We Can’t Stop Talking

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.

James 1:19

I have tried to keep my distance from social media and the mainstream media for awhile, but unfortunately, I have been more “plugged in” these last few months. This means that I have become more aware of the endless controversy and anger that the media constantly stirs up in everyone. You could say that I fell into the media’s “hysteria trap.” So, a couple of weeks ago, when a good friend of mine posted something controversial on her social media site, I became overly emotional and initiated a digital chat with her.

Our digital chat went on for a few days. After those few days, I asked her if she wanted to talk about it over the phone or in-person. When I saw her in-person, I apologized to her because I thought that she was offended by what I had expressed to her. To my pleasant surprise, she told me that she didn’t feel like what I said was harsh, and at the end of our conversation, she was glad that we had talked about the issue.

If I could go back in time, I wouldn’t have confronted my friend about my feelings through text because texts can be easily misinterpreted. What I should have done was talk to her about it over the phone or in-person from the start. Thankfully, I think that the conversation went really well, and it made me realize that we—as a society—can’t stop talking to each other about issues that matter. Here are three reasons why.

We need to keep learning and we need to realize that we don’t have all the answers.

If we make assumptions and snap judgments without trying to understand another person’s views and experiences, then we might never realize when our beliefs are wrong or misguided. We might be unknowingly advocating for the wrong solution.

We don’t want to have regrets.

In a previous post, I wrote about five common regrets that people have on their deathbeds. According to Bronnie Ware, one of the common regrets was stated in this way—”I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.” I don’t think that it is always good to say what is on your mind, but depending on the issue or scenario, a healthy discussion can help to bring about positive change.

We don’t want to be lonely anymore.

I used to think that people can’t be lonely if they have friends and family, but this is not true. According to Psychology Today, people feel lonely if they don’t feel “in tune” with people around them or if they feel like there is a “lack of authenticity” in their relationships. Loneliness can contribute to health issues such as depression, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, psychosis, and Alzheimer’s disease.

There are so many polarizing issues to argue about and I have come to believe that these issues often lead to anger and division because of fear. Perhaps if we put our fear to the side for a little bit and allowed ourselves to be authentic and vulnerable with our loved ones, then we would not feel so lonely. If we have these conversations with discernment, love, and the truth in mind, I believe that conversations about these important issues can ultimately bring us closer together.

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There’s Always Been Gold Among Us

It’s hard to believe that breastfeeding was once uncommon and that it was not encouraged by the medical community in 1956. This was the year that La Leche League International was formed—seven mothers created this organization so that they could provide support to women that wanted to breastfeed their babies.

Before my first child was born, I remember my lactation consultant telling me that breastmilk is like “liquid gold” for babies. I find it fascinating that the composition and quantity of breastmilk changes depending on the time of day and the age of the baby. For example, if the mom is exposed to a specific bug, the composition of the breastmilk will change to protect the baby from that specific bug!

Not only is breastmilk wonderful for the baby, breastfeeding helps the mom as well. Breastfeeding helps with weight loss and mood management. It also helps to prevent cancer.

If the medical community overlooked the amazing benefits of natural breastmilk, what are they overlooking today? If you are struggling with your health, I hope that you will not overlook natural methods of healing—God has provided us with a lot of “gold” that can help our bodies to heal and thrive! I also encourage you to find a provider that is a free thinker—a practitioner that will question the status quo for the sake of helping you find what will help your body to heal.

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He Quacked Like A Duck

Handwashing has become quite second nature to us, especially these days. Do you know about the man that started it all?

In 1846, Ignaz Semmelweis wondered why so many mothers were dying from postpartum infections. After trial and error, he came up with the idea that the doctors that were performing autopsies were transmitting microscopic parts of the dead bodies to the pregnant women. After the doctors started washing their hands with chlorine solution, the postpartum death count dropped dramatically.

Unfortunately, the idea didn’t stick, and doctors stopped following Semmelweis’ advice. After continuous conflict with colleagues, in 1865, Semmelweis was admitted into a mental hospital. Ironically, he died from an infection. After his death, the simple method of handwashing was finally accepted by the medical community.

This tragic story makes me want to listen to the “quacks” in our society. If we want to improve our lives, we must always be willing to listen and learn from others. This story also makes me want to stick to some of my strong convictions—sometimes it’s the people with the strong convictions that end up changing the world forever.

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Kindness Craving

When I was younger, I didn’t think that I had special talents like other people did. I was just the skinny, quiet Asian girl with big glasses and braces. So, I thought, well, if I can’t be really great at something, at the very least, I can be known as “the nice girl”. So, I tried to be nice to my peers.

As I got older, and started to embrace my unique gifts, (everyone has these) I started to care less about being the nice girl. When I was busy with school, work, and babies, I subconsciously told myself that I don’t have time to be nice anymore.

About a year ago, I realized that I was wrong. The world is craving kindness! And you know what? Kindness doesn’t have to take too much time or effort. Here are some ideas on how to show kindness.

Open the door for pregnant ladies, new moms—or anyone, really.

When I was pregnant with my first child, two gentlemen walked ahead of me and opened the double doors on each side of me. I felt like a queen walking through those doors!

When I was a new mom, it was overwhelming to go shopping with my new baby and a stroller. It meant the world to me when someone helped me open the heavy doors in front of me.

Instead of sending a boring text message, send a voice “text” message.

I don’t know about you, but I am on screens so much that I start to hate my cell phone. Instead of sending another monotonous text, send a voice text. I bet your loved ones would love to hear your voice!

Send snail mail.

I have a bad habit of only opening my mail once per week or once every other week because I like to avoid unexpected bills and useless paper. Snail mail from a friend is usually a welcome surprise!

Give someone the benefit of the doubt.

If someone takes your place in line, don’t get all bent out of shape. Maybe she had a lot on her mind and wasn’t thinking when she stepped in front of you.

Smile and be friendly to strangers.

Strike up a conversation with someone and see how someone’s day is going. If you are practicing “social distancing”, you can still do this from a distance.

Say nothing negative for a day.

This is good for the mental health of you and the people that you live with.

Be curious about someone else’s views without voicing your own opinion.

There’s a lot of division in the world—it’s really concerning and heartbreaking! When you have the time, why not sit down with Uncle Fred and ask him why he believes the opposite of you when it comes to Issue X? If you genuinely care to learn, Uncle Fred will probably be happy to share with you, you might learn something, and the whole conversation might bring you closer together. Uncle Fred might even ask you to share your views with him. I struck up a conversation like this with my aunt a few years before she died. If I had not initiated this conversation, I might not have known her or respected her as much as I do now.

For more ideas, check out Shaunti Feldhahn’s book, The Kindness Challenge. What other ideas do you have? I need more!

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We Can Bounce Back

Someone that I loved died in January. I was already disillusioned with our healthcare system and the experience that my loved one went through made the disappointment even worse.

A few weeks after the death, I did some digging about a controversial health issue that had bothered me for awhile and what I found left me a little traumatized. So, when this current global crisis came about, I was already angry at our healthcare system, media, and the world in general. I regressed back to a familiar state of negativity and cynicism.

After listening to some uplifting podcasts and discussions with friends, I snapped out of it. I have always known that the world is a dark place. But the truth is that it is not all dark. And the question that I need to ask myself is, what can I do to bring light into the darkness? Do I want my kids to grow up with a mom who is angry at the whole world? So, a few days ago, I decided not to wallow anymore. I will pray. I will try my best to look for the good. I will look for ways to help others. I will try to be a good role model for my kids. If nothing else, I will try to be kind.

Friend, if you are reading this and are in urgent need of something, please seek help. Know that you are resilient. You can bounce back from this.

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