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What is political correctness? Here's what it does — and doesn't — mean.

Showing others kindness and respect is a virtue, not a flaw.

What is political correctness? Here's what it does — and doesn't — mean.

Political correctness is running amok! Or something.

What is political correctness? You may have noticed that term floating around quite a bit these days. And if the way it's being used is any indication, it's a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad thing.



Death by P.C. culture! The most painful way to die! GIF from CNN.

From the sound of it, political correctness is responsible for the slow destruction of American culture, drug abuse, acts of terrorism, and even comedy!

Jerry Seinfeld is not having it, you guys. GIF from "Late Night with Seth Meyers."

But when you look at what the term "politically correct" actually means, it paints a much different picture.

This is a cliche way to start any argument, but bear with me. Merriam-Webster defines "politically correct" as "agreeing with the idea that people should be careful to not use language or behave in a way that could offend a particular group of people."

"I started imagining a world in which we replaced the phrase 'politically correct' wherever we could with 'treating other people with respect', and it made me smile." — Neil Gaiman

Other dictionaries give similar definitions, but what it basically comes down to is political correctness means not being a jerk to others. Political correctness is nothing more than treating others with respect. Being kind. Being a nice person.

And, yes, this means maybe not calling someone a racial slur and not making judgments or assumptions based on stereotypes.

It's nothing more than being a nice person. GIF from "Tangled."

To illustrate the true meaning of political correctness, just install this genius browser extension.

Byron Clark released PC2Respect, a Google Chrome extension that automatically replaces the term "political correctness" to "treating people with respect" on any web page.

Just a few samples of the greatness that is the PC2Respect extension.

Clark was inspired by a blog post that author Neil Gaiman wrote in 2013:

"I was reading a book (about interjections, oddly enough) yesterday which included the phrase 'In these days of political correctness…' talking about no longer making jokes that denigrated people for their culture or for the colour of their skin. And I thought, 'That’s not actually anything to do with "political correctness". That’s just treating other people with respect.'

Which made me oddly happy. I started imagining a world in which we replaced the phrase 'politically correct' wherever we could with 'treating other people with respect', and it made me smile."

Give it a try.

Take any quote using the term "political correctness" (or a variation on that), and replace it with "treating people with respect" or "being nice."

The result is both funny and eye-opening.

For example, during one of this election cycle's primary debates, Donald Trump said, "I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct." When you swap in the actual definition, what he's really saying is, "I think the big problem this country has is treating people with respect."

Or, for another example, New York Times opinion writer Ross Douthat wrote, "'The demands of political correctness' can indeed 'act like an acid.'" Now imagine that same sentence with the correct definition: "'The demands of being nice' can indeed 'act like an acid.'"

Kind of funny, right? And even when you question the most basic statements being made, the results are pretty obvious.

For example, is "being nice" killing people? No.

And when you think of it that way, political correctness isn't such a bad thing after all.

Political correctness is about respect and kindness, not life and death. The examples listed above ("the decline of American culture," drug abuse, terrorism, and "the death of comedy") aren't the results of political correctness. Laying blame at a concept of respect rather than underlying issues (such as poverty, the War on Drugs, our country's foreign policy decisions, and people simply not finding certain comedians funny anymore) is a major cop out.

GIF from American Bridge 21st Century.

Political correctness is actually just being nice. It's not censorship. It's not an infringement on your First Amendment rights (you can go on Twitter and tweet whatever "politically incorrect" thing you'd like, and I can pretty much guarantee you probably won't be arrested for it). It just means showing some basic respect for other human beings. The same kind of respect and kindness we expect others to give to us.

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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