Peace Scholar Post: Mallory Schulte

How many of you have a planner? I have a planner. Correction, I have a day planner. It runs from 7 am to 7 pm each day. It allows me to carefully schedule out each moment of my day to allow for maximum productivity. I cannot imagine life without. Well, that is until I spent a summer in Norway.

 Ready for a Slow Down, not a Shut Down

The Nobel Peace Prize Experience was life altering. As most scholars would tell you, the experience was made by the relationships we made with individuals from around the world. During our dialogue seminar, students from the Balkans asked us if American’s take naps. We each about jumped out of our seats saying no! Who has the time! It then became the Balkan student’s mission to convince each of us that a slower pace to life can be a much richer life.

Whether I was on a walk with a dear friend from Croatia who reminded me there was no need to run – I walk fast, really fast – or another dear friend from Bosnia reminding me to take time to enjoy a cup of coffee with a friend in the afternoon, I learned the value of going off the planner.

When Americans take the time to slow down and build relationships, it is amazing what can happen. I have been reflecting about the circus we currently have in Washington. I wonderful – what if our representatives took the afternoon to walk, talk, sip tea, and build relationships. Could representatives perhaps find a middle ground and begin to see those on the other side of the aisle as humans that also want the best for our country. I think it just might work.

I was recently shopping for my 2014 planner. This year, instead of selecting a day planner, I selected a basic planner. It has approximately 4 square inches for each day and does not have my day broken down into hours. I can see things slowing down for me and I cannot wait!

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