This post is reprinted from the Nobel Women's Initiative, which uses the prestige of the Nobel Peace Prize and of courageous women peace laureates to magnify the power and visibility of women working in countries around the world for peace, justice and equality.
Jennifer Peepas, blogging as Captain Awkward, runs an advice column with one of the highest emotional IQs on the Internet. This is an excerpt from a question that came in to her about taking a stand with family members--as such, we thought it would pair perfectly with our April question.
Dear Captain Awkward,
I recently received an email from editors at The Washington Post, requesting a high-resolution photograph of me they could use for an upcoming opinion article. The request left me perplexed. After all, I hadn’t submitted an op-ed for their consideration. And so I asked, “What opinion article?”
If both sides are really searching for peace, then there is no need for two sides, no need for those who are “pro” and “anti” to make their claim. Peace is something that can bring us all together — it is not polarizing.
The significance of this incident is not actually the texting, but the moment before. I have been trying to recreate how I decided to risk arrest. I am focusing on this moment not because it was such a great and courageous act—I was arrested along with fifty or so other clergy and workers for sitting down on Sunset Blvd. and refusing to get up. My interest is in articulating a theory, or a narrative, of how people move from the couch to recognizing an injustice to doing something about it.
Teaching fiction writing brings me back to my own roots as a writer. I’m often asked whether I always wanted to be a writer, and the answer is, Yes, I always wanted to be a writer, but then I also always wanted to be a basketball player, and at some point you realize you’re neither good enough nor tall enough.
For several billion years, organisms on Planet Earth have had a simple method of feeling better: get more of the pleasant, and avoid the unpleasant. Predator coming? Run. Free donut? Eat. Works every time.
Every day I get a message from my phone when the battery hits 20 percent. Time to recharge. I keep charging cords at home, in my briefcase and in my car to make sure my phone never is out of charge. But while phones are easy to plug in, how do we recharge? How do we make sure that we are not running out of steam? In a world where we are always connected, always tethered to work by technology, how do we provide for our own personal sense of renewal?
In order to recharge, we often first need to unplug! With technology in beaming from our living rooms, beckoning at our desks, and buzzing in our pockets, unplugging today is a conscious decision.