Nancy Reid Gibbs is an American essayist and managing editor for Time magazine, a best-selling author and commentator on politics and values in the United States. She is the co-author with Michael Duffy of The New York Times Bestsellers The Preacher and the Presidents; Billy Graham in the White House and The Presidents Club: Inside the World's Most Exclusive Fraternity... (wikipedia)
The leading cause of death for girls 15 to 19 worldwide is not accident or violence or disease; it is complications from pregnancy. Girls under 15 are up to five times as likely to die while having children than are women in their 20s, and their babies are more likely to die as well.
All great rebellions are born of private acts of civil disobedience that inspire rebel bands to plot together.
High achievers, we imagine, were wired for greatness from birth. But then you have to wonder why, over time, natural talent seems to ignite in some people and dim in others.
Runners exalt the marathon as a public test of private will, when months or years of solitary training, early mornings, lost weekends, rain and pain mature into triumph or surrender. That's one reason the race-day crowds matter, the friends who come to cheer and stomp and flap their signs and push the runners on.
Maybe we adults idealize our own red-rover days, the hot afternoons spent playing games that required no coaches, eating foods that involved no nutrition, getting dirty in whole new ways and rarely glancing in the direction of a screen of any kind.
Just because we eat together does not mean we eat right: Domino's alone delivers a million pizzas on an average day.
On a normal day, we value heroism because it is uncommon. On Sept. 11, we valued heroism because it was everywhere.
Virtues, like viruses, have their seasons of contagion. When catastrophe strikes, generosity spikes like a fever. Courage spreads in the face of tyranny.
Most of us were probably less than immaculately honest as teenagers; it's practically encoded into adolescence that you savor your secrets, dress in disguise, carve out some space for experiments and accidents and all the combustible lab work of becoming who you are.
The days of the Pentagon Papers debates seem long past, when a sudden transparency yielded insight into fights over war and peace and freedom and security; the transparency afforded by Twitter and Facebook yields insights that extend no further than a lawmaker's boundless narcissism and a culture's pitiless prurience.