This week has been an especially heavy one. On Tuesday, 19 children and two adults were gunned down in an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. The shooting came a little more than a week after a white gunman opened fire at a Buffalo supermarket in a Black neighborhood and killed 10 people.
These headlines leave us full of emotion but often stuck on what to do next – and then the horrific cycle continues. My colleague Alia E. Dastagir reported on a sort of “learned helplessness” we adopt in these situations that have become almost normalized to us. Here’s an excerpt of her piece:
We read the same headlines, see the same handwringing, criticize or call for the same prayers and find ourselves desperately having the same debate. Until we move on, and a moral imperative evaporates.
“Learned helplessness is a mental state that occurs when people find out that nothing they do matters,” said Dr. Martin Seligman, director of the Penn Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania. “Its main consequence is that people give up and stop trying. It applies quite apparently to the majority of Americans who, for years, have shown they want more checks and balances about gun control. … And in spite of that, the American voter and the Democrats, in particular, have found out that nothing they do works. That predicts that people would give up.”
To learn more about “learned helplessness,” read Alia’s full story here.
To learn about what actions you can take in the wake of the Uvalde shooting, click here.
We’re at a loss for words, but this poet helped find some
The school shooting has left many people at a loss for words, overwhelmed with emotion. In her latest poem, Amanda Gorman captured those feelings and transformed the speechlessness into stanzas.
“Schools scared to death. The truth is, one education under desks, Stooped low from bullets; That plunge when we ask Where our children Shall live & how & if,” she writes.
In a series of tweets, Gorman continued.
“It takes a monster to kill children. But to watch monsters kill children again and again and do nothing isn’t just insanity – it’s inhumanity… The truth is, one nation under guns,” the tweets read. “What might we be if only we tried. What might we become if only we’d listen.”
People have responded, sharing thanks for capturing their thoughts and emotions.
“Grateful for your words when words feel impossible,” actress Rachel Brosnahan commented on Instagram.
To read my full story, click here.
First dates can be awkward. Avoid these mistakes.
Dating can be fun, but it can also be stressful. In this week’s column from therapist Sara Kuburic breaks down the mistakes you should avoid making when you first go out with someone. Here are a few from the list:
Not showing up authentically. We all want to make a great first impression. But often, we try to do this by being who the other person wants us to be, rather than showing up as who we are. The biggest mistake is to get someone to like an inauthentic version of you.
Talking too much about yourself. Talking about yourself is great, but don’t monopolize the conversation. Many people talk a lot when they are nervous, but it can come off self-involved and make the experience less engaging for the other person.
Not asking questions. Showing interest is not just about eye contact or laughing at their jokes, it’s also about asking questions about their life and being curious about who they are. And yet, asking questions is not enough. Make sure to pay attention to the answers they give you.
To read Sara’s full list of tips, click here.
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Karen Campbell wrote that her pup Ollie is an Isle of Imaal Irish Terrier. We love his bandana, so stylish!