15 Things That Need to Change in 2015

15 things that need to change in 2015. Via JenniferMargulis.net

photo source: StockPhotos.io

[hupso]1) The iPhone plug: No one wants to plug in the phone and have it turn back on automatically, especially since the phone will charge much faster in the OFF position. Apple, are you listening? I’ll give you a call. Oh, wait, my phone’s out of power.

2) Your (married) sex life: Sex increases oxytocin (aka the love hormone) in your blood stream and your brain, lessening anxiety and leading to heightened feelings of wellbeing and happiness. Sex also wards off prostate cancer in men. But married couples are reporting having sex infrequently, if at all. Our country is suffering from a sex deficit disorder. May 2015 be the Year We All Have More Sex.

CSPI's list of food additives to avoid. Via JenniferMargulis.net

The Center for Science in the Public Interest’s list of food additives to avoid

3) What we eat: On the one side are the crunchy hippy folks who drink kombucha after yoga class and only eat gluten free grass-finished xylitol. We hear from these trustafarians a lot because they own $5,000 cameras and post food porn on Pinterest daily. On the other side are the vast majority of Americans who are eating and feeding our kids edible food-like substances laden with petroleum-based dyes and harmful additives. Yum! Not. We all need to relax a little and at the same time start eating, well, food. Now please excuse me while I stuff this Twinkie in my mouth.

4) American wheat: Are we really spraying American wheat with Roundup post harvest? What the fuck is the FDA being paid to do anyway? Government, our guts are being perforated by poison. 2015 is the time to stop this.

5) Malaysian airline disappearances: Where are these planes going? It’s devastating. May 2015 be the year no more Malaysian airplanes disappear.

6) Crying about climate change: I went to a talk about climate change where several of the speakers broke down in tears. The same ones who drove their shiny SUVs to the event and then rehydrated with wine in plastic cups that they threw “away.” Boo hooing might make us feel better but if we actually care about climate change, how about we stop driving so much, start realizing that the trash never goes out, and start actually changing ourselves?

7) The autism epidemic: It’s getting worse. Autism is the number one health issue of our time. May 2015 be the year we figure out how we are causing autism and stop it once and for all.

8) Underarm hair: It’s sexy (see #2). Just ask Madonna who tweeted a selfie of her underarmor this year. Why not stop shaving your pits in 2015?

9) How we deal with dog shit: It’s all over the trails and public parks in my town and everywhere else I’ve been this year (don’t walk barefoot on the grass on the Oregon Coast). Pet owners need to be held more accountable for their dog’s doo doos. I’m told that in Germany every dog is licensed and DNA tested. Dog waste left in public places, like on the sidewalk where people are walking, is DNA sampled. Dog owners are heavily fined. Guess how many times German kids accidentally stepped in dog shit in 2014?

10) Kudos for kids who think outside-the-box: Children are being told they are “wrong” when they correctly solve math problems if they do not solve them using the method in the book. A friend’s daughter found a mistake in a textbook, pointed it out to the teacher, and was shamed in front of her classmates. (“You think you’re so smart, don’t you?” the teacher said sarcastically. “There’s no mistake in the book.” There was a mistake.) I’ve sat in educational meetings and been told we cannot accelerate one child’s learning because no one wants “an elitist” in the classroom. What happened to our national pride? What about striving for excellence? Beating other nations at innovation and technical advancement? Internationally our test scores are ignominiously low, especially in math and science. May no child in 2015 be ridiculed for being smart.

11) More money for teachers: If we want a better education system (see #10), which includes support for all special students (see #7), we need to pay public school teachers more. Teachers in America should make as much as medical doctors. Their work is just as important.

12) Our own shit: If you’re chronically constipated or have painful poops, it’s not normal. We can fix our bowel movements and improve our digestive systems by improving our diets and changing our lifestyles. May 2015 be the year of super stools.

13) Prescription drug use: As long as we keep eating non-food (#3 & #4), not having enough sex (#2), and driving everywhere (#6), our chronic health problems (#12) keep us needing prescription and over-the-counter medications. We spend at least $250 billion a year on prescription medications, according to CBS News. The doctors and drug company executives are laughing all the way to the bank, with a quick stop at the pharmacy to fill their med precriptions first.

14) Our breastfeeding rates: The good news is they are getting better. The bad news is America’s breastfeeding rates are still too low. May 2015 be the year every mom in America gets the support she needs to breastfeed her baby.

15) Compassion for other people’s suffering: We have the instant gratification of the internet at our fingertips. We watch TV and movies by ourselves with earplugs on our private viewing screens. Why care about anyone else’s suffering? Why try to make the world a better place? Because if we don’t our lives are meaningless, our pleasure is empty, and we may very well pollute our entire species out of existence. Hedonism seems to be outpacing compassion. I hope that will change in 2015. The Lorax said it best: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” I care. I hope you do too. (And I know you needed to drive to that climate change talk. It was too cold outside to bicycle.)

Jennifer Margulis author photoJennifer Margulis, Ph.D., is an award-winning journalist and author based in southern Oregon.

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Categories: reflections on life.


  1. If it’s true that dogs in Germany are DNA tested, that’s awesome. Having a toddler who doesn’t always look where he’s going means that I hate dog poop more than ever. We should totally do that here, except I’m sure people would find some way to complain that it infringes upon their personal freedoms.

    And yes to most everything else on that list. Eat more real food and you likely won’t need as many prescription medications. And everyone needs to have more sex! As for more breastfeeding, that’s not a concern for me; still breastfeeding my almost 3 year old, thanks to a good support system and lots of personal education on the subject. But I have seen so many friends give up on it, and I, too, wish our society offered more resources to help women succeed.
    Holly S recently posted…My Nursing Story (So Far)My Profile

  2. Marni Koopman

    Hi Jennifer- I’m not sure what the point is of your account of the climate change talk you went to in Atlanta. That the folks should not have attended, because they live in a large city without alternative transportation options? That they should not have expressed their grief at a private meeting?

    There is going to be a LOT more crying about climate change. Already, climate change kills more than 1,000 children EVERY DAY, hundreds of thousands of people each year. That IS something to cry about. If we don’t get past our grief about climate change, guess what, we get stuck in denial and indifference. Its part of the process. In every community where I work, people learn about climate change and immediately are struck with incredible grief when they realize all that is being lost. But they have to work past it to take action.

    Shaming people who have to drive for work and kids isn’t the answer to this issue. Neither is feeling personally guilty for our current situation. Most cities don’t even have bike paths. Behavior change is wonderful but it involves a long term shift in how we structure our communities – its not the answer to the very immediate problem of climate change. Making people think it is is actually quite harmful to the issue, because they realize they have meetings to get to and kids to pick up and give up.

    Supporting regular people against the international companies that are intent on removing every last drop of fossil fuels from the ground, at the expense of our health, livelihoods, environment, and everything we value is the answer. And getting those jerks out of office that keep giving them special tax breaks is also the answer. Creating a carbon tax is one way of incorporating the true costs of carbon into the price. We need a united front on the issue – not one that squabbles about who rides their bike more.

  3. I don’t have to be the 134,294th person to tell you this — but your frankness is on point! Love all of these tips and yes, may 2015 be the year we get our heads out of the sand, look up with confidence and in the eyes of people that are around us (not at our phones), make meaningful connections, use our voice to bring real change (not to simply complain), and come from a place of love or to give support to those who aren’t shown a lot of love. Be well! =)
    Jessica @ConveyAwareness recently posted…Snowball Cookies with a Healthy TwistMy Profile

  4. You crack me up Jennifer, thanks for keeping it real! I totally agree with these … have you heard of Kim Anami, #2 reminded me of her work, she’s awesome. Her articles have given me so much insight on this. I love what I have with my husband 🙂 #9 … seriously! We live in a community that actually has trash cans available EVERYWHERE WITH DOG WASTE BAGS, yet the lawn and pathways are always covered with dog sh#t. #12 … for real, it’s about time people get on board with this. Me too, it’s always a wonderful reminder.
    Emily @ Recipes to Nourish recently posted…Orange and Lime Sunrise Sparkler with Ginger + Raspberry KombuchaMy Profile

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