It’s celebration time, as I’ve been doing my Weekend Reads for 100 weeks now, with only two weeks off at the end of 2021! Actually, when I took that time off, I felt lost, because all I was reading was not being fully utilized, as I didn’t have a place to pass it on.
Of course we have social media, but if I share everything I think is important, everyone would be overwhelmed 😊 and overwhelming your audience is never a good social leadership strategy.
I really believe in my Weekend Reads, because, to me, knowledge is everything. Knowing what’s going on, understanding why, reading between the lines, reading different perspectives, drawing conclusions when there’s so much distraction and obfuscation is, I believe, the most important way I can spend my time. I know many are completely overwhelmed by the news cycles too, and so I see my ability to decipher it as a gift I can give to my community.
I don’t do it for any other reason than to serve. I believe this is the essence of social leadership and I don’t even look at the data to see if it’s being read. I know people are reading it and valuing it, how many is never the point. It would be nice if it picked up a larger audience, but if one person values it, that is enough. It’s a big commitment though, so to those who have made it part of their week, thank you. Your support means the world to me.
When it comes to anything on social media, to be a social leader, you have to go for consistency. You go and you keep going, regardless. This is very challenging, because anyone who does it knows it’s hard work putting content out there every week. My advice is, you have to make the decision before you even start, and then once you begin, you’re already committed and you keep going regardless.
If you’re pondering starting something that you know is going to take a lot of extra time, as well as impact your family life (I publish this every Saturday, it impacts my family life) then also speak to your family before you start too. I spoke to my husband about this and The Know Show as well, because that show means our Friday afternoons are significantly more challenging for everyone. But we believe in what I’m doing, so we made the commitment.
I am very grateful to have amazing support from my husband, Steve Johnson, and our two teenage boys – who think their mum is a complete dork! But Steve’s backing of what I’m doing is truly sensational and he must be acknowledged, especially as today is his birthday.
So it’s not just a happy anniversary to my Weekend Reads, it’s a very big happy birthday to my biggest supporter, Steve! I am so grateful to you for your support and the additional work you take on to make it possible. Thank you. I am a lucky gal.
A reminder of why I do it
I started my Weekend Reads after Covid hit. Here’s the first one, published May 8th 2020 – it’s progressed since then. Why did I decide to do it? I could feel the anguish and confusion of the moment, and while I’d already been sharing multiple links on important news before this, I hadn’t bunched it up as a weekly commitment, covering the various topics you see below.
With Covid, I was seeing the patterns in the news and information being shared, and I have learnt to spot bullshit from a million miles away. AND there was A LOT of bullshit. Remember Plandemic? It was startlingly false immediately, as it had video footage I’d seen in other news stories that was not linked to the story being told, but others weren’t consuming information like I was, which is why it nearly succeeded!!
Since the pandemic started, there was so much coming at us, and of course it created confusion, but that never bothers me. I see it as a challenge and it just makes me work harder to make sense of what’s going on in the world. So as I was reading across different media and considering very different perspectives, making sense of the maelstrom, I believed this collection could help people. I hope it has.
But there’s another motivation on top of that too. One of my core messages has always been spend time with information that matters. Don’t feed or be distracted by the attention economy – aka the whole short attention span malarkey we’ve been made to believe is how we operate. That’s a choice. We can make different choices.
We have allowed ourselves to get so distracted by the meaningless, that we are just not paying attention to what matters, and we MUST start paying attention to what matters. Our future is on the line.
When we look at the fury of the news cycle, there was another classic example this week. Elon Musk wants to buy Twitter – just another distraction in my opinion. But looking at my social media feeds, it got more attention than the Will Smith slapping Chris Rock incident, and that was a news cycle and a half!! It’s all shiny stuff, and we have got to stop allowing ourselves to be consumed and distracted by it. None of that stuff matters.
My Weekend Reads was launched to address all of that, and while it’s not always a pretty read, we have to face up to what’s going on around the world and get to work on solving the huge challenges we face.
Looking back, looking forward
These years of isolation haven’t been all bad for me. I know many don’t feel the same. But it gave me the time and space to consume the world’s news and that is something I love to do. That time feels like it’s slowly ending, and while I see many thinking we’ll be going back to what we left behind, we won’t. We can’t.
However, I do think it’s important to reflect on this time. I was just saying to my husband I’m going to miss these two years when the world slowed down. Yes it has been a hard, intense and grief-filled time for many, economically devastating for many more, but I know we will look back on these times as a time of peace, because what is before us is the decade of destruction – unless we start to pay attention and make sure that’s not the case. I can see us heading towards a dystopian hell, but we don’t have to go there. We really don’t.
Every day I continue to hope more will see what we need to see. The amount of eco-anxiety being expressed on social media tells me the needle is definitely moving, but it’s still not fast enough. We need billions waking up.
To do that, we must pay attention to the information that matters. If you don’t know how to do that, start with my Weekend Reads. That’s why I started it in the first place.
A big shout out to my amazing assistant, Priscilla Joseph, who puts all of these links together into a Word doc, so I can do the intro and get it out. I appreciate it so much my friend. You’re the best. And also the people in my community who share their own amazing content, or other’s content. I always say thanks beside each article. Appreciate all of you deep thinking people in my life.
OK let’s get stuck into the Weekend Reads. And do me a favour, leave me a comment on the article that grabbed your attention. It’s a real boost for me when people do it.
Friend’s content and mine
I launched my daily tips for everyone to help address climate change and here is week five. I will also be updating these ideas at this blog – What can I do to act on climate change? Actions we can all embrace. Favorite it and check in often.
If everyone gave #just10percent of their time, talent, money or voice, we’ll change the world. Can you donate? Make it a regular donation to the World Food Programme. Or donate to the UN Refugee Program, PowerOf , Kiva.org , Soi Dog Foundation. It’s a time for giving and taking care of each other.
Content to read
And here’s the content I’ve been reading this last week. Scan the headlines, read the ones that jump out at you, read or watch them all. Knowledge is power, and global knowledge is even more powerful.
Rethinking Energy 2020-2030: 100% Solar, Wind, and Batteries is Just the Beginning – tks Robert Kirubi, this gives me a lot of hope!
Farming for a Fairer Future tks Rohit Bassi
How UK newspapers changed their minds about climate change tks Susanna Hasenoehrl
Global politics – Ukraine
Business and technology
Social issues and humanity
Like it or not, many teens watch porn — so why not use it to teach positive lessons? tks Priscilla Joseph
Passion, humour, history
Let me know what jumped out at you? Or share with me what you’re reading? I love that!
Uncommon Courage: an invitation – my latest book
Better yet, order it from your local bookstore, so you can #SupportLocal.
You can read the reviews, including a new five-star review on Book Commentary, another five-star review on ReaderViews, a review on BookTrib, and three more on Booklife, another on Book Commentary and Blue Ink Reviews. I’m also collating reviews on my Website too. Have a look and grateful to everyone who has written or recorded one.
Come and join the conversation in my new Facebook Group Uncommon Courage.
The Know Show
Check out The Know Show. It’s a weekly wrap up of the news!
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Connect with Andrea
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Are you a Social CEO? The Social CEO: How Social Media Can Make You A Stronger Leader.
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