It’s been picked up ABC News, The Huffington Post, TIME and CNN. Celebrities like Beyoncé, Jane Lynch, Condoleezza Rice and Jennifer Garner are behind it, and top brands like Pantene Pro V and AARP are advocates too. Even the Girl Scouts of the USA are involved. So what is it? It’s the Ban Bossy campaign, initiated by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. The campaign seeks to eliminate the negative connotations that surround assertive young girls by eradicating the word “bossy”, but I think that’s a mistake.
Of course, like everyone else, I want to encourage young girls to pursue leadership positions while removing the barriers that keep them from doing so. That definitely includes any double standards or stereotypes that may stand in the way. However, I don’t think that removing the word “bossy” from conversation is the best way to bring about the needed change – especially from a Biblical perspective. Basically, I’m asking you not to ban bossy, and here are three reasons why.
1. Being bossy isn’t a problem just for girls.
The argument here is that authoritative boys are deemed “assertive” while authoritative girls are branded “bossy”. But the heart of this problem is not rooted in gender discrimination, as the campaign seems to suggest. Biblically, no one is called to be bossy – girl or boy. Philippians 4:5 encourages Christians to pursue a gentle spirit while Mathew 20:26 emphasizes the importance of a servant’s heart. Both of these traits, which are found in Biblical leaders, are uncharacteristic of the bossy persona. So instead, the answer should be about changing mentality and behavior, not just vocabulary.
2. We need words like “bossy” to gauge leadership.
The word “bossy” comes with a few negative connotations, even outside of this scenario. In fact, Word’s suggested synonyms are “overbearing”, “domineering” and “dictatorial”. Bossy is often depicted as tyrannical, self-serving and insensitive. That type of leader does not fit the mold of a biblical leader, according to verses like 1 Peter 5:2 and Philippians 2:3. Ultimately, it is important that this word not be removed from conversation as it allows us to evaluate the leaders in our lives and even ourselves.
3. The words “bossy” and “leader” are not synonymous.
According to Sandberg, “This is word that is symbolic of systemic discouragement of girls to lead.” On this point, I have to disagree. Biblical heroines like Ruth, Esther and even Mary, Jesus’s own mother, did not use aggression or selfishness to lead – yet each left a distinct and invaluable mark on history and the kingdom of God. All Christians are called to lead others towards Christ, and it is imperative that young girls learn the difference between a boss and a leader. How can this happen if we remove “bossy” from the conversation?
Although I certainly support the intention behind the Ban Bossy campaign, I don’t think that erasing this word from public discourse is the way to go. As I’ve hopefully pointed out, being bossy and being driven are not the same thing, and it is important that both girls and boys learn how to be Godly leaders and not worldly bosses. Now that you’ve heard my take, there’s just one last thing I’d like to know.
Will you be banning bossy?
Oh, college. It’s a magical land where coffee flows like unending rivers and Ramen is an all-season staple. It’s a time of full spirits and empty pockets, rich opportunities and poor paychecks. So how do you woo that special someone when your bank account looks like a big LOL? Here are six inexpensive date ideas to get you through anniversaries, Valentine’s Day and every outing in between.
1. Check for Free Days
A lot of really great places offer free or discounted days. For instance, did you know that Norman’s Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art is always free? Or that the OKC Zoo offers complimentary admission every Monday December through February? In this case, it really pays to do your homework.
2. Channel Your Inner Chef
Whether you’re cooking with them or for them, the time and effort required are sure to swoon . Be sure to have all the ingredients beforehand to really project that “date” vibe. Remember: It’s called Great Value because it’s capable of great things.
3. Host a Movie Marathon
Looks like you’re all set for a cozy night in. To keep this from looking like a lazy Sunday afternoon, try to have everything ready beforehand. Bonus: Go for a lineup of his or her all-time favorite flicks.
4. Enjoy the Great Outdoors
Cliché, right? I know, I know – but the options are as vast as the Oklahoma plains. Head to Red Rock Canyon for a day of hiking. Bike around Boomer Lake or long board through the Paseo. Picnic outside the Botanical Gardens. Who knew that nature could save you so much green?
5. Get Festive
Local music and film festivals are a great way to support budding artists while enjoying a little free entertainment. Also, many cities like Moore, Edmond, Yukon and Midwest City also offer free weekly concerts as part of their summer music series.
6. Ask for Help
Still stuck? Nobody knows Oklahoma better than Travel OK, which is why they’ve developed a handy list of 50 free places to visit. Or, if you’re looking for events, try heading to the Visit OKC website. So help me help you, and see what these great sites have to offer.
For maximum effect, try pairing these suggestions to create your ultimate date combo. Or, if you’re ready to tackle the black diamonds, go for the element of surprise – because unexpected dates are often the best dates. I hope you’ve found some inspiration here, and I wish you the best of luck. Happy dating!
Frozen, American Hustle, August: Osage County, Saving Mr. Banks, The Hobbit. So many blockbusters hit theaters between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I could barely keep up! It seems that through all the commotion over these big-name films, one lesser-known gem slipped through the cracks of publicity. If you ask me, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is January’s best-kept secret and one of few films out there worth your money.
The story focuses on Walter Mitty, a hopeless daydreamer and ordinary man whose life revolves around his tedious work processing photographs at Life magazine. When Walter loses the photograph intended to grace the cover of Life’s final print edition, he throws himself into a wild journey to chase down the famous Sean O’Connell, professional photographer and explorer. In doing so, Walter hopes to catch the eye of his office crush, Cheryl Melhoff, and find the quintessential meaning of life.
From the trailers I had seen beforehand, I thought I had this movie pegged: boring man finds love and adventure. The end. Instead, I found myself pleasantly surprised at every turn. I would definitely call it a drama, but there’s still a quiet comedy to it that only Ben Stiller can pull off – and he nails it. At times the plot can be a tad slow-moving and still, but I think that’s part of its charm. It forces you to digest what’s happening step by step.
To my surprise, Walter Mitty had no sexual content, minimal swearing and very little background music, save for the heroic ballads that fuel his short-lived daydreams. For me, this lack of distraction really highlighted the moral’s significance: no matter how ordinary, you are worth living for. Like the pastor who whispers through the most important piece of the sermon, Walter Mitty’s message doesn’t rely on pageantry – it relies purely on character and plot, the grit of all great stories.
Overall, the movie had the same uplifting, happy end that I anticipated it would, but this one really is all about the journey. Although a few of the exaggerated personalities seemed a bit too eccentric to be true, like Walter’s overly-degrading boss, the contrasting characters offer a very realistic portrayal of day-to-day life, one that isn’t overly sugar-coated or glamorized. Whether you’re looking for a few laughs, some inspiration or simply a time-filler, you’ll be hard-pressed to walk away unsatisfied.
If you have the time and a few extra bucks, I strongly recommend heading to the theaters before this movie is gone. Since it is a slower, quieter film, Walter Mitty may not capture the attention of younger audiences, so a sitter might be a good investment. Even if you don’t catch it in theaters, you’ll want to add Walter Mitty to your upcoming to-watch list – and that’s no secret.
So, what are you doing after graduation?
This question, though simple and unassuming in appearance, is the kryptonite of all stable-minded college seniors. These seven little words have the power to bring down even the mightiest of chill personalities and No-Sweat Nancys. Ultimately, this question reminds us of the one inevitable, unavoidable truth that constantly haunts our days and nights: we have no idea what we’re doing.
That’s okay! I’m sure you’ll figure it out.
But coming from the university, a world dependent on accuracy and reliability, we don’t want to just figure it out. We want certainty, and we want it now. That may seem a little selfish and demanding, but I feel confident speaking for all seniors when I say that we are far more interested in the happily-ever-after than the life-is-a-journey part of the book. Unfortunately, though, this is just the first in a long series of looped dialogue.
But do you have a job lined up?
Not exactly, no. I mean, I’ve got a few prospects, but nothing too serious yet.
What’s your back-up plan?
I was kind of just hoping to succeed, actually.
Where do you plan to move?
Wait, what’s wrong with right here?
Do you and so-and-so plan to get married?
Well, see, we’ve only been dating for a year…
What about kids?
Where exactly do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully out of this conversation.
Wait, why are you so sweaty?
Needless to say, it gets overwhelming. Fast. Being a senior is something like standing on a large cliff, knowing that in exactly four months you will be jumping right off into who knows what. Ready or not. Sure, it’s thrilling and all, but aren’t the most exciting things always the scariest too? The more professors, relatives and friends ask about our plans for an unplanned future, the more insecure and self-doubting we become. And the pressure is all self-inflicted.
How do you get through all the stress?
For Christmas, my mom bought me a copy of a day-by-day devotional. Each day is short, concise and presented to be from God’s perspective. Two days before the start of my final college semester, I ran across a passage that, in short, answers every question listed above. I have no doubt that the timing of this piece was intentional, and as you can guess, I was totally blown away by what the author attempted to imagine Christ saying:
“I (Jesus) know exactly what this day will contain, whereas you have only vague ideas about it. You would like to see a map, showing all the twists and turns of your journey. You’d feel more prepared if you could somehow visualize what is on the road ahead. However, there is a better way to be prepared for whatever you will encounter today: Spend quality time with Me.”
Life is a series of destinations, my pastor likes to say. We are always heading from Point A to Point B until we reach our goals, but the biggest temptation is to jump from Point A to Point E. Of course, it’s impossible to complete a journey without passing every point on the way, and it’s impossible to fast forward to the future without stopping at every little point of confusion and uncertainty.
But aren’t you afraid?
Not really. Unlike hundreds of students around me, I’m not really afraid of May anymore. God helped me choose the right college, the right major and the right church: why doubt him now? Although I will always try to map the uncharted tomorrow, I’m trusting in God – not my degree, job skills, resume boosters or connections. I may have no idea what I’m doing after graduation, but I’m slowly learning what a perfectly fine answer that is.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
Monday morning, while leisurely sipping my coffee to The Today Show, Hoda Kotb reported that the average woman spends about 12 hours each week worrying about her appearance, according to a new study. That can’t be right! I said to myself. Surely there’s been some mistake. So I hit Google for a little fact checking. The research, commissioned by Lycra Beauty, studied 2,000 women regarding beauty and body image. Unfortunately, that startling statistic was no fact error.
- According to the study, the average woman…
- Spends 12 hours and four minutes per week worrying about her appearance.
- Spends 50 minutes per week deciding what to wear.
- Spends one hour and 32 minutes per week worrying if their outfit makes them look good.
- Spend 39 minutes per week deciding on lingerie.
- Spends 46 minutes per week worrying about weight.
- Worries about being too fat, too thin, too bloated, having spotty skin, pale skin and frizzy hair.
In case those numbers aren’t shocking enough, all this worry adds up to a grand total of 627 hours and 28 minutes each year. That’s almost an entire month! Surprisingly, only 48 percent of women studied said this was too much time. In my opinion, though, any amount of time spent in the company of fear and inadequacy is too much.
So what do we do?
I’d venture to say that Christian women are just as affected by fear of inadequacy as nonbelievers, myself included. But whether she realizes it or not, every single woman is wonderfully and beautifully made by God (Psalm 139:14). But biblical beauty isn’t just about attractiveness – it’s about the spirit.
The Bible says…
- “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” (Proverbs 31:10)
- “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self his being renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16)
- “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.’” (1 Samuel 16:7)
- “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” (1 Peter 3:3-4)
A woman who loves God must also learn to love herself – inside and out. Of course, this is no overnight job; it takes time, dedication, prayer and a hearty spoonful of self-respect. God did not give us a spirit of fear or worry, but a spirit of power and love (2 Timothy 1:7). So as the New Year rolls in, let’s use this spirit to change the statistics. We have been perfectly crafted in the image of God, and that, friends, is something to be confident about.