Making trouble

It was only a matter of time before a thread—or ‘category’—of this young blog ended up being dedicated to rabble-rousing, to speaking out, to rocking the boat, to marching and protesting in the demand, expectation, or hope of a better future or address of an injustice. Pursuing positive change is part of who I am, so it is no surprise that it would appear here. And today I heard a quote that has inspired the title for this category of blog posts going forward. Here is the quote:

“I’m not making trouble. I’m making progress.” ~Nell Scovell

To which I say Amen! Simple, perfect, and precise. I AM MAKING PROGRESS. And it is applicable to so many of the ways in which I make trouble—not just on social issues or rights or our disregard for the environment, but on little things like improving systems and habits and personal interactions. I am always trying to do better, even if that means tipping over the apple cart… and, yes, that is often part of the process. It can look like I am making trouble. But I can tell you truthfully: I am not making trouble. I am making progress.

Now as a historian ever concerned with identifying sources, and as a writer/artist/creator concerned with crediting the original writer/artist/creator for their contribution to the world, let me tell you that it was Nell Scovell, a comedian and writer for TV, who offered up this clear gem. If you have heard this before or heard it elsewhere, I had not. (It seems like a perfect slogan to write on a protest sign, so perhaps it has been around.) I heard it first in Scovell’s ‘In My Humble Opinion’ piece for the PBS Newshour, which aired 16 April 2018 in the US (and was re-broadcast in Australia the following day). Here is a link to her 3-minute talk on the #metoo movement and how people are discouraged for standing up on many issues. Thank you, Nell Scovell!

Let’s make progress.


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