blood

it is not just your own blood that you are afraid of

but also your pain

when you start to feel too much

when the first drops flow

turn your head

pretend

it will all go away

listen

one of the most disastrous consequences of male privilege is the unwillingness and inability for males to listen. when men run society (patriarchy), their decisions are critical so this affects all issues.

what do i mean when i say listen? i mean the ability to hear and think and not respond but instead to support. to hear a woman say that society is constantly telling her that her beauty is inadequate and then reflect on how his own actions may further this. to ask this woman (and others) their ideas for positive change and then to respond accordingly.
to hear a community of people saying they are scared of the police and react by finding a supportive role within the work they are already doing.
to hear the LGBT community say that marriage equality is crucial and support their right to determine for themselves what is important regardless of personal opinions.
to hear Native communities say seeing themselves as mascots is hurtful to the youth and respond by changing the mascot.
this ugly trait—not listening—is not just seen in men. women need to come together to change society, not just to hold the role men historically have. in haiti, foreign men and women alike think they have better solutions than Haitians themselves—as proven by the hundreds of NGOs on the ground.
so maybe i see it daily in men—congress legislating women’s access to healthcare, male family members telling me what i need to breastfeed my child, interviewers commenting on my physical appearance—but it is more about privilege than gender. the more privilege we have (race, gender, sexual orientation, class, education, zip code, religion), the less we listen. good to be aware of in myself, good to be intentional about with my son

parenting mantras

he is not doing something TO me. he is simply doing something.

he is not GIVING ME a hard time. he is having a hard time.
pause. listen. understand.
good for them, not for me. (other parents)

time

they got me thinkin about time

about how i can control it with you

breathe deeply the sweetness, the sweat, the last notes of shampoo

these are the moments

you can create in any moment

time is yours to mold

experience

breathe life into your time

christian racism

in so far as christianity states that it is THE Truth for all people groups, the only religious life path that does not lead to eternal damnation, it is racist. this foundational christian belief, as history continually proves, results in the stripping of ethnic groups around the world of their cultural inheritance. while it is limiting for christian followers, it is disastrous for everyone else.

this belief in ownership as the sole carriers of Truth naturally leads to perspectives of superiority/inferiority, us/them. it is just this neat splitting of the existence of purely good and purely evil that led to enslavement of ethnic groups, among other forms of systemic oppression that continue today. the islamists deserve to be destroyed. the natives need missionaries. the classification of christian vs nonchristian is automatically one of right and wrong. as power structures around the world shift and groups as large as women gain autonomy and authority as never before, christianity has had to make dramatic shifts to stay relevant. it appears we can overlook centuries of religious systemic oppression and the entire biblical story’s lack of female authorship as long as women can now lead the choir and work outside the home.

christians would do well to recognize that just as they recognize faults within their doctrine toward women, homosexuals, minorities, etc., they are not, after all the sole possessors of Truth. the united states was founded by christian men and has continually been a nation of war. without a major shift in collective perspective, we will continue to be.

equipo

we can go further as a team.

 

cheerleader

conflicting opinions surround the level of praise we are adviced to give children. criticism often goes along the lines of: “everyone gets a trophy in little league these days but in life there are winners and there are losers.” or “bosses don’t care about hurt feelings and teachers shouldn’t either.” there are small truths to most perspectives and while they are expressed in different ways, they often aren’t as far apart as it first appears. i tend more toward lavishing praise on my child than others but i also value the ability to take criticism as well as possession of a clear sense of reality.

that being said, he is also an active participant in reality both as he experiences it and as those around him do. this morning as i was driving he told me the cushion on the arm rest of the car seat had come off. i tried the reach back while your eyes stay on the road approach and was not able to get it. soon after we came to a stop light and i could reach the cushion and fixed it for him.

“Yay!!!” he clapped. placing the cushion on the seat was not a challenging task for me, yet it was something he couldn’t do and something that he appreciated me for doing. his delight and praise made me feel good even though i knew it was the simplest of tasks. by praising him for accomplishments it not only instills an inner voice that is encouraging, but it reflects back to those around him as he encourages others.

there is a balance we all walk between knowing what reality exists and actively working to create the reality we want. i would prefer a reality in which we are all more encouraging of one another, in which our definitions of success and accomplishment are not so narrowly defined. celebrating small accomplishments is one way i will continue doing this.

“you must be the change you wish to see in the world.” mahatma ghandi