Currently viewing the tag: "human nature"

My mother was from Antigua, a small island in the Caribbean. She used to say her greatest find was my father, this crazy white shell who washed up on the beach one day. She said if you put your ear up to him you could hear traffic and car horns and people from Boston talking funny. She said they were made for each other like the wind and the sea. Opposites, but unable to be apart. –Hugh Howey, The Shell Collector

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story where the conflict derives from an attraction of opposites.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a relationship you’re in with someone who is very different from you.

Art Prompt: Opposites

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience why we are attracted to people who are different than we are.

Photo Credit: June Yarham on Flickr

There are those who suggests that a child is a tabula rasa when born, a blank page, which remains to be filled out by life experience. That is not true. Children are born with encoded nature of their genetic being, and they are born with a history of their culture and their family infused into their very conception, and as the context into which they are received. This becomes what is innate and in each of us yearns to be heard and recognized, to be named and known in relationship to others-to exist. –In the Moment: Celebrating the Everyday by Harvey L Rich, M.D.

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the background of your protagonist, considering genetics, culture, and family history. 

Journaling Prompt: What part of your personality do you believe you were born with and what came through life experiences?

Art Prompt: My personality

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the interplay between innate personality and life experiences in shaping a personality.

Photo Credit: Jlhopgood on Flickr

In a survey of 1,308 U.S. adult Facebook users, University of British Columbia researchers found that 24 per cent — or more than one in five — had snooped on the Facebook accounts of their friends, romantic partners or family members, using the victims’ own computers or cellphones.

“It’s clearly a widespread practice. Facebook private messages, pictures or videos are easy targets when the account owner is already logged on and has left their computer or mobile open for viewing,” said Wali Ahmed Usmani, study author and computer science master’s student.

People admitted to spying on their friends, family, and romantic partners out of simple curiosity or fun — for example, setting a victim’s status or profile picture to something humorous. But other motives were darker, such as jealousy or animosity.

“Jealous snoops generally plan their action and focus on personal messages, accessing the account for 15 minutes or longer,” said computer science professor Ivan Beschastnikh, a senior author on the paper.

“And the consequences are significant: in many cases, snooping effectively ended the relationship.” –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story where the conflict is driven by Facebook snooping.

Journaling Prompt: How would you feel if you found out someone you trusted was snooping through your private messages?

Art Prompt: Facebook snooping

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the phenomenon of Facebook snooping and give them the steps to prevent it from happening to them.

Photo Credit: York VISIOn on Flickr

But increasingly, she couldn’t help thinking that perhaps there was something ultimately inexplicable about all of this; that even when explanations were found, there would always be more to decipher, to unravel, to undo . . . like a knot. But not exactly. When one undid a knot, it didn’t explain the knot; it just made the knot cease to exist. –Tiffany Tsao, The Oddfits

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of someone who knows something is not right, but must investigate to find out what it is.

Journaling Prompt: What is your intuition telling you right now?

Art Prompt: Perplexing

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience how they can benefit from listening to their intuition.

Photo Credit: Kathryn on Flickr

Approximately 42.6 million adults over age 45 in the United States are estimated to be suffering from chronic loneliness, according to AARP’s Loneliness Study. In addition, the most recent U.S. census data shows more than a quarter of the population lives alone, more than half of the population is unmarried and, since the previous census, marriage rates and the number of children per household have declined. –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story with a protagonist whose loneliness drives him/her to make a mistake.

Journaling Prompt: Who do you know who might be lonely? Write about why you think they are lonely, then give them a call!

Art Prompt: Loneliness

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the health effects of chronic loneliness.

Photo Credit: Geraint Rowland on Flickr

I still remember that moment as if it was yesterday. I was nine years old when I first encountered La Guadalupe. I traveled with Abuela from my hometown Yabucoa, a small town on the southeast coast of Puerto Rico, to Ponce, the island’s second major city. We were going to visit Abuela’s relatives.

“First things first, ” Abuela announced when we arrived. “We will go the Ponce Cathedral to pay our respects to the Virgin of Guadalupe.” –Lillian Comas

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write the story of someone who is going to pay homage.

Journaling Prompt: Who do you or would you travel to pay homage to?

Art Prompt: Paying homage

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the history of a local shrine that people travel to.

Photo Credit: Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P. on Flickr

Fat shaming on social media has become prevalent and weight is the most common reason children are bullied in school with 85 percent of surveyed adolescents reportedly seeing overweight classmates teased in gym class, McHugh said.

Evidence confirms that fat shaming is not an effective approach to reducing obesity or improving health, McHugh said. “Rather, stigmatization of obese individuals poses serious risks to their psychological health,” she added. “Research demonstrates that weight stigma leads to psychological stress, which can lead to poor physical and psychological health outcomes for obese people.” –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story in which conflict is driven by shaming based on a physical characterist.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about fat people? What thoughts pop into your mind when you see someone who is fat?

Art Prompt: Fat Shamin

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about fat shaming on social media in today’s culture.

Photo Credit: Facebook Screen Capture

The Plastic People of the Universe (PPU), started with no political agenda but is widely regarded as having spurred a revolution in Czechoslovakia. The band started in 1968, the same year that Prague was invaded by Soviet tanks to shut down the liberalization known as the Prague spring. The new communist government suppressed free speech, imprisoning many musicians,. The PPU were forbidden by the government on several occasions to play, not because of any inflammatory lyric content, but because of their long hair and emulation of capitalist bands like the Velvet Underground and Frank Zappa. (The band took their name from a Zappa song.) In 1970, the government revoked PPU’s musician licenses, which made it impossible for them to get equipment or gigs; they had to play underground concerts to avoid government detection and arrest. –The World in Six Songs by Daniel J. Levitin

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story in which music creates change.

Journaling Prompt: What song made you think about the world in a different way? Write about what you learned from the song.

Art Prompt: Protest Music

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the history of protest music in your country.

Dogmatic individuals hold confidently to their beliefs, even when experts disagree and evidence contradicts them. New research from Case Western Reserve University may help explain the extreme perspectives, on religion, politics and more, that seem increasingly prevalent in society…

“…religious individuals may cling to certain beliefs, especially those which seem at odds with analytic reasoning, because those beliefs resonate with their moral sentiments,” said Jared Friedman, a PhD student in organizational behavior and co-author of the studies.

“Emotional resonance helps religious people to feel more certain — the more moral correctness they see in something, the more it affirms their thinking,” said Anthony Jack, associate professor of philosophy and co-author of the research. “In contrast, moral concerns make nonreligious people feel less certain.” –Science Daily

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story where the conflict is driven by a dogmatic individual who will not listen to another point of view.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a person you know who is driven by dogma and how it affects you.

Art Prompt: Dogmatic person

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the pros and cons of dogma.

Photo Credit: Jake Guild on Flickr

I wanted to be good. I truly did.
Until the day I didn’t. –The Key to St. Medusa’s by Kat Howard

Fiction Writing Prompt: Use the prompt as the starting point for a story or a scene.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time when you decided to stop following the rules. Do you regret it? What happened?

Art Prompt: I wanted to be good…

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a humorous story about a time when you decided to break the rules.

Photo Credit: Donnie Nunley on Flickr