Ending Gender Violence - A Perspective of Hope
One day my daughter came home after leaving an abusive relationship. She said to me, "Mom, all he had to do was be nice. Why was that so hard?" That does seem to be the bottom line.
Dynamically speaking there is very little difference between Tyrants and Terrorists. Tyrants have a personal agenda against their families and terrorists have a public agenda against just about everybody. Both are everywhere and they just can't seem to be :"nice" especially to the people who are willingly to love them and care for them. Why?
"Oh," I hear you say, "My father and his father and his father before him all say that women are less important than we are. My Society of men all say that women are not as good as we are. My Religion says men are to rule the women and the women are to be submissive and separate from us. I can even beat her if she doesn't behave the way I want her to behave."
Did it ever occur to you that maybe - just maybe - all these people were lying to you? It is bad enough when people lie to us and it is worse when we believe it.
"It's the way we live and have always lived. What could be the lie?" you argue defensively.
The lie is FEAR. The lie is that we have to live in fear and promote fear.
"I'm not afraid of anything. What is the fear?" you demand.
All fear boils down to this: each human being, male and female, wants to be loved and to love unconditionally. Yet love is what we are most afraid of so we are taught as young boys to beat it, kick, punch it, deform it and kill it. When we act like that, no one really ever wants to be around us. Did you ever notice that? In fact, we are doing nothing but creating our own personal, miserable demise in our head of fearful lies.
"But men are better than women!: you insist.
Men of Earth, tonight take a moment and look up at the night sky. All the twinkling lights we see are planets, stars, asteroids and many other objects floating around in a universe too large to imagine. This tiny planet Earth, that we keep trying to destroy, is just another of these things floating around in this massive universe that we are a part of. Earth is a tiny planet at best. Each of us on this planet is, in this big picture reality of things, no more important than the very tiniest grain of sand. How can any one of us possibly be so arrogantly ignorant as to think anyone of us is better than any other of us - man or woman? It's absurd!
So I asked myself: "What would happen if I chose to be "nice? What would happen if I chose to be a HERO to my family and community rather than a tyrant?" Of course, being a hero meant I had to learn to love myself and others from my heart and not my head. Well, this is a long and an admittedly frightening process of change for me. So to begin, I learned to "fake it until I make it."
I asked myself what would happen if I opened my arms and showed a bit of affection to my wife and kids? What would happen if I stepped aside from my selfish, self-centered self and I said things to my wife like, "I really do appreciate you." "I love you." and "How can I help you?" When I started being "nice" to them and empowering to them and others, people wanted to be around me. After a while, I actually found myself smiling and feeling happy and feeling good about myself. (There is a rumor that feeling good is not a bad thing.) I am happy for the first time in my life and so is my family.
There is an old Cherokee (Native American tribe) story that goes likes this:
One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a debate that goes on inside people. He said, "My son, the battle is between 2 "wolves" inside us all.
One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.
The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"
The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."
Which wolf inside you will you choose to feed?