“You must do the things you think you can’t do.” Eleanor Roosevelt
There are women all over the world risking their lives to become educated. We must support them. How can we do that? We must begin to lift the veil of unconsciousness. We can’t pretend the emotional/physical abuse that is happening in our world isn’t happening. We need to identify the abuse. We need to stop believing other people’s insults, disrespect, shaming, bullying, and or physical abuse. We need to speak about the elephant in the room. Now, if you choose to stay in an abusive situation because you can’t leave, don’t pretend the abuse isn’t happening. Acknowledge the abuse is happening and that the abuser is the dysfunctional one. Do not believe anything negative a bully says to you! Do not believe anything negative a perpetrator says to you.
In mid April the violent Boko Haram sect kidnapped at least 276 girls from a school at Chibok in Borno State in Northwestern Nigeria. The girls, both Muslim and Christian, had returned to their school to take their exams. Abubakar Shekau made a video in which he claims he will sell the women. He actually thinks this is by order of God. The world is outraged and sickened and taking action! We need to stop bullies from thinking they can terrorize innocent people. We need to do this in all situations. It is one thing to be kidnapped and abused; it is another to have this happen to you and everyone look the other way.
As we discussed in last weeks article about domestic abuse, please open your eyes! Look around. Reach out to anyone you suspect might be suffering. In the horrific case of these schoolgirls, we must do whatever we can to have our countries react and take action. With social media we can increase awareness and with increased awareness we can request action! Start at home, “When you respect your own No, then others will too!” and move to being aware of what is happening in the world, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Arthur Ashe
The 100th monkey phenomena states that when a certain number in the group reach a certain awareness for a new behavior that consciousness and new behavior can reach others. There are those of us that believe when some members of a family begin to do work on themselves, the consciousness of other members of the family, wherever they are, will be raised. Whether your believe system can subscribe to this way of thinking, trust that whatever you do today that is healthier than you did yesterday will make a difference in the world.
It was still early; the mist had not yet cleared from the sea. In the distance a solitary figure stood throwing objects out over the water.
Walking along the debris, strewn beach, I looked at the masses of starfish scattered everywhere. The tide had thrown them in, and stranded them on the beach. As the sun rose higher, they would soon perish.
Approaching the stranger, I could see that it was the starfish she was picking up and returning to the sea. Our eyes met. Do you really think you can help? There are millions of starfish on this beach. You can help so few. Does it matter? She reached down and picked up another starfish, looking at it intently. Oh yes, she replied IT MATTERS TO THIS ONE!!
Do you think it will matter to 276 girls if they are rescued and imagine what they might give back to the world?
(c) Anne Brown 2014. Permission needed for reproduction in any form.