When a critic called Arnold a 'snowflake' he responded with an epic, yet uplifting mic drop

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a badass in the movies, but he's increasingly building a reputation as a heroic "action star" in real life. Only, instead of dropping ungodly amounts of fake bullets into his enemies, Schwarzenegger has been dropping rhetorical bombs against his political opponents while building intellectual and emotional bridges to those who disagree with him but still have open hearts and minds.

The most recent example found Arnold responding to a comment someone made on Facebook. On the surface, that may sound like just about the least unique or original jumping off point for a story.





But so far as Arnold's "critic" goes, I challenge you to find a better example of someone lashing out behind the safety of a keyboard. The anonymous commenter apparently doesn't like Schwarzenegger chiming in on world events like the coronavirus or the president of Donald Trump, telling the former California governor: "Stick to lifting and making movies … Snowflake is a title you do not want."

Now, there are all kinds of ways an 8-time Mr. Universe could respond to being called a "snowflake." Simply put, Arnold's response is brilliant, taking an attempt to go negative and reminding everyone of the power of positive, constructive political dialogue:

"I never mind picking up new titles. Mr. Universe, Mr. Olympia, Terminator, Governor… If you want to call me Snowflake, that's fine - it would have been a fantastic Mr. Freeze line. But let me give you some advice. If you're going to call someone a snowflake because they believe in a different policy than you, you might want to look in the mirror. When you see an idea you disagree with, you can get angry, or you can learn. I'd recommend you research and learn and grow. You can still disagree - that's the best part about being American! But at least you can disagree with evidence and analysis. We can all be better if we don't simply react. Pause, reflect, learn, and then decide if you still want to call someone a Snowflake. Good luck with everything."


Oftentimes, the most powerful statements are simple, emotionally evocative and built around an airtight argument Honestly, it doesn't matter what your politics, religion, values or agenda is, Arnold's thinking applies to them all. When we believe in our ideas and have truly examined them, including our own motivations for latching on to them, we should be willing to engage in dialogue with those who have different points of view After all, our beliefs are not contingent on their support. And each party might just learn something along the way by talking it out ... and listening.

Of course, this isn't Arnold's first rodeo in the "doing good" space of social media.

He has been trying to make a difference on social media like talking about the importance of wearing a mask since March when the coronavirus lockdown went into effect across most parts of the country.

He also responded to a fan who contacted him about being depressed, and had some wise words about why mental health trumps any flexing from time at the gym.

What Arnold is proving is that it is vital to think before we speak. Try to be informed about your opinions. When someone disagrees, try to see if they might have a point. Don't try and be right. Try and get it right. That requires having an open mind. Whether you have believed something for five minutes or 40 years, it is important to be open to all ideas. This is how we grow.

He is also showing how to bring an errant and cavalier comment back down to earth rather than getting swept up in some frivolous emotional exchange. Arnold was the bigger person (I am assuming in more ways than one). And while he might not have changed the mind of the person he was responding to, if you read the comments, his words made an impact on others.

Walking the walk is contagious. It is much like that moment when you are behind a disadvantaged person in the checkout line at the grocery store, and they either forgot their wallet or can't afford what they're trying to buy but then someone steps up and offers to pay for them. You feel a little ashamed that you didn't think of doing it first. The good news is that the next time that happens, you could be the one who steps forward and makes everyone in the line wish they had thought of it.

Another key lesson here is patience. Arnold didn't take the bait. He didn't give Mr. Keyboard Tough Guy the response he was hoping for, unless typing an insult to Arnold Schwarzenegger just made him feel empowered. And that would be sad, but I digress. Arnold is showing us the way we need to be communicating. It's not rocket science but the basic tenets of civil discourse seem pretty rare these days, especially on social media.

The Internet is the ultimate marketplace of ideas. Instead of cancelling those we disagree with, maybe the best way forward is through open dialogue and transparency. The best ideas will win, the worst ideas will lose and everything in between can be discussed back and forth to find the best ideas from both sides. If that's the role of Arnold's third act in the public eye, we can't wait for him to "be back" next time.

True

When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."

"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.

The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.

"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."

Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.

Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.

Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.

She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.

Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.

Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.

"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."

"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.

Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.

"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.

"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."

"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."

"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."

"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."

Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.

That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."

Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

Vanna White appeared on "The Price Is Right" in 1980.

Vanna White has been a household name in the United States for decades, which is kind of hilarious when you consider how she gained her fame and fortune. Since 1982, the former model and actress has made millions walking back and forth turning letters (and later simply touching them—yay technology) on the game show "Wheel of Fortune."

That's it. Walking back and forth in a pretty evening gown, flipping letters and clapping for contestants. More on that job in a minute…

As a member of Gen X, television game shows like "Wheel of Fortune" and "The Price is Right" send me straight back to my childhood. Watching this clip from 1980 of Vanna White competing on "The Price is Right" two years before she started turning letters on "Wheel of Fortune" is like stepping into a time machine. Bob Barker's voice, the theme music, the sound effects—I swear I'm home from school sick, lying on the ugly flowered couch with my mom checking my forehead and bringing me Tang.

This video has it all: the early '80s hairstyles, a fresh-faced Vanna White and Bob Barker's casual sexism that would never in a million years fly today.

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