1. Let's say you and your 4-year-old son live in Los Angeles.

You enjoy your life there. Your friends; your family; the balmy, sunny weather; how you meet people of all shades, sexual orientations, and genders. There is no judgment. Difference is normal.

The only thing your graduate degree prepared you to be is a college professor. But competition for jobs is fierce in Los Angeles, so you apply for five professorships around the country. After three rounds of interviews, you are offered an assistant professorship in a faraway Midwestern town that is, you learn after a quick internet search, not nearly as diverse as L.A. But you say yes to the job.

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Forget the mannequin challenge. Try the empathy challenge this holiday season.

31 small ways to make a positive difference in the world.

In many ways, we are the center of our own worlds.

We see things through the lens of our own experiences, our own communities, the things we read, and the people we interact with. But the world is so much bigger than what we've seen. It's so much more diverse than our own experiences.

It's impossible to know and understand everything, but we can do our best to empathize. Even the tiniest effort on our parts can make someone else feel heard and appreciated, brightening their day.  

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