I have to admit that I normally choose not to watch the news or read the papers about what the media wants me to know about. I choose to see the good in the world and allow it to create energy in my day, as opposed to having the negativity put a dent in my day.
However, I saw this post on my Facebook today, and it put a shift inside of my head. I have seen it and heard it many times over the course of my life, yet it made much more of an impact to me today...
"First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out - because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak out for me."
I sit here in North America in an air conditioned room, typing this on a MacBook enjoying the white male privilege I have almost effortlessly in my life. -It's almost like its an entitlement of what I expect as a free Canadian. I'm almost ashamed at myself for this entitlement...
Yet, across the Atlantic there is a 60 year old + war raging in Palestine and Israel. There are civilian planes being shot down in Ukrainian airspace. In Syria, there is an un-winable, on going war continuing with no end in sight. There is human trafficking, women being enslaved into a worldwide sex trade industry that produces billions of dollars. In Africa, there is genocide after genocide, and there seems to be no answer to these problems.
The United States seems to have an invested interest where there is the influence of oil, but it has no interest of righting human inequality.
The Israeli government says that it only wants peace, yet it enslaves the Palestinian people. When they free the Palestinian people, they have the possibility for peace. Enslaving them will simply allow this war and hatred continue. This has been happening since 1948, and yet some think it should be solved in our generation. Even if we had all the answers right now, it still wouldn't give us peace in our generation. There is a lot of time needed to heal the way we treat each other in this world.
As a human equality advocate, I believe that every single person has the right to be born into this world with the ability of being Heard, Understood, Respected and Accepted. (HURA) In every instance that there is inequality, you can see that at least one of this criteria is missing in the equation. If all four are in place at the same time, at worst case scenario, you can agree to disagree peacefully without attempting to convert, change or dominate the other.
I think if we looked at human beings as souls trapped inside of flesh suits of various colours, shapes, sizes, religions and preferences, we would cease treating them as if they are the car that they drive. I don't control the colour of my skin, the religion or country I was born into, yet I have been brainwashed to believe that my lifestyle is right and my enemy is wrong. Unfortunately for humanity, my enemy has been taught the same thing about me and my country, and so it creates the disconnect of difference rather than the connection of having the same human experience.
Only from a stance of empathy can we understand each other and offer space for the peaceful co-existence of humanity. Only from a vulnerable space can we extend unconditional acceptance of our enemy to begin the process of centuries of domination and despair.
Unfortunately, men rule the world, and empathy and vulnerability are not emotions that they are connected to view as strengths. Men view these as weaknesses; not a point of strength, and that creates disconnect and not the understanding this world sorely needs.
So I will work my lifetime in creating the women-lead leadership that this world needs to heal itself. I say this because Men Don't Get It. It's the title of my upcoming book, and it's not just a catch phrase...