Today a good friend of mine ripped out the article from her local Inner West newspaper and sent it to me. It echoes an article I shared last night on social media, about the fact that Wicked Campers is seeking council approval to open a depot on Church Street in St Peters, Sydney. This will mean that, being near a primary school, children will regularly see some of the more unsavoury and insensitive slogans that Wicked Campers pride themselves on. Local parents aren’t happy; well the mums taking a stand in the picture definitely aren’t.

 

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Eight moths ago, when I ran the campaign asking Wicked Campers to remove misogynistic and degrading slogans, there was outrage – OUTRAGE, I say – coursing through the Internet like hot lava. It spurred a little bit of hateful debate but for the most part, a sense of solidarity prevailed from both sexes; agreeing that Wicked Campers has some pretty offensive and degrading slogans driving around our public spaces. So much so, The Senate unanimously voted to condemn them and Wicked Campers themselves promised they would remove ‘insensitive slogans’. Their word; insensitive.

So with ALL that – where are we today?
Despite having broken their promise, showing their complete contempt, Wicked Campers are business as usual; having franchises throughout the world and will (possibly) soon be getting cozy with one of the Inner West’s communities of Sydney. Many have asked me how these things are possible and it reminded me of a quote form the film V for Vendetta:

‘How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, but again truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror.’ V

All I can say is; The standard we walk past, is the standard we accept.

This Wicked crusade has been a fascinating, albeit depressing, social experiment in my eyes. July 2014? Fury and lividity. Fast forward six months, when I wrote of their contempt and loss of integrity – all I heard, was the sound of crickets. Few shared the update and when I contacted some of the news people who originally reported on this important ‘hot’ issue with fervour and expressed their equal indignation, I received a tepid response; with some referring it on to others, who never called me back. No stories were run. As a collective, Australia went on as a bystander again.

I don’t get it. Was all of that bravado over the exact slogan my daughter saw? Because there are terrible ones that are still out there, right now. I’ve recently updated the last post with recent sightings from around Australia – sometimes seeing the same van at different corners of the country. Appalling vans, like the following, and more:

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Question#224: Is this the standard we want to teach? 

And as for the absence of male voices and faces in the fight against all this; I believe that as a society – and more importantly, as a culture – we are not only teaching our youth that perspectives like these have our permission to advertise themselves, we are also teaching our youth that because males aren’t standing on an equally visible, vocal platform – it makes it doubly OK. 

When it comes to battles asking for a little more humanity, women hold the front line. Without resorting to blood-shed, women put them selves ‘out there’ none the less; feeling fear and vulnerability, and risk crossing paths with threatening and violent Internet trolls. Due to this campaign, I received two violent messages from the same person (amongst others) and had a Wanted style poster made of me – falsely identifying where I lived. Imagine if he had been right.
The irony? He published under an alias. Coward. (I know his real name, though.)
Neither Facebook nor the Police did anything. And here I was naively thinking it was against the law to threaten someone. With proof, no less.

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Lastly, noone – especially the women who publicly question – actually wants any of this. I put up an update because I thought people would want to be informed; you know, considering that initial reaction. But I’m tired. I’m tired of the walls and the apathy. I’m tired of feeling helpless because problems like this can’t be solved with just the ideas of a few – it needs people power to make change occur. And people power is simply doing something. Anything. Regardless of who one is or what position one holds. This includes John Webb, owner of Wicked Campers. (It’s never too late, John).

And to be clear – this is not about burning this business to the ground nor using threats or violence – it is about finding a solution to the problem, and that problem is that certain slogans need to come down.

Question #225: So what can YOU do? 

Write, call, gather, talk – whatever.
Down to earth blogger and all-round amazing human, Eden Riley, was active and did it her way; numerous people have written to me, telling me they have contacted camp sites to enquire about their policy regarding Wicked vans – some sites don’t let the vans in, if they have offensive slogans. Let backpackers know this. Others have written to their political reps.
And today I applaud the women who are going to tackle the fight at St Peters. I’m with you wholeheartedly.

[Insert own action]

Deep Breath.

Paula

I have grappled with the issue of pitting and comparing the actions and/or adversities of one gender by using the other to illustrate, for a long time – but it simply does not sit right with me.

It is like comparing apples with oranges.

For the most part, I believe the intention is generally a positive one (which is a refreshing step toward good), but when perceptions and customs related to gender are so profoundly entrenched, it falls short of accurately addressing the deep-seeded issues of gender disparity.

Exhibit A:

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This is a familiar visual representation that now seems to be common practice in highlighting gender-label ridiculousness – namely, a female’s.

There are two issues I have with this sort of juxtaposition:

1. Females have always been represented in this way – used as (sexual) ornaments. Males never have. So when we look at the females in the images, we see ‘normal’ and when we scan across to the males in similar poses, we see humour.

Steve Carell, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert recently did a photo shoot, emphasising the ludicrous poses females are encouraged to do:

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Its intentions are admirable but – it’s not the same. It’s just funny.
That humour can (ultimately) also work negatively for the females they’re trying to help, by making them look stupid for participating in their own exploitation; for posing that way in the first place.

I recently saw a snippet of reality TV the other day – one that does renovations on houses. There was a moment where all the contestants had an impromptu dance-off, which lead to the inevitable circle where they strut their stuff in the middle. One of the women chose to be semi-provocative by doing some fetching grinding moves against her partner.
Next was a male. He also did a bit of a provocative dance. It was funny. Everyone laughed.

2. The biggest issue, however, is vulnerability.
When a female is posing sexually, she is vulnerable – her breasts may be practically exposed; she may be bending over something with a short skirt; she may be wearing impossible-to-walk-in-heels (not easy to escape anyone in high heels btw) – you follow my drift.
The males in these representations, however, are not vulnerable.
Their only place of vulnerability is their penis and that is (as always in this current paradigm) *fully* covered.

Everywhere; every time.

How ironic that we seem to find comfort in the male gender – dipped head high in privilege – outlining the woes of the ‘lesser’ gender. Double irony? In most cases it’s statistically males pushing females to pose this way in the first place.

OK, let’s turn the tables; in format as well as gender reversal.

Let’s look at how men are represented and doing the switch.

Exhibit B:

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The image above is from the show, Beauty and the Geek. Never before have I witnessed such a blatantly sexist prime-time show; super-gluing more gender stereotypes to an already fragile equation.
Female = sexy, hot and DUMB;
Male = be who you want to be, you can still get a ‘hot’ female.

Can you imagine a show – heck, a REALITY – where we see females who are daggy/geeky/nerds of various body shapes, together with ‘hot’ males?

I can – but know it’s a concept that is (for the most part) a flash in the pan.
I remember through ads that Glee had a moment where an overweight girl was coupled with the hot football player.

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I wonder how many people were genuinely comfortable watching that visual?
I say visual because that’s all ANY of this is based on.
It’s irrelevant whether personalities gel or if people have a profound connection, because ultimately that’s not the message that wants to get taught; there’s no money to be made, if females are secure within themselves, after all.

I intensely wish for a more equal and balanced playing field for females and the bottom line is that females are more than just being the packaging for males’ sexual fantasies.

Question #199: Isn’t this world ready – YET – to unlock the wonderful array of possibilities – just by getting past that horrifically limiting idea of females?

I’ll leave you to think.

My next post is my 200th Question.
Bring your thinking caps along.

Deep Breath.

x

This year, our school has started down the technology education road and we’ve had to purchase an iPad for my 11 year old daughter. It has been a mildly tiresome and frustrating transition, having both girls wanting their turn on it and playing games.

A few days ago, I found out that one of the games Ms 11 has on her iPad (that I purchased for her) has a feature for playing with strangers within the app (not through Game Centre). I was not aware of this until I found out she had interacted with two people – one who claimed to be a 10 year old boy from Germany and another person who called her some nasty names.

Now my daughter is pretty mature for her age – but she is still only just turned eleven.
When I exclaimed a bit of shock about her online interactions, saying she had NO idea who the person was, she replied, “No mum, he’s really nice.”

I flew into a mild panic because even though I engage in many a conversation with her, over a gaggle of issues regarding Internet use, I still have to remind myself that she is still ONLY eleven. Maturity or not, her response above only proved she was acting exactly her age – with trust.

With heightened alarm I explained how predators know exactly how to speak to children – they’ve been doing it for a long, long time.
They know what to say; they know how to groom.

To illustrate the point, I decided to show her how easy it is to lift a photo off the Net, with which to create a fake profile. I wanted one of a girl her age. I used my laptop to do this – not her iPad.

This is the moment where we hit a horrific snag.

I went to google images and wrote ‘girls’. With weary predictability, the images that splashed up on the screen, were mainly of scantily clad (mainly adult) females – nothing they don’t see virtually everywhere related to media and advertising.
So I thought I’d narrow down the search and looked for images of ‘school girls’.

I can’t believe how fast I was in covering the screen with my hands because it wasn’t the fact that now there were even more images of (mainly adult) females in their hyper-sexualised ‘school uniforms’ – it was that the second image that appeared on the whole page, was of a beheaded young girl; her body was on the right, her head on the left, facing her shoulder.

I sent my daughter out while I checked other images and then started to cry.
That image wasn’t the only one – there were a few others – peppered amongst the ‘naughty school girls.’

I know there’s nothing I can do about it, but I still wonder:

Question #198: Why has the world become so callous and cruel?

Violence and Porn. Everywhere. Everywhere.

I quickly composed myself and after thoroughly checking content, I called her back. I showed her videos and discussed Internet Safety in terms of:
1. Not knowing who you’re talking to;
2. Being very, very careful about what images and/or videos they put up (in the future).

Many of my 11 year old’s friends have Instagram – something I emphatically do not allow my daughter to have, due to the alarming statistics regarding the use of images on the Internet – that once it’s posted, one loses control of it.

She’s only eleven – halfway there to full cognitive brain development. Halfway.
The Internet certainly gave us a slap.

These are the videos I showed her. You might want to show these to your children too.

This is for young children who don’t know who they’re chatting to.

This is a great and simple video with two 11 year old girls as the protagonists.

This one is more for teens losing control of images. I think it’s well done.

Big Deep Breath.

x

I’ve changed my name.

January 17, 2014

I have to say that this journey has been cathartic.
Looking back at who I was two years ago and the reasons for starting this blog – to hopefully find answers to the questions I had for myself about this life, why it was the way it was and how I was to navigate through it – along with my daughters, husband, family, friends and the big wide world – it’s quite incredible; I am quite a different person today.

My journey has seen me connect with such an extraordinary cross-section of inspirational and brave feminists – all with their unique angle of what the issues are for women and girls in this world and who work tirelessly to create some positive change.
I feel humbled to have met you all – you have had a profound impact on me.

So here I am – having just had my unoriginal epiphany about the chronic and habitual gender roles both women and men are assigned from birth – and I realised that I had a problem with the name of this blog.

Why did I name the blog Questions for Women? Because at the time, I understood women (and men) to be in categories. I myself (still) participate in it, although some shackles – like how I perceive beauty in myself and all those around me –  have been dropped.
But who are these ‘women’ I want answers from, exactly?

Since posting my last question – What IS a woman? (yes, we all know it’s a female adult, I mean in terms of the label) – it became abundantly apparent that, really, there’s no such thing.

So this blog will now be known as: Questions for Us – questionsforus.com

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The future can only be changed through our children / younger generation – by Us.
Being the ‘grown-ups’ of the equation means we have to step up – do much more than we are now.

Most of us adults are too far gone in our deeply-rooted mantras and practices to completely change the narrow gender moulds we’ve designed (and keep whittling at into smaller and smaller representations) but kids are different; essentially they are a clean slate.

Today, however, they’re a clean slate surrounded by a world selling them something sinister in its core and wallpapering their existence with it.

Question #197: Can we now embrace the phrase, ‘It takes a village to raise a Child’?

In my heart of hearts, I bloody hope so! We need it now – more than ever.

I sincerely hope to have you on board in discussions, as I don’t have all the answers – but I’m not blind to what I see and will question it.

Deep Breath.

x

The penny has dropped for me.

It happened last week; the week that saw this blog turn two – a blog that was spawned from the chasm of questions I had about myself and the world I was navigating through with my two daughters. At risk of sounding like a colossal cliché, it was, in fact, my phase as a mother that really drove the creation of the blog…I was starting to lose myself in the label and rubber stamp that is, mother’.
The intention was to engage with others and make some sense of the madness; to dig down to the dark and selfish root system our species seems to be drawing its inspiration from an attempt to unpack the question: How did we get to this toxic point in time?
An online discussion with radical feminist, Sister Trinity, saw me reach a pinnacle in my thinking. 

The problem is gender; more specifically gender roles and labels.

Before I delve deeper into that nugget, let me explain the angle from which I am coming.
I’m currently engaging in an intensive workshop with my daughters these holidays, teaching them to be smart about the actions they take. From as simple as how to hang a wet towel out to dry, to more complex scenarios – basically everything, really.
I’m teaching them to think of the big picture. Think and be smart; unlock some ingenuity. Narrow the problem down to its core and then take action that’s intelligent. The big picture has to include their fellow human beings (from a starting point of kindness) and therefore actions must cater to others’ rights. It all starts in the home in how we deal with each other and extends out. I am also participating in this little workshop I’ve concocted with the girls.

The A-Ha moment
Up until last week I systematically accepted that men and women had certain ‘characteristics’. Sister Trinity’s words to me, however, finally ignited a long-awaited burst of clarity which resonated succinctly to me:

“There is no ‘female mind’  – sex is physical.
Our bodies shouldn’t define who we are IN ANY WAY.
This is what feminism fights (should fight) for.
The idea that we are born with essentially ‘feminine’ or ‘masculine’ personalities – not just male and female bodies – is deeply offensive; since if you look at what ‘femininity’ stands for, it’s clear patriarchy has assigned the inferior and submissive caretaker role to us.”  

BAM!
And we know it’s correct because we know we don’t teach  according to ‘gendered’ brains. I am not altering what I’m teaching my daughters (nor in my classroom) due to whether they are male or female – I’m just teaching. As do you.

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I still think that nature (which always pushes for procreation) draws man and woman together, but that should be it. Everything else is a construct. An ever-shrinking label of conformity. Everything.

If you’re shaking your head and thinking (as I do at times),  ‘But I AM this way through my choice’, I would simply ask you to just ponder how much has really been your choice? It’s not black and white, I know, but it deserves thought. This is not the moment for the discussion of ‘choice’ but we human beings have to agree that we have little choice in our lives – planet wide – when you critically reflect on it…except on how to spend your money, of course.

Nature v Nurture? I think the majority of it, is nurtured. 
If life is a complete construct and you’ve been told, since birth, how each gender ‘should’ behave and more importantly, what it should strive for in life (especially in the ‘western world’), then it only stands to reason that gender IS the root of many of the serious conundrums we’re facing today – stretching back through a very long and entrenched system. I once heard, on a documentary about genes and how they influence behaviour, that ‘Nature loads the gun and Nurture pulls the trigger.’ 

To explore even further, my birthday question to you is:

Question #196: What IS a woman?

Really think about this.

Pretty? Dumb? Sexy? Hairless? Mother? Nurturer? Weak? Desperate? Emotional (crying)? Whore? Wants to get married to a man and have babies? Bitch? Can’t make her own money so has to marry a man? Credit card addict? Shopping addict? Likes pink? Squeals if she sees a mouse? Likes housework? Nag? Knows how to get stains out? Multi-tasker?

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Whatever you add, these are all simply labels (what gender roles basically are) and countless women will vehemently disagree with being pigeon-holed into these labels because we know that what’s inside us is unique and that the only thing women and girls have in common is (in the big scheme of things) a female reproductive system (functioning or not). 

For that matter, what is a man?
The boss? Bread winner? Player? Intelligent? The Man?  Powerful? Ruler? Strong? Stupid? Emotional (violent)? Rapist? Detached emotionally? Hates the idea of being ‘tied down’? Under the thumb?  Needs a man cave? Handyman? Car hoon? Ejaculation obsessed? Blue wearer? Sports obsessed? Violent video games obsessed? Dickhead? Useless? Pants only?
Same goes here, as above. All constructed labels. The difference is that males benefit greatly from this list.

I'm Glad 8

The world we have designed is ludicrous. We have become stupid.
We have allowed this design/system  to nurture an obsession with greed and to revolve around giving the penis full privilege in seeking out what it needs to gain satisfaction. Mainly women (and ever more girls).

Whilst the subservient females fulfil their destinies as mothers and housekeepers, whilst juggling all the injustices and inequalities that are thrown their way – again only due to their biology.

In short, we are suffocating the true potential of what we can achieve – for all – as a species.

This stagnant construct can change through how we raise our children. To quote Yoda, we have to ‘unlearn what we have learned‘ and give our children a basis that teaches that we all have unique and amazing bodies that provide natural functions and miracles, but it is our mind that can do, be and express itself in whichever way it wants – as long as the rights that one expects for oneself, are afforded to the rest.

To practise humanity.

We need to be smart about this.

Deep Breath.

x

Quick question #1

November 19, 2013

It’s mid-week and crazy busy, but I just wanted to put forth a quick question.

Some of the discussions I’ve had over the years – about gender specific behaviours (for both men and women) in particular – have invoked a common response:

‘It’s always been that way’.

or

‘The core of human nature has never changed’.

I agree. I do. I’ve written that on this blog many times.

BUT…

When I was a kid growing up (in the days of yore: AKA late ’70s / early ’80s), my sister and I spent a substantial portion of our time, playing on the street –  generally venturing to the end of our large street block on push bikes.

Sweet.

Question #191: So – if people haven’t inherently changed, why don’t we let our kids play on the street anymore?

I don’t know anyone who does – including myself.

Actually, I saw a report recently about a possible future rule where parents may be fined for leaving children alone  – like walking home from school.

On one hand, it’s staunchly argued that people need to just ‘relax’ and ‘move on’ about certain issues because it’s always been like that.

On the other hand, we know – statistically – that it’s actually worse out there.

Or is it?

If you agree it is worse out there – the question that must be asked, is:
WHY? What’s changed?

Therein lies the possibility of a path toward some solutions – don’t you think?

What say you?

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Deep breath

x

Here in Australia we have a t-shirt company named Nena & Pasadena.

The t-shirts they sell show degrading images of women – generally with their faces cut out of the image so that their value only lies in their breasts, buttocks and the all-important pose.

Example:

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You get the idea.

A few months ago, this company started an all-ages ’Casting Call’ on Instagram #npcasting – calling out for men and women (boys and girls) to post photos of themselves, to then be judged by a group of privileged lads – deeming them the ‘hottest’.

To the truly tiresome argument that men are objectifying themselves too, I reply with the obvious – it’s not the same. Men have their shirts off, flexing chest muscles. Strength. That’s it. They’re not sexually posing with their legs spread or bending over with their butts in a g-string (thong).

Simply – the males are not vulnerable. And that’s the glaring difference.

There is also the fact that there are far more females posting up their ‘selfies’.
I’m sure you don’t need to go over to the site to verify you’ll see predominantly women and teen girls in hyper-sexualised, or sexy-kitten, or innocent-young-girl-ready-to-be-deflowered etc., looks and poses.

I took the following images off the actual competition page:

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So here is my perspective on this pandemic:

Yes, women are doing it.
But WHY?

This is not empowerment.

And there’s a very simple reason for it – it’s done for validation from a vulnerable position, not one of power. Once someone seeks validation, they are in a submissive position to the person they’re awaiting judgement from.

Period.
And this obviously gives the ‘judge’ ultimate power and places them in a dominant position.

This is not what we want for our girls and we don’t want our sons to see and judge girls and women this way. And yet…

What we also seem to forget – but shouldn’t – is how these girls and women will be spoken about.
It won’t be about their sunny disposition, it will be crass, degrading, demeaning and more – calling them bitches, sluts, whores, gangas (girls who like gang rape; a term used by teens) and so on.

We know that.

Question #190: So, why do we continue to act so blind and ‘unaware’ of the effect this is having on our psyche?

  • That women are being collectively objectified and seen as submissive (by BOTH sexes), in everyday life;
  • That our youth’s perspective on gender is becoming alarmingly skewed and toxic;
  • That there is no equal modelling on what healthy and loving relationships look like.

All of this is for the male gaze – one that’s becoming insatiable.

As a tiny example, this ‘casting call’ is evidence of that.

Why does Nena & Pasadena need to incite this behaviour?
It’s a win/win for them – they get the benefit of seeing to what levels women will go to be validated in this way and get wonderful material for men everywhere (including predators) to masturbate over.

Simple truth.

Sadly the images are posted up by a large contingent of girls and women who have been brainwashed to think their value lies only in the collective sum of their body features; although the differentiation in their ‘hottness’ is miniscule – they all look the same. The fact that women’s faces are absent (like on many N & P t-shirts) just confirms this.

Why doesn’t that annoy women enough to stick two big fingers up at it all?

These t-shirts are just a cog in the machine; the machine that includes porn magazines in newsagencies and petrol stations all the way through to the infinite collection of violent and degrading porn on the Internet.

I recently featured in the article  Too much, too soon –  in the Sydney Morning Herald magazine, Sunday Life. This is a succinct and illuminating piece by Melissa Jacob, about the toxic relationship our kids are having with Internet porn.

This is an emergency.

These women are the supply; Men are the demand.

And we all know that when demand is strong – and supply is waning – extreme measures, like trafficking, are taken to keep the demand happy. That road leads to a desensitised world – one that will stoop to anything, while the rest turn a blind eye.

Are we there yet?

Deep Breath…and make a stand!!

x

PS Want to take action?
1. Nena & Pasadena is owned by AFL player Buddy Franklin (who joined the Sydney Swans in 2014). The AFL has a policy regarding respect for women that this ‘business’ does not comply with. You can write to the AFL or the Sydney Swans and let them know your thoughts – especially from you good males.

2. With some friends and the gals from Collective Shout, we’ve been posting our own memes on the competition page.
Why not do your own? It’s as easy as writing a sign, taking a photo of it and posting it on #npcasting on Instagram.

I put up the following one:

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and this one:

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GO FOR IT!!

**IMPORTANT***

A journalist I know is looking for parents who have had to deal with the inappropriate exposure of child to porn.
PLEASE email: melissagjacob@gmail.com

I’m going to be interviewed for this article. Chuffed!

It would be FANTASTIC to get some stories. They can be anonymous, if that is what you wish.

The effects of porn on our children is a very real and horrible reality. We must continue to have a conversation about this.

xxx

shh-porn

I don’t know who created this image – it’s from a friend who shared it from someone else and it doesn’t recognise the creator. It came with an explanation in Spanish.*

>>> I have since discovered that it is called THE UNTOUCHABLES – by Erik Ravelo.
Erik has composed an image that is haunting.

Our children are being sacrificed for the avarice of man.

Nearly all of the Seven Deadly Sins are represented – all being satisfied. At any cost.

Children – around the world – are the very real and prevalent commodity, in the degradation of human decency.

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Image #1: Pedophilia in the Church. (Vatican)

Image #2: Sex trafficking for tourists. (Thailand)

Image #3: War. (Syria)

Image #4: Organ Trafficking – Black Market – where the majority of victims are children from poor countries.

Image #5: The right to bear arms in the US.

Image #6: Obesity. (Fast Food companies)

As a species, we should be ashamed of ourselves.

Ashamed for letting things get so chaotic.

Ashamed that we permit our most vulnerable – children – to be preyed upon.

The state of things are so horrific worldwide, that it seems unfathomable to actually succeed in pulling back on the reins.

Question #178: Are we going to able to get some control back?

Are we?

I really, bloody-well hope so – because in my eyes, our global mental state seems quite despondent and our beliefs, defeatist.

Our existence has to be balanced out with more of the positive – celebrating the things that fill us with light:

* Laughter * Love * Compassion * Bravery * Strength * Respect.

Human Rights.

I write with a naïve optimism; that we snap out of our collective coma and simply start making some noise – taking a stand – calling it out – changing ways.

Do it for the numbing amount of children with pain and cruelty in their lives;
lives that entered this world with the same rights to existence as you when you were born.

 

Deep Breath

 

* La primera imagen hace referencia a la pedofilia en el Vaticano. En segundo lugar el abuso sexual infantil en el turismo en Tailandia, y el tercero se refiere a la guerra en Siria. La cuarta imagen se refiere al tráfico de órganos en el mercado negro, donde la mayoría de las víctimas son niños de los países pobres, el quinto se refiere a las armas libres en los EE.UU.. Y, por último, el sexto imagen hace referencia a la obesidad, culpando a las grandes empresas de comida rápida.

A moment of reflection.

February 1, 2013

I was breaking up a small altercation between my daughters tonight – where my eldest responded in a mean way to a kind gesture from her sister.

I was sitting on her bed, a short time later, discussing why she had responded in that way. I quietly said to her that there was enough nastiness in the world, let alone in our house with the ones we love. As I said it, I was looking at her bedside table lamp – it’s a lit up, Planet Earth.

So massive…and covered in exploitation; greed; hatred; violence; intolerance.

Everywhere – from war, to big business and in our very homes. People gaining from the suffering of others – whether emotionally or physically.

Yes, there’s love; kindness; empathy – I profoundly feel these within myself and know many who do too – but it’s not big enough. Mean is bigger.

Question #142: Why have we let our world become like this?

*Deep breath*

Today I start a new journey.

My husband had a serious accident playing soccer (football) last week.
He had just finished kicking the ball – so his foot was up a little – and his opponent came in very hard. His kick landed like a king-hit under my husband’s foot.
It smashed his ankle into his tibia, which split at the base, and then sent a crack up the tibia, where it fractured half way up the leg. The surgeon said he had never seen anything like it – only in car accidents. His leg is now in a contraption with pins keeping his leg in place and it will take a further two operations to hopefully get the job done.

In an instant, our world was turned on its heel – on many levels which I won’t bore you with.
The worst part is his suffering and for me it’s a helplessness at not being able to ease what he’s going through.

On another level – a different level – I feel a similar helplessness for our suffering world.

Why is today a new day?
Because when this accident happened, and the seriousness of my hubby’s injuries hit home, I felt a peace wash over me – a calm strength. This doesn’t mean that I haven’t had a few moments where I’ve had to breathe deep and refocus, but calmness is what ultimately gets us through life’s blindsides.

I’m going to do the same here, when discussing life’s issues with you.
At times, I have let my feelings of anger overwhelm my expression into something unleashed. I don’t like it when I do that. I lose you.

But my heart is in the right place.

I continue to fight for a balanced existence.
I feel it is the true secret to life – in every way.

I wish for a future where we shed our cloak of silence, stand up and push back on the practices that are taking over our world’s psyche in this detrimental way.

*Deep breath*

So, now we’re back to the chat with my daughters – back to the beginning – the place to start change:

Our children.

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Strength to you all.

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