How to make a smoother entrance into any room or conversation

Sometimes, the more understated you are, the more positively you'll be received.

  • Knowing how to enter can make or break you, according to business psychologist and advisor Dr. Melanie Katzman.
  • You don't own the room or conversation by dominating it. Instead you're better off asking permission, acting respectful, and taking the time to consider what interests the person with whom you're interacting.
  • Who can you look to as an example? Somewhat surprisingly, professional clowns.
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10 Buddhist quotes to help you navigate challenging times

The Buddha wasn't concerned with transcendence, but rather fully embodying the moment.

Photo: Getty Images
  • Buddhism's recognition of nature's transience is particularly important right now.
  • Mindfulness is an introduction to insight, which needs to be applied to navigate challenging times.
  • The following 10 quotes provide a roadmap for dealing with our current struggles.
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The awkward truth about choosing charities

Philosopher Peter Singer broaches an uncomfortable truth about the Make-A-Wish Foundation and GoFundMe pages.

  • None of us have infinite bank accounts so when we make charitable donations we have to weigh up how to do it most effectively. What is the most suffering you can reduce for the amount of money you have?
  • Philosopher Peter Singer uses the Make-A-Wish Foundation as an example. It's a much loved charity for the joy it gives to dying children. Yet the cost of the average wish is $7,500—an amount that, if spent effectively, can save one, two, three, four, or more children's lives, says Peter Singer.
  • "We ought to think about that before we respond emotionally to what seems like a great idea," says Singer. "If you compare saving a child's life with giving a child one great day then anybody—the child, the parents—anybody would say 'Oh, so much better to save the child's life, of course.' And you can save not just one child's life but more than one."
A free download of the 10th anniversary edition of The Life You Can Save: How to Do Your Part to End World Poverty is available here.





Ancient animistic beliefs live on in our intimacy with tech

Our social emotions are now being hijacked by robots.

Carsten Koall/Getty Images

When Alexa replied to my question about the weather by tacking on 'Have a nice day,' I immediately shot back 'You too,' and then stared into space, slightly embarrassed.

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3 ethical catastrophes you can help stop, right now

Deciding how we ought to live is one of the greatest challenges of being alive. Ask yourself these important questions to gain clarity, with philosopher Peter Singer.

  • Philosopher Peter Singer cites his top three ethical issues in the world today as: extreme poverty; climate change, which is related to poverty; and the way humans treat animals.
  • Any rational being should be interested in trying to understand how they ought to live, and whether they are doing things that are right or wrong. Singer suggests asking yourself important questions. When it comes to extreme poverty, ask: "Is it okay for me just to be living my life in my society and not doing anything for people who, through no fault of their own, are living in extreme poverty?"
  • For climate change, ask how you can put pressure on political leaders to take serious steps to prevent a climate change catastrophe that will disproportionately affect the poor. When it comes to animal cruelty, ask: "Am I complicit in the suffering that's being inflicted on animals, especially in factory farms but in other forms of farming as well? Am I complicit in that when I buy those products? And, if so, does that mean that I need to stop buying them?"
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