Bring a clock you made yourself to school – get arrested. That’s what happened to 14 year old Ahmed today in Texas.
What’s wonderful is how people have responded to support and encourage this energetic inventor after a day of being handcuffed and continually questioned by police as to the ‘broader context’ behind his homemade clock.
Below are two shining examples of the best that Twitter can offer.
Responding to injustice is as important as identifying its existence: the support the teenager has received from President Obama to NASA to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is exhibit A.
How can you show solidarity or support to someone who needs it today?
In our shiny, bright worlds, we forget that life doesn’t always go “as it should.” People have their own agendas and these can clash with your personal or professional happiness.
I had a moment last week that snowballed until it knocked me off my feet. In an area of the perfect Facebook timelines, I struggled to maintain my composure.”How are you?” A mother asked me in the middle of nursery pickup.”I’ve been better, but I’ve been worse,” I replied.”Oh, you’re sick?””No,” I said. She blinked, stuttered an apology and then moved away, to someone sunnier.This became my litany all week long. I’ve been better but I’ve been worse. Being transparent takes effort and heart. A friend knew I was upset and wanted to talk about what happened. The extrovert I had been five years ago would have babbled everything.Instead, I licked my wounds with self-care: sleep. I napped, went to bed early and if I felt like crying, though stuck in traffic, I did (with my sunglasses on).Disappointment is as much a part of life as the peaks. In the valley, you learn to appreciate the sunshine.The next time you are brought face to face with a reminder that life is not fair, don’t resist. Embrace it. Then the sting may not be as sharp the next time.What are your disappointment strategies?
We bumped down the road, a friend’s custom designed home receding in the background, and I said: “I can’t find my phone.”
On the first Friday of the new year, we were on a road trip, racing back through North Carolina to dinner with another set of friends in Virginia.
In the last three weeks there had been a 14 hour flight home for Christmas, a jaunt into Rhode Island for New Year’s, and two book events.
Did I mention two children under the age of 5 were in tow?
The tail lights of my friend’s car were receding through the country lanes, guiding us to I-85.
“Tell them!” My husband, in the height of playoff season, glued to his screen, said in alarm. “This is crazy. What will do you without your phone?”
“They’ll mail it to me,” I said. A zen-like calm descended on me. He didn’t have their number, so we had no way of contacting them, even as our cars sped apart on the highway.
I have been phone free for a week and three days to the amazement of friends and colleagues.
“How are you coping?” A friend asked at the party. Her raised eyebrows signaled that I spent more time on phone while around other people than perhaps talking to them.
“I feel great!” I said. I wasn’t lying. No more reaching for the device in the middle of the night, even at 4am when the kiddos were up with jet lag. Instead I spent an hour practicing mindfulness.
Rather than ruminating on email messages or scrolling through Facebook, my mind was like a wind tunnel.
“What about the kids?” A mommy friend asked.
“I told the nursery to call his father.” And it felt great to share the responsibility.
“How can I reach you?” A friend posted on Facebook.
“Old school,” I replied. “Email me.”
This bubble can’t last. The semester is picking up and life will become increasingly hectic. There may be car accidents and spikes in fever, emergency requests for information, or bank SMS that need replies.
So I ordered a new phone, saying a farewell to the other one, wherever s/he may be: crammed in the corner of the rental car? Under the carpet in the glass paneled living room?
Next time, I’ll be sure to turn on the Find My Phone app while the battery is still on. In the meantime, I’m grateful for the chance to order a new phone.
And to prove to my friends and family that I am not glued to my screen.