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As I see the violence and injustices to women and all humankind throughout the world I am reminded of the words of Archbishop Desmond TUTU of South Africa:

"Differences are not intended to separate, to alienate. We are different precisely in order to realize our need of one another"


Mukut's picture


Differences are for us to realize that we may have our own unique vision, but our goal should be the same-end war against mankind.

Much love,

Mukut Ray

Wendyiscalm's picture

You are right

I appreciate your comment and you are absolutely right. As an older person I had to spend many of my years learning an important lesson. At least this is what for me is my truth. I always thought I knew what was right and wrong. And often could not see why the other person(s) didn't "get" it. Life decided it was going to teach my the lesson. How it happened wasn't pretty. It was by having SO many things go wrong even though I was right.
It took me years to learn the lesson but I did. Here was the lesson for me at least:

It is much much easier to work towards the same goal when I have taken the time to really really understand where the other person is coming from on the inside. This takes time. Without this there is not sustainable change. In order for a person to give up one way of thinking or acting, the new action or way of thinking has to have equal or greater value to that person or they will not permanently change. With that in mind, instead of going into Livingstone, Zambia a third world country at the time and making changes "American" style I decided to quietly do a 4 year study, to get behind the eyeballs of the natives, to understand their traditions and cultures. To see what matters to them and why, not what I "knew" was better for them. After 4 years my eye view and the possibilities were quite different. For example, if I had gone into that town/country to teach assertiveness to women I probably would have caused anarchy. Why? Here is an example: After 4 years of my going there several times a year, a female manager at the hotel one day in a whisper shared the following: "The reason you white people and other foreigners don't see any progress with us is because you don't know the traditions we keep hidden from you. Some we share. But we have many hidden ones."

She proceeded to tell me one: "The gizzard is the sweetest and best part of a chicken. If a wife cooks a chicken for her husband's meal and she takes even one little piece of the gizzard, just a crumb even, he beats her badly. That is the tradition".

To me that put a whole new spin on how to get women to be assertive. A few minutes later a waitress came over and whispered softly as her eyes darted around "My husband and I share the gizzard". She was proud of this but was obviously scared to be sharing it.

I definitely believe women must rise up. But most of whole life has been one of trying to do it in a manner that creates more harmony and less trauma for everyone. Unfortunately, when my children were little I was not like this and I could only see a right way and that was my way. I have paid the price since for that thinking. I am sure others have more effective ways to do this, but for me, my personality and my fear factor, I do best by really researching and understanding the other person so I can find a way for them to change that makes them think it is their idea, that does not diminish their dignitiy and that they will gain more from doing it than from not doing it. Sometimes, I have to ask myself the question "Do I want to be right or do I want to get the job done?"

I love that you are raising this question and that you are so passionate about it.

Thank you.

Ubuntu (I am who I am because of who we are together),


Wendy Stebbins
I AM ONE IN A MILLION Non-Profit Organization focused on helping street orphans and vulnerable children in Livingstone, Zambia Africa.

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