Did you know that whenever someone purchases How Do You See The World? we send ALL of the proceeds to nonprofit organizations? Thinking about giving a game as a gift this year? Or even treating yourself? Your choice means that you're not only giving a fun game that creates connection between people, but you're also helping to support wonderful organizations doing incredible work in our communities. Check out details of where the proceeds go below and spread the word!

Real Support for Education

We believe in supporting educational and entrepreneurial initiatives and we know the importance of education--it opens doors for everyone. That's why all of the proceeds from How Do You See The World? go toward organizations that advance the initiatives we believe in.

Families Empowered

This organization helps families in Texas find the school that's right for them. Navigating the new school systems, that are changing all the time, is a stressful process for any parent. And it's important to make sure children have equal access to schools and that they attend a school that's right for them. That's where Families Empowered comes in.

They've helped over 90,000 families and make the process easy and transparent. If you're in Houston, San Antonio, or Austin, this organization is a fantastic resource. Families Empowered will lay our your options clearly and help you apply for schools with one easy form--no multiple copies needed! Reach out to them today.

Stand Together Foundation

"The Stand Together Foundation is committed to breaking the cycle of poverty by supporting the creative solutions of individuals and organizations who are driving dynamic entrepreneurship in communities across the country and helping people transform their lives." We took this quote directly from the Stand Together Foundation site because it so perfectly captures what they do! This organization is making powerful change for people every day by fighting poverty.

With a vast network of vetted nonprofits, Stand Together is empowering good organizations to be even better and to help more people. They focus on supporting people addressing addiction and recovery, financial empowerment and entrepreneurship, homeless, workforce development, and so much more.

EMERGE

The organization EMERGE is shining a spotlight on smart students who perform well and are from underserved communities. EMERGE has programs in place to help these students attend and graduate from select colleges and universities across the US and makes sure their high school success continues into higher education.

Based in Houston, Texas, EMERGE serves over 2400 students across 5 school districts, with two more joining their program this coming year. And EMERGE's programs are working! 97% of students who work with the organization go on to a four-year college or university. That's incredible success and we are proud to support their efforts.

ACE Scholarships

ACE Scholarships awards financial scholarships to students from low-income families so they can attend the school of their choice to help them fulfill their potential. ACE wants to make sure that fewer students fall through the educational cracks and the scholarships they offer help make the financial reality of school something that is possible and manageable.

And they don't just the financial cost of a college education. Grade school can be expensive, too, especially when children attend public districts suffering budget cuts. ACE is there to help children at every stage of school. And they make sure success is available to all.

Grameen Bank

Grameen Bank provides microcredit loans and access to funds to the poorest people living in rural Bangladesh. These loans most often support women who can start small businesses in their local communities and begin to create income for themselves and their children. Microcredit loans come with very reasonable terms and are meant to support communities and not put them under the duress of debt. The Grameen Bank services over 81,000 villages and has over 9 million members.

When the topic of religion comes up in conversation most people run, shut down, or just simply tune out. It can be hard talking about subjects that are inherently personal, private, and intricate. Many of us are not accustomed to talking about different religions, either, and we just don't know where to begin. So how do you get to a point where you can have open conversations about religion without feeling like you're bracing for an argument? We've got some great inspiration for you!

It Starts With A Conversation

The best place to start is with The Interfaith Amigos. The group is comprised of Rabbi Ted Falcon, Pastor Don Mackenzie, and Imam Jamal Rahman, collectively known as The Interfaith Amigos, and they have a lot of incredible things to say! This TEDxDU talk is all about breaking the taboos of interfaith dialogue. And there are so many helpful tips and truly inspiring moments in the video. If you haven't seen The Interfaith Amigos yet, don't pass on this video.

The History of Interfaith Success

People have been working across religious differences for many decades, creating incredible groups, organizations, nonprofits, and more to continue that success today. The Academy for Cultural Diplomacy compiled an excellent timeline of examples of interfaith dialogues that contributed to understanding global religious traditions. That's no small feat!

Jim Burklo, the Associate Dean of the Office of Religious Life at the University of Southern California, spent 36 years embedded in interfaith work and created Seven Principles of Interfaith Engagement. Not only do his principles help readers understand why interfaith dialogue is important, they also explain how you can grow your own religious faith through learning about other religions.

The Importance of Interfaith Conversations

Why is it important to have conversations and exchange ideas with people of different religions? Well, Dr. Herron Keyon Gaston put it well when he said the following in his Huffington Post article on interfaith work in a global world: "the heart of interfaith work includes a multitude of different types of conversations. It is not an all-amassing concept. Rather it is intended to be a rigorous exchange of ideas, goals, philosophies, and thoughts, that seeks to crack us open and avail us to perspectives and viewpoints outside of our own. It is about coming to a mutual understanding, and does not seek to compete for who’s right or wrong."

When you next play Why Can't We All Just Get Along?, you might just find yourself thinking about how interfaith dialogue could go a long way to bringing us all together.

Are you curious about the game How Do You See The World? but you're not sure what to expect? We understand that the game is unique--in the best way!--and we want to share that with you. So to show you what a night of playing the game might look like, we've shared some of our favorite questions below.

Want to see more? Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn for lots of other fun questions, thought-provoking moments, and of course handstands! If you ever want to share photos of you and your friends or family playing the game, we'd love to see them! Send us your photos on social and show us how the game has shaped your hangouts.

Back to School Memories

Large display of question: What is your favorite high school memory

It's Labor Day weekend and most kids are either back in school or about to kick off another school year. So this school question is timely. Do you have a favorite high school memory? When was the last time you reflected on that point in your life? This is also a great question to ask the teen currently in high school. You never know what you may learn about their school experience so far.

Career or Passion?

large display of question: why did you choose the job you chose?

Another great question for friends, family, partners, and college students and high schoolers. Sometimes thinking about one's job can bring a lot of new information to light. Maybe this will expose someone's desire for a new career or help them better understand why they've stayed in a job for 10 years. The possibilities are endless!

Meditation Perspectives

large display of question: how do you silence your mind?

More people are trying out meditation now, whether it's mindfulness mediation or yoga or even handstands. There are many ways to ground oneself and try to quiet the mind. And we find that every person has their own unique way of doing so. What's yours? How do you silence the noise?

If these questions have already got you thinking about big answers and interesting topics, then hundreds more await you in the full box set! We hope you enjoy the game as much as we do.

Our last blog tackled how to ask better questions of your coworkers and friends. This week, we want to talk about asking better questions of your partner. It’s Valentine’s Day (let’s be honest, it stretches out all weekend), so what better time to rethink how we connect with the significant others in our lives?

This is part of our February series, as we focus on how you can ask better questions. From tips on brainstorming good questions to smart resources and a whole lot more, we will compile relevant articles, blogs, and videos to help you challenge how you ask questions.

Questions are the way we connect with others and learn more about them. And they are an essential part of building a solid relationship, too. Asking questions in a kind, respectful, and open way can increase the connection you share with your significant other. And maybe even reveal something new about them.

Connecting on a Deeper Level through Questions

a man and a women conversing over coffee

Asking thoughtful questions of your partner or significant other is about getting to a deeper level. You don’t want to just know how they are, you want to know who they are. And that’s the big difference to focus on when thinking about questions to ask someone to really gain a deeper understanding of what drives them and their personal narrative.

Similar to questions in How Do You See the World, this list of 36 Deep Questions poses questions you might not normally think of to ask someone such as: What is your most treasured memory? And What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?

Or maybe you’ve already been with your partner for some time and date night has become the usual chit chat of work, family concerns, and not much else. You can shake things up a bit by pulling a few questions from this list that will help liven the conversation and maybe even let you learn something new about your long-term partner.

Getting to Know Someone

two women sitting on bench getting to know each other better

Asking thoughtful questions is also a great way to get to know a new romantic person in your life. And you can learn a lot about what kind of questions to ask by listening to people who have had successful long-term relationships. The Today Show featured this spot, which asks the advice of a couple who have been together for 18 years. And there are some great questions to consider!

And Bustle also tackles the getting-to-know-you aspect of new relationships, with this great list of questions suitable for couples who want to make sure they are on the same page.

Whatever stage of a relationship you’re in, asking better questions is a great way to get to know your partner better and, in the process, get to know yourself a little bit better, too.

In our last blog post, we discussed the science behind why escaping into your phone over the holidays can actually be more draining than simply engaging in that awkward political conversation at the dinner table. Turns out, too much screen time becomes a drain on our brains and makes it even harder to connect with those around us.

But how do you resist that temptation? Especially when things feel tense at a family gathering or the thought of watching corgi butts wiggle sounds far more entertaining? We have some tips for how you can put the phone away, not be distracted, and be more engaged with your friends and loved ones this holiday season.

Put the Phone Away

woman putting her phone in her purse

It’s not rocket science, we know! But sometimes keeping things simple is the best way to approach them. Putting your phone in your pocket probably isn’t going to do the trick, as a simple vibration or ding of a text coming in will surely distract you and pull your brain away from the moment. Instead, try leaving your phone in a backpack or purse that you put away in another room. Is there a spot for coats? Hide your phone in your coat pocket, hang the coat up, and walk away.

Making sure your phone is at a distance might seem like such a simple thing to do, but it will really help. Not being able to hear it helps you forget about checking email and text messages. And it will make you more aware of the people you are talking to and spending time with. The trick is to make a plan to do this before you arrive at a party, so the bustle of hellos and hugs don’t distract you. Slip the phone into a pocket or backpack before you ring the doorbell.

Still Tempted? Lock it Up

phone locked up with chains

Perhaps it’s not cold where you are, so hiding your phone in the coatroom won’t work. Or it just may not be practical to try and hide your device while you’re at a gathering. If that’s the case, then you can opt for a phone lock box. You set a timer, place your phone inside, and then you can’t retrieve it until the time is up.

These lock boxes can be helpful for much more than just holiday parties—needing a break at home, wishing to focus on family or the family dinner, or even vacation. Whatever the need, if you know that you require more invasive techniques to step away from the phone this is a great option. And if you’re the party host and all the guests have arrived, consider using one for your own phone so you can relax and enjoy your company.

Making Stressful Moments Fun

two women conversing in armchairs

We know that putting away devices can lead to stress and anxiety for a variety of reasons (social anxiety, awkward conversations, etc.). But there are ways to equip yourself for those moments. Start by having a plan to engage people in conversational topics you’re interested in. You could bring (or memorize) some of the cards from How Do You See the World? that ask questions you are genuinely curious about. Questions such as “What lights you up about what you do?” or “If you won the lottery, what would you do?” are a great way to break the ice and get people talking in a fun, engaging way. And if you think the party would enjoy it, just bring the entire game! That’s sure to make the night fun.

Don’t be afraid to bring other games or activities to a party, too. Hosts will always welcome some engagement form their guests, as hosts are often overwhelmed by dishes, food, and all that a party entails. Grab your favorite games that accommodate four or more players (so that more guests can participate) or try bringing the supplies for your favorite craft activity. Whatever you choose, when people have something fun to engage with, the conversation usually follows suit.

Need some craft idea tips? Check out these great ideas from Crazy Little Projects. There’s something for everyone and every party.

The holiday season is here, and while the temptation may be to sink into the couch and bury your face in your phone during that awkward encounter with the aunt or uncle you disagree with politically, this actually does more harm than good. And the harm goes beyond the basic rudeness of the gesture; it’s actually damaging your brain’s ability to function and your emotional health.

This holiday season we have the science to help encourage you to put the phone away and have a happier time. And in our next blog post we will equip you with tips and tricks for how to not rely on your phone, because we know the temptation can be great.

Smartphones Affect All Generations

Man lies on couch using a smartphone to hide from his family

If you feel like everyone has a phone out these days, you’re not wrong. Nearly every American has a cellphone, according to the Pew Research Center, with 77% opting for a smartphone. And those smartphone users are moving more and more toward using their phones as their sole internet access point, too.

It’s not just Millennials, either, though people are often quick to suggest that. While Millennials lead in the adoption of technology, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers have steadily increasing numbers when it comes to technology use. 85% of Gen Xers and 67% of Baby Boomers own a smartphone and more Gen Xers own a tablet computer than Millennials, with all groups using social media at increasing rates.

Earlier this year the Pew Research Center reported that 77% of Americans go online daily, which is not particularly shocking considering the use of email and social media, but 26% of those adults report that they go online “almost constantly.” If we are all online nearly every day, what does that do to our brains? And does it impede our ability to connect with people?

What Science Tells Us

Woman with smartphone affecting her brain

Your smartphone is a brain drain. According to researchers at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas, Austin, the “mere presence” of your smartphone reduces your brain’s ability to function. Researchers found that people performed poorly if their phones were simply visible – they didn’t even need to receive an email or text to be distracted. As the researchers discovered, the more people depend on their smartphones on a daily basis, the more they suffer (cognitively) from the presence of the phone. And, conversely, the more people stand to benefit from the absence of the phone.

If that wasn’t enough to convince you to put the phone away, a researcher in Denmark discovered that taking a break from Facebook increases overall well-being, resulting in more positive emotions. For anyone with a family split by politics, this shouldn’t be a big surprise.

What Does It All Mean?

The research over the last few years continues to point to the fact that smartphones tax our brains and create brain and emotional drain. And while checking Instagram to watch cute dog videos might feel like a good idea when politics comes up around the dinner table, doing so will actually make it harder for you to engage in conversations you do enjoy. And checking those social media accounts will only make you feel more drained when you head home.

Instead of grabbing the phone, bring a few cards from How Do You See the World instead and pull them out at dinner or dessert. You can select questions that will get people thinking, engage their empathy, and distract from taxing or uncomfortable topics. Plus, the questions engage our brains in thoughtful, introspective, and creative processes. And when everyone shares their thoughts, you’ll feel more connected to your friends and family instead of feeling more distant.

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