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Ocean City Honors Veterans in Ceremony

first_imgBy MADDY VITALEMarine Lance Cpl. Rickey R. Arce joined the military just out of high school.He fought the Taliban in Afghanistan during his deployment in 2009-2010.Although that was a decade ago, the impact, the impression it left on the veteran from Philadelphia, and the memories of his fallen fellow Marines will stay with him forever, he told a packed Ocean City Tabernacle during the city’s Veterans Day ceremony.“Every day is a challenge, but I tell you, yesterday I got the privilege to see some guys I served with down in Virginia. That is the kind of stuff that really helps me feel better,” Arce said in keynote remarks.Arce told the audience that instances such as that one, is one of the reasons he fought for his country.During the program, Ocean City Primary School students Tyler Swartz, Daisy Avila, Brittany Fraga and Samuel Patrinik took to the stage and thanked the veterans for their service and recited poetry honoring the members of the military.Video courtesy of City of Ocean City and Just Right TV Productions“Seeing the children come up here and recite poetry is really heartfelt,” Arce said. “That is kind of the purpose for why we do what we do. Why we kill the bad guys and why we defend the country in general, it’s for the kids and to protect society.”He explained that when he returned to the United States from Afghanistan, life as a civilian was difficult and he took to drinking.He is sober now and seeing a therapist to help him cope with his wartime memories and get better.“Sometimes it is unbelievable the stuff we went through. You get back and you have a lot of things on your mind. You think a lot about the things you have accomplished and moving forward in civilian life,” Arce said.He continued, “And now you have a whole different list. For me, a big part of my life now is working with my therapist and working through my days in Afghanistan and alleviate stress and realize I am here and not over there anymore.”People fill the seats at the Ocean City Tabernacle for the ceremony.During the ceremony, Mayor Jay Gillian told the audience that it is so vital that children are taught about Veterans Day at school. He thanked the teachers and Schools Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Taylor for doing a fine job with the students.He then spoke of the death of former U.S. Ambassador to Panama and 10-term Congressman Bill Hughes, a long-time Ocean City resident and political icon.Gillian recalled Hughes’ political tenure and how he worked with the military when he served as ambassador.“I hope you will remember Bill Hughes. He serves as a role model. We can serve our country in so many ways,” the mayor said.Gillian also said how important it is to honor veterans, telling the crowded auditorium in the Tabernacle, “These events grow bigger and bigger each year.”Ocean City Primary School students give thanks to the veterans by reciting poetry.The program was emceed by Michael Hartman, the city’s special events coordinator.During the program Ocean City High School students in the American Sign Language classes signed the National Anthem, Pledge of Allegiance and “God Bless America.”The Ocean City High School Choir and Ocean City High School Band performed, and high school student Julia Wilson sang “God Bless America.”The presentation of the colors was done by the Marine Corps League 676 Dramis Detachment and the invocation was done by American Legion Post 524 Chaplain Russ Schleider. The benediction was performed by Ed Ferraro, chaplain of VFW Post 6650. The laying of the wreath was performed by American Legion Post Commander Bob Marzulli and VFW Post Commander Mike Morrissey.Attendees also viewed a video of the laying of the wreath ceremony, done earlier in the day at Veterans Memorial Park.People gather to view the wreath at Veterans Memorial Park.For VFW Post 6650 Commander Morrissey, who introduced Arce as a man who honored his oath to protect America, Veterans Day is a day to remember all who served.“It is a day to remember those of us who came home with wounds seen or unseen,” Morrissey said. “Veterans, we all took the same oath to protect our country and we have one distinct thing in common: We will forever be proud.”Arce shared how he wears a bracelet in honor of his four fallen friends and fellow Marines.It is one way he remembers the men whom he said had a profound impact on his life and mentored him.“I know a bunch more, but those four guys, we were close, and it definitely had an impact on my life, and I’d like to remember them,” he noted.Arce described his time in the Marines. “I was a gunner. I loved it. I loved my job. I loved the Marines to the left and the right of me. … There is so much of a story to tell. I am still proud of what I have done.”After Marine Lance Cpl. Rickey Arce addresses the crowd, he receives applause and a standing ovation.Veterans salute during the Presentation of Colors.Ocean City High School student Julia Wilson sings “God Bless America.”Led by Chief Jay Prettyman in front, Ocean City police officers salute during the ceremony. In 2019, Marine Lance Cpl. Rickey R. Arce tells the audience during the Veterans Day ceremony that he is forever proud that he served his country.last_img read more

Police investigate, after De Gustibus bakery is destroyed by blaze

first_imgDe Gustibus’ Oxfordshire bakery has been destroyed in a fire.The blaze ripped through the artisan baker’s Abingdon plant on the night of 10 September, damaging most of the building before firefighters arrived. Owner Dan Schickentanz said: “Only the walls are left standing – the place is completely gutted.”Schickentanz said he was mystified as to what could have caused the blaze. Police are checking CCTV footage and are keeping an open mind.While the damage is assessed, De Gustibus has moved its operation into a smaller unit in London, and is currently able to meet about 80% of its supply commitments. Schickentanz said his staff had been hugely supportive, working tirelessly to get the second factory up and running. Suppliers have also lent their support. Schickentanz said he hoped part of the Abingdon factory may be saved.De Gustibus is widely-regarded as one of the best craft bakeries in the UK, with customers, including Fortum & Mason and the Hilton and Cadogan hotel groups.last_img read more

Greensky Bluegrass Welcomes Spafford’s Brian Moss, Covers “Gangsta’s Paradise” With Ryan Montbleau At Levitate [Videos]

first_imgOn Sunday night, Levitate Music & Arts Festival wrapped up its 2018 event with a talented slate of performers including Stephen Marley, Spafford, Lake Street Dive, Turkuaz, West End Blend, Rebelution, Greensky Bluegrass, Mihali & Frends, and The Head and the Heart.After Marley’s set got the ball rolling for day two, Spafford took the stage for a set of live staple original tunes including “America”, “Backdoor Funk”, “Broken Wing”, “Beautiful Day”, “The Reprise”, and “Space Gadget”, lighting the fuse for the day’s festivities with their impeccable improvisational abilities. You can watch a full pro-shot video of Spafford’s set below (beginning midway through “America”) via the festival’s official live stream.Spafford – Levitate Festival – Full Set [Pro-Shot]Setlist: Spafford | Levitate Music & Arts Festival | Marshfield, MA | 7/8/18Set: America, Backdoor Funk, Broken Wing, Beautiful Day, The Reprise, Space GadgetFollowing Spafford’s early afternoon set, Levitate was treated to performances from Lake Street Dive, Turkuaz, West End Blend, and Rebelution. Greensky Bluegrass took the stage as the afternoon turned to evening, offering up a memorable, guest-filled performance for the sold-out festival crowd.After beginning with “The Four”, the band moved into “Run or Die” from 2016’s Shouted, Written Down, & Quoted. During the song, the band welcomed out local native Ryan Montbleau to assist on a cover of Coolio‘s “Gangsta’s Paradise”, the ubiquitous 1995 “Best Solo Rap Performance” Grammy-winner. Montbleau crooned L.V.‘s famous hook as Paul Hoffman rapped Coolio’s verses, before leaving the stage as the band segued back into “Run or Die”. You can watch fan-shot footage of the Coolio cover below:Greensky Bluegrass w/ Ryan Montbleau – Gangsta’s Paradise [Coolio cover][Video: virgilosborn]To close their set, Greensky welcomed one more surprise guest to add some extra firepower to their “Kerosene” closer. As dobro player Anders Beck noted, “We’re gonna get our buddy Brian Moss from Spafford up here, everybody, to play music with us!” Moss meshed skillfully with the bluegrass outfit, matching Hoffman’s mandolin solo with a muted, mando-style solo of his own before letting loose and trading riffs with Beck as the song reached its rocking climax. You can watch Greensky Bluegrass’s set (starting with “Burn Them”) below via the festival’s official live stream, or skip to 33:30 to watch Moss’s set-closing sit-in.Greensky Bluegrass w/ Brian Moss, Ryan Montbleau, & More – Levitate Festival – “Burn Them” through “Kerosene” [Pro-Shot]Setlist: Greensky Bluegrass | Levitate Music & Arts Festival | Marshfield, MA | 7/8/18Set: The Four, Run or Die > Gangster’s Paradise* > Run or Die, Like Reflections, Burn Them^, Past My Prime, Hit Parade, All Four, Kerosene%*with Ryan Montbleau on vocals; ^ with Luke Milanese on tambourine; % with Brian Moss (Spafford)You can check out a full gallery of photos from Levitate Music Festival below, courtesy of Adam McCullough.Levitate Music Festival | Marshfield, MA | 7/7-8/2018 | Photo: Adam McCullough Photo: Adam McCullough Photo: Adam McCulloughcenter_img Load remaining imageslast_img read more

Schools of the future

first_imgWhat will the K-12 education sector look like in 20 years? Recently, a group of Harvard students tried to answer that question by designing schools of the future.During an intense, seven-week collaboration, teams from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD) and the new Doctor of Education Leadership degree (Ed.L.D.) program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) developed the designs, with an emphasis on innovative approaches to teaching and learning.“It’s impossible to envision the future of education without seeing the building, but equally impossible to see it without understanding the new means of pedagogy and how students and teachers will interact,” said Hashim Sarkis, Aga Khan Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urbanism in Muslim Societies.Sarkis created the project with Harry Spence, co-director of the HGSE’s Ed.L.D. Program. A professor of practice at HGSE, Spence was eager to challenge his students to think about the future of education by incorporating elements of creativity and design. In speaking with Sarkis about his work on an upcoming book about schools of the 1950s, the two realized the important connection between pedagogy and facilities.“We thought the exposure to a different discipline and thinking about school and educational problems within a totally different disciplinary framework was critical,” said Spence.The School for Year 2030 (SY2030) initiative is connected to the series New Geographies, a journal of essays created by GSD students that explores how design can influence “the forces that shape contemporary urban realities.” The journals spawned a research laboratory of the same name, one of a number of new labs that are part of the School’s Research Advancement Initiative (RAI) headed by Sarkis.The labs bring faculty and students together around common areas of research interests, ranging from sustainability to fabrication, responsive environments, social agency, and new geographies. The SY2030 project involved faculty and students from the RAI’s labs.Over the spring semester, the students took “School for Year 2030 Advanced Research Seminar,” led by Spence and GSD postdoctoral fellow El Hadi Jazairy. The seminar included a series of lectures on the future of education as it relates to types of school facilities, community models, technology, and sustainability. There was also a design project. Students broke into teams, collaborating as designers (the GSD students) and clients (the HGSE students) to envision a new school for a site in Boston.HGSE student Tommy Henderson (left) talks with Harry Spence after presenting his proposal.The designs were unveiled during a presentation at the GSD last month before several architects and designers who acted as an informal panel, offering the students feedback.One group based its design on the concept of an airport, in which students start their days by “checking in” to school to review their schedules and then head to different gates, or places of learning, located both in the school and beyond its walls.“Some of the gates are internal … and some of the gates lead out into the real-world because we actually want our kids, as they get older, to do a lot of learning offsite and have real world applied learning experiences,” said Ed.L.D. student Michele Shannon, who helped to create the school model.Another team presented a multistory design with connecting ramps. Some students suggested eliminating grades in their schools, while others included residential towers that could house the families of schoolchildren. Other teams incorporated areas for more traditional teacher-student interactions into their designs, as well as space for independent workstations containing computers.The project not only explored the design of the schools but “how the students will interact in a given space … and that’s very powerful,” said Spence, who called the project “both very real world and, at the same time, richly visionary.”GSD students Francisco Izquierdo (left) and Chris Roach present their design of a future school.Sarkis called the project empowering.“It’s the right kind of collaboration,” he said, “where each person stands on their own strengths but benefits from the other people in very strategic ways.”“This project really gave us the opportunity to break out of what we currently know and understand schools to be,” said Shannon, “and allowed us to work with the design students and each other to really just imagine something completely different.”last_img read more

Protesters supporting Indian farmers demonstrate in NYC

first_imgNEW YORK (AP) — Demonstrators showing solidarity with protesting farmers in India rallied outside the Indian consulate in New York. The crowd gathered Tuesday on India’s Republic Day holiday. Drivers sounded their horns as they went by the blocked-off street where the consulate is located. Those who stood on the street chanted against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Farmers in India have been protesting for nearly two months over new laws that they say will benefit big corporations and wreak havoc on the earnings of smaller scale farmers. In India on Republic Day, tens of thousands of farmers stormed the historic Red Fort in New Delhi.last_img read more

ND Shakespeare Festival promotes student involvement

first_imgPhoto courtesy of Shakespeare at Notre Dame Students actors from the NDSF’s Young Company perform a scene from Shakespeare’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor” for the festival’s 2014 season. Student and professional actors participate in the NDSF each year.Mudge said in addition to undergraduate and graduate students, the Company hires professional actors from surrounding communities to participate in the festival.“We have a young company … that’s undergraduates, grad students and recent grads who tour a Shakespeare play or a classical play all throughout Michiana,” he said. “They … form a part of the professional company, which are [Actor’s Equity Association] actors from the union of professional actors and local pros, designers and coaches that come from all over the country and work at Notre Dame in the summer. … [Students] would be working right alongside Tony award nominees and Chicago’s version of that, Jeff awards.”Aside from the hired actors, Mudge said he is particularly excited to work with Hyler and Yousefzadeh, who will be directing “The Tempest” and “Pericles, Prince of Tyre,” the festival’s two featured shows this season.“[Tempest director Hyler] has a bunch of great experience that has led him to another gig he has next year. He’s directing the first ever Broadway production by Cirque Du Soleil, which is the largest theater company in the world,” Mudge said. “This is the first time they’ve ever been on Broadway and he’s the staging director. … So what’s nice is because we’re Notre Dame, and because, also, it’s a really lovely kind of family atmosphere and a lovely place to come to work, he returns and works with us on multiple years even though he could be off doing anything.”Because of Hyler’s outside experience, NDSF is able to experiment more than they have in the past, Mudge said.“If anybody has tumbling, gymnastics or musical skills, we want to see them, or at least know it,” Mudge said. “West is going to be adding elements of modern circus arts into The Tempest.”Mudge said Yousefzadeh, who is directing Pericles, brings a slightly different perspective than Hyler.“She just has that kind of terrific perspective you want in someone who works with undergrads,” he said. “She treats them seriously, makes sure that they have a chance to be as creative as professionals, recognizes that sometimes at that early career phase you don’t quite know where you’re really going. So she knows when to step in and guide a little bit more. [She has a] really great sensibility for that.”Mudge said NDSF also gives Notre Dame faculty a chance to showcase their skills, too.“Right here [at Notre Dame], too, are resident artists,” Mudge said. “Marcus Stephens teaches scenic design and other theater courses, and he is a brilliant designer who always brings a different lens through which to see the play and through which to be onstage and inhabit the play. He has a tremendous creative brain that I very much value and enjoy working with.”The first priority of NDSF, however, is to ensure that the basic foundation of Shakespeare plays — the text — shines through, Mudge said.“Our focus, always, is on great storytelling and compelling narrative,” Mudge said. “If there were a core to [NDSF], it’s ensuring that the phenomenal language with which Shakespeare crafted the plays rings through very clearly. If you’ve got all the effects in the world but you can’t hear ‘to be or not to be,’ something’s missing.”Students who audition and aren’t cast in the Company or would prefer not to act also have an opportunity to work on the festival. Junior Mary Patano worked as an assistant stage manager during last summer’s festival.“I had never really done a lot of stage management before, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but it made me appreciate all of the work that goes into the shows,” Patano said. “I helped with some of the set building, I helped with costume changes, I was there for teching the lights, the sounds and all of these wonderful things that people put so much work into just kind of made the show. It’s a lot of work.”Patano also said she enjoyed interacting with students outside of the festival.“You all live together in the houses, so you have these dinners, and everyone comes together and it’s a lot of fun,” she said. “I really liked living in the house. We had a super-fan house where everything was covered in Notre Dame stuff.”Because of the valuable experience and the bonds created, Patano said she recommends students get involved.“I’ve never regretted auditioning for something, because if you don’t audition or don’t try it, it’s an automatic no,” she said. “So giving it that shot, I think, is worth it, especially for NDSF, especially because Shakespeare’s so relatable to everyone. … I learned how to take initiative and work with people who aren’t just students. You’re working with professionals… You can’t beat their experience.”Mudge said students like Patano who participate in the festival use the experience they learn for years to come.“Many of the folks who’ve been through the young company report that it is an absolutely profound, life-changing experience,” he said. “Their awareness of how people behave and why people behave that way is enhanced immeasurably by working with these plays. … I keep coming back to them because I change. My perspective change and suddenly I see new things in the plays all the time.”To schedule an audition performance email [email protected], and to inquire about a position working backstage email [email protected]: NDSF, Shakespeare, shakespeare festival The Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival (NDSF) is offering students the opportunity to work with world-class theater professionals this summer.This Saturday, Ryan Producing Artistic Director of the NDSF Grant Mudge and the two directors for this summer’s main shows, Pirronne Yousefzadeh and West Hyler, will hold auditions for students and other members of the Notre Dame community for the festival.“We have a mission that primarily is to explore the plays of William Shakespeare but focus on our surrounding communities,” Mudge said. “One of our key components is providing opportunities for students with the pros. That’s how Shakespeare’s Company did it. … So it’s an unusual program in that regard and I think it’s a very special program because of that.”last_img read more

Bomb threat reported to NDPD

first_imgThis report was updated June 22 at 6:42 p.m.A bomb threat on Main Campus was reported to Notre Dame Police Department (NDPD) on Friday, according to NDPD’s Tuesday crime log. The tri-campus community was not made aware of the threat.The University declined to comment.Tags: bomb, bomb threat, crime log, Notre Dame Police Departmentlast_img

Vermont homes sales down for month, up over last year

first_imgIn August 2011, New England posted an 8.9 percent increase in sales compared to August 2010, indicating that the housing market continues to recover. Vermont helped fuel the surge, with year-over-year home sales up 18.8 percent. However, it was also the only state in the region to post month-to-month declines in both units sold, -6.7 percent, and median price, -3.3 percent.Connecticut was also the only state to experience month-to-month gains in both units sold, up 6.6%, and median price, up 1.7 percent. Maine also experienced New England’s largest increase in units sold, with month-to-month sales up 8.4 percent. However, the median price took a hit, dropping -6.6 percent. Month-to-month home sales in Massachusetts actually dropped -3.0 percent. However, when comparing August 2011 to August 2010, home sales were actually up 2.6 percent. New Hampshire’s 8.0 percent surge in month-to-month home sales was second only to Maine. Rhode Island helped fuel the surge, with year-over-year home sales up over 31% in the Ocean State. Month-to-month home sales were also up 7.6 percent.‘We’re pleased to see an increase in transactions in August without any artificial stimulus,’ said Jay Hummer, Executive Vice President, RE/MAX of New England.’ Although the housing recovery will continue to hit bumps along the way, it is slowly returning despite tighter lending because of continued low interest rates.’He said low interest rates continue to help the market rebound.last_img read more

‘I don’t know how you can ignore that call.’ Neighbors join together to protect their water

first_imgYou know the stream you can just make out rippling through the treeline  at the edge of your property? The one that the neighborhood kids make small rock dams in, sometimes racing leaves and sticks through miniature whitewater rapids.Or that creak that crosses the trail at the perfect resting point on your favorite hike with the wooden footbridge over it that looks old enough to be built by John Muir himself.Or the narrow river where you navigate the banks with fly-rod in hand looking for that pool you know provided you with two nice-sized rainbows that you brought home for Sunday dinner around this time last year.Now imagine looking down on these streams on the perfect summer sunny day, and what was once water so clear you might not notice it was there were if not for the babbling sounds and shimmering reflections, was the color of chocolate milk, the brown color of floodwater though it hadn’t rained for days.In the tight-knit communities of Appalachia, you would ask your neighbor about it.  And once you deduced the muddiness may be coming from the construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline upstream, the one that promised minimal effects on the mountain streams it traverses,  you would ask what can we do about this?That is how the Mountain Valley Watch began.  One neighbor asking another what can be done about this?In 2017, Jason Shelton was asked that question by his neighbors, and as an engineer with expertise in mapping technologies who sometimes uses drones to measure the vegetative health of specialty crops such as wineries and hop-yards, he heeded the call and took action.“I don’t know how you  can ignore that call as a professional in your community”, said Shelton.He began by reaching out to Kirk Bowers of the Virginia Sierra Club, and Rick Shingles and Russell Chisolm of Preserve Giles County, one of several local groups fighting pipelines under the larger Protect Our Water Heritage Rights group that has battled MVP for the four years since its inception.  POWHR has challenged MVP every step of the way through the regulatory process, and now that construction has began, through civil disobedience using methods with activists tree-sitting and a chaining themselves to construction equipment.They also are monitoring potential water violations and this is where Shelton could help.He offered to build a mapping tool that would show detailed and accurate information about the route and its impacts on communities.They joined forces and became the Mountain Valley Watch, enlisting and training a multiple county-wide neighborhood watch of landowners and volunteers, documenting and reporting any possible malfeasance on the part of the  pipeline.Their main focus being the stormwater mitigation measures.   With the pipeline’s swath being 50 feet when completed and up to 150 feet during construction, runoff during storms can unnaturally muddy the surrounding creeks and streams, eroding soil, destroying ecosystems and causing property damage.  The pipeline argues their measures can help to counterattack runoff, the Mountain Valley Watch has found otherwise.They document their findings using a smartphone survey app that collects descriptions, photographs, all with a gps tag that allows Shelton and Chisolm to corroborate and gather on their website  Shelton and Chisolm also monitor the reports using drones that can show the bigger picture using hi-resolution video imaging from above. Alleged violations are then sent to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality for possible investigation.Mountain Valley Watch  is but one the newest brigades in the activist army battling the pipeline.An unprecedented 13,000 written comments were sent to the VDEQ prior to the public hearing by the State Water Board on August 21 to decide if they would reconsider the permit that allows the pipeline to run on the bottoms of roughly 500 streams and wetlands of Virginia.Shelton was on hand representing MVW, which contributed a 34 page report documenting their findings to dateThe State Water Board ruled 4-3 against reconsidering after a raucous four-hour meeting was nearly adjourned due to heckling by the 200 or so in attendance aimed at the board members and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.If the board had ruled to reconsider the permit, it would have led to a more a comprehensive study of the impacts, slowing construction of the pipeline even further than the August 3 ruling by the Federal Energy Regulation Committee that ordered construction halted until further review on the 3.6 miles running through Jefferson National Forest due to similar concerns.A little over a week after the water board ruling, and a month after they stopped construction on the pipeline, federal regulators ruled to allow construction to resume on the pipeline.“I’m encouraged by the efforts of three of the seven Water Control Board members to revoke these pipeline permits and the work of all of these volunteers led to the board to push for stricter enforcement from DEQ,” Chisolm wrote in an email.“Those of us who rely on private wells and springs will continue to fight to protect the watershed for everyone downstream and I’m proud to serve my community in this way.”The Mountain Valley Watch, which began with one neighbor asking another what can be done, has brought a sophisticated vigilance in the monitoring of malfeasance by the pipeline. And will continue their efforts filing well-documented suspected violations to those streams that run through our backyards and trails and fishing holes as long they are being muddied by unnatural runoff.last_img read more

Empathy starts with me

first_img“Empathy is a hard skill to learn because mastery requires practice and practice means you’ll screw it up big time more than once. But that’s how practice works.” – Brené BrownEmpathy has become a topic for conversation now more than ever as credit unions strive to find ways to help their members get through this pandemic. And while the concept of empathy is simple, it’s not easy. Truly serving through empathy requires lots of practice and intentional effort to improve.Just like strengthening any sort of muscle, building empathy can be draining both emotionally and mentally. There’s also not an “easy” button, or a “one way solves all” to practice empathy. However, here are five reminders to help as you practice:Be present. For this, you don’t have to  say  anything, it is actually better if you don’t. Just do a better job of  being there  by tuning out distractions and tuning into non-verbal cues. Take a deep breath and truly listen – don’t just wait to give your response, jump ahead, or envision the end of the conversation.Find your voice. Listen first to make sure you’re using your voice to support the other person. An easy way to do this is by relaying back what you’ve heard. This mirrors their vulnerability while also letting them know they’ve been heard.When responding, recognize and validate others’ feelings. This can feel tricky, but empathy isn’t about endorsing or agreeing with the other person. It’s simply temporarily suspending your point of view and seeing from their vantage point. Feelings are always valid, but you do not need to validate actions.Challenge your narrative. We can’t completely remove our judgments, but we can recognize them and challenge the stories we may be telling ourselves. Instead of making assumptions, ask questions to better understand the situation. Recognize also if your own mood is playing into your perceptions or interactions.In-the-moment judgments, narratives, and assumptions can be tough to keep in check. Strengthen this skill by reflecting on your interactions. Recognize and celebrate your wins, learn from times where you could have improved. Empathy takes practice!Ask curious questions. Cultivate your sense of curiosity. Curious people ask lots of questions, leading them to develop a stronger understanding of the people around them. Ask questions like: “Why?” “Tell me more…” or “That is interesting, how did you develop that idea?” The ability to imagine what someone else is feeling, even if we haven’t experienced it ourselves, is critical to empathy.Not comfortable yet digging into conversations with these questions? Start by reading a book, listening to a podcast, or watch a documentary from/about a different perspective. Be mindful of pausing and reflecting on the ideas shared.Follow up. Recognize and show appreciation for those who practice empathy around you. Celebrating these moments, no matter how simple, creates momentum and encouragement that push us forward.Actions speak volumes but don’t feel the need to only take action for solutions. Instead, how can you demonstrate that someone was heard? Can you follow up with them after to check-in or say thank you?Reminders are always helpful as we practice, so we’ve turned these five tips into a poster you can hang in your office or by your desk. If you’re reading this, know that you CAN make a difference by practicing empathy. Know that it will take some time to strengthen that muscle, but by doing these small things you will make a large impact. This post is currently collecting data… 43SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Kalli Shelton Kalli is the Education Program Manager at the National Credit Union Foundation. In her role, she works to expand the Foundation’s ability to deliver education and engagement opportunities to … Web: Detailscenter_img This is placeholder text last_img read more