Buried

It’s been a week since my last entry, possibly the longest I’ve gone without blogging!  Between Tawn’s fashion show, which turned out wonderfully, and some large projects with work, I’ve had little free time.  One thing I’ve come to realize, belatedly, is that the internet (more broadly) and social media (in particular) are not very good uses of my time.  Cutting back on those – just forbidding myself from opening my browser – has freed up a lot of time for other productive uses.

That said, I think I’ll have the time to catch my breath this weekend and do an update on Tawn’s show.  Meanwhile, I hope you are all well.  I haven’t read my subscriptions in a week, either, so if I haven’t responded to your latest post, I hope you will understand.

 

Want to Change the World? Choose a Woman.

Nobel Prize

While I’m wary of broad generalizations, today’s announcement of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winners, a trio of women who have promoted the causes of peace, freedom, and opportunity through nonviolence, led me to a conclusion: if we really want to change the world, we need to put more women in charge.

Leymah Gbowee (on the left) is a social worker and trauma counselor who organized a group known as the Women of Liberian Mass Action for Peace, a non-violent group protesting for peace that was instrumental in bringing an end to Liberia’s civil war.

Tawakul Karman (center) is one of Yemen’s most vocal and well-known activists.  She is also a member of the country’s main opposition party.  Using social media, she organized the first student demonstrations challenging the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (right), a Harvard-trained economist, was elected in 2005 as President of Liberia.  She was the first female democratically elected president of an African nation.  She has promoted development after 14 years of civil war that devastated the country, leaving some 200,000 dead.

When women lead, they tend to lead people towards health, education, and peace.  Looking at the track record of men, which often leads towards war, abuse of power, and exploitation, it seems that all other factors being equal, a female leader would be preferable to a male one.

 

Swimming Lessons

Ater the weekend at the beach resort last month with some of Tawn’s high school friends and their young children, the mothers decided to enroll their children in swimming lessons.  The pool is not far from our neighborhood, so once a week I take a break from my work and ride over to encouage the little ones as they learn to swim.

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The two youngest ones, Kiri (with his mother, Tao) and Jaeda (with her mother, Saa), both enjoy the water but Jaeda seems a bit more ready for swim lessons.  Even after a half-dozen of them, Kiri doesn’t seem to enjoy any activity that gets his face wet.

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By ten minutes into the half-hour lesson, Kiri’s upper lip is trembling and tears are making the pool salty.  I feel a bit guilty because as I stand on the side of the pool, he will look at me every so often as if to ask, “Why are you just standing there, letting me suffer?”