Donating = Loving; 12 ways to contribute to lifelong learning

Christmas, the season of giving, is here.  While 2020 will probably not be your “best year ever” I hope you were able to make the best of the chaos, social distancing, and unknown that the year brought. 

Maybe you were able to use this long dark COVID winter to spend a bit more time reading, thinking, pondering, and keeping your iron sharp.    Maybe you were able to connect with some new authors, bloggers, podcasters, and thinkers.   Or maybe you spent this time helping others and creating leadership content for other military professionals.

Here are eight military and four non-military of my absolute favorite professional development blogs, podcasts, and websites that would surely appreciate a donation of any size headed their way.  

Military focused professional development resources

The Strategy Bridge:   A journal focused on those in the policy, national security, and military affairs world. The Strategy Bridge contains both Journal articles, a podcast, writing content, and mentorship programs.

Veterans Path:  A podcast, resource portal, and community dedicated to providing veterans and active-duty service members with mindfulness training and support to build inner strength and resilience. 

War on the Rocks:  While not a donation per-say, War on the Rocks membership plan starting at 4.99 per month provides direct interaction with the experts seen on War on the Rocks and along with their podcast, natsec articles, and resources. 

The War Horse:   The War Horse is an award-winning, long-form, non-profit newsroom educating the public on military service, war, and the impact of war.  The War Horse also provides writing courses for a military audience. 

Operation PaperbackRemember back to your last deployment and the magical box of books that showed up at your command MWR.  Well, there is a better than even chance that the box came from Operation Paperback.  While all their books are donated they spend thousands of dollars and postage and could use a hand sending out that next care package of books. 

Ryan Blakeney: An Air Force Pilot flying the RQ-4B Global Hawk, book review, and leadership blogger. His articles focus on machine learning, unmanned flight, and strategic level book reviews. 

Center for International Maritime Security: While CIMSEC does not quite meet the focus area of small-time, personal blogs they did receive more suggestions and votes than any other blog in my informal LinkedIn poll.   CIMSC keeps the conversation flowing through fiction writing, podcasts, and all things Maritime related. 

DODReads.com: Ahem, yes my site DODReads. We are primarily supported not by donations, but through book sales. If your military command does not have a bookshelf with your services reading list please consider buying from us first. 

Non-Military focused on professional development resources. 

Farnam Street: Helps you master what others have already figured out via mental models, articles, podcasts, and even workshops. They also offer speaking opportunities for a variety of events! Defined for those with a “shared passion for avoiding problems, making better decisions, and lifelong learning.” 

Wait but Why: Explains big things with little drawings…computer paint stick figure drawings, that is. With new posts out every week, you can guarantee that this blog will brighten up your day with a little laughter over a big topic. Plus, you can peruse their nifty online store once you’re done reading.

Brain Pickings: Brain Pickings started as a weekend email from Maria Popova to her seven friends and turned into an immensely popular blog containing ideas and topics of a timeless character.  Her ideas are drawn from literature, science, art, and philosophy focus on helping one become a whole person intellectually, creatively, spiritually, and poetically. 

Jordan Peterson:  My absolute favorite contemporary philosopher.  I view him as a football coach for the mind.  Whenever I feel weak I hear Jordan Peterson shouting to me from the sidelines “Stand up straight with your shoulders back!”,  “Tell the truth!”,  “Do better!”, “Set your house in order before criticizing the world!”  Most of his content is found via video lectures and his podcast. 

What type of content do you enjoy consuming? Memes? Social media feeds? Garbage news? Rage?  Junk food?  Or would you rather fill your mind with high quality, thought-provoking, nutritious content? 

Well, that content does not produce itself.   It takes a team of authors, editors, graphic designers, publishers, web designers, social media experts, and managers to fight off the junk food and get that article to the top of your social feed.   If you appreciate the work these bloggers do please consider joining the team, spreading some love, and helping with a donation. 

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