Adonis Diaries

Archive for December 20th, 2015

Am I doing Aya more harm than good? Telling her story

Karim A. Badra and Reine Azzi shared this link Humans of New York

Yesterday was a “rest day” for me. It’s been an emotional week. Telling Aya’s story was tough enough.

But the hardest part for me was watching a traumatized young woman release her story into a world that’s becoming more and more afraid of her with each passing day.

It was such an act of courage for Aya to tell her story in this climate. And as I read some of the comments on her story, I couldn’t help but wonder if I was doing her more harm than good.

There is so much fear in the world right now.

And politicians know that they must win the votes of frightened people.

And with their rhetoric, they are condoning prejudice in a way that I’ve never seen in my lifetime.

Since September 11th, 45 people have been killed in the United States by supposed Islamic extremists. This includes the recent attacks in California.

Even though these attacks were carried out by only a handful of violent individuals, they are being used as a license to vilify millions of Americans. That is wrong and that is dangerous.

And Aya, who is one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever known, had to absorb a good deal of that hatred this week.

I’m sure this added to the trauma she’s already been through. But every step of the way I gave her the option to stop telling her story. And at every step, she gave me permission to continue. And I thank her for that.

And I want to thank all of you.

Because I noticed something this week. I noticed that the comments on Aya’s story always began very positively.

But as some of the posts were shared thousands of times, and began to reach newsfeeds beyond the HONY community, the tone of comments deteriorated.

They became much more judgmental and prejudiced.

And that made me realize how special this community is. The people who follow this page did something very important this week.

You allowed a traumatized young Muslim woman to share her story in a supportive environment.

There aren’t many places right now where that is possible. So in your own way, you provided Aya with a place of refuge.

And thanks to everyone who stood up this week to tell Aya: “I’m not afraid of you.”

For anyone who still wishes to sign Aya’s petition, you may do so here:

Keanu Reeves Online

“Be silly. Be kind. Be weird.”

Unofficial: Keanu Reeves Online's photo.

Unofficial: Keanu Reeves OnlineLike Page

“My friend’s mom has eaten healthy all her life.

Never ever consumed alcohol or any “bad” food, exercised every day, very limber, very active, took all supplements suggested by her doctor,

Never went in the sun without sunscreen and when she did it was for as short a period as possible-

So pretty much she protected her health with the utmost that anyone could.

She is now 76 and has skin cancer, bone marrow cancer and extreme osteoporosis. (She lived long enough in these dangerous environments)

My friend’s father eats bacon on top of bacon, butter on top of butter, fat on top of fat,

Never and I mean never exercised, was out in the sun burnt to a crisp every summer, he basically took the approach to live life to his fullest and not as others suggest.

He is 81 and the doctors says his health is that of a young person.

People you cannot hide from your poison.

It’s out there and it will find you so in the words of my friend’s still living mother: “ if I would have known my life would end this way I would have lived it more to the fullest enjoying everything I was told not to!”

None of us are getting out of here alive, so please stop treating yourself like an after thought.

Eat the delicious food.

Walk in the sunshine.

Jump in the ocean.

Say the truth that you’re carrying in your heart like hidden treasure.

Be silly. Be kind. Be weird. There’s no time for anything else.”

Note: There are random hazards that we don’t know about. But it you indulge in causative risk factors, the probability will increase much faster than you figured out. Moderation is king: given that most scientific papers are Not that reliable because funded by unreliable deep pocket companies.

Could our social media connections actually hurt our relationships?

Imagine this: Two friends meet up for matching holiday spice flat whites.

They sit down at a corner table anticipating an actual conversation. But then their phones start blurping and buzzing a siren song. And with just a swipe of their fingers they nosedive down the digital rabbit hole, eyes glued to their screens.

Maybe that’s why more than 70% of Americans think technology is weakening our relationships, according to the results of our NBC News State of Kindness poll conducted online by Survey Monkey.

Joan Raymond posted this Dec. 8, 2015

Among social media users, 68% of our 2,650 respondents felt relationships suffer from social media. That percentage jumped to 83% among folks who don’t use sites like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

State of Kindness 
Anne Van Wagener / NBC

But not everyone thinks we need a digital detox when it comes to relationships.

Slightly more than 30% of participants who use social media believe that technology can actually strengthen our connections to each other.

Not surprisingly, there is a bit of a generation gap.

About 35% of those 18-34 believe that technology strengthens relationships. These poll participants are also more likely to use social media.

But the older you get, the less likely you are to believe that social media enhances relationships, with slightly more than 20% of people ages 35-64 thinking tech helps our social connections.

In the 65 and older crowd, 28% of participants think social media strengthens our bonds.

Anne Van Wagener / NBC

If you ever “unfriended” someone because they morphed into a cyber-meanie, you’re not alone.

In fact, more than 60% of our participants using social media say they have blocked, hidden or put the ultimate kibosh of “unfriending” someone who morphed into meanness. (I blocked once because the stream of useless comments cluttered my slow connection)

More than 60% of social media users and nearly 50% of non-users say tech can bring out the best and worst in folks just about equally, according to our survey results.

But some participants had stronger opinions.

More than 30% of social media aficionados in our poll say that social media brings out the worst in us, and 45% of non-users agree with them. Only 8% of social media users, and 5% of non-users, think social media outlets bring out the very best in us.

And cyber-bullying is a very important issue for 6 in 10 of our participants.

Women rank cyber-bullying higher than men, with 69% of our female participants saying it is a very important concern. Slightly less than 50% of men feel the same way.

But technology gives us a mighty tool with some relationships.

It seems that if people get nasty online, we have no qualms about shutting them down.

Note: The main problem is that many that we don’t know have no sense of humor and get confused and take literally what was meant as a joke.

This story is part of NBCU’s Season of Kindness. Follow the series on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. #ShareKindness





December 2015

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