We've come to the final day of our 12 Days of Christmas Countdown! We hope you've enjoyed it! We apologize for the break we took from posting, we were busy eating pie! But back to our regularly scheduled programming. We at Howl Magazine hope you are having a beautiful Holiday season and getting prepared to welcome the New Year! In that spirit, and in the wake of many global crisis' festering all of 2016, we've cooked up "12 Ways to Help the World This Year". Here's to actually being the change we wish to see in the world. xx
1. Help the LGBTQ+ Community Through Education and Assistance
The LGBTQ community has made enormous, monumental strides as of late. Once stigmatized and demoralized to remain hidden in the shadows, both in society and in themselves, the community was given hope via the age of information and technology and they fought tooth and nail to be where they are today. However far it may seem the community has come from even a decade ago, much work remains to be done. Psychological pushback, socio-economics, politics and institutional shortcomings continue to shackle the LGBTQ community. That’s why this year its important to not only support the community in your mind and heart, but with your voice, your actions and your wallet. Attend lectures, read LGBTQ literature, volunteer and/or donate to these organizations and charities doing some incredible work to help advance the cause and well being of a community we’ve held back for so long. Below are some of our favorite foundations for you to check out!
2. Do Your Part for Climate Change
There are very real and tangible solutions to mitigating the damage of global warming and the harmful effects we’ve had on this Earth we call home. As carbon dioxide, surface temperature, methane, population, water use, and transportation continue their rapid incline it is important to start doing your part right here and now. If you need a wake up call read The Economist’s “Liquidity Crisis” article on November fifth. In it, they reported that half the planet will live in areas of water stress and 33 nations will face extremely high water stress by 2040. Many solutions will have to come from governments and enterprises who have the infrastructure and capability of affecting massive changes, however steps can be take on an individual level to assist. A comprehensive, easy 25 simple solutions can be found on the EPA’s website ((https://www.epa.gov/climatechange/what-you-can-do-about-climate-change). In addition to these 25 steps, here’s a few nonprofits deserving of your attention and your donations.
Below are some great organizations for you to check out!
3. Encourage the Arts
The arts contribute over 700 billion dollars a year to the U.S. economy and make up 4% of the total GDP. In addition to this the art’s sector employs over 4 million people making the industry an integral part of our community’s identity and economy. In 2017 support local arts agencies and companies who are eliminating barriers for participation for minorities and up and coming artists. This year, don’t see Transformers #12 (or whatever number we’re on), instead support independent filmmakers and local artists. In addition to your support make sure to create yourself! Art is one of the greatest outlets for our passions, hopes, and fears. Take up the pen and paper and create this year, believe it or not, the world needs it (as do you most likely).
Below are some great organizations for you to check out!
4. Help Communities in Need
If you are fit and able, or just financially steady, you have a civic and moral responsibility to help those who are less fortunate. There is no shortage of global issues facing 2017, in fact the sheer amount of issues may seem daunting, however take this as a challenge. The world needs a little quixotism now more then ever. Help your local community, help your city, help your state, help your nation, help your world. In today’s globalized and digitalized world the self may feel less important then we once did, however we are more interdependent then in any time in human history, meaning there is no limit to what one individual may accomplish and who it may affect. In the words of my political idol Robert Kennedy, “It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” Below are some of our favorite organizations from all over the world doing great things within their communities:
5. De-stigmatize Mental Illness
According to a Newsweek report in 2014, 42 million Americans, or 18% of the adult population suffers from a mental illness each year. It would seem the only time we feel confident in discussing mental illness is in the wake of a mass shooting. Perhaps this is why the National Institute of Mental Health says less then half of that 42 million receive treatment of some kind. This year make it your goal to help de-stigmatize mental illness and educate yourself, treat yourself if you need it, and help others around you who may need it. If nothing else please visit some of these sites and learn about what you can actively do to help.
P.s If you have a mental illness and feel like sharing your experience, by all means DO. Share it with anyone who wants to listen. You never know who's life you might touch or mind you might change with a topic few understand.
Below are some of our favorite foundations for you to check out!
6. Support Internet Penetration Worldwide It seems the key to unlocking the shackles of world hunger and poverty lie in the Internet and people’s ability to access it. Approximately half the world’s population does not have access to the Internet. Countries with low GDP and high poverty rates have very low internet penetration percentages. The Internet is the key to unlocking the world’s potential and allowing even the poorest in our world to become educated through open online courses, join the global economy, and understand the world around them even down to the weather forecast that may seem trivial to some, but is crucial to the survival of poor farmers. PwC’s Strategy& has forecasted that doing so would lift over 500 million people out of absolute poverty and add over 6 trillion dollars to the global economic output (other studies have concluded the numbers would be much higher). The barrier to participation for many developing nations is cost obviously. Fortunately, there’s organizations such as the Alliance for Affordable Internet that partners with multinational public and private organizations to mitigate costs and bring this solution to global attention and implementation. Sign up for their newsletter and make sure to donate whenever possible, doing so will undoubtedly help change the world.
7. Find Your News Outlets
For me, 2016 was the year we failed the fourth estate, not the other way around. Our desire to appease our political ideology through motivated cognition was rewarded in the market with bias news outlets such as Mother Jones and FrontPage Magazine and now full on “fake news”. A study released this month by the Pew Research Center found that 23% of respondents said they shared made-up news stories, 15% weren’t confident in identifying “fake news” and 45% were only somewhat confident. Pew also reported that 62% of Americans receive their news from Facebook, the fake news metropolis. Now is the time for quality, professional journalism which means people need to ditch their bias sources, stop letting social media algorithms determine their sources of information, and stop passing their political laziness off as problems of the media. This year, read your news, stop watching it.
My primary news source for the past six years has been The Economist, it costs $120 a year and every penny is worth it. Other news organizations I read on weekly daily basis are the Associated Press, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, National Review, New York Times, UN News, Christian Science Monitor, Real Clear Politics, and BBC News. All of these news organizations are reputable, respected, and award winning. Below is a link to a Pew Research Study on the most trusted and least trusted news outlets in America. Find some outlets that are trusted across the spectrum and if your primary news source isn’t even on the list it’s definitely time for a change.
Source: Pew Research Center
8. Disengage from the Human Cockfighting
People magazine has a total circulation of 3.25 million whereas the Wall Street Journal (the most popular newspaper in the U.S.) has only 2 million.
And we wonder why a celebrity armed only with narcissism and Twitter is our next President?
9. Take Advantage of Massive Open Online Courses
The cost of formal education might be at an all-time high, but quality, diverse, free education has never been so easy to access. It might not come with degrees, or even certificates, but there’s a whole world of topics and subjects just waiting to be explored by you. In his latest book, Thank You for Being Late, Thomas Friedman discusses the value of MOOC’s in developing nations and opens his book with an apt quote from Marie Curie: “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” Below is a list of MOOCs that we recommend, but there are many more out there.
10.Travel. Even to the next borough.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.” Said Mark Twain once, and we couldn't agree more. Get to know other cultures, other perspectives. Your world-view broadens exponentially.
11. Stay Curious
Ask yourself questions. Dont think you're ever done learning. Explore, connect, listen, stay engaged. Give yourself the opportunity to not take anything you know about the world for granted. Wisdom begins in wonder.
12. Know Thyself
Take up any introspective practice. Art, meditation, therapy, writing, keep a journal. Get the time to listen to yourself and know what turns you on in life, what makes you tick, who you are— and even what angers you. "The internal living flame of anger always illuminates what we belong to; what we wish to protect" - [David Whyte]. You can spend most of your life not wanting to really dig beyond the surface of who you are, for fear of who might be there, for the probable leap out of your comfort zone that this might entail. This only postpones great passion. Get to know yourself as soon as possible, because passion is the living flame within anything you might do well in life, and for carrying out any of points above.
Source: Odyssey online