Written By: The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook
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Can helping be truly selfless? It’s been a common argument for a while now—whether or not self-interest is involved in altruism. And while I’m sure our own needs can play a part in whether we help or not, there is one technique that researchers suggest for truly selfless giving. According to a study by Batson, Turk, Shaw, and Klein in 1995, when we show empathetic concern, or “feelings of warmth, tenderness, and compassion toward the other,” we often feel more compelled to offer assistance.
It’s based on the concept of “we-ness.” When we sense a similarity between us and the people we are helping, we can relate more to their needs and circumstances. And because the evolutionary theory suggests that we want to protect our genes, it would make sense then that we would want to help those that we feel more related to.
Let’s try to step in someone else’s shoes for the day. What would it feel like to wear worn out shoes from sitting on the street corner? What would it feel like to wear a cast or be immobilized in a wheelchair, despite what shoes you’re wearing? What if you have no shoes at all—because you lost your legs in a car accident? All of these things could happen; in a way, it happens when we imagine it. For some people, their “shoes” are a daily reminder of their reality.
May we offer to help people, no matter shoes “we’re” wearing. We’ve all been given different abilities and talents in our unique lives, but helping is a skill that everyone has. Let’s make good use of it.
The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook
Happy Mother’s Day everyone! I hope you make the day meaningful for your mom, mamacita, mommy, momma, or mew—whatever special name you have for her. I want to especially thank my mother for all the wonderful things she has done for our family over the years. She is one special lady who shines her sunshine wherever she goes.
What qualities are you thankful for in your mom? Tell her so! I know it can be hard to say the words sometimes, but people, and our moms especially, should hear it. They should know how much we love them—saying it is the easiest way.
Here are 10 reasons why I LOVE my mom:
1. The Marila Cook dance: She is always the first person to get excited for me and I love how she gets so enthusiastic about great news.
2. Enthusiasm of the Energizer Bunny: She always has a smile on her face and she is one of the friendliest people that I know.
3. Her leadership abilities: She served as National Charity League President and she worked tirelessly for the organization. Her hard work paid off and she did an outstanding job.
4. Her dedication to education: She has always stressed the importance of knowledge. With her masters in nursing, she is always searching for new information to study.
5. Her caring heart: My mom worked as a nurse in heart surgery for over 20 years and she still works as a nurse. She truly cares about her patients—I think she is perfect for the job.
6. Her dessert skills: Oh, if you could see a cake that she decorates.
7. Party planner to the max: From our annual news year’s party, to every elaborate birthday party, my mom makes every special occasion even more special.
8. Giving back: My mom is a true philanthropist. I think she exemplifies the word “selfless.”
9. Laughter: My mom has a great laugh. She and my dad make a killer combo.
10. Supportive: Whether it’s a phone call, cards, or kind words, my mom always uses just the right words to inspire me.
I love you Mom! Have a happy Mother’s Day—you certainly deserve it!
The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook
“The best in the world.” Normally, I don’t pay much attention to that statement; after all, how can there be two coffee shops that have the best coffee “in the world” on the same street? But truly, I have found the best pancakes “in the world” right here in Los Angeles. And Esquire magazine agrees. Du-Par’s pancakes take the title in one foul swoop in melted in butter and served with a side of boysenberry syrup.
My dad first took me to Du-par’s when I was getting ready to venture off to college and since then, I keep venturing back to the shop that’s been in business for over 70 years serving up hot cakes 24 hours, seven days a week.
Why a post about pancakes? Well darn, pancakes make me pretty happy on a Saturday morning so why not post about it?
It’s become a family tradition to head to the best hot cake hut in town. Not to mention, it’s also a bakery so I highly recommend the boysenberry cream pie or lemon merengue. There are five locations—Studio City and Oxnard being my common spots. If you’re ever in the area, and you feel like putting a smile on your face, head on down for some pancakes at Du-par’s.
Here’s the website for more details: http://www.du-pars.com/
The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook
Happy Friday everyone! It’s been a fun week, right? With beautiful California sunshine, May flowers, and friends, it’s been such a week of happiness. I thought today would be a good day to emphasize the 5 Daily Gratitudes. What are you thankful today, on May 6, 20ll? What is the best thing that’s happened to you recently? I think focusing on the positive things in our life is essential. Sure, we could make an equally long list of unpleasant things that are occurring in our personal lives or on a national or international level. But let’s take some time to see the Sunny Side instead.
Here are my 5 Daily Gratitudes for today:
1. Congratulations to Dan Chikanov for his recent victory in student government. He and six of his fellow running mates won seven of the 11 spots up for grabs. Great job Daniel! To see Daniel’s interview, go here.
2. I had a blast at American Idol—I was sitting right near Sir Anthony Hopkins who is one of my favorite actors! Not to mention, the singers were so talented. Can you see me? I’m in the red dress.
3. New bikinis for the beach. Check out Victoria’s Secret collection here!
4. Dinner at Cheesecake Factory with the girls: Three slices of chocolate cake later, we were happy campers.
5. Cinco de Mayo: A festive holiday that I rather enjoy. Ay yi yi!
What are you grateful for today?
The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook
Hello friends! And an especial hello to all you UCLA Bruins, as well! With student governments elections here at UCLA this week, it’s been a whirlwind of campaigning around campus. There are two slates on campus vying for the coveted slots—Bruins United and Students First. These students campaigning have a particular opportunity to make a difference on campus by representing the needs and desires of the entire student body. There’s one candidate in particular that I am especially supporting after I heard his campaign speech, emphasizing the importance of happiness at UCLA. Daniel Chikanov is running for to be the next General Representative and I think that he would be extremely successful in the position. I can’t wait for you to hear what he has to say, and please, vote for him and his Bruins United running mates today! I know I did!
Go here to learn more about the platforms of the other candidates: http://bruinsunited.com/
1. You are currently running to be a general representative with Bruins United. Can you tell us about some of your platforms that you plan to implement if you’re elected?
I have been working on strengthening the relationship between the Career Center, Alumni Association, and USAC in order to increase their exposure and accessibility to students. Many people don’t even know of the services the Career Center and the Student Alumni Association have to offer or even that they exist in the first place. Students will be able to acquire valuable knowledge and tools to attain the dream job they desire.
My second platform centers on revamping UCLA transportation and biking. Thousands of students get around campus and Westwood on bikes, skateboards, and scooters. The pavement around UCLA linking the campus to Westwood needs to be refurbished along with an installation of more bike racks to facilitate storage. By better integrating the local cyclist community this platform has the added benefit of increasing an environmentally friendly alternative to transportation needs in the area. In addition, to increasing cyclist safety, it will also give pedestrians the security of using the safer furnished pathways. Overall it will benefit all parties by simultaneously promoting campus safety and the freedom to choose one’s own method of transportation.