Gender-affirming care has been a hot topic for the entirety of Joe Biden’s presidency. As gender-affirming surgeries, puberty blockers, and other means of care become more prevalent throughout the world, certain institutions are taking a stand to protect impressionable youth and protect human dignity.

Just a few years ago, there were very few who supported gender-affirming care. Now, it’s hard to find any people or institutions willing to speak publicly against it. However, the tides are turning, and in the past few months, there has been more public attention on the negative effects of gender-affirming care and the surgeries that are often associated with it.

Here are just a few institutions publicly taking a stand against gender-affirming care.

National Health Services of England

In March, the National Health Services of England outlawed prescribing puberty blockers at clinics as a means of treating gender dysphoria. Without enough research confirming the safety of such measures, the NHS took a stand to ensure the safety of all children. This move will ensure that no child can have their development altered in a way they may regret later in life.

While many disagree with this decision, NHS has not overturned its ruling because of public outcry. Instead, it has stood firm, and England remains a country where access to gender-affirming care is limited.

The Vatican

This month, the Vatican released Dignitas Infinita, or Infinite Dignity, which outlined threats to human dignity throughout the world. Gender theory and transgender surgery were both listed in the document. This statement from the Church reinforces the belief that all were created in God’s image. The Vatican believes that by attempting to reassign the gender of a particular person, the physician or person conducting such surgeries is committing an affront to human dignity.

In the same document, The Vatican also reinforced the Church’s stance on abortion, stating that all human life must be cherished from the moment of conception.

Nearly Half of US States

Nearly half of the states in the US have enacted laws that ban gender-affirming care in some capacity. Most of these laws are targeted at protecting children from receiving such care. Specific states have made it illegal for youth to receive any care, while others have strictly focused on gender-affirming surgeries that are irreversible.

Access to gender-affirming care is generally dependent on whether or not one lives in a red or blue state. Nearly every single state that has limited access to gender-affirming care either voted for Donald Trump in the 2020 election or has a Republican Governor.

Following her appalling appearance before a Congressional education committee, former Harvard President Claudine Gay refused to leave her post, as she faced accusations of antisemitism and plagiarism. Finally, on January 2, 2024, after nearly a month of clinging to her position, Gay resigned. Her term was the shortest in Harvard’s history.

Here are five key takeaways from Claudine Gay’s resignation.

Freedom of Speech Only Matters When it Fits the Agenda

In a study conducted by College Pulse and the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE), Harvard ranked last among 248 United States colleges regarding freedom of speech on campus. Yet, in her appearance before Congress, Gay repeatedly cited freedom of speech as a primary reason why she wouldn’t discipline students calling for the genocide of the Jewish population around the world. Her resignation is a massive win for actual freedom of speech, religious freedom, and people with an ounce of sanity.

DEI and Affirmative Action Fail Again

Gay has partially blamed racism for the effort to have her removed from the Presidency. But racism was not the issue. The system that got her appointed in the first place is the real problem. Harvard, in an effort to name their first Black President, chose an unqualified person who checked boxes that they felt would make them look good in the public eye. That failed spectacularly. Maybe next time, they will choose someone who deserves the position.

Elite Institutions Are Not Better Than the Public

Elitism is a serious issue in Ivy League communities. Because of Harvard’s incredible history since its founding, they have been looked at as a paragon of higher education. After a tenuous few years culminating with Gay’s resignation, the public does not feel that way anymore. Can Harvard, Penn, and other elite institutions gain back public trust or will the public continue to laugh off these once prestigious Universities?

Accountability is Finally Here in America

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it became too easy for Americans to point the finger at others and blame them for their actions. The person not wearing a mask was responsible for you getting COVID, even though you willingly went to a restaurant or took an Uber. However, we’ve seen a shift to personal responsibility and accountability in recent months, and that could shape the future of America for the better. For too long, higher education has created a divide in this country with no repercussions. Yet between the resignations of Gay and Penn’s Liz Magill, it is clear that the public is tired of the double standard. If MIT’s Sally Kornbluth resigns soon, that will be a huge win for accountability.

As war rages in Gaza, we pray for all the innocent victims unable to escape the destruction. We also pray for all those who have become victims of hate as a result of this conflict. Below, we take a look at five of the most despicable villains in the world today.

Yahya Sinwar

Sinwar is the current leader of Hamas, and he is the one who ordered the worst terror attack in Israel’s history. His criminal background stretches back to the 1980s when he was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of six people. As he continues to launch offensives against Israel, Sinwar remains the top target of Israel’s military efforts.

Ali Khamenei

Khamenei is the supreme leader of Iran, and he has blamed the United States for assisting Israel with the planning of the Gaza bombings. As a form of retaliation, he has threatened to attack US troops in the Middle East. President Joe Biden issued a stern warning to Khamenei about getting involved in the conflict. Whether that warning was received remains to be seen.

Rashida Tlaib

Representative Tlaib has been spreading lies and misinformation since the initial terrorist attacks took place. She continues to claim that Israel bombed a Palestinian hospital, which evidence has proven was a Hamas attack gone wrong. She is staunchly anti-Israel and is one of the leading drivers of hate and division in the United States of America.

Harvard Student Associations

The youth of America have been brainwashed by a higher education system that has become dominated by one way of thinking. Never was this more apparent than when numerous Harvard student associations blamed Israel for all the violence in Gaza immediately after the country was attacked by terrorists. As college students across the country continue to rally in favor of terrorists, Israeli students have been left without a support system. At least companies are starting to hold these misinformed students accountable, as numerous have rescinded job offers and more.

Ameer Hassan Loggins

Loggins, a professor at Stanford University, made the heinous decision to force all of the Jewish students in his classroom to stand in a corner. He then proceeded to berate them and tell them that the losses in Israel’s terrorist attacks were nothing compared to what colonizers have done around the world. His actions show the horrible state of American higher education. How does a purely evil man like Loggins gain a position of power? The fact that he was only suspended and not fired for his actions is beyond disturbing.

Ever feel like there’s not enough time in the day? Well, the U.S. average for time spent on social media per day is 2 hours and 6 minutes.

So, when you think about it, there’s actually 2 hours and 6 minutes a day that a lot of us are wasting, while in the same breath we complain there isn’t enough time to do the things we want to do.  

Want to stop wasting so much time scrolling through social media? If you need ideas, here’s 5 better ways to spend your time.

Take a walk outside

When you take a walk outside, not only are you moving your body, which is good for your body, you’re absorbing Vitamin D—which is good for your body, too!

Connecting with nature has been shown to support cognitive function, productivity, physical health, and psychological well-being. Keeping physically active is proven to improve mental well-being as well. So, what could be better than doing both at once?

When you consider that physical activity and spending time outdoors both improve mental well-being, while social media has been shown to hurt it, the choice is clear!

Organize something

All of us have at least one thing in our homes that could use reorganizing. Plus, it’s proven that clutter can contribute to feelings of stress and depression.

Apart from ridding your space of clutter, organizing can also generate a feeling of accomplishment. When you’re finished with an organization project, you’re able to see a space that’s been totally transformed thanks to your hard work! 

The best part about organizing something is not only do you make your life easier when you do (it’s a lot harder to lose things when everything has its place!), but organizing your physical surroundings helps promote clarity and focus.

Watch a TED Talk or documentary

When you scroll mindlessly through Instagram or another social platform, you’re not very likely to learn anything. But, if you watch a TED Talk or a documentary, you’re sure to learn something new. 

Plus, you can do this from the comfort of your couch or bed, so it’s perfect if you’ve had a long day at work!

Choose 5 pieces of clothing to donate

On average, Americans didn’t wear 82% of their wardrobe last year. That’s a lot of clothes! 

Instead of opening Twitter, choose 5 clothing items out of your closet to donate and bring them to a local textile recycling bin. Rather than bringing your old clothes to a thrift store, textile recycling bins actually provide the most environmentally friendly and sustainable outlet to get rid of your unwanted clothing. 

Not sure where one is near you? Don’t worry, the answer is just a Google search away!

Go to bed early

Sleep plays a crucial role in keeping you mentally and physically healthy. And yet, 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. don’t get enough of it. 

So, next time you reach for your phone right before bed, turn off the light and catch some extra Zs instead. We promise you’ll thank yourself for it in the morning!

Want more ideas?

Looking for other ways to spend your time doing something other than scrolling social media? We’ve got you covered. Check out this great article!

“Be yourself!” As it turns out, this childhood adage is a lot easier said than done.

One obstacle to being fully and confidently ourselves is comparison. Money, career, looks, education, and popularity—these are just some of the categories in which we’re likely to compare ourselves to others. 

Here are five simple ways to avoid falling down the comparison rabbit hole.

1. Accept where you are and go from there

Comparison can stem from dissatisfaction with where you are in life. But, comparison also does nothing to solve that dissatisfaction. Instead, it fans the flame.

Having trouble accepting where you are in life? Consider this: it’s easier to accept where you are on your life path once you’ve acknowledged not only where you want that path to take you but your capability to make it happen. 

Think about it, if you know where you’re going, you’ll be more likely to get there. Set a goal, assess the practical steps necessary to achieving that goal, and get started! 

Remember, admiring someone for what they have accomplished is not the same thing as comparing yourself. It isn’t a competition! Try not to stack your accomplishments up against someone else’s and judge yourself for it. Instead, learn what it took for that person to accomplish what it is you’re wanting to accomplish, then set your mind to leveling up the needed skills to achieve it for yourself.

Redirecting your attention away from comparisons and toward self-improvement can help you get where you want to be.

If you’re not happy with how your life looks right now, redirecting your attention away from comparisons and toward self-improvement can help you get where you want to be. And the sooner you recognize this, the sooner where you are in life will start to change!

2. Do a social media detox

When you compare yourself to someone on social media, you’re comparing your real life with someone’s carefully curated ideal life. 

Typically, anyone’s social media shows you the “highlights” of that person’s life and is unlikely to feature any struggles or feelings of inadequacy that person has. So, don’t compare the actual reality of your life to the cherry-picked reality of someone else’s. All this will get you is a boatload of self-doubt and frustration. 

If you notice social media giving you anxiety in this way, log off and take a break for a few days and consider reading a book or drama that tells a more honest story of life

3. Take time for gratitude

Practicing gratitude is a way to appreciate what you have instead of always reaching for something new in the hopes it will make you happier or more satisfied with life. 

In fact, gratitude is proven to benefit mental health and improve happiness. 

So, take a little time each day and think about what you’re grateful for; slowly but surely, this will help you feel more positive about your life and make it less appealing to compare it to someone else’s.

4. Transform comparison into inspiration

Let whoever you’re comparing yourself to be a source of inspiration for what you can be, do and have in life. 

Think: what do you want and how can you get it? If you’re jealous of your neighbor’s new car, consider a plan for how you can start saving money and maximize your earning potential. Wish you had a big group of friends like your brother does? Join a local kickball league! 

5. Look beyond the surface

When you compare yourself to others, what are you focusing on? Is it something superficial, like the number of followers you have on Instagram? Or is it something meaningful, like virtue?

Pretend your best friend is a saint. If you had a saint as a best friend, then your best friend’s joy, love, and peace would probably make you jealous. Especially on those days that you feel grumpy and fed up with the world! But, rather than getting caught up in jealousy and simply wishing you had a better attitude, consider where those virtues come from. Find what is motivating your best friend to be so full of joy, love, and peace and discover a way to tap into it.

You got this!

When left unchecked, comparison can take away valuable time and energy—not to mention joy!

We hope these five tips can help you start to focus more on you and less on comparing yourself to other people. When you water and nurture your own grass, there’s no point to worrying if the grass is greener on the other side.

The word FOMO made the official cut for the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013, but the feeling’s been around a lot longer: “fear of missing out” is an anxiety so common, it got its own acronym.

FOMO can affect all people of all ages, but you could say it’s especially common among young adults. In fact, nearly three quarters of young adults report having experienced it. 

The side effects? Checking your phone and social media to follow what’s going on, over and over and over again. When we think we’re missing out, we use technology like a window to keep tabs on events or people.

Maybe this helps us feel involved in whatever experience it is we’re missing, but probably not. More than likely, it just creates anxiety and resentment.

FOMO can come from discontent

It’s one thing to “miss out,” it’s another to fear missing out. The reality is we can’t be everywhere all the time, and so that means we naturally have to miss out on some experiences. Whether or not we can content ourselves with that is where FOMO comes in.

People who see the majority of their activities as obligations, such as studying or working, are more likely to experience a higher level of FOMO.

The sad thing is that FOMO is more likely to be experienced by those who feel unhappy. People with lower levels of general mood and life satisfaction tend toward higher levels of FOMO. 

Think about it: if you’re unhappy, you’re probably thinking other people are happier than you. And you’re probably thinking they’re having more fun. This creates the anxiety that you are missing out on these feelings of fun and happiness which you perceive other people having.

That said, FOMO is felt by everyone at some point or another, regardless of temperament. 

People who see the majority of their activities as obligations, such as studying or working, are more likely to experience a higher level of FOMO. Why? Well, because when the activity causing you to “miss out” isn’t fun or interesting, you’re prone to assume the activity you’re missing out on is fun or interesting. 

Along that line, you’re more likely to feel FOMO later in the day or over the weekend when people typically engage in fun activities and socializing. 

Stay off the socials

Ironically, just as social media is an effect of FOMO, it’s a cause of FOMO. When you’re experiencing FOMO, you scratch the itch by checking social media to see what you’re missing out on. When you do that, you see what you’re missing out on, and this only creates more FOMO.

Wonder where social media addiction comes from? Well, one answer is FOMO. 

Happiness research shows that comparing yourself and your life to others can lead to anxiety, unhappiness, and depression. Yet, that’s the very behavior social media encourages, by giving people a platform to put themselves and their lives on a cherry-picked display.

So, if you want to stop feeling like you’re missing out and feel at least a little happier with your own life, start by logging off social media. Or, deleting it altogether!

Pause and reflect

When we feel FOMO, we’re focusing on what other people are doing instead of what we are doing. In keeping our eyes peeled on other people’s lives, we deprive our own lives of our full attention.

This is not the way to live!

Think about the things in your life that you’re thankful for and that make you happy.

So, maybe you are a little sad to be missing that party, but instead of allowing yourself to get caught up in an experience you’re not having, try to focus on all the things you do have.

Think about the things in your life that you’re thankful for and that make you happy. Just think of all the wonderful things in your life you could be missing out on if you were in someone else’s shoes!

There’s tons of positive psychology research to support a connection between gratitude and wellness. 

Gratitude can help you feel more positive emotions, appreciate positive experiences more fully, and have stronger, healthier relationships. So, it’s easy to see why gratitude is an awesome thing to practice everyday!

But, don’t just take our word for it. Here are five historical figures, dating all the way back to the classical era, who appreciated the value of gratitude.

Dalai Lama

“The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.” 

Dalai Lama is a title given by the Tibetan people to the spiritual leader of the Gelug or “Yellow Hat” school of Tibetan Buddhism. The Dalai Lama has always been a symbol of unification of the state of Tibet, as well as Buddhist values and traditions. The 14th and current Dalai Lama is Tenzin Gyatso, who lives in India as a refugee.

Albert Einstein

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist and is acknowledged by many as the greatest physicist of all time. He’s known for developing the theory of relativity, as well as his contribution to the development of the theory of quantum mechanics.


“When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.”

Tecumseh was a Shawnee warrior chief and persuasive orator. During the colonial era, Tecumseh succeeded in organizing a Native American confederacy, achieving an unprecedented level of inter-tribal unity.

Charlotte Brontë

“For my part, I am almost contented just now, and very thankful. Gratitude is a divine emotion: it fills the heart, but not to bursting; it warms it, but not to fever.”

Charlotte Brontë was a 19th Century English novelist and poet. Her novel Jane Eyre is one of the most recognized classics of English literature.

G.K. Chesterton

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”

Gilbert Keith Chesterton was an English writer, philosopher, lay theologian, and critic at the turn of the twentieth century. Near the end of his life, Chesterton was invested as Knight Commander with Star of the Papal Order of St. Gregory the Great (KC*SG) by Pope Pius XI.

Rabbi Harold Kushner

“If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.”

Harold Kushner is a prominent American rabbi and popular author. He is a member of the Rabbinical Assembly of Conservative Judaism. He has written 14 books, including multiple bestsellers.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a Protestant pastor and theologian who actively resisted the racist actions of the Nazi regime during the World War II era. In addition to his legacy of anti-Nazi dissent, Bonhoeffer’s theological writings became widely influential.


“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.”

Cicero, in full Marcus Tullius Cicero (born 106 bce, died 43 bce) was an influential Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, and writer during the age of the final civil wars that destroyed the Roman Republic.

Who else?

These are just five examples of historical figures who recognized the importance of gratitude. There’s plenty more! If you’d like to see more quotes about gratitude from influential people through the years, check out this article

It’s easy to get caught up in all the stresses of everyday life—and forget how good we have it sometimes. 

If you’d like to start making more time for gratitude, follow these simple steps.

1. Find gratitude in hard times

Reflecting on negative or difficult situations in your life can actually help you nail down what you’re really grateful for. 

Dig a little deeper into some of these experiences and consider what virtues or strengths they’ve helped you develop or the relationships that have carried you through them. 

Perhaps your job is demanding a lot of you lately. What is there to be grateful for in this situation? Do you have good time management skills? If so, that’s something to be grateful for! Imagine how much more stressful things would be if you didn’t! 

This is just one example of how there’s always something or someone to be grateful for, even in hard times.

2. Start a gratitude journal

Gratitude journals are a tried and true method for practicing gratitude. 

A journal of the things you’re grateful for allows you to keep track of the positives in your life and serves as something you can always refer back to on days when it’s a little tougher than others to feel grateful.

And a gratitude journal can be as time-intensive or laid-back as you want! You can journal everyday or you can set aside a time once a week. 

Still too much of a commitment? Even journaling once a month can be an impactful step on your gratitude journey.

3. Volunteer

For many people, giving back to others in their local community is the key to gratitude, as volunteering can highlight and make you more grateful for the things that you may take for granted.

Plus, people who volunteered in the past year are reportedly more satisfied with their lives compared to people who didn’t volunteer. Additionally, researchers have found that people who volunteer at least once a month report better mental health than those who volunteer infrequently or not at all.

4. Say thank you

Expressing your gratitude for the people you care about can boost their happiness and yours!

SoulPancake ran an experiment encouraging people to write a letter to someone they’re grateful for. People who did so experienced increased levels of happiness up to 4%. 

When the same people then made a phone call expressing their gratitude directly, their happiness levels jumped even further: from 4% to 19%.

5. Prayer or meditation

People who are religious can use prayer to cultivate gratitude. The app is an awesome resource for people looking to make daily prayer a priority. 

Not your cup of tea? Try mindfulness meditation. For this sort of meditation, people will usually focus on a grounding word or phrase (such as “gratitude”), but it is also possible to focus on a particular aspect of your life that you’re grateful for (such as “family”). 

The Calm app and the Headspace app are full of guided meditations for those needing a little help with the practice.

Let’s get started.

Be patient with yourself as you start your gratitude journey! Studies show that practicing gratitude makes its most positive impact when done consistently over time.

In other words, just a week of practicing gratitude might not make you feel any different. But, don’t let that deter you! Over time, gratitude is sure to help you feel happier and more satisfied with life. 

Good luck!

Let’s stand together and demand an end to this exploitation.

There are companies out there that boast holding over 3,000 data points on people like you.

Data points like:

  • Home address
  • Date of birth
  • Marital status
  • Sexual status
  • Political-party affiliation
  • Bankruptcy status
  • Purchasing history
  • Browsing history
  • Personal interests
  • Places you have visited

This data is harvested by online data brokers and often sold to anyone who wants to pay for it.

Using this data, political and corporate organizations act as puppet masters to target people’s interests and vulnerabilities through personalized online ads to influence how you vote, where you shop, and what you buy. 


The Democratic Party buys personal data on potential voters like you to influence how you vote.

In the 2020 elections, they paid data broker Grassroots Analytics more than $2.1 million to more effectively profile potential voters and help ensure their campaign ads would be more likely to influence your decision-making.

The Campaign

We feel strongly that systematically manipulating people based on their vulnerabilities or biases is wrong, and that our elected government officials should not be using these tools to keep themselves in power, nor should our corporations be using them to manipulate people into making purchases.

For Halcyon’s new campaign, we will be circulating a petition demanding stronger laws to protect our right to privacy and safeguard our democracy.

Let’s stand together and demand an end to this exploitation. 

Let’s stand together and demand an end to this exploitation.

Social media consuming too much of your time and/or zapping your energy? 

Here’s five ways to get your social media use under control, so that it doesn’t end up controlling you.

1. Get your social apps off the home screen

If the Instagram app is the first app you see when you open your phone, then it’s probably going to be the first app you open. 

Rather than having all your social media apps front and center on the home screen, put them somewhere else. On iPhone and Android, you can bundle apps together into folders so they’re not individually visible. Even making an organizational change as small as this could help you reduce your scrolling time!

Or, you can take the apps off your phone entirely. When you delete an app like Facebook or Instagram off your phone, it won’t delete your actual account. So, you’ll still be able to log in to your profiles on the computer. 

Having to sit down at a computer to look at social media prevents you from having the option to use social media in every spare moment of your day.

2. Turn off notifications

You can turn off notifications for specific apps in the settings of your phone. Doing this prevents constant notifications from your social media apps tempting you to open them! 

Not sure how? Here’s your how-to for iPhone and Android

3. Use apps to help you limit your time on social media

Using one app to make sure you’re not spending too much time on another app is definitely ironic, but that’s the world we live in! There are many apps out there designed to help users limit their social media use. Here’s a couple good ones.

If you’re an Instagram user, Instagram itself can actually help you limit your time on the app.

Forest lets you decide the amount of time (say, 30 minutes) that you want to be off your phone. During that time, a digital plant—hence the app’s name—will grow in the app. But if you use your phone before time’s up, your plant will die!

Another popular app for limiting social media use is Daywise. This app lets you schedule when you want to receive notifications and when you don’t. 

If you’re an Instagram user, Instagram itself can actually help you limit your time on the app. Go to “Your activity” in account settings and there you can see how much time you spend daily using the app. Below this you’ll see “Set Daily Reminder” where you can put in how much time you want to give yourself on the app each day, and Instagram will send you a daily reminder once you’ve reached your time limit.

iPhone has a similar function. Go to the “Screen Time” feature under “Settings” for daily and weekly reports on your screen time, as well as the option to set time limits on your phone use. 

Or, if you have Android, you can manage how you spend time on your phone with Digital Wellbeing. Click here for a step-by-step guide!

4. Dedicate time to a screen-free hobby

Pick a screen-free hobby and dedicate a certain amount of time to it each week. Find a yoga class, join a book club, start a garden: anything that doesn’t involve a screen. 

Finding more things you enjoy off-screen will make spending hours and hours glued to your screen and scrolling social media less appealing. 

5. Don’t sleep with your phone

Instead of scrolling through social media last thing before bed, turn your phone off and leave it to charge. And put it somewhere that isn’t right next to you. 

Not only will this keep you from needlessly delaying your own bed time, but it will improve the quality of your sleep, as studies show that the blue light from our phone screens is disruptive to healthy sleeping patterns.

Baby steps! 

Don’t expect yourself to jump from spending two hours a day on social media to 10 minutes in one fell swoop. 

Start by limiting your time by ten minutes a day, then check your progress in a week and go from there. 

You got this!