Twenty minutes, every day, for something positive or inspiring. It doesn't seem so hard, and we could all spare a few minutes a day to feed our minds with something meaningful. So why not commit to learning a little something new every day? And that doesn't have to be memorizing the last ten years' of Nobel winners. The Birdy usually wakes up a little extra early to read emails and just browse for a few minutes every morning. I like seeing the latest room renovations on Apartment Therapy. I surf through the crafty DIY ideas on Curbly. I sit in an envious daze after seeing both these sites, bewildered how anyone's home can look that put-together. And I often peruse the latest news on Good, or what speakers have been posted on TED. Lately, that's been my news; the typical sources are so obsessed with ways to make us anxious. War, a flip-flopping stock market, maybe a killer asteroid has us in its sights in the next millenia. Whatever. I know the current situation of human affairs, what more can we do to changing things for the better, or helping spread awareness?
I thought of this conscious effort to "Take Twenty" when a friend shared a 20-plus minute video of human rights lawyer and founder/executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, Bryan Stevenson, giving a talk at TED, about the imbalance within America's justice system. He brings up valid points about how race and poverty cast a shadow over how we view criminals, even to the point where we are willing to let 13 year olds be sentenced as adults, entering a prison system that will irrevocably change the course of that young life. I know, heavy stuff. But Bryan Stevenson is an amazing speaker; he tells hard truths with charm, humor and amazingly enough, a sense of hope, that despite the odds, there are no lost souls, nor are there lost causes. He brings up an important point, that for any change to happen, it has to start with an idea, a revelation of one's identity. The words of this speech carried with me for days. It's with me, still, and I find his words being a lens that I now put ideas through, gaining new perspective with a reminder for compassion. All this, for less than a lunch break. So here's your chance to start -- watch Bryan Stevenson speak. Get inspired. Find new things to excite your brain, be creative, or evoke a desire to get behind a cause.
Jaunty Fine Print: graphic by Denise Sakaki, video from TED