1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, History, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Kerry's Causes, SoCS

Echoes Heard Through Chambers, #SoCS

“Look for the bare necessities, the simple bare necessities. Forget about your worries and your strife.”

ElhtkyB.png

My favourite Disney film growing up was The Jungle Book.

It takes place in a setting that seemed so far away, the jungles of India. It’s populated, clearly, with all kinds of animals and it’s premise is whether an abandoned human boy can survive and even fit in among them.

My favourite characters are favourites for a variety of reasons. I like the panther’s sensible demeanour and I like the bear for his adventurous nature and willingness to go with the flow.

The Bare Necessities – Jungle Book

The father elephant doesn’t think a boy belongs, but when that boy goes missing it’s the mother elephant who tries to make him understand that any young deserves to be safe.

The ape king wants to be a man and the boy wants to stay with his animal friends. My favourite is actually the snake, but he only cares about his next meal.

🙂

Well, first off, I had to go to my trusty Dictionary App to confirm the difference.

Bare/Bear, #SoCS

I think stream of consciousness writing can become a very dangerous thing because it could lead me to writing about all the things that worry me about this world now, but I did think of that catchy song from a Disney movie instead, to help me focus on something.

A movie about not fitting in and not being accepted fits well with the atmosphere lately and always.

I have recently been watching a Netflix series by Oliver Stone and it’s a history lesson and a critical look at his country. He spoke in it of the mistrust of foreigners, in America’s past, such as the Japanese during World War II and anyone Jewish, at many points. He spoke of Communism and all the hysteria, but what has changed?

“That little boy is no different than our own son.” The mother elephant in Jungle Book states emphatically when it’s announced the boy is missing.

A line like that passed me by all the years I watched as a kid, but lately it hit me hard. Moving words.

I don’t know how some people can bear knowing the damage they have done or are doing with their words and/or actions. They just don’t appear to care.

It was one year ago that Canada welcomed 25 thousand refugees from places like Syria. That doesn’t mean all Canadians welcomed them.

I care about people having their lives torn apart by war caused by terrorists and governments, whatever the reasons are for the fighting. I care and I wonder how they bear it.

The U.S. seems to be heading in a dangerous direction, their most recently elected leader threatening to cause so much harm, and I wonder how he bares all that he is and people still revere him. They think he will solve all their problems.

The media is in trouble and people don’t know who to trust. Doubt is being planted in the mind of society. The chasm appears to be widening, something people say they haven’t seen before, but if Stone is to be believed at all, these things have existed, in one form or another, all along.

I see positive stories about a pair of Syrian refugees who made it to Berlin and found fitting in to be a huge challenge. All the bureaucracy is hard to navigate and I listened to their story of the dangerous trip over on unpredictable boats. Now they face an uphill battle. So many awful and negative stories are what we hear, about how men from the Middle East are dangerous, with messed up values, raping German women. They are often unwanted and what else is the world to think?

Well, these two men are doing their part to make a difference. They studied coding at a program offered and have developed an App to help refugees and migrants figure out how to set up a bank account, for example. How can anyone have such a lack of compassion that they cannot put themselves in the place of someone who left their home, took such risk, for safety?

I hear doubt about why Canada should offer a hand to people from other countries when we have our own issues. I want to figure out where I bear any responsibility for making things better, but I can’t do anything about so much of it.

I get people jumping down my throat for daring to compare this time to the 30s, as if I am committing some horrible sin. I guess my fear is causing me to act/react that way, but we can all look in the mirror when it comes to fear. Fear is why so much hate develops. I won’t let that happen to me, even in my moments of anger that ignorance was allowed to win, when so many talk of 2016 being an awful year, for reasons we could all take a good guess at.

The U.S. seems to be headed in one direction and Canada gets together and makes a plan for the environment, but I ask which will result in a bigger price paid? People say these ideas our leader has for boosting the environment will cost us, but which cost is the riskier one?

Fear is hard to bear. I know it. I feel it. I fight it. This kind of writing asks that one bare all if they choose to.

I choose to bare it all, my truth that is, without losing honesty or compassion. That makes me proud to be Canadian but I am human too, my vulnerability for anyone to see.

I rely on kindness and compassion all the time. I would be nowhere without both. I am determined to give some back, as much as I can give, even as the world fights hate and bears witness to the worst of humanity.

Here’s a theory I’ve come up with. I figure DT plans to focus on science as long as it means getting to Mars. Then, he can feed all his greedy business masters what they demand and when nature takes her revenge, he will stay hold up in his golden tower in the sky, in New York City, which will be destroyed everywhere else. As soon as the water finally does rise to his floor high up there, a spaceship will be there to take him off this planet and away to ruin the next one.

I worry about a bear from the north, once blending in with ice and snow, as the water warms. What will our refusal to admit that we as humans do bear responsibility for what we have done to this world cost them. Polar bears are feeling it, even if some other fools are not.

Gee, I sure hope I got this bare/bear thing straight. I had to go for the challenge of using both and couldn’t just pick one or the other.

I guess I wish I could go on singing that carefree tune from Jungle Book, but even that happiness ended, if you know the film at all, by a sudden danger from above.

I just wish I could say we as humans have made more progress from the state of the world as discussed by Oliver Stone and today. We still like to feel superior to anyone who looks different or speaks different or lives different. No acceptance. I couldn’t say all I wished to say about that, even if I could write stream of consciousness forever and ever.

It is a necessity that we try to find acceptance, but sometimes I feel like I am trapped in some giant, empty echoing chamber and my words leave my mouth and vanish into thin air, as if I’d never uttered them at all.

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1000 Voices Speak For Compassion, Blogging, Feminism, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, IN THE NEWS AND ON MY MIND, Kerry's Causes, Special Occasions

Cracks in the Ceiling, #InternationalWomensDay #IWD2016

What has happened in the world, in the last year and since

International Women’s Day 2015?

Well, around that time, Hillary Clinton announced her intention to run for President of the United States and we still have months to wait, or how long I don’t know, as the whole process seems insane to me.

Will she win? Should she win, should anyone vote for her, simply because she is female? I suppose not, not if a better candidate exists.

I can’t vote, but I think it’s about time the US elected a woman to lead their country. I know all the scandals surrounding her, her power and influence, but I think she has the experience necessary and, dare I say, is highly capable to do the job.

I just finished watching a documentary with her as one of the main stars, along with Madeleine Albright and Condoleezza Rice.

It’s been twenty years since Clinton spoke in China about women’s rights, a country that doesn’t have the best track record in valuing girls.

“Human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights…once and for all!” Hillary pronounced with conviction.

Well, since then there has been rape as a war tactic (conflict in Bosnia and Yugoslavia), female oppression in Afghanistan, brutalization and attacks during uprisings in Egypt and Libya, struggle in Iraq and Syria.

A year ago I watched “India’s Daughter”, a documentary about a gang rape of a young woman on a bus in India. I watched it with help deciphering the subtitles. I had planned to write about my thoughts here, but I couldn’t quite put that into words.

More recently I watched “Suffragette”, a film about the fight for women’s rights in the UK, during the early twentieth century. I planned to write a review here, but the words did not come. This time it was fiction, based on true events in history, but all the emotions I felt were so strong they burrowed down deep in my subconscious.

And so even though I said I was cutting back on blogging here during the week, starting on the 1st of March, I couldn’t let this day pass without saying something.

An election was held here in Canada last fall for a new leader for this country, just as they are working toward in the US, and now we have Justin Trudeau as Canada’s Prime Minister.

He appointed his cabinet and made news:

“Because it’s 2015.”

Trudeau proudly calls himself a feminist:

Trudeau Declares Himself (Proud Feminist) in Open Letter to Mark International Women’s Day

The question is now more often to become one I think of as it relates to not only being a woman, but for those with disabilities as well: Should a woman be given a place in government or in a job role just to fill a quota?

No, not just. It’s a starting place. It makes a statement. All these things must become laws, policies must be created, legislations drawn, but then action must be taken, these things enforced. Women are just as smart and capable as men, but how do we change the minds of the truly ignorant and arrogant? Is that even possible?

I am proud that, living in Canada, I have a feminist prime minister. Somewhere in the world, however, there are countries with leaders who believe that only men deserve rights, a voice. Even as nothing’s perfect for women, certainly still not even here in Canada, I am proud of the role my own country plays in making things better.

Next comes the decision to put a female on our money. Justin just introduced a commemorative coin for International Women’s Day and it’s about time a woman’s face was shown proudly on our currency.

I have learned a lot about feminism this past year.

I’ve learned it from brilliant and articulate writers:

We should all be feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I’ve learned it from brave young activists:

Nobel Peace Prize Speech – Malala Yousafzai

I’ve learned it from fictional witches turned real life feminist spokeswomen:

He For She – Emma Watson – International Women’s Day 2016

Some would say that there is no problem, we make it bigger than it is, because just look how far we’ve come.

I know why I care about this. My poor keyboard keys, because I feel like pounding out my intense frustration through them, but then I halt because my brain is working furiously, far out of reach of my fingers.

I care because of what I’ve seen. I know that, for many women, there is no real problem in our day to day lives. I am lucky to say that. I can write what I want, despite the loss for words and the brain fog and overload I’m currently experiencing. I won’t be censored or threatened. I am only one tiny voice online.

That’s the thing though. I feel tiny and insignificant a lot, on a daily basis, and it’s not because I am ungrateful. I just feel like I still get lost, as a female with a disability. I am lucky to have a good life, essentially, but I feel the problem even more consciously.

Females, just like those living with disabilities around the world, we could all say we are treated better and things for us have improved, but many of us still experience feelings of marginalization and feelings of invisibility.

Women who have it good can’t really imagine what other women might be experiencing, right this very moment, somewhere around the world. It could be somewhere in Africa, the Middle East, India, or even North America. The degree is certainly important, but the experiences all still matter.

I am not officially oppressed, not dangerously so. I just feel it in society. Just because things have steadily improved for women, many places around the world in say the last one hundred years, doesn’t mean all of us have reached a place where we feel like we have taken our power back, not yet having discovered the impact through our own unique voices.

I can’t really always detect that ceiling, as see-through as it may be, and some days I feel like it is solid and darkened. I need to feel its clarity and its possibility. I need this, to feel hope for a brighter future.

I want to make an impact, a difference, to have a voice and to stand for something I feel so strongly in my heart.

Purple: My Interview with Garry Atkinson

I am sick of cultural and religious excuses, struggles over politics and money and power and greed, and the fear and the cowardice that is the root of all the battles we’re still fighting. I am sick of the violence and the silence.

And so there’s still a ceiling, made of glass and we can see through to a better tomorrow of blue skies and bright sunshine, but for now I guess we must be glad for the cracks that are forming. It proves we are making progress.

JK Rowling and Emma Watson had a touching International Women’s Day moment

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Blogging, Guest Blogs and Featured Spotlights, Kerry's Causes, Memoir Monday, RIP, The Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge

My Free Five

It’s been a while, two weeks in fact, since my last post for

The Redefining Disability Awareness Challenge.

As a refresher, my previous post for the challenge, on Memoir Monday two weeks back:

Indefinable, Undefinable? Definitely

This week I am given free rein to speak on whatever just so happens to be on my mind.

🙂

***

#1 Emily’s Oz

On Facebook I came across a post about a commercial that would be aired during the Academy Awards. I watched the Canadian broadcast and saw no sign of what they were talking about all evening, but that is where the internet is so wonderful.

🙂

I am including both commercials: with descriptive and without,

(Emily’s Oz, without descriptive).

I recommend watching both short commercials, paying attention to compare the difference between what it’s like to watch, with and without the descriptive track.

It reminds me of those commercials: one has a woman arriving home with a bag of groceries and being frightened by something and the other is a woman panting and yelling and being told to push.

These are to advertise the need for descriptive services for television and films.

In the former, is she being frightened by a mouse or by a child?

In the latter, is she helping to move furniture or is she having a baby?

🙂

Just this weekend I tried to watch an important documentary on a brutal attack on a woman in India. I found I was unable to watch for a lot of the hour because there were only subtitles, which caused me to miss out on more than half of what was being said.

Of course, the example I give here is much more lighthearted, but I just wish something like descriptive for watching any programming wasn’t still so hard to come by.

Anyway, I thought that Emily was pretty cute and figured today was a good time to share her and the project built around her.

For a behind the scenes for the making of…check out:

The Making of Emily’s Oz

#2 TED Talk On Why Disability Does Not Equal Inspiration

I immediately heard the term this Australian comedian used, “Disability Porn” and I was drawn in, but not for what it might seem like.

🙂

All icky jokes aside, she makes some excellent points in her talk, of which I highly recommend.

Disability Porn – Definition: The objectification of one group of people (living with a disability) for the benefit of another group of people

She believes that having a disability does not make someone exceptional, but questioning what we’ve been taught to believe about disability does.

I couldn’t agree with this more.

I have grown very uncomfortable of late with the idea of being seen as overly inspiring by others.

I know. I know. This probably makes me come off as a bit self deprecating and the rest. I don’t mean to seem like I am being bashful or unwilling to accept praise when given it. I have been called inspirational before.

I just wish, sometimes, it was not all because people are so amazed I can function at any sustainable level. Yes, I can brush my own teeth, hair, dress myself, and cook a meal. Shock of shocks.

Just because someone can’t themselves imagine how they would do these things if they could not see, does not mean I should be praised for something I am saying I have no problem doing. If I say it I mean it.

Stella says in her talk that someone wanted to present her with an achievement award as a teenager, but her parents turned it down because, in their eyes, their daughter hadn’t done all that much to deserve special attention and praise.

This could be seen as mean-spirited or unfair, but I “admire” her parents for taking a stand, when they showed others that they didn’t really think of their daughter having done anything all that spectacular.

Others might not have taken such a stance, but I applaud them for not singling her out. We hear the word inspiring and that automatically must be a positive thing, right?

I may be called ungrateful or a jerk for seeming to push away a well-meaning compliment, but just think about what Stella and myself are proposing.

It isn’t our job as people, who just so happen to be living lives others can hardly fathom, to be here solely to inspire.

I myself have been guilty of it: of saying I must be grateful when looking at someone who has it worse off than me because it could always be worse.

How do you or I think that makes that other person feel to hear that? Oh, so they think we’re inspirational or they are just glad they aren’t us.

This speaker, unfortunately, has passed away now, but this awesome and cut-to-thecore TED talk made me think and it was just the sort of radical idea I guess I had been looking for myself, although I just couldn’t vocalize it in the way she did.

RIP Stella

#3
DRUMSTICK FOR A BLIND MAN, PLEASE!!!

One thing I like least is hypocrisy, but I am as guilty as the next person of exhibiting it.

As I grow older, I suppose, I become more and more uncomfortable with things like my number three today.

I even recently answered a question for this very challenge about the

Blind Bonus

sometimes given to myself and others.

When I was sixteen I got a trip to California from an organization who awards wishes and dream trips to young people with disabilities. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything now, but as I look back I feel a strange discomfort.

A blind man holds up a sign, like they would have done hundreds of years ago, as beggars on a street corner. This feels wrong to me.

Don’t get me wrong…Dave Grohl was a stand-up dude for fulfilling the guy’s request, my own blind brother received a pair of drumsticks from R.E.M. once, but I just wish we didn’t have to use such a thing to get attention and gifts.

I make jokes and I share this story because it really was a nice thing to do and supposedly the Foo Fighter’s front man is known for granting such favours; there’s nothing wrong with giving a dying cancer patient something they greatly long for. I don’t mean to take it all so seriously.

Take what we can get, is the “blind bonus” motto, but I honestly don’t think, as an adult, I would want to hold up any sign.

#4 Would You Rather?

I recently came across a Facebook status on an author’s page. The game of “Would You Rather?” is played often on such FB pages.

This time the question was:

Would you rather…be unable to speak or be unable to see?

I generally do not like these kinds of questions. I have often thought would I rather be blind or deaf…and I guess that’s a question for another day’s post.

😉

I wasn’t so bothered by the question, in this case however, as I was to read the responses and to see that nine out of ten people said they would rather be unable to speak than see.

It just sort of shocked and saddened me to realize how much fear there is out there about losing one’s sight. I thought, to be unable to communicate one’s thoughts, feelings, and needs through words might be more of a concern to those answering.

A common response I saw was: “I could still write down what I wanted to say. At least if I couldn’t speak I could still read. I need to be able to read books.”

Coming from those on an author’s FB page I wasn’t so surprised to hear that, but I did reply with the solution that I assumed might be more well-known. There is always the technology to read without sight. Audio books are becoming more and more common. These things don’t immediately occur to most people and I get that.

I just know that people take for granted being able to relay to someone else what they want. I know of people who can not do this and I have seen how hard that is, for everyone involved.

The fear of blindness is just so common and I am left feeling like the monster everyone is afraid of. I realize it is the blindness not the person they are referring to, but here I share my biggest fears with disability. That is what this challenge is all about.

I will tackle the question of how I feel about my own blindness and whether I would choose to see if I could, in a few weeks time here.

#5 Disability Confident: Rethinking Disabilities

“Would you like to have higher employee retention, lower absenteeism, greater innovation, and profitability? It’s possible…if you change your thinking.”

Who wouldn’t want this, right?

🙂

This was the pitch by the Ontario Disability Employment Network to attract businesses to attend their one-day conference on the benefits of hiring people with disabilities.

At the start of February I was watching a program on my local television channel here in Ontario:

TVO.org – Creating a Barrier Free Ontario – On The Agenda with Steve Paikin

On their nightly program they focused on a conference being held the day after my birthday, at a hotel in Toronto, and I immediately perked up. It definitely sounded like something I would like to attend.

Ontario Disability Employment Network (ODEN) – Rethinking Disabilities Conference, Toronto

It goes on to say the benefits already found are that companies who hire those with disabilities are found to:

**revolutionize their workforces and delivering bottom line results.

And at the conference attendees would be:

**Learning how to leverage the latest in progressive employment practices to put your organization at the forefront of a new movement.

**You’ll hear from business leaders from across North America who have embraced this new approach to hiring and are now disability confident.

**Build your knowledge and learn about a whole new way to create an inclusive workplace and gain a strong competitive advantage through improved culture, loyalty and employee innovation.

Disability confident…hmmm.

I was intrigued to listen to the program and maybe even attend the conference. I knew it was for employers more than myself, and was happy to hear about the fact that these conferences were happening, but maybe if I were there I could represent more of those who are in need of the chances to prove our skills and worth.

I didn’t want to look at it like that.

I guess though everyone must prove their worth and skill to an employer and I have always wanted equal treatment and consideration.

The term “disability confident” was an interesting one to me, but I couldn’t quite figure out why.

I looked into the specifics of attending and emailed someone in charge. I received a reply very quickly, which was most appreciated.

It looked like they were happy to have me there, if I were willing to pay the price of admission.

I suppose businesses are able to afford hundreds of dollars for a one-day conference which might help them achieve everything I listed above, but I certainly could not afford it. I was not one of the people on Steve Paikin’s program: a lawyer or a politician. I was on fixed government income and assistance and one of those hoping to get off those one day.

This is not to complain because they gave me a discount, but unfortunately it was still more than I could spend, even on a worthy cause.

It was too last minute and they informed me:

Hi Kerry,

So sorry I didn’t respond to your email sooner. I was out of town at the end of the week and it slipped by me while I was trying to catch up.

Unfortunately there’s not much else I can do this time. Typically we try to keep 2 or 3 complementary passes for situations like this but we are running very close to the wire and may even lose money on this particular event. As a not-for-profit without any financial resources, we just can’t afford to do that. Our food costs for the day are running almost $200 alone, plus there’s all the other expenses.

I hope you understand our situation and perhaps we can accommodate you at a future event.

Thanks,

Joe

—–Original Message—–
From: Kerry Kijewski [mailto:kkherheadache@gmail.com]
Sent: February-05-15 9:35 AM
To: Joe Dale
Subject: Re: Inquiry

Hello Again,

Thank you again for looking into this for me and for offering me the discount.

Unfortunately I am unable to come, due to the cost.

This is really a shame because I saw the program on TV the other night and I am very passionate on the subject of it and this conference.

It’s unfortunate, again, because I am not one of the lucky and hardworking few, like on that program the other night, with a well paying career. I am one of the majority of people with disabilities who hasn’t had so much luck finding jobs and thus I am on government assistance and am unable to afford this conference.

I just figured that it might be a positive thing for me to be there, as I am one of those for whom the speakers are going to be speaking about.. I am not happy with the current situation and would love to see improvements on employment opportunities for myself and others with visual impairments.

I am saying this just to explain why I seemed so interested in attending your conference and why I now have to decline.

Is there any other conferences or public forums you could recommend that I could afford, that are about these issues?

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,
Kerry Kijewski

I included the above email exchange to show that I did my best to inquire and explain my situation and they seemed to do their best to accommodate, however it was not enough and did not work out in the end.

“Join the movement that is changing the face of Canadian businesses and building a powerful new economy.”

http://www.crwdp.ca/en/rdc

I hope to find a conference of some kind, relating to these issues most important to me, sometime in the future. I would like to get involved somehow and am passionate on these issues and thought this would be a good topic to end with for this week’s free posting.

***

Hope you enjoyed my Free Five today. I borrowed the framework and idea from something new I am trying and of which I started a few weeks back, with the following:

In The News and On My Mind: #1000Speak Edition

I hope to continue, on Wednesdays mostly, but have already veered from the plan I had for it when I posted it.

🙂

I don’t know what the future of Redefining Disability is, as these things rarely go as planned when the bloggers who come up with them start out. Like #1000Speak, this one took off and Rose of

http://rosebfischer.com

had no clue anyone would even want to take part in the beginning.

I will go on because I like devoting my Memoir Monday to this topic and because Rose came up with a set of questions such as this one:

What would you tell someone who has recently been diagnosed with your disabilities or disabilities that you are familiar with?

I will answer that one in one week’s time.

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Blogging, Kerry's Causes, Special Occasions, Spotlight Sunday

International Women’s Day 2015: Making It Happen

GET ON YOUR FEET (Make It Happen) – Gloria Estefan on YouTube

“One day’s commemoration, no matter how special, is not enough. We know the march is not over. We know the race is not yet run.”
—Barack Obama

The above quote is from the president’s speech at the 50th anniversary of the march at Selma, Alabama, that took place this weekend and which was a defining moment for civil rights in the US all those years ago.

However, as much of what was said was directed to racial equality in America, much of what he said I thought applied very well to all such pushes for equality, to be found anywhere.

This is why I included it here for my March 8th post on

International Women’s Day.

The biggest things I am hearing today, not unlike any time feminism of any kind is discussed, are as follows:

**Both men and women like to ask why we need a day to talk about or celebrate women? Shouldn’t women be celebrated every day of the year? What good does singling girls and women out on just one day out of the year do?

I ask these questions too. I hear the same basic question asked about Black History Month, for example. I wonder it every time a day is set aside to focus on anything disability related. I wish I wasn’t scooped up, as far as my blindness goes, into one day.

The day is only a brief twenty-four hours long and then it is back to the status quo. A lot of the rest of the time I feel ignored and misrepresented all the others.

In my more negative moments I ask myself what any of these days actually accomplish.

Is it those who are the first to call out feminism of any kind as a movement for separation and blame that is the problem? Do certain people not want equal rights for women talked about because that might actually make a difference for change in the future? Why does that threaten so many, so very much?

Why should we be ashamed and made to feel like we, men or women, are either bragging, or whining, or making too much of the issue?

**This day is being turned into a silly day of fluff and commercialized and that it should be just about the serious.

Of course a lot of what is talked about is serious stuff. It is an international problem that we need to work on together, internationally. It shouldn’t be taken lightly or for granted, that we even have this day be what it now is.

More than twenty years ago there was nothing like it to celebrate, not like we have it now. That is not so long ago still.

Right now I am reading a lot about women traveling safely because I am hoping to travel more myself. I have both that and the fact of my disability to contend with when traveling and this is not a small thing.

Again, I feel like I am being silly or making more of it than I really should. Why do I feel like that?

I am about to watch the highly controversial documentary about the brutal gang rape and death of a woman on a bus in India.

I will be writing about my thoughts on the documentary this week, once I’ve seen for myself how the matter was dealt with in the film.

I have said it before, but it bears repeating.

I am lucky to have been born where I was and living where I do. Canada is not somewhere I feel unsafe on a daily basis. I know a big part of that is how I was raised and the blessings I have had, although things aren’t always perfect, but I want to help speak out here because I have the right to do that and am not being persecuted or censored like so many.

Girls need a fair chance at living without violence, receiving the same educational opportunities as boys, and of course equal pay for equal work is a big topic in the news.

I don’t want to hide and bury my head in the sand about any of these issues and, although I am unsure about hearing more on the crime that was perpetrated in India on this documentary, I believe we need to hear about it and to use any day that we can to talk openly about what we all deserve for our world.

I have a niece who deserves to be treated equally. I want that for her future.

I also have nephews who will hopefully grow up in a more accepting world and I know they will learn that women should be valued and appreciated. I know this because I know what amazing and capable parents they have, but not all children are so lucky.

As long as we allow ourselves to feel silly or overly sensitive, all stereotypes and negative treatments will continue to be permitted all over the world.

I want to recognize some truly wonderful women that I know, on this day:

My mother is at the top of the list. She is strong and wise and she always knows what’s best. Okay, so maybe that “mother’s know everything” line is a lot of pressure to put on anyone, but she handles it quite well.

🙂

I want to declare what amazing mothers my two sisters are. They are both quite new at the whole thing, five years or less of experience yet, but they have raised the sweetest and best children and they love with grace, bravery, and warmth.

I was able to take part in a blogging project centred around compassion, what we women are supposed to be pretty good at, and the ladies who first began 1000 Voices For Compassion are prime examples:

Reflections On 1000 Voices Speak For Compassion

I recently wrote a blog post where I mention several female bloggers and writers who kick ass at what they do. I wanted to include them again,

Kind and Generous

I have written a good number of posts over the past year, highlighting women doing spectacular things, of whom I admire:

He For She and Equality,

Bigger Than Sheezus,

Lucky Ones,

and

Up We Go.

These are some perfect examples of why I do not only wait for one day a year to bring attention to the incredible women to be found everywhere. I have my blog for just this very reason and I will continue to write about as many as I possibly can, right here.

Just as parenting bloggers come together to find strength and support in the words of one another, I have done this with so many brave female bloggers and that is why they deserve to be mentioned here and on this day.

Whatever the issue may be: equal rights, empathy in love in relationships, or whatever it may be I think we feel better when we speak up and really listen to each other.

The silences must be broken like the bursting of a dam.

For additional info on IWD:

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/happy-international-womens-day-google-doodle-celebrates-female-achievement-across-the-globe-10093489.html

http://proof.nationalgeographic.com/2015/03/06/portraits-of-strength-seven-extraordinary-women/

http://canadacouncil.ca/council/blog/2015/03/internationalwomensdayletscelebratetodaysstrengthsandtomorrowsaspirations

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