Tag Archives: equality

One :: ME

16 Oct
One :: ME

One :: ME

“Fate whispers to the warrior, ‘You can not withstand the storm.’
The warrior whispers back, ‘I am the storm.’”

 

Over the last few weeks, there has been so much talk about the Supreme Court nominee, sexual assault, false accusations, the cultural perceptions of these sort of incidents and the political divide in our government (and our citizens). It’s been, for lack of a better phrase, a sh*tshow of epic proportions.

There are so many things that can be said about this, but I’ll try to keep it brief.

First, this is not a comment about political agendas (which are disheartening) or Kavanaugh/Ford. It’s about compassion.

1 in 4 (some stats say 1 in 3) people have been assaulted in their life. That’s your wife/sister/child/mother/grandmother/aunt or neighbor. In some cases, its your brother/husband/son. If the public shock at the #metoo movement is any indication, most victims never talked about it. They didn’t report it and you didn’t know, because of the psychological factors that surround these incidents. Intimidation, fear, control, the stigma attached to the victim, the idea that a victim won’t be believed…. The dissociation/repression/blocking out memories for self preservation that comes with trauma. The social complexities that come with assaults perpetrated against minors, especially if the accused is an adult. The fact that so many people simply do not believe, or say there is a false accusation.  And FINALLY, the way the legal system is set up to flounder in these cases.

1 in 4 people have been assaulted, and far fewer have been prosecuted.  That is indicative of a major problem (both culturally, and with regards to accountability).

The burden of proof lies with the victim. The legal system presumes innocence. But as was just mentioned, there are a mountain of reasons why people don’t report. Furthermore, not all of these crimes result in rape (or rape kits), being battered (no significant physical injuries to document), are not in front of witnesses and due to the trauma of the event, the details become hazy.

On the other side of the spectrum, false accusations are equally problematic and because the system is set up to flounder, so many of these situations turn into he said/she said cases that are damaging to everyone.

There needs to be change – the cultural piece has already begun – in how we handle these cases where physical evidence is generally limited.  Thankfully the conversation has already begun and I’m beginning to hear ideas that attempt to bridge the gap.

So why am I saying all of this? Because of the uninformed nature of the judgements I’ve heard, which are entirely unproductive.  Surrounding yourself with an echo chamber or stirring up people’s emotions doesn’t lead to positive change.  Reasoned, informed discussions do.

It’s easy to give an opinion on social media, or even to someone’s face when you don’t know they have been a victim. But I implore you to remember that statistic. 1 in 4. Someone who is listening has been assaulted, and are remembering/reliving their own trauma.

Choose Life, Choose Love

18 Jun
Emerge :: VT

Emerge :: VT

“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” – MLK, Jr.

 

The Charleston shooting is horrifying and tragic on so many levels.  I find most violence difficult to swallow, and this even more so because the victims were spending their energy on prayer.  It is just one of many world-wide incidents that continue to sadden and frustrate me.

 

It saddens me that one human can feel so filled with hate, fear, a need to feel power over another, etc that he or she can feel justified in taking the lives of another living being.  At what point do we sit down and have a talk with our children about the root causes of violence?  At what point do we address the fear and the hate, regardless of its source, that we hold in our own hearts?  At what point do we encourage love instead?  At what point do we take and expect personal accountability for our actions?  At what point do we acknowledge the wrongs done to us personally, and accept that one incident doesn’t need to define us OR our interactions with people who weren’t involved?  At what point do we base our assessment of a fellow human on their character and actions alone?  At what point do we ask our fellow citizens to take a look at themselves and do the same?

 

It frustrates me that these continued acts of violence are polarizing our country, when the only way to bring about equality for every human is through unified purpose.  There is only one race.  No matter where you were raised, your gender, what circumstances you were born into, what religion you embrace or whom you fall in love with, we are all brothers and sisters.  You don’t have to like your siblings to respect their rights to live, to choose, to opportunity and to peace.

 

I am afraid for our country and our world.  I think a lot about the brave, vocal leaders our world has seen who have worked tirelessly to advocate for their fellow man.  Beacons of love, equality, education, acceptance and understanding like MLK, Ghandi and Mother Theresa have been bright lights in the dark and violent history of mankind.  When do we take it upon ourselves to light our own candles?  When do we put aside our differences and embrace civility?

 

The path to peace is built on equality, and paved with both determination and hard work.  The cost of living in a society is responsibility.  On a personal level, you are responsible for your thoughts, your actions and your willingness to work towards a better life.  But there is more to it than that.  Ultimately, choosing to live in a society means you are part of a whole.  There must be an understanding that your choices affect the people around you.  If you choose to live in a way that negatively impacts the people around you, including encouraging hate and fear in others (including your children), what incentive is there for society to continue to support you?  Even if you choose not to actively raise other people up, you have a responsibility not to tear them down.

 

Our actions now will shape the future.  There is no need to drag around the choking weight of hatred, misunderstanding and intolerance…they only serve to poison your life.  You can acknowledge and respect our collective history while still choosing to rise above unhealthy fears.  You will find the world to be a brighter place when you are working towards a better tomorrow.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of all of these sort of tragic events around the world.  #PrayersForCharleston