This blog post first appeared on Daniella Cohen’s blog.
Wow. It is hard to express how lucky and inspired I feel. I recently attended meetings for the Youth Advisory Board to Born This Way Foundation, founded by Lady Gaga and her mother. At the core of the foundation are two key values: kindness and bravery. The foundation supports and inspires youth by recognizing the importance of emotions. We had an incredible meeting with Jason Collins: former NBA player, current advocate and role model. He shared his emotional story of adversity and bravery. He said, “Adversity is a challenge, a challenge to overcome. Live an authentic life.” Jason is a role model for bravery; he inspires countless young people to face their emotions in order to live a genuine life. He explained that the kindness of his friends and family enabled him to live authentically. It is up to my generation to change the way we view emotions; it is up to us to change the social climate and live authentic lives.
Not only is the foundation shining a light on an important yet stigmatized subject, the foundation is taking action by launching an #EmotionRevolution. The Revolution is “A joint initiative between the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and Born This Way Foundation to build awareness around the critical role of emotions in learning, decision-making, and both student and educator wellness and effectiveness.” I cannot wait to continue learning and working with the foundation to embody Lady Gaga’s vision of a better world.
Kindness and bravery matter. Emotions matter. Mental health is something we need to talk about.