As a writer, I have no shortage of inspiration. Stuff comes at me or I seek it out or, in some cases, people send me things they think will inspire me. Sometimes it sparks a column, sometimes I store it away and ponder. The people I’m closest to know this is my process; in fact, they’re used to seeing our conversations one day show up in print.

This one came from a seed planted by a friend who simply sent along an article from Time about Mohammed Bouazizi in Tunisia. Soon it all came tumbling out — from the Middle East to the Oscars to Lady Gaga.

Today’s Game Plan: Power in Simple Acts