have been gaining has gone directly to my gut (annoying!) and walking does not remedy that. Unfortunately, I have to stick to ab workouts.

2. "But you look fine to me!"

I don't feel healthy to myself. I'm not trying to stay in shape for anyone else, just myself, thanks. I appreciate you trying to make me feel better about my body image but I know something has to be done.

3. "I didn't gain any weight in college."

Good for you. I did. I'm trying to do something about it.

4. "Just stop drinking."

I don't drink. Really, the only liquid I consume is water or iced tea. I don't like soda and alcohol makes me nauseous way too easily.

5. "Isn't the gym free on campus for students?"

Yes, but some people don't like working out in front of others. I am one of those people. My friend lives in an apartment complex that has their own gym and almost no one is ever there but not everyone has that luxury. Also, some are busy and do not have time for a quick jog or to stretch.

6. "You should try this diet/pills/exercise routine."

I am thankful that you are trying to help but my diet is just eating healthy and having a few cheat days in between. I know what exercises work best for me and I am just not taking pills. Bodies adjust differently.

7. "Don't starve/force yourself to throw up."

Trust me, I know. I'm trying to lose the weight healthily. If you do find yourself practicing unhealthy eating habits or realizing your body image is deteriorating, the NEDA Hotline is (800) 931-2237. Please reach out if you are going through hardships.

8. "Won't you have to buy a whole new wardrobe?"

If I drop (or even add) a size or two. We grow out and grow tired of clothes on the regular, what's the difference if you have to buy some because of a weight change? Plus, who doesn't love buying new clothes?

9. "Just eat healthier."

Didn't think of it! Options are limited at college where the dining halls don't offer all that much that is actually good for your body. Now that I'm at home, it's easier. But I'm already trying to eat healthy.

10. "You've evened out since the last time I saw you!"

This is code for you've put on some weight. I hear it mostly from older relatives because my friends will flat out tell me if I've gotten a little chunky.

11. "You're just stressed."

Personally, this one gets me livid. I do admit that when I am stressed or anxious, I do turn to food for comfort but when I am delighted and genuinely happy, will my body magically revert into a fit state?

Sadly, no.

Honestly, I am just trying to get my body back into shape. For me, that means cutting back on greasy foods and kicking a bad habit of sitting on my butt all day. For others, it could mean more or less. As long as your body is in good physical condition and you are content, the number on the scale and others' thoughts shouldn't matter. Take care of yourself.

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