I find myself struggling with how sexual assault or physical or verbal abuse of any kind or at any level have become normalized or are attempted to be justified or considered acceptable behavior or are being defended in many ways, shape or form and in some circles, thought to be humorous. For me, it will always be absolutely unacceptable behavior, disgraceful, despicable, appalling, dangerous, shameful and it ultimately diminishes who we all are as people when we become so accepting and tolerant of such inappropriate behavior.
Here’s a thought, maybe, just maybe we should be embracing, applauding and supporting every woman or man, who have found the courage to finally come forward and speak their silence, truth and pain. And maybe, just maybe we should consider being grateful and thankful that it’s not our son or daughter or ourselves that have lived with the pain, the shame, the manipulation, the lies and the silence for so many years. Or maybe it is and they just haven’t found their own strength or voice or courage to speak their own story…yet.
In this place we call life, I have learned that there is a story behind every face. A story that if you listen closely, carefully, compassionately and without judgment, their story may break your heart (myself included). I have also learned that before you judge or speak, you need to pause, take a breath and take a moment to think about what it would feel like to walk in their shoes for a day or two or even years. It just might wake us all up from our own unconsciousness.
This I know for sure, if I have only one purpose in this life, it has always been to teach my children and grandchildren that it is never acceptable to allow anyone to treat you badly, inappropriately or make you feel uncomfortable or shame you, under any and all circumstances and vice versa. While the conversations may seem uncomfortable, they need to happen on every level. They need to be had at home, in the workplace, in the entertainment industry and in all branches and at all levels of government. No exceptions and the message should be strong and clear across the board…zero tolerance with any and all acts of inappropriate behavior.
When we have a choice, I hope we all choose kindness, respect, love and grace. God knows, the world that surrounds us all, needs a lot more love, compassion, respect, consciousness, understanding and more people just doing right.