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This is what community looks like. It all started when Marvin Phillips’ family was away on a weekend camping trip, and they got a disturbing call from police: Their home and vehicle had been vandalized. Someone had spray painted their property with the letters “KKK” on the family vehicle and even racial slurs on their house. As The Washington Post notes, the family are some of the only African Americans in the rural town of Tenino, Wash.

Members of the community decided that the Phillips young children, who are biracial, shouldn’t see the hateful messages on their home. Parents in the local football and cheerleading league sent out a Facebook message, asking for volunteers to fix the damage before the family—particularly the 10-year-old girl and 9-year-old boy, who are members of the local sports and Girl Scout group—returned home.


They wrote,

We live in a small community and we take care of our own especially our youth athletes. I would like to have a work party meet up tomorrow morning at 9am to clean this mess up before the kids get home and see this. I want the racist cowards to know that we WILL NOT stand for this in our small town.

Not only did 50 residents come out, but so did local police and even the mayor. The family returned to a truck scrubbed clean of the graffiti and a repainted home. Phillips told TWP, “How can you not feel that love?”

A local firefighter who showed up to help told KOMO News, "It’s too cruddy of a world to have this kind of stuff happen in your own community and not do something about it. Main thing is we wanted to make sure the family didn’t see this. Nobody see this kind of junk in their life. Nobody needs that kind of hate speech."

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Scientists at the University of Oxford have confirmed what anyone hanging out at Central Perk has long known—having friends is better than some painkillers at making you feel better. According to the new research, published in Scientific Reports, individuals who have lots of close friends have higher pain tolerances than people who don’t, and being around them provides a more-powerful-than-expected endorphin rush. Researchers explained to The Telegraph,

One theory, known as 'the brain opioid theory of social attachment', is that social interactions trigger positive emotions when endorphin binds to opioid receptors in the brain. This gives us that feel-good factor that we get from seeing our friends.

The endorphin effect is so intense, that the team found that being with a friend group is a more effective painkiller than morphine itself. The only other treatment that comes close, is putting The Rembrandts' “I’ll Be There For You” directly into your ears. Discuss

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[Editor’s note: To participate in our weekly advice column, submit your questions here and watch this space each Wednesday.]

I used to be involved in a Christian community back when I was in college. Needless to say, I graduated and moved on. Now that I’m in the workforce, I understand I should get involved in a local church. However, something is holding me back. Read More