I withdrew myself from commenting and posting on Facebook for the last couple of months, as I had to attend to other matters and had the feeling I started to have to keep repeating myself, atrocity after atrocity. I felt I reached a limit to how much one can point out the hypocrisy and ignorance behind all the injustice and hatred every day.
But after last week, when more than 1.100 men, women and children drowned to death in the Mediterranean Sea as they tried to reach a continent that didn’t want them and put everything in its place to keep them away, to keep them from leaving the hell the rulers of this continent has helped create in the rest of the world, and as I read the responses and the utter lack of sympathy, something snapped in me. Especially because my own grandparents came to this continent once by boat, as they were unrooted from their own homeland, but had the fortune to arrive here safely.
I had been staring at this picture for hours, but couldn’t find the words yesterday, until I read these somewhere else this morning: This is her. One of those looking for fortune. Stepped on a boat to steal all our wealth. To take away the care our dementing elderly need. To cause unrest in our society. That’s what these refugees do. Looking for their fortune. Pulling us into their misery.
Look at her. Maybe she was planning an attack. Because that’s what those people from those countries supposedly are like. Muslim, so terrorist.
Look at her. And realize that this is about human beings. Not about statistics. Human beings. With dreams and fears. With the will to pursue happiness.
A couple of hours before she was probably sitting in her mother’s lap. A mother that probably told her that everything was going to be alright. That she wouldn’t have to worry. That a better world was waiting for her. That somewhere there were people who would help. Because the world isn’t just war and misery. Because there were countries where people have it so good that they could share and allow others a little bit of their happiness.
Look at her floating. In her pink dress. Maybe her favorite one. And realize that her mother was wrong. A painful realization. But because of it not less true.
I never felt so ashamed of Europe. For all those complete idiots with their infantile, narrow-minded and onesided notions don’t even have the decency to let go of their xenophobe little world. To show a little respect for this big drama.
Shame on you.
Consider: if every rapist commits an average of ten rapes (a horrifying number, isn’t it?) then the concentration of rapists in the population is still a little over one in sixty.
Originally posted on Shapely Prose:
Phaedra Starling is the pen name of a romance novelist and licensed private investigator living in small New York City apartment with two large dogs. She practices Brazilian jiu-jitsu and makes world-class apricot muffins.
Gentlemen. Thank you for reading.
Let me start out by assuring you that I understand you are a good sort of person. You are kind to children and animals. You respect the elderly. You donate to charity. You tell jokes without laughing at your own punchlines. You respect women. You like women. In fact, you would really like to have a mutually respectful and loving sexual relationship with a woman. Unfortunately, you don’t yet know that woman—she isn’t working with you, nor have you been introduced through mutual friends or drawn to the same activities. So you must look further afield to encounter her.
So far, so good. Miss LonelyHearts, your humble instructor, approves. Human connection…
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I think you’re pretty brave to live by yourself. We just have to work on making you happy again. I have my difficult days too. But we can’t stop trying to live life. Look how good it felt these last couple days. I didn’t expect it either. But that’s the whole point. You never know what’s coming around the next corner. I promise things will get better…
I’ve been here before, this bankrupt, this broken and still struggling with the changing part but I’m a better person DESPITE of my struggles.
I’ve also learned that you can’t expect or need validation from ANYONE for the things you’ve done and the things you’ve accomplished. As for the nay sayers in your life, fuck em. You will always be TOO this or TOO that to someone. Know yourself and know your worth, strive to be better than you were yesterday…little things DO matter. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. You don’t need to scale a mountain in a day. Step by step you will make it to the peak and it will be great.
Do things with love and patience. Enjoy your journey. Learn from it. Take something away from each day you’re here and apply it to your life so you can keep growing. Love yourself first and foremost. Before your kids, before your spouse, before anyone…YOU come first. You can’t do anything for anyone until you’ve done for yourself. Be selfish, it’s ok. Be happy, you deserve it.
“I AM MY RESCUE. NO ONE ELSE IS MY RESCUE. I AM MY RESCUE”
Hope Lisa Nichols words touch at least one of you today. She has an amazing story.
If he hadn’t been assassinated in Memphis in 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. might have lived to be 86 this year. And despite the victories of the movement King led, the issues of justice and peace he fought for are still with us. Apart from watching the film Selma—which as Tina Fey joked “is about the American civil rights movement that totally worked and now everything’s fine”—what are some concrete ways to talk with kids about King and his legacy, not just on Martin Luther King Day, but in ongoing conversations?
Clayborne Carson, founding director of the King Institute, professor of history at Stanford University, and author of Martin’s Dream, suggests parents look at King’s childhood. The civil rights leader clearly describes the injustice he suffered in his autobiography: “For a long, long time I could not go swimming, until there was Negro YMCA. A Negro child in Atlanta could not go to any public park. I could not go to the so-called white schools. In many of the stores downtown, I couldn’t go to a lunch counter to buy a hamburger or a cup of coffee. … I remember seeing the Klan actually beat a Negro. I had passed spots where Negroes had been savagely lynched. All these things did something to my growing personality.”
Read more at TIME