The main character is a woman. She’s fictional, so the constraints on real women are not required. Is she a superwoman? Yes and no. Just being a real woman, overcoming all of the restrictions upon us every day, requires us to be super people. Nevertheless, what super-person power will my fictional woman have? Aha! She never needs to sleep. Every time she blinks her eyes for a microsecond, she has the power to recharge, in the same way that hours of sleep actually recharge a normal human woman.
So, this fictional woman, Yolanda, never needs to actually sleep. She is fully energized all day and all night, never feeling lack of energy. How does she use all this energy? Why, performing good in the world, of course.
At this particular time of her life, she is single, living alone, though in the future, Yolanda will be a wife and a mother. Right now, she’s exploring herself and the world and the best places to use her many talents. She’s an attorney, available to underserved individuals, with seemingly unlimited time to examine details of their cases, preparing for court. The prosecuting attorneys never stand a chance against her, because their single most limiting factor is time. There is never enough time for them to concoct a reasonable story that would convince a jury to find the client guilty.
One case involves climate disobedience. The strength of the case is Yolanda’s ability to examine the complexities of evidence of climate change in the world and then, to select the specific facts, figures, and diagrams to clarify for a jury the compelling need to take action to change the direction of human beings. The goal, in one sense, is complex: to capture the history of climate change, the current role of human beings in bringing about those changes, the reasons for people to take those actions, and the reasons they do not.
The most troubling aspect of the reasons for the earth-altering changes is greed. Among the millions of actions that result in the climate-changing actions, the overriding factor is greed: individuals guiding corporations for an opportunity for profit invite others who are simply earning a living to share in the profits. Unfortunately, these others do not gain on the same scale as the owners, although they experience their own desire to profit.
We all recognize that single-mindedness is an arrow for success. What follows is that the person who has a single interest in his own profit has the advantage, when paired against another whose interests are split between profit, fairness, and justice.
The reason? Time. Time is truly the most valuable commodity we possess. Which of us would not trade all the money we have for an additional healthy year of life? Without time, what value is there to money or the things it can buy?
So, to my fictional character, Yolanda, the most powerful superpower I can bestow is time, given by drastically reducing her need for sleep. During my life, I have routinely needed at least nine hours of sleep. In my twenties, married with a second-grader, I read somewhere that by including a two-hour afternoon nap in our days, only four hours of sleep were needed at night. I tested this by lying down for my nap two hours before Jack returned from school, so I wouldn’t oversleep. Then, I started a project at about nine in the evening, such as baking bread, to keep my mind and body occupied until about 2 am, going to bed when I needed to be awake four hours later, to get up with Jack for school. I did this for a few weeks. Although the results were reasonable, they were not encouraging enough to induce me to give up on my nine hours each night.
So, as an alternative, I bestow this superpower of time upon my fictional character, Yolanda.
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