A few weeks ago, my PeaceNerds blog was nominated for a Liebster award by a peacemaking colleague of mine. Some of you may wonder: What is a Liebster Award?
It’s a blogger-to-blogger award. It is given to emerging bloggers by emerging bloggers – a constant chain of “Liebstering.” I know, you’re thinking: Okay, sounds good. But, what the heck is a Liebster?
Unless you speak German, it makes sense that you do not know. Translated to English, Liebster means: Beloved, Dearest, Lovely, Kind, Pleasant, Valued/Valuable, Cute, Endearing, Welcome, and such things as those. Basically, it is a way to say you really like and/or value something. Thus, the Liebster Award is a way for bloggers to publicly acknowledge and promote other bloggers that they really like and value with certain criteria for eligibility. It is also away for bloggers to share more about themselves and promote their own blogs by following the rules of participation.
The rules are:
1. Each person (nominated) must post 11 things about themselves.
2. Each person (nominated) must also answer the questions that the nominator created for you
3. Each person (nominated) must create 11 questions for the people (you will tag) to answer in their posts.
4. Choose 11 bloggers with less than 100 followers and tag them in your blog post.
5. Make sure they know they are chosen (some people don’t check those sorts of things yet)
6. No tag backs!
What are 11 things about me that you should know about my daily life? It is much easier to come up with 11 things that relate to my daily life rather than 11 random things.
11. I hate driving. I love public transportation, especially my dearest SF Muni as well as Eurorail, Madrid’s Metro system, transport in Switzerland, the subway in Paris, a variety of other European systems, and I dream of experiencing Japan’s system as well.
10. I love my kids. I want to spend as much time with them as I possibly can and soak up every ounce of the joy, hope, passion, love, curiosity, imagination, and energy they exude every moment. I want to show them the world and empower them to dream and equip them with all the knowledge and skills they need to pursue their dreams.
9. I dream of a world without slavery, poverty, and global exploitation and I strive daily to see that dream become reality. As a family, the Anderson-Hinn’s are pursuing this dream! Ask us how you can too!
8. I am a yogi. My favorite practice is Bikram. My kids are yogis. Their favorite practices are Pizza Party and Shanti for Youth Peacemakers. They also like to practice Bikram at home.
7. I can’t imagine our daily life without our Vitamix. Actually, we currently have a Blendtec, but we’re going back to the Vitamix Professional Series ASAP.
6. I love to read. I love to write. I love to learn. I love adventure. I love to travel. I love to design and conduct research. I love to analyze data. I love to create knowledge. I love to teach. I love to be continually transformed. I love to change narratives. I love to travel. I love adventure. I love to learn. I love to write. I love to read.
5. I am a pragmatic idealist, an idealistic pragmatist. Either way… I want to re-make the world, to re-story the global human narrative, to participate in building a sustainable, more compassionate and peaceful future. The challenge we face in doing this work is immense. At times it seems insurmountable. But, I know it is possible. It is necessary.
4. I am an artist. I draw. I write. I document. I design. I imagine. I create. I curate. I cook. I dance.
3. There are very few things I would “do-over” in life but one is this: I would talk Jeff into having each of our children in a different country. I wanted to have Isabella in Spain, Josefina in Switzerland, Dominic in Italy, and a fourth child in France =) I guess there’s still a chance for that last one!!
2. A few of my favorite things: birthdays, bubbles, reading, TED talks, spicy chai, dark chocolate almonds with sea salt and turbinado sugar, limoncello, fresh pineapple, coconut milk, sushi, gymnastics, Broadway musicals, face paint, parties, Yoga, fireworks, ………..
1. What superpower would I choose? The ability to understand and speak any/every language in the world. As it stands, I hope to be fluent in 5+ languages by the end of 2020. Currently, I am only bilingual.
Here are the 11 answers to the questions posited by my nominator, From Hope to Peace: Reflections on Peace and Conflict, authored by my exceptional colleague, Amy Katrina Compton Thompson.
11 questions for my nominees
1. What does it feel like to be you?
Right now… it mostly feels exhausting having just completed my first doctorate, working full time, mommy-ing full time, still transitioning from a family of 4 to 5, currently leading a nomadic lifestyle having moved out of our SF home for a year (or more), and currently discerning and envisioning our (Jeff and my) vocational future(s). It is also exciting, adventurous, and enlightening.
2. What does peace mean to you?
To me, true peace is both an essence and an energy, a way of being, co-existing, and interacting, in which no one is left wanting or resenting. As a disciple of Johan Galtung, I have been trained to understand true peace (what Galtung calls “positive peace”) as a state of intentional, ongoing transcendence over/through conflict and social construction of a new reality. It is neither a result nor an isolated condition of an approach or process to prevent, resolve, or reconcile conflict but rather place at which we arrive when we are able to transcend conflict and socially construct new realities (or narratives) based on widespread, mutual understanding, trust, cooperation, engagement, and participation. He defines positive peace as: “a pattern of cooperation and integration between major human groups….[It] is about people interacting in cooperative ways; it is about social organizations of diverse peoples who willingly choose to cooperate for the benefit of all humankind; it calls for a system in which there are no winners and losers–all are winners; it is a state so highly valued that institutions are built around it to protect and promote it.” Though this is the ideal, negative peace – or the absence of war (conflict and/or violence) – is still often a necessary step towards a transcendent state of peace.
3. Which is the most important human right to you?
This is really hard for me. I am currently working on a book that I hope will serve as an effective tool for a wide spectrum of human beings. A (sort of) primer on human rights education. For members of civil society who desire to be more effective as everyday peacemakers to peacemaker/peacebuilder professionals working in all parts of the world. In my book, I am defining our human birthright (the rights we inherit at birth that should carry on throughout our lifetime) as containing 12 human rights. Which is most important to me? Hmmm…. that is so hard to say. As I peruse my list and the basic definitions I’ve created, I have to say that to me, the most important right, would have to be FREEDOM, including (in my book) the important concepts of liberty and equality. Though a close second to freedom is the right to LOVE and NURTURE.
4. Which conflict do you know the most about?
In my work as a conflict specialist, I am the human expert. I am the one they rely heavily on in mediation and post-conflict transitions (including hopes for restorative justice) to figure out what isn’t being said (except through micro-expressions), that lies far beneath the surface of the conflict and is often unbeknownst to members of conflicting parties. Beyond mediation, I am also typically relied upon as a strategist and curator of transformative personal and social change processes that lead to or emerge from conflict transformation. With that said, I do have a particularly strong expertise in the anti-slavery movement and regions of the world where conflict is highly interconnected with modern slavery/human trafficking and forced migration. Specific regions I am especially savvy about are East Africa, Latin America, and Israel/Palestine.
5. Which person do you look up to the most, excluding family members?
This is a tough one – I am assuming you are looking for me to identify someone I look up to and with whom I have a personal relationship but right now, I admit that my top role models are not actually people that I know really well if at all. One person I look up to that I have connected with personally is Patrick Meier, the Director of Innovation at Qatar Computing Research Institute. At present, the person i look up to the most is
6. How do you let loose when everything threatens to overwhelm you?
DANCE, DANCE, DANCE!. And Bikram Yoga is a necessity.
7. What is the best thing that’s ever happened to you?
Whoa! That’s a huge question. The BEST thing that’s ever happened to me is definitely: becoming a mom.
8. When are you most likely to have a brainwave?
While working out. OR while nursing a baby in the middle of the night.
9. How long does it take you to write a post?
These days, it can sometimes take DAYS to write a post. I had my third baby in September (2012) and he is awesome… BUT… he doesn’t sleep well at all. He needs to be held while he sleeps. And the other 2 at ages 4 and 2 are in need of constant stimulation all day. They require so much energy and we’ve been traveling a lot since Dominic was born, even internationally, so once they actually go to sleep, I struggle to stay awake and finish any posts with any sort of consistency. But I am trying to re-establish consistency. I try to commit to not being on any devices while they are awake and in my care.
10. Which is your favourite blog post?
My favorite blog post that I’ve written? I love the Peace Is… series in this blog and hope to be able to get more posts written soon. I have to say that is probably my post that acknowledged the completion of my PhD in January! HUZZZAH! I’ve enjoyed writing about our international traveling with the kids and writing about the overall journey we’re taking to raise our kids as peacenerds. Or perhaps my most recent post that implored mommies to stop fueling the mommy wars!
As for my favorite blog post that someone else has written? That is tough – probably something related to The CNN Freedom Project, international travel with kids, or something that talks about an innovative idea through Good’s online magazine. I am also very inspired by and focused on promoting Patrick Meier’s post about a new research framework.
11. Where do you get your news from?
I am a SNOB when it comes to journalists I follow and media I consume. I follow TWITTER, of course as I’ve worked hard to follow whom I want to get my news from. I follow a fairly large handful of brilliant activist-bloggers through subscriptions. I follow the IPSI peace and security reports. I read policy for myself and perform my own analyses. I am an AVID follower of GOOD magazine (via mobile app) as well as TED Talks (via mobile app) and multiple sources focused on human rights violations and social action campaigns (via mobile apps and email subscriptions). I subscribe to multiple academic journals through online library databases. I stay up to date on cutting-edge research. I I do not watch tv. However, I do follow a few favorite journalists. My top favorite journalists of all time are Christiane Amanpour and Samantha Power. Much to my father’s dismay, I actually respect several CNN correspondents and deeply respect and follow The CNN Freedom Project. I am also a bit partial to The New Yorker. Other perspectives I value come from the always impressive libertarian brain of Nick Gillespie and other libertarian journalists like PJ O’Rourke and others featured by Reason and The Atlantic.
In the next post, I’ll continue with the rules and finish the responsibilities of paying it (the Liebster Award) forward.