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Good Friends Are Hard To Find! Here's How To Show Yours You Appreciate Them

What About Your Friends?

It's so easy to take our friends for granted; even the really good ones. In the back of our minds, we might be thinking they're doing what they're supposed to do as friends, so there is no need to acknowledge their consistency. At the same time, we can be so quick to communicate when they do something that doesn't sit right with us.


Sometimes we don't realize the efforts our good friends really go through to show they have our back. And it doesn't have to be as dramatic as it might sound. There are actually seemingly small yet meaningful ways we can show our good friends we see their efforts and appreciate them.

Ask Her How She's Really Doing

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…And be ready to listen to the full answer without waiting for your turn to respond. This one can be difficult for all of us. I mean, as friends, it's clear that we can relate to each other on so many levels. So when she's telling her story, it only makes sense that you've gone through something similar and want to chime in; whether it's to reassure her she's not alone or to let her know it's not that bad. But at times it can be helpful to let her get her full story out, especially if she's venting. Because it can also be just as easy to start explaining how we "get it" and then make the conversation all about us. We're all human, so it's not the end of the world. But taking time to check on a friend and see how she's truly doing can show your appreciation in more ways than one.

Send A Thoughtful Text

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A GIF goes a long way. You've probably already discovered that you and your BFF can have entire conversations with GIFs. Sending your friend a good morning GIF, an inspiring quote or scripture via text is something really small, but can truly help her know how much she's appreciated. I feel like this can be effective in a one-on-one text or even a lit group chat. I think we can all agree that we don't only appreciate good morning texts and thoughtful texts when it comes from our significant other. It might be a different type of feeling but getting a thoughtful text from a close friend can make one's day just the same.

Shout Her Out On Social Media

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And it's not even her birthday. Have you ever had a friend gas you up on social media just because? Unless she's not on social media, this can be a really pleasant surprise. You never know when a good friend might need a little boost of confidence publicly and dedicating a Facebook status to her or a precious Instagram post can have her feeling herself in a way you didn't know meant so much to her. I'm in no way saying that your entire friendship has to be broadcast on social media for other people. But a simple shout out is a small but amazing way to let her know you see her, support her and most importantly appreciate her.

Support Her

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Look, all of us are doing our thing, okay sis? Whether we're starting our own blog, just landed a new job, became a mom, broke up with a jerk, we deserve some type of celebration on the regular just for making it through another season of life. And showing our friends support during all of their ups and downs can express our appreciation. It's not looking for anything in return and saying, "Well since I was there for you on this, you need to be here for me." I think we can all agree that many good friendships are also reciprocal. But supporting her in everything from her tough decisions to new endeavors is more than a basic way to display your appreciation.

Send Her A Thank-You Card

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There's never a bad time for a thank-you card. Especially if it's for someone you consider a good friend. She could have been there for you at a time that wasn't necessarily convenient for her, supported you, or done anything on this list. Sending a thank-you card is so genuine because it goes beyond the efforts of a simple text message. It shows that you went out of your way to show your appreciation. Plus, it's something she can hang on to that will last much longer than a text. We often send thank-you cards after interviews, after getting married, so why not send one out of simple appreciation for a good friend?

Give Her "Me" Time

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Whether you're a self-proclaimed, proud clingy friend, or your friend has a lot going on from kids to work, being an outlet for her is such a great way to show you are grateful for her. You can offer to babysit her children (for the free), or just give her space if she's expressed she needs it, and just let her know you'll be there when she's ready to press play again. I think we all know that being all things to all people can get a little tiring. So give your friend a break to show how much of a difference she's made in your life. It not only reassures her that she doesn't have to be perfect, but it also lets her know she's allowed to take time to woo-sah if needed, so she can recharge and continue being a great friend.

Featured image by Getty Images.

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

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