This week has been particularly tough. On Tuesday, 19 children and two adults were gunned down at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. The shooting occurred just a week after a white gunman opened fire at a Buffalo supermarket in a black neighborhood, killing ten people.

These headlines leave us full of emotion but often linger on what to do next — and then the horrific cycle continues. My colleague Alia E. Dastagir reported on a kind of “learned helplessness” that we assume in these situations that are almost normalized to us. Here’s an excerpt from her piece:

We read the same headlines, see the same hand-wringing, 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 discover that nothing they do matters,” says Dr. Martin Seligman, director of the Penn Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania. “The main consequence is that people give up and stop trying. It applies to most Americans who have shown for years that they want more checks and balances on gun control. … And despite that, the American voter and especially the Democrats have found that nothing they do works. That predicts that people would give up.”

Read Alia’s full story to learn more about “learned helplessness.”

Click here to see what actions you can take after the Uvalde shooting.

We have no words, but this poet has found some.

The school shooting has left words in many people’s minds, overwhelmed with emotions. In her latest poem, Amanda Gorman captured those feelings and turned the speechlessness into stanzas.

“Schools are terrified. The truth is, an education under desks, bent deep with bullets, that plunge when we ask where our children will live and how and if,” she writes.

Gorman continued in a series of tweets.

“It takes a monster to kill children. But to see monsters kill children over and over and do nothing is not just madness – it’s inhumanity… The truth is that one nation is under attack,” they said. The tweets. ‘What would we be if we only tried? What could we become if we only listened.’

People have responded, and thanks for capturing their thoughts and emotions.

“Grateful for your words when words seem impossible,” actress Rachel Brosnahan said 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. Therapist Sara Kuburic’s column this week outlines the mistakes to avoid when dating someone for the first time. Here are a few from the list:

We are not showing up authentically. We all want to make a good first impression. But often, we try to do this by being who the other person wants us to be rather than showing who we are. The biggest mistake is getting someone to like an inauthentic version of you.

You are 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 seem selfish and make the experience less engaging for the other person.

Don’t ask questions. Showing interest isn’t just about eye contact or laughing at their jokes; it’s about asking questions about their lives and being curious about who they are. And yet asking questions is not enough. Please pay close attention to the answers they give you.

Click here to read Sara’s full list of tips.

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Today’s Lectures

Today’s pet

Meet Ollie.

Karen Campbell wrote that her pup Ollie is an Isle of Imaal Irish Terrier. We love his bandana; so stylish!


I have been blogging since August 2011. I have had over 10,000 visitors to my blog! My goal is to help people, and I have the knowledge and the passion to do this. I love to travel, dance, and play volleyball. I also enjoy hanging out with my friends and family. I started writing my blogs when I lived in California. I would wake up in the middle of the night and write something while listening to music and looking at the ocean. When I moved to Texas, I found a new place to write. I would sit in my backyard while everyone else was at work, and I could write all day.