Diversity

3 Things Everyone Should Know Before Growing Up

With peak graduation season just behind us, we’ve all had the chance to hear and learn from commencement speeches — without even needing to attend a graduation. They’re often full of useful advice for the future as seniors move on from high school and college. But what about the stuff you wish you’d been told long before graduation?

We take it for granted that children should play. Why not adults?
Here are just three of the many things I wish I’d known in high school, accumulated at various points along the way to becoming a professor of psychology.
1. People don’t judge you as harshly as you think they do.
In a 2001 study, psychologists Kenneth Savitsky, Nicholas Epley and Thomas Gilovich asked college students to consider various social blunders: accidentally setting off the alarm at the library, being the sole guest at a party who failed to bring a gift or being spotted by classmates at the mall while carrying a shopping bag from an unfashionable store. Some students imagined experiencing these awkward moments themselves — let’s call them the “offenders” — while others considered how they, or another observer, would respond watching someone else do so. We’ll call them the “observers.”
The researchers found that offenders thought they’d be judged much more harshly than the observers actually judged people for those offenses. In other words, observers were more charitable than offenders thought they would be.
In another study, students who attempted a difficult set of anagrams thought observers’ perception of their intellectual ability would plummet. In fact, observers’ opinions hardly shifted at all.
Why do we expect others to judge us more harshly than they do?
One of the main reasons seems to be our obsessive focus on ourselves and our own blunders. If you fail to bring a gift to a party, you might feel embarrassed and focus exclusively on that single bit of information about you. In contrast, other people will form an impression of you based on lots of different sources of information, including your nice smile and your witty banter. They’ll also have plenty to keep them occupied besides you: enjoying a conversation, taking in the view, planning their evening or worrying about the impression that they are making. We don’t loom nearly as large in other people’s narratives as we do in our own.
Now, it isn’t the case that others are always charitable. Sometimes they do judge us harshly. What the studies find is that others judge us less harshly than we think they will. But that should be enough to provide some solace. We can take it as an invitation to worry less about what others think of us and as a reminder to be generous in how we judge them.
2. You should think of intelligence as something you develop.
Is a person’s intelligence a fixed quantity they’re born with? Or is it something malleable, something that can change throughout the lifespan?
The answer is probably a bit of both. But a large body of research suggests you’re better offthinking of intelligence as something that can grow — a skill you can develop — and not as something set in stone. Psychologist Carol Dweck and her colleagues have been studying implicit theories or “mindsets” about intelligence for decades, and they find that mindset really matters. People who have a “growth mindset” typically do better in school and beyond than those with a “fixed mindset.”
One reason mindset is so important is because it affects how people respond to feedback.
Suppose George and Francine both do poorly on a math test. George has a growth mindset, so he thinks to himself: “I’d better do something to improve my mathematical ability. Next time I’ll do more practice problems!” Francine has a fixed mindset, so she thinks to herself: “I guess I’m no good at math. Next time I won’t bother with the honors course!” And when George and Francine are given the option of trying to solve a hard problem for extra credit, George will see it as an attractive invitation to grow his mathematical intelligence and Francine as an unwelcome opportunity to confirm she’s no good at math.
Small differences in how George and Francine respond will, over time, generate big differences in the experiences they expose themselves to, their attitude toward math and the proficiency they ultimately achieve. (The gendered name choices here are not accidental: Girls often have a fixed mindset when it comes to mathematical ability; mindset probably accounts for some of the gender gap in girls’ and boys’ performance in mathematics in later school years.)
The good news is that mindsets are themselves malleable. Praising children’s effort rather than their intelligence, for example, can help instill a growth mindset. And simply reading about the brain’s plasticity might be enough to shift people’s mindsets and generate beneficial effects.
That’s enough to convince me that whether or not intelligence is malleable, our skills and achievements — the things we do with our intelligence — certainly are. Let’s do what we can to “grow” them.
3. Playing isn’t a waste of time.
We take it for granted that children can and should play. By adulthood, that outlook is expected to give way as we make time for more “mature” preoccupations. In her recent bookOverwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time, Brigid Schulte takes a close look at how American adults spend their leisure time. She isn’t too impressed: We don’t have much of it (especially women and especially mothers), and we don’t enjoy it as much as we could.
Young adults are somewhere in the transition: too old for “child’s play” and not yet into adulthood. But the lesson from psychology is that there’s a role for play at all ages, whether it’s elaborategames of make-believe, rule-based games, unstructured summer playtime or forms of “higher culture,” like art, music and literature. Playing is a way to learn about ourselves and about the world. Playing brings with it a host of emotional benefits.
Play is joyful in part because it’s an end in itself. It’s thus perhaps ironic (but fortuitous) that play is also a means to greater wellbeing and productivity, even outside the playroom. So make time for play; it’s not something to outgrow.
Finally, if you’re in search of more advice, check out NPR’s collection of more than 300 commencement addresses, covering 1774 to the present.
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Diversity

I’m coming home, Lebron James

LEBRON JAMES I’M COMING HOME

Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. It’s where I walked. It’s where I ran. It’s where I cried. It’s where I bled. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I’m their son. Their passion can be overwhelming. But it drives me. I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can. My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.
Remember when I was sitting up there at the Boys & Girls Club in 2010? I was thinking, This is really tough. I could feel it. I was leaving something I had spent a long time creating. If I had to do it all over again, I’d obviously do things differently, but I’d still have left. Miami, for me, has been almost like college for other kids. These past four years helped raise me into who I am. I became a better player and a better man. I learned from a franchise that had been where I wanted to go. I will always think of Miami as my second home. Without the experiences I had there, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing today.
I went to Miami because of D-Wade and CB. We made sacrifices to keep UD. I loved becoming a big bro to Rio. I believed we could do something magical if we came together. And that’s exactly what we did! The hardest thing to leave is what I built with those guys. I’ve talked to some of them and will talk to others. Nothing will ever change what we accomplished. We are brothers for life.  I also want to thank Micky Arison and Pat Riley for giving me an amazing four years.
I’m doing this essay because I want an opportunity to explain myself uninterrupted. I don’t want anyone thinking: He and Erik Spoelstra didn’t get along. … He and Riles didn’t get along. … The Heat couldn’t put the right team together. That’s absolutely not true.
I’m not having a press conference or a party. After this, it’s time to get to work.
When I left Cleveland, I was on a mission. I was seeking championships, and we won two. But Miami already knew that feeling. Our city hasn’t had that feeling in a long, long, long time. My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what’s most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio.
I always believed that I’d return to Cleveland and finish my career there. I just didn’t know when. After the season, free agency wasn’t even a thought. But I have two boys and my wife, Savannah, is pregnant with a girl. I started thinking about what it would be like to raise my family in my hometown. I looked at other teams, but I wasn’t going to leave Miami for anywhere except Cleveland. The more time passed, the more it felt right. This is what makes me happy.
To make the move I needed the support of my wife and my mom, who can be very tough. The letter from Dan Gilbert, the booing of the Cleveland fans, the jerseys being burned — seeing all that was hard for them. My emotions were more mixed. It was easy to say, “OK, I don’t want to deal with these people ever again.” But then you think about the other side. What if I were a kid who looked up to an athlete, and that athlete made me want to do better in my own life, and then he left? How would I react? I’ve met with Dan, face-to-face, man-to-man. We’ve talked it out. Everybody makes mistakes. I’ve made mistakes as well. Who am I to hold a grudge? 
I’m not promising a championship. I know how hard that is to deliver. We’re not ready right now. No way. Of course, I want to win next year, but I’m realistic. It will be a long process, much longer than it was in 2010. My patience will get tested. I know that. I’m going into a situation with a young team and a new coach. I will be the old head. But I get a thrill out of bringing a group together and helping them reach a place they didn’t know they could go. I see myself as a mentor now and I’m excited to lead some of these talented young guys. I think I can help Kyrie Irving become one of the best point guards in our league. I think I can help elevate Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters. And I can’t wait to reunite with Anderson Varejao, one of my favorite teammates.
But this is not about the roster or the organization. I feel my calling here goes above basketball. I have a responsibility to lead, in more ways than one, and I take that very seriously. My presence can make a difference in Miami, but I think it can mean more where I’m from. I want kids in Northeast Ohio, like the hundreds of Akron third-graders I sponsor through my foundation, to realize that there’s no better place to grow up. Maybe some of them will come home after college and start a family or open a business. That would make me smile. Our community, which has struggled so much, needs all the talent it can get.
In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have.
I’m ready to accept the challenge. I’m coming home.
Diversity

Elephant Raju cries, tears

Raju the elephant
Raju being set free






For 50 years, Raju the elephant was abused, held shackled in spiked chains and forced to live off scraps from passing tourists. All that changed when he was rescued last weekend by wildlife conservationists who said the animal cried when he was finally set free.

Wildlife SOS, a group established in 1995 to protect endangered wildlife in India,set out to rescue Raju on the night of July 2. Raju is around 50 years old and was likely captured as a baby and bought and sold many times over the course of his life. He was forced to work as a begging elephant in Allahabad. His legs were bound in spiked chains that made walking difficult and left him with chronic wounds. He was also beaten.
Wildlife SOS found out about Raju’s story through India’s Forestry Commission. When the group attempted to rescue Raju on the night of July 2 in the Uttar Pradesh region of India, his owner and mahout — an individual who rides elephants — apparently attempted to dismantle the effort with a standoff, Nikki Sharp, the executive director of Wildlife SOS-USA, told The Huffington Post Monday.
Raju’s captors layered tighter chains on him and attempted to confuse him by shouting commands, but their efforts proved futile. A team of 10 veterinarians and experts from Wildlife SOS along with 20 Forestry Commission officers and two policemen managed to rescue the abused elephant, according to the Mirror, a British tabloid.
“Raju was in chains 24 hours a day, an act of ­intolerable cruelty. The team were astounded to see tears roll down his face during the rescue,” Pooja Binepal, a spokesman for Wildlife SOS, said, per the Mirror. “It was incredibly emotional. We knew in our hearts he realized he was being freed. Elephants are majestic and highly intelligent animals. We can only imagine what torture the past half a century has been for him.”
Sharp echoed Binepal’s statement while speaking with HuffPost.
“They [the rescue team] went in to rescue him and they [his captors] had bound him up so tightly that he was in a lot of pain,” she said. “The vet and our team came with fruits and just started speaking softly to him and to reassure him that we were there to help, and it was at that time that tears flooded down his face. The founder of Wildlife SOS, who was there are the time of the rescue, said …. that really caught him off guard. They’ve done a lot of elephant rescues and the fact the the tears were just coming down … he was weeping. It was an emotional moment and everyone was more motivated to get him on the truck and to safety.”
Raju was taken to the Elephant Conservation and Care Centre in Mathura. On July 4, the same day Americans celebrated their independence, Raju took his first steps of freedom. Sharp said he is doing “fabulously.” The Wildlife SOS team is prepared to help make Raju comfortable in his new life and to rehabilitate him by treating his physical wounds and introducing him to other elephants at the center.
Elephants can live up to 70 years. Sharp says they hope Raju has another 10 years or more ahead of him.