Why The Black Lives Matter Movement Matters

Why The Black Lives Matter Movement Matters

And what you can do to help
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Hearing the phrase "Black Lives Matter" can unleash different feelings in everyone.

Confusion: Why isolate one community of people when all communities of people matter? When does the Black community deserve more attention when "All Lives Matter"?

Anger: Why do I have support them? They didn't follow the law; they deserve what they got.

Fear: The protests are so violent, so why should I get involved in something that could harm me?

Guilt: I'm white, and the black community doesn't want me involved.

It is hard to understand in the year 2016 that race is still a problem, but the truth is that it is. Having a black president doesn't mean the hundreds of years of racial injustice are suddenly solved. I'm going to be blunt: race is still a problem and black people still aren't treated the same as white people. Now, the first step to solving a problem is to understand it. So why does the "Black Lives Matter" movement matter?

To better understand why it matters, let's think of all of humanity as a person, with arms, legs, a body, etc. Let's have the legs represent the black community. Right now the legs are broken and the body cannot walk, therefore it is not whole. The "Black Lives Matter" movement is saying, "Right now, let's focus on the legs and help them so they can heal and the body can be whole again." The movement is not saying that the legs are better than any other part of the body; all it is trying to do is help the legs, which at the moment need the most help. It would be ineffective to help the arms or the body because they are already perfectly healthy.

So when people say "All Lives Matter" in response to "Black Lives Matter" they are trying to compare a broken body part with a healthy one, which isn't fair at all. To become whole and healthy, humanity must first focus its efforts on those who need it most, which right now is the black community.

Now the first step is done. It wasn't so bad, but there are so many more steps to go.

Just understanding why it matters isn't going to solve the problem. The next step is talking about it. It doesn't seem like you're helping when all you are doing is talking but talking about it helps. Don't be afraid to talk about this sensitive subject. It is against social norms to talk about something that makes people uncomfortable, but people need to understand the movement to get why it matters.

So do your part and keep talking about it. Don't let it just be a hashtag on social media. Talk about it in person, with your friends, family, coworkers, anyone who will listen. Be patient and explain it to people who don't understand it. Some people just hear the headlines of news stories and don't know the full story. There are a lot of misconceptions about the movement going around so take the time to explain the basics.

Even if you don't agree with everything the movement stands for, you can agree with the fact that human life is important and right now the lives that are being taken and the lives that need our help are black lives.


Cover Image Credit: vox.com

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Why Your Grandma Is Your Biggest Blessing In Life

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There are many people in your life you are thankful for: Mom, Dad, siblings, cousins, best friends, teachers, neighbors, you name it. You are grateful to have people who constantly support you, who pick you up when you're down and love you unconditionally. But the one person who stands out among the rest of them is your grandma.

SEE ALSO: 10 Reasons Why Your Grandma Is The Best Person In Your Life

Ever since you were little, you and your grandma have always had a special connection. Going over to Grandma's house for the night was something you looked forward to. She knew how to entertain you at your best and worst moments. No matter what you did together, you loved it. Being with your grandma wasn't like being at home or with your parents – it was better. You went to the park, made cookies, went out to dinner, got a “sweet treat" at the mall, played Go Fish, took a bubble bath for as long as you wanted and got way too much dessert than you should have. You did things you weren't supposed to do, but Grandma didn't stop you. Because at Grandma's house there were no rules, and you didn't have to worry about a single thing. Being with Grandma was the true epitome of childhood. She let you be you. She always made sure you had the best time when you were with her, and she loved watching you grow up with a smile on your face.

The older you got, your weekend excursions with your grandma weren't as frequent, and you didn't get to see her as much. You became more and more busy with school, homework, clubs, sports, and friends. You made the most out of your time to see her, and you wished you could be with her more. Although you were in the prime of your life, she mattered even more to you the older you both became. You were with your friends 24/7, but you missed being with your grandma. When the time rolled around, and you got the chance to spend time with her, she told you never to apologize. She wanted you to go out, have fun and enjoy life the way it makes you happy.

Reflecting back on these moments with your grandma, you realize how truly special she is to you. There is no one who could ever compare to her nor will there ever be. All your life, there is no one who will be as sweet, as caring, as sincere or as genuine as her. Even though you're all grown up now, there are things about your grandma that never changed from when you were a kid. She still takes you out for your favorite meal because she knows how important eating out means to you. She writes you letters and sends you a $5 bill every now and then because she knows you're a hard-working college student with no money. She still helps you with all of your Christmas shopping because she knows it's your tradition. She still asks what's new with your young life because hearing about it makes her day and she still loves you to no end. Your grandma is your biggest blessing (whether you knew it or not), and she always will be no matter what.

Cover Image Credit: Erin Kron

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Remaining Optimistic In A Cloudy World Is Difficult, Yet So Imporant

We tend to take the biggest hits at ourselves rather than those who may be slandering us much worse.

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We are all constantly going through something and we can hide it all we want, but it's present. There are so many difficulties that life brings to the table and we try to push those away and focus on the things that we can control. With those trials and tribulations, we are presented with challenges that test us on multiple levels. It's so simple to beat yourself up about the things that may be negatively occurring in your life over and over. We tend to take the biggest hits at ourselves rather than those who may be slandering us much worse. We cloud our minds and our bodies with the negativity that we take from the world rather than the great things that we accomplish daily.

As life is difficult and situations may bring out the best and the worst in us, we need to see more of the positivity in the world and allow ourselves to bring that light into the world. At the moment there is so much darkness but the light that we project is so crucial in order to create the world that we aspire to see. It's so simple to think of what's wrong the world and what needs to be changed but it truly does start with the way that we think as well as how we perceive the world ourselves. There is a truth with the reality of the space around us, but there is a perception that comes with it.

Even just changing the way that we think about one thing during the day from negative to positive, we could allow so much more light into our lives. By lightening a perspective or thinking of a way to see something different, a simple decision could leave so much more of a positive impact on someone's life. We are all here for each other at the end of the day, and the more kindness that we let out, the more that we can gain from one another. At a younger age hearing "What you put out into the world is what you receive" was a foreign phrase to me, but over time I realized the importance of the full circle that we live in.

Everything goes around in a circle, relationships, friendships, thoughts, and perspectives. We allow these to frame our thoughts and lives due to the importance that they hold in the world. The more that we care and listen to others, it'll become simpler to adjust our own framework to personalize and emphasize our feelings and what we want to personally put in the world. It's so difficult to see such a negative world and wanting to create a light yet not know how. So remember that it starts with you and everything you say and do will always have the ability to create happiness and kindness around the world. As life gets hard, keep holding on to what you believe in and you'll see that it'll frame the world around you.

"Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow."
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