A powerful story about being asked where you're really from is getting great responses.

CNN's Tanzina Vega is tired of being asked where she's really from, and for good reason.

"Where are you from?" might seem like it's just innocent small talk, and as Vega says in her latest story at CNN, it often is. But there's another layer to it also worth examining, especially when answers like "New York" or "San Francisco" aren't satisfactory for the questioner.

Vega set out to "question the question," exploring the emotional toll it can have on the people being asked, who usually aren't white or white-passing. One person Vega quotes touches on the idea that to the people being asked, especially when asked again and again, it becomes a question of one's legitimacy as a "true American."


On social media, Vega's readers shared their own thoughts and experiences being asked where they're really from.

A common theme quickly emerged.

It's not so much any single instance of being asked the question that causes so much frustration, but the cumulative effect of years of having to defend one's own authenticity — what some might call a microaggression.

For some, "where are you really from?" feels like a way to put them in a racial or cultural box.

For others, there's a telling persistence to people asking the question, who refuse to take the place they were born as an answer.

Cartoonist Connie Sun shared one of her 2014 works, highlighting a very specific kind of annoyance that question can prompt.

And author Anand Giridharadas shared an excerpt from his 2012 book, "India Calling: An Intimate Portrait of a Nation's Remaking."

Check out Vega's story over at CNN for a more complete explanation of her take on this question. You'll be glad you did.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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