Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (whose books I've reviewed here and here) delivered some beautiful words of wisdom a couple of weeks ago at the 2015 commencement for Wellesley College.
A few highlights for me:
"Your standardized ideologies will not always fit your life, because life is messy."
"Feminism should be an inclusive party. Feminism should be a party full of different feminisms. So, Class of 2015, please go out there and make feminism a big, raucous, inclusive party."
"All over the world, girls are raised to be make themselves likeable, to twist themselves into shapes that suit other people. Please do not twist yourself into shapes to please. Don’t do it. If someone likes that version of you, that version of you that is false and holds back, then they actually just like that twisted shape, and not you. And the world is such a gloriously multifaceted, diverse place that there are people in the world who will like you, the real you, as you are."
"I don’t speak to provoke. I speak because I think our time on earth is short and each moment that we are not our truest selves, each moment we pretend to be what we are not, each moment we say what we do not mean because we imagine that is what somebody wants us to say, then we are wasting our time on earth."
You can read the whole text here.
And it drives me nuts.
It became such a problem that for now, screen time is only allowed on weekends, after chores are all done, and limited even then, but summertime introduces new problems. I've been pondering how to approach screen-time once school gets out and these two posts have given me some food for thought:
Momentum Optimization Project: Summertime Edition
No Screen-time Until
I want to help my boys develop some self-management skills with regard to screen-time, since I won't always be there to tell them to get off. And I want them to add some variety into their daily summer activities. I'm considering requiring completed chores, an hour outside, a half-hour reading, and piano practice before permitting screen-time, but I really like the idea of setting aside "creative time" and a few minutes for school-like stuff, too.
What do you do to manage screen-time madness?
This video is a brilliant and witty way to explain the concept of consent. When public figures and elected officials are unclear on what consent looks like, or what qualifies as rape, it helps to break it down simply and with humor. Major kudos to the artists at Blue Seat Studios and RockstarDinosaurPiratePrincess!
I believe I've discovered my calling in life. I will be a bibliotherapist.
Or at least I'll read the book that Berthoud and Elderkin, a couple of bibliotherapists, wrote, The Novel Cure. From the article linked above:
One of the ailments listed in “The Novel Cure” is “overwhelmed by the number of books in the world,” and it’s one I suffer from frequently. Elderkin says this is one of the most common woes of modern readers, and that it remains a major motivation for her and Berthoud’s work as bibliotherapists. “We feel that though more books are being published than ever before, people are in fact selecting from a smaller and smaller pool. Look at the reading lists of most book clubs, and you’ll see all the same books, the ones that have been shouted about in the press. If you actually calculate how many books you read in a year—and how many that means you’re likely to read before you die—you’ll start to realize that you need to be highly selective in order to make the most of your reading time.” And the best way to do that? See a bibliotherapist, as soon as you can, and take them up on their invitation, to borrow some lines from Shakespeare’s “Titus Andronicus”: “Come, and take choice of all my library/And so beguile thy sorrow…”