Time to Wake Up!


It’s one of those days where I woke up, started scanning Facebook, and hit the share button at a much higher rate than usual.  It was a good news day to post articles about everything that needs to change.  But, at the end of the day, I am angry and grieved by the blindness I see in so many—particularly in many Republican/Conservative circles, and even more specifically, among many “Christians.”

Today (and most days), I share, I post, I talk, I do what I can to spread the urgency of the need to fight for equality for all people, for our environment, for our country, for our world, for the oppressed and suffering.  There is no room to sit back and wait for someone else to advocate for change.  Women are assaulted over and over by men who never meet justice, polluted air is closing schools in Delhi because it is so potent, and the sitting president of the United States admitted to not knowing how many countries there are (or even a rough estimate) upon becoming president…because he didn’t have political experience (his words, not mine).

We have no choice but to stand up and fight for people who cannot fight for themselves.  We have to speak out for the health of our planet, because if it is not healthy, we will not be healthy.  It is time to look beyond our immediate spheres of influence and see that our individual experiences are not everyone’s experiences.  Therefore, if something unjust is happening to someone somewhere, we must speak out and advocate on their behalf.

High school and college peeps: Women’s March announced they are starting chapters!  Check it out if you are interested!

Most of all: wake up!
Rant over.

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Finding an Inspiration, Choosing a Cause

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Current mood: slightly depressed and lacking get-up-and-go.

These past few days have been very emotionally charged.  I’ve felt it.  You’ve felt it.  Goodness, the whole world is feeling it…though, not all because of Charlottesville (because THAT would be incredibly self-focused).

A while back, A suggested I choose a cause to invest most of my “activism energy”, rather than spreading myself across so many areas.  I’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about his words, and I agree.  Focusing on one thing, while still caring about other issues and supporting them, is healthy and, likely, more productive.

I haven’t decided 100% what it’s going to be…but I have a good idea.  I really care about the plight of women around the world.  Sexism and patriarchy are very real things.  It varies in degrees from place to place, culture to culture, religion to religion, and race to race, but it is there.  In fact, feminism is directly related to so many other issues because women are everywhere, involved in so much, and, frankly, are the reason each of us is here.

Lately, I’ve found myself especially inspired and motivated by the new Freeform show The Bold Type.  It’s about three mid-twenties women, working for a women’s magazine, and trying to figure themselves out.  It’s amazing.  Each episode deals with a subject that is going to be, at some level, slightly to more-than-slightly uncomfortable, but it energizes me in so many ways!  Of course, I connect to the writer because I want to be her—finding my niche in an awesome publication, having my voice be heard, and making a difference.  But, each of the three main characters represents a part of my personality and characteristics.  It’s like The Devil Wears Prada but with an AMAZING boss—you know, who actually cares about you as a person.  So, check it out if you’re looking for a fun and deep show to inspire you to rise to the occasion…wherever you are!

What’s your inspiration?  What’s your “issue” where you focus your energy?  I think, as humans, we all need something in which to invest that goes beyond a job.

Reboot: The Small Things

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Hi!  It’s been a while.

Life is ever unexpected, thus this blog has been sorely neglected.  However, I’m hoping to change that, because I need a creative outlet in my life.

That being said, I don’t have any set topics (yet), but I want to write about real things that are important and fun things that brighten life…no matter how seemingly small.  Like, my husband and I are starting to compost—except our landlady doesn’t want us to, so we’re going to take our compost to my uncle’s compost pile.  Or, my latest goal: to master the art of bread making (my most recent loaf was the best yet)!  Or, my goal to continue reading through new books—classics, non-fiction, journalistic memoirs, new releases, I don’t care…I want to grow my mind.

BUT, all of this is with the common goal of making the world a better place one choice and one person at a time.  Also, I’ll probably use this medium to work through some troubling issues that we are facing in our world.

No expectation.  No judgements.  Here I go!

Was the Women’s March Truly for All Women?

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Some time has passed.  Let’s talk about The Women’s March and some connecting issues:

I was stunned by the people who said they could not support the Women’s March because of the pro-choice stance—not because of my views on abortion, but because I had not heard dissent for that issue (except for the feminist pro-life group’s removal from the list of event partners) and had not even considered it as a key component of the peaceful protests taking place on January 21, 2017.  However, since reading the first person’s perspective on the topic, it has been running through my head, touching on arguments for and against and trying to reconcile it all—as well as great frustration that one issue could cause people to throw out an entire cause.

When I first heard about the planned marches, I was excited about women (and others) joining together to protest a president who speaks of women with disdain, openly brags about his affairs, and even jokes about grabbing a woman by her “pussy”—none of which is acceptable for a human being to do, let alone a leader.  Additionally, the protests would draw attention to and advocate against the perpetuation of inequality in the United States towards women, LGBTQIA, and minority races and groups, as well as promoting healthcare access, stopping police violence, improving the justice system and incarceration flaws, and much more.

As I believe in the importance of education prior to establishing an opinion, I read many views from women about the protests, articles, and the official statement of Guiding Vision and Definition of Principles from The Women’s March.  I weighed my own (evolving) views on the issues of anti- and pro- abortion, but still my frustration grew.

On both sides there is rigidity emanating from certain pockets of perspectives: on the left some tout open-mindedness to ideologies until they bump into one on which they disagree and then they bash them.  On the right, some hold so tightly to their views that they sacrifice even possibly changing someone’s perspective because of their dogmatic approach.  Both groups sabotage their own cause.

Truthfully, I understood the frustration certain women felt who support many (if not all other) causes outlined by the Women’s March on Washington with the exception of pro-choice ideologies—feeling shunned by a force that speaks to inclusivity and diversity because they disagreed on one issue, rather than being welcomed despite the subject of disagreement, is disheartening.  However, I disagree with the decision to remove support from the protests based on a difference of opinion on the matter of abortion.

Bridges can never be built if people constantly choose offense.  This is what happens all too frequently—one side does something and the other side chooses to react by boycotting and solidifying their perspective even more (does Target at Christmastime ring a bell?).  This is a dangerous practice because it does not allow people to grow and change over time, nor does it allow people to live in peace and respect even while disagreeing.

Imagine if all those who said, “I can’t support this because of those marching who are pro-choice” or “Pro-life women were excluded from the event” had chosen to go to a protest, post support on social media, or some other outward show DESPITE the decision made by some committee somewhere—what might have happened?  Perhaps those who do actually have it out for pro-life people might have recognized who was choosing the high road.  Maybe conversations could have taken place causing a formerly rigid pro-life supporter to take a more understanding approach to the plight in which some women find themselves, causing them to look to abortion.  The possibilities are endless.

But, instead, women started stating that the millions marching didn’t represent them.  They claimed they are over feminism.  They said they couldn’t support any of it because of one (already legal) issue.

The cause—those marches—was about so much more than whether or not abortion is right.  This cause was to support women and humans everywhere against oppression, inequality, and injustice.  It’s about supporting each other rather than tearing each other down.  The people who claim they are over feminism can pretend everything is “okay” because of the millions of women who have fought for decades for their rights.

Women everywhere are facing the possibility of their affordable and accessible birth control being taken away because of a womanizing president.  Black and brown people are looking at an even more empowered police force and greater potential for violence because of a white, privileged man sitting in the White House. Immigrants are fearing deportation from a country whose Statue of Liberty welcomes “your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”.  There are so many issues that affect the sanctity and preservation of life beyond the uterus.  In fact, consider how all these other causes will impact the lives of the unborn once they enter the world as contributing human beings.

In the wake of a monumental and beautiful outpouring of support around the country and the world, I am thankful for the millions who came out to show their support for the causes listed by the Women’s March on Washington committee.  I’m thrilled that so many were able to participate.  For those who chose to rise above disagreements on certain issues, I applaud you.  For those who felt they couldn’t get behind a cause that included pro-choice ideologies—I encourage you to consider seeking ways you can support this cause in a capacity that doesn’t compromise your beliefs so that greater good can be achieved.

Building bridges takes effort—choosing to love and show understanding for fellow humans is a greater calling than self-righteous indignation—which only builds walls.  And we have enough walls.

Fear Tactics: Say “NO!”


My newsfeed is filled with fake news, skewed statistics, and people looking in the past when there was (perhaps) a lack of protest as an argument against people protesting current issues.  It angers, frustrates, and saddens me.

I am a true believer that with exposure comes a greater capacity to empathize with people in their current situations.  While commiserating with a family member, I expressed, “I wish more people would practice putting themselves in the shoes of others, rather than assuming everyone else wears their shoes.”  It’s true: how often do we judge the plights of others through the lens of our own lives?  It’s not fair because we haven’t walked their journey.

Now, I sit watching executive orders be handed down that are negatively impacting so many.  I’m watching friends and acquaintances look for immigration lawyers because, despite legally being in the United States, they are suddenly concerned for what the future hold.  I’m watching people I love dearly respond with fear to fear-mongering.  I’m listening to officials toss around words like “security” and “safety” without talking about the specifics…more fear tactics.

The biggest issue that few are mentioning (thank you, Jill Stein, for speaking out and sharing this article) is that policies and actions from previous presidents have opened up the flood gates for President Trump to now get his pen hand ready.  We, collectively, forget that our country invaded and attacked (brutally) places where we had no right–killing without care.  Now, people in those countries have to flee…but where do they go?  Maybe if we’d flown fewer drones, not dropped bombs, and not terrorized people half a world a way we wouldn’t be facing the onslaught of HUMANS looking for a place to lay their heads without fear of a bomb falling.

Maybe when you terrorize people for years, they get scared, angry, and want to fight back.  Sound familiar?  It should.  Someone has to stop the cycle–let it be us.

Welcome!

Welcome to The Teapot Journalist!

Five years (and three months ago) I lay on a pool chair in Daytona Beach Shores reading my first copy of Vogue.

It contained a life changing article that inspired my pursuit of journalism as a career.  The article was about a journalist who traveled to Morocco to teach impoverished teenagers the skills of journalism, and then enabled them to go into their communities and practice what they learned.

Fast forward to now; I fondly reminisce the year and a half I spent as a rural newspaper journalist in western Virginia, continue to gobble up news from a plethora of sites, participate in social justice activism, am learning to be a better vegetarian, research ethical and sustainable fashion, notice the beauty around me, and care for myself, as a spiritual being…all while enjoying ‘newlywed’ status in the mountains of Western North Carolina.

You might be asking: why this blog?  Why now?

The name came to me over a year ago; the content has continued to steep for the past ten months.  People frequently ask me if there are others who think like me?  I tell them YES!  Are we identical?  Absolutely not.  But, our ideas and philosophies are similar—therefore, let’s share them and live them together.

How many people do you know who are intelligent, caring, and keep talking about wanting to do something to make something, somewhere, better, but they don’t know where to begin?

This blog is for those people.  This blog is for you.  This blog is for me.

I love discussion, so please feel at home to comment, email, etc.

Here is to many more posts, good conversation, and encouraging each other in this big world as we all pursue our unknown.

Sincerely,

The Teapot Journalist