Friday, June 27, 2014

I posted in April. What happened next will BLOW YOUR MIND!

Taking a two-month break from blogging wasn't intentional, yet here we are.

I have some things to say, and some other things to not say.

Today I'll stick with this: Can we stop sharing/encouraging these posts with crazy-bait headlines?

"This Mom Thought She Was On Her Way To Church. What Her Family Did For Her Will Have You In Tears!"

"You Won't Believe What This Dog Did For A Little Girl!"

"Watch The Video From This Guy's Nature Hike! The Last 45 Seconds Will Change Your Life!"


Pointing out a specific time(frame) in a video (with or without lauding any degree of life-changing virtue) is a way to guarantee that I'm not interested. Why? Because I'm smart enough to figure out what I like on my own, thankyouverymuch.

Hi, Summer.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Turning Dirty Water Into Clean Water #ad

Happy Earth Day!

Yesterday I posted a short video to Instagram, and it got some good response, and also some questions, so I thought I'd talk about it more here.

In 2004, Procter & Gamble (P&G) created the Children's Safe Drinking Water Program to raise awareness about the global water crisis. Since then, much effort (and millions of dollars) have gone into providing clean drinking water to those who need it most. The P&G Purifier of Water product was developed, which is a simple-to-use packet of powder which can be used to turn liters of dirty and potentially deadly water into clean, drinkable water in just minutes.

With the help of 140 partners, P&G has provided billions of liters of clean water, saving an estimated 39,000 lives. In fact, the 7 billionth liter was recently delivered to a family in Brazil.

Check out this quick video:

It's a really cool product, and I'm glad to have been able to work with P&G in spreading the word about it. Since it's Earth Day, I want to let you know that until 11:59 p.m. EST tonight, for every share of the hashtag #7BillionLiters on facebook, twitter, or instagram, P&G will donate an additional liter of clean drinking water (up to 1 million additional liters) to people who need it around the world.

I love to see when social media and social good go hand-in-hand. So, please, for Earth Day, tweet, share on fb, or share on IG something with the hashtag #7BillionLiters.

Thanks to P&G for sponsoring this post, and for all the work they do to to invest in a cleaner planet. #ad

You can find out more about P&G's Children's Safe Drinking Water on facebook, twitter, or follow them on instagram.

Friday, April 04, 2014

A Note from the General Women's Meeting

**Edited with added updates below**

I’m not sure why I feel the need to share this, but I do feel it, so I’m guessing maybe someone needs to read it:

Last Saturday I took my three oldest daughters to Salt Lake to attend the first General Women’s Meeting. It was a good experience, and I’m glad we went. There’s a lot I could say about it, but what I feel inclined to say just focuses on one aspect. I’ll attempt to be brief.

Something happened repeatedly that afternoon and evening. It happened only to me and not my daughters (thank goodness), but it happened. As we rode the train, as we walked the sidewalks of the city, I saw it—watched it happen, over and over again. It was subtle, but I can’t pretend it wasn’t real. And the more I think about it the more I’m surprised…not only that it happened, but surprised that I found myself surprised that it was happening.

Women, one by one, looked at me, did a double-take, and looked me up and down. After that, with pursed lips, they’d do one of two things: either make an effort to make eye contact with me and deliver a scowl, or whisper to their friend(s) who would, in turn, do the exact same thing.

It did not happen with men (except for when a man was the recipient of the whispering I mentioned). One woman, after making eye contact with me, rolled her eyes (this was the hostess of the restaurant at which my daughters and I dined). Another woman was staring at me with such intensity that I initially mistook her stare for that thing where you’re just kind of zoning out and don’t see what’s in front of you, but after several seconds she blinked and I felt her intention.

I presume that the objective was to make me feel uncomfortable and/or out of place. I didn’t feel either of those things.

The one place/group of people with whom it (consistently) didn’t happen was at the Conference Center, with those who were on-site hosts. From those women and men I felt nothing but sincerity when they said to my daughters and me, “Welcome to Conference.”

I don’t think my girls noticed, but I haven’t asked them. It might be an interesting conversation to have.

What’s my point of writing this? I’m not sure. Like I said, maybe someone needs to read this. Maybe it’s someone who can be comforted that they’re not alone. Or maybe it’s someone who might think twice before being so inconsiderate in their reaction to what another person is wearing to a church meeting. 

When I wrote this last night, it was in a bit of a rush, and, like I said, I didn't know why I should share it other than the feeling that it might have been for someone else's benefit. It hadn't been my intention to share it immediately after it happened (which is why I didn't, duh), mainly because of potential misunderstanding that this is Just Another Pants Post: it is, and it isn't.

I shared it on facebook, where some friends added their thoughts (and even more, I suspect, didn't). While the discussion continues there, I do want to add more thoughts here (maybe mainly so that I can come back to my blog post later if I want to, which is often easier than trying to find an old facebook post). I'll begin with a comment I made on fb:

'So, yes: I was wearing pants. And maybe it was because I was Making A Statement, and maybe it wasn't. It doesn't matter. What matters is that we BE NICER to each other For The Love. More kindness, por favor. If you are inclined to scowl at someone for what they are wearing (and the presumptions which accompany) please reconsider that sort of thing.'

Also, in response to another friend who commented: So you went dressed knowing you could get a response from some people, and you did, so now what?, I said the following: 'I don't really know what you mean by asking, 'now what?'. Maybe I wasn't clear in the point that I was not, in fact, dressed in an effort to get a reaction. I have my reasons for why I dressed the way I did, but getting a reaction is not one of them; taking a political stance isn't even one of them, unless you consider teaching my daughters by example that it really is okay to wear pants to a church meeting despite what people around them might (and do) say to be a political stance. Neither my dressing a certain way, nor my writing about it, are a part of any sort of agenda or plan with an outlined next step. When I feel inclined to share my thoughts on certain larger, pressing issues I will, and likely on my blog. But for now, my aim is to share my thoughts about how we all really should incorporate more kindness into our lives, perhaps especially with those with whom we disagree (and, of course, not make assumptions - but instead ask questions - about what one does or does not think based on what they are wearing, when they are wearing it, and where they are wearing it.).'

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

To You, from my 12YO Daughter

Dear Readers, 

Two years ago you all stepped up and helped my daughter when she was participating in a fundraiser, and she has not forgotten your generosity. She's participating again, and her goal is to raise $75 online -- just today and tomorrow. Here, her words to you: 

By the end of this week I'm trying to raise at least $75 online for Jump Rope For Heart and The American Heart Association. I love doing this fundraiser and it's my last year doing it at my elementary school. I love to raise money to help kids with heart disabilities. I actually also love to jump rope. I can do double-dutch, both backwards and forward cross. I can do a cartwheel into a jump rope, and even jump rope while on a pogo stick. I really enjoy doing this and I'd really appreciate if you could help me out. Thanks! ~ Emma Eckton

Here is the link to her fundraising page. (Feel free to share.)

You should know that she has complete confidence in strong online communities. Thank you, all of you, for continuously showing her how good and helpful people can be. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Maybe It's About Manners

My friend Alexis posted this on fb:

"The worst sinners, according to Jesus, are not the harlots and publicans, but the religious leaders with their insistence on proper dress and grooming, their careful observance of all the rules, their precious concern for status symbols, their strict legality, their pious patriotism... the haircut becomes the test of virtue in a world where Satan deceives and rules by appearances." -Hugh Nibley*

I'm not sure if Brother Nibley would welcome additions to that list, but I would add the following:

"...those who insist that anyone who questions or disagrees is simply unenlightened or uneducated, even to the point of not sustaining the prophet (which accusation is at best insulting and rude, and at worst damning) when, indeed, we, at our core, are (or ought to be) a questioning and seeking people...." - me

Maybe it's politics, maybe it's equality, maybe it's something else entirely. But here I speak to my friends who reside with their opinions on all points of the spectrum of such issues: When you sweepingly dismiss those opposing your side, when you make accusations of individuals (or groups) which are in the arena of final judgments, when you mock based on your own perspective without bothering to attempt to understand where someone else might be coming from, YOU ARE NOT STRENGTHENING YOUR OWN CASE. Indeed, you weaken your credibility. It is a sign of maturity to acknowledge that your worldview is not shared by everyone, and to be able to be friends with people who may not share your views. Asking questions and listening to answers instead of jumping to conclusions is just good manners.

People want to know what you have to say. Your opinion is valuable. Others' opinions are valuable. When you (or they) make assumptions,  or don't listen, or call names, or declare dramatic and illogical conclusions without listening, etc. -- what you (or they) have to say doesn't get heard. You want to be heard, don't you? So do they.

Srsly, guys.

Jesus said love ev'ryone;
Treat them kindly, too.
When your heart is filled with love,
Others will love you.**

*Hugh Nibley, Waterman, Brian and Kagel, Brian Kagel. The Lord's University: Freedom and Authority at BYU. Signature Books. 1998.
**Words and music: Moiselle Renstrom, 1889-1956