Why we like morally grey characters so much:

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Have you ever noticed that your favorite TV or book characters are that lovely shade of morally grey. They do bad things all the time, but they are still somehow a good character. A few examples that pop to mind is Kaz from the book series Six of Crows, or Lucifer in the show Lucifer. They’re not technically good characters but we root for them regardless. Why do we love these morally grey characters so much?

They’re redeemable, whether it’s in certain actions, their tragic back story, or simply their love for other characters. They all have redeemable traits, no matter how bad they get or what they have to do to survive, and I think deep down inside, we all relate to that. We all want to be redeemable. We all strive to be redeemed.

We’re not out killing people (I hope) like a lot of morally grey fiction characters but we all have our fair share of dirt we’d rather not discuss or think about. We are all riddled with flaws, we are human after all, and when we see others riddled with flaws in our entertainment we root for them, because if there is good in them there sure as hell is good in us.

I think it’s human nature to see both the worst and the best in people. Our society likes to pretend that we normally see the worst in people, and maybe they are right to a certain degree. We as a species stereotype, we hold on to grudges, we cling to anger. But if our entertainment says anything about us it tells us that we are still rooting for the best¬† in people, we still want the good in everyone to prevail.

We like our morally grey characters because no matter the scale, they are relatable, and we like them because they give us someone to root for.

Self love isn’t self flattery.

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Coming in with a hot take. I see a lot of people, especially young women on social media, who have gone the wrong why with trying to find self love. It’s turned into self flattery. As viewing yourself as a “goddess on earth” or something else equally as large. It’s gotten to the point that I see women talking up this form of self love, this form of flattery as the definition of what self love is.

Self love isn’t seeing yourself as a goddess, it’s not trying to hold yourself so high up that you can’t hear your negative thoughts, actually it’s normally the opposite. It’s seeing yourself as a wonderful but flawed being worthy of love and worthy of all the time and energy it takes to improve.

Self love is more self acceptance than it is self flattery. Yes, you should look at yourself as someone worthy and lovable and good as you are, but you it isn’t just about praising yourself. It’s about loving the core of you, faults and all and knowing how to make yourself better.

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Expanding horizons: On Friendships built on Differences

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Have you ever met someone that you have nothing in common with and it bloom into a friendship? It’s an interesting situation, and I mean that in the best way, these people can help you grow and widen your horizons, but they can also just be interesting people to discuss things with.

I think we’ve lost a lot of the art of being friends with different people. We like to surround ourselves with replications of ourselves. We like to know what kind of advice we’re going to get. We like to do our hobbies with other people who like our hobbies. Even if we don’t mean them to be, our friends tend to be very similar to each other. But they don’t need to be, we can have friends from all walks of life with all sorts of different hobbies and ideals. We might not get the joy of hearing our opinions spoken back to us, but we can learn about different ideas and we can fall in love with different activities, or types of music, or books.

We grow when we’re introduced to new and exciting things, but we also are mammals completely dependent on having support systems and being loved. We can find that love in company with all sorts of people.

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Quick and simple ways to save money on groceries:

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I’m a newbie at couponing, mainly because it’s changed a lot from my youth to me moving out on my own. It’s no longer all about the Sunday paper. It’s not longer hoarding little paper scraps (unless they come on the end of a mile long CVS receipt). It’s almost all digital, and thank God for that. But collecting coupons never seems fast and easy. There are thousands of ways to find them. They take a long time to gather together.

So what have I found to be the answer?

Having a few sources for coupons: I find that if you only have two or three apps it saves you not only money but time. Sure you might miss a few deals, but a lot of the deals are the same app to app, also I’m not sure the 50 cents off is worth losing ten minutes of my day. I’ve found the most useful apps for me have been the acutal grocery store app, whether it be Lowes Food or Food Lion. They have deals that you can load to your “MVP” card. No fumbling with barcodes on your phone. No holding up the line. Just a simple phone number and swipe and your out of there.

Another app I love? Fetch Rewards. It has a ton of brands on its app and you get points every time you buy one of them! It’s easy to use, all you have to do is scan your receipt and it gives you points. The points take a while to add up, but once you get enough you can turn them into giftcards for a ton of popular stores (like Walmart, Target, and Amazon) in $5, $10, and $25 amounts. I have a code if you create an account that will help me get more points, but whether you use it or not, I think you should download the app. My code is EFMVE

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High horses: Lets talk about pride

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I did a post on gluttony a while back about how it often felt like the forgotten sin. I still think that, but I’m starting to think there might be one even more overlooked..

Pride.

Pride comes in a lot of forms, but the one I mainly want to talk about is the view of moral superiority. It’s rampant and we’re all guilty of it at sometimes, but I feel like it’s taking over the internet by storm.

People can talk about Instagram and envy till the cows come home, but I want to talk about people shaming others, blasting others, and pushing themselves up by pushing others down. It’s a school yard trick that’s gotten a much bigger audience with social media. It’s the constant “Actually you’re wrong and I can tell you why, because I’m right” not about one topic or two topics, but every topic all the time. Our views are firm, unmoving, and only the people who agree with us are worth listening too.

And for the record, I’m not just talking about politics. I’m talking about everything from people arguing the best way to feed a baby to the best way to teach a English class. Our views are viewed as the supreme in all subjects, and we’re willing to fight to the death about it. It’s not necessarily a new cultural shift, but it’s something we need to talk about because it’s starting to seep into every aspect of our lives.

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Create beyond your skill set

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Someone recently came to me for help on an quick design project. I realized while I was helping them with it how much I loved it. I loved that someone had this great big idea that I never would have thought of and instead of dismissing it because they didn’t have the skill set to make it they got help so that it could be created.

Our ideas often overshot our skill set, and that is an amazing thing for multiple reasons, it gives us room to grow and it gives us room to collaborate.

My friend came to me with a collaboration and together we were able to make it a thing. She had no interest in the process just the finished product, which is fine, because the finished product was amazing and important. Sometimes that’s about as much skin as we want in the game, we just want to see the idea realized. I had as much fun making it as she did creating it and in the end we could both be proud of something, but there is also something to say about creating something yourself that you don’t have the skills for yet.

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Your inner voice is telling you more about your mental health than you know.

I’ve been stressed lately. We’ve had a queue of bad events coursing through my family lately, everything from ill health to work problems. December and January¬† were busy, but we’re starting to see the light (maybe, hopefully?).

I knew that the stress was bothering me, like it would anyone, but I thought it ended there. I was keeping up with everything, handling what needed to be handled. It was going as well as it could.

Then that little voice in the back of my head started nagging me again, and I mean that in the rudest of ways. When I’m over-stressed, run down, anxious, or depressed my mind doesn’t stop with the negativity and it starts directing it at me.

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