Remaining Lifelines

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Without thinking, which of these words do you feel a connection with?

boy with round glasses, potter style vector isolated on white background

History lesson

Rethinking "Spirit Animal": why it's time for a change

We've all heard it before, someone gushing about their favorite celebrity or a beloved pet, exclaiming, "They're totally my spirit animal!" While it might seem like a harmless phrase to many, its casual use in pop culture can be deeply offensive to Indigenous communities. The term "spirit animal" has roots in Indigenous cultures, where it holds significant spiritual and cultural importance. For many Indigenous peoples, a spirit animal is seen as a guardian or guide, deeply intertwined with their beliefs and traditions. It's not just a fun catchphrase to throw around.

In today's digital age, the term has been co-opted and trivialized by online quizzes, memes, and offhand comments. This dilution of its meaning not only diminishes the profound significance it holds for Indigenous communities but also perpetuates cultural appropriation. When we borrow elements from another culture, especially without understanding or respect, we risk erasing the rich history and significance behind them. It's essential to recognize that using "spirit animal" flippantly is not just a matter of being politically correct; it's about showing genuine respect for the lived experiences of others.

So, next time you're tempted to label something or someone as your "spirit animal," think twice. There are countless other ways to express admiration or resonance without appropriating and undermining the cultural significance of a term. Let's be more mindful of the words we choose and the impact they can have on others.

Kyle, Heywise Staff

Quiz WriterKyle, Heywise Staff

<p>If you’ve never cracked open a quiz by Kyle, you’re missing out. This savvy examinator writes his knowledge from a place of passion - he made it to the final round in a quiz show as a child, and his love of the question-answer format was born. Never one to sit on his laurels, after losing out to a well-read young lady named Myrtle, Kyle set out become the best quiz master the internet has ever known. In his six-year tenure as a test-writer, has Kyle written for a) three quiz sites b) no quiz sites c) more than 30 quiz sites d) National Geographic. Yes - his friends also find him kind of obnoxious (and the answer is C). If you’re serious about your status as a supreme quizard and are determined to make your way through the ranks to our Expert level, you won’t be able to escape a few of Kyle’s challenging, informative projects.</p>

Did you know?

What was J.K. Rowling's Inspiration for the Patronus?

While there is no concrete answer, there's plenty of speculation. J.K Rowling alluded in an interview that the inspiration for the Patronus came from the idea of spirit animals and totems in indigenous religions. Totem comes from the Native American Ojibwe language and refers to the belief that an animal represents the spirit of a clan. Many cultures around the world have similar beliefs, and some historians theorize that spirit animals may be the origin of religion. The practice was adopted into Western popular culture through "spirit animals," and it's likely Rowling adapted this when developing her Patronus spell.

How to Play?

Our personality quizzes are set up a little differently than your basic trivia quiz, but you’ve probably seen their kind around. Rather than having to choose the right answer from a list of multiple choice options, in this case, there is no “right answer”! (Two plus two will always be four, but every Golden Girls character is equally awesome.)

So, stop stressing. Just click on the answer that suits you best, and enjoy the ride. These quizzes are just for fun but who knows – you might just learn something about yourself along the way!

About Heywise

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We explore a broad range of topics – from sports to history, language to pop culture, personality to health. Our quizzes motivate readers to test their knowledge and learn new and exciting facts.

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