Archive for July, 2012


You are an Agent of Change

Who is an agent of change?

A boy?

A girl?

A man?

A woman?

Who has the ability to change themselves, change their household, change their neighborhood, change their community…or even…change the world?

A young lawyer, from a long line of lawyers, once changed himself and thereby changed the future of India forever. This young lawyers name was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

young clerk for the patent office who hated working, going to school, and being a responsible adult decided to often get lost in his thoughts. As he walked along the park, deep in thought, he came upon an idea that changed our view of the world forever. This young man’s name was Albert Einstein.

A young woman ran up and down her father’s field pointing at the “flying machines”. She decided that her role in the world was more than an accessory to a husband, instead she reinvented what her gender thought was possible for them. The young girl was Amelia Earhart.

A young man decided to backpack through Europe. He got deathly ill and was taken in by a nice young couple. They nursed him back to health and he continued on his way. He told the story of the kindness of this couple in the forgotten fields of Europe to everyone he knew, and when he reached 90 years old he told it to a radio show that was highlighting the kindness that people had experienced. The names of the couple and the man have been lost to time, but that kindness endures!

All of these people and so many more have been and are agents of change.

Known to the world or known to just one person, we can all be agents of change. We are the people who will change the world – it is our destiny.

So, who is an agent of change?

We stand at this moment in time and history, we will never be here again. No matter what, time will march on and this moment will be left to history just as all of the past. Change is the only constant in the world, therefore no matter what happens or what you do…you will change the world in some way.

The true question is:   How will you change it?

Will the change you bring about merely be more of the same we have come to expect from human-kind, a life of sedate existence not wanting to rock the boat and sitting safely in your cube waiting for the “better life” to come your way?

OR

Will the change you bring about create a better life, a better existence, and a better world for all people? Will the change you bring about be remembered for 80 years or more?

To quote the young lawyer, Be the change you want to see in the world!

 

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A woman shares her story to change the way people see abuse and the abused. The abused are not “those people”, they are not “that woman” or “that man”, they aren’t “she” or “them”. They are US!

The people who are abused at an alarming rate (1 in 3) are the person you stood behind at the grocery store check out counter, the woman who smiled at you on the corner, the man who said he was sorry when he bumped into you coming in the door, and the nasty person who yelled at you in traffic because they can’t let their emotions out at home.

Our neighbors, our community members, and US!

Speak up and work towards preventing this obviously awful disease that plagues our society. If you can’t think of doing anything….reblog the posts on opt4.wordpress.com.

We need REAL role models

I sat talking with some kids the other day and I asked them who their role models were.

Their answers were the obvious answers you’d expect from kids….sports stars, TV stars, and movie stars. Pretty standard.

I asked some high school students the same question, and I got the same types of answers with a few different ones: my dad, my mom, and a few friends of the family that they knew.

I split each group into gender and asked who would be a good role model for their gender.

For the children:

Girls: Disney TV stars and movie stars.

Boys: Sports stars (NFL, MLB mostly, wrestling)

For the high school students:

Girls: TV stars, and music stars, and also People doing what they wanted to do (I.e biologists, teachers, etc)

Boys: Sports stars, music stars, dad, and uncle

After this, I named some people who have done some great things: Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Senator Clinton, Lilly Leadbetter, Bill McKibben, Billie Holiday, Eleanor Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt, Abigail Adams, Tom Edison. Their faces went blank.

I showed them pictures of these people and there was som recognition…but not much.

I believe we need to start showing our children great people. Showing them what people are doing and what people have done. Are kids are inundated with TV, movie, and music stars. It’s all they see so it’s all they see as a role model.

Now is the time to start changing the role models by exposing kids to these role models.

There are kids changing the world right now….and most kids don’t even know them.

Abby Goldberg, a student from Grayslake, Ill., was working on an effort to ban single-use plastic bags in her community as part of a school project. After beginning to mobilize many in her community to support the effort, lobbyists with the plastics industry put pressure on statewide legislators to prevent local communities in Illinois from banning plastic bags.

This young lady is just one person who has done something.

We have to start showcasing and putting good role models in front of the students of today. Maybe then the students will see that there is more to life than riches, infidelity, violence, and excess.

Who are the people that are doing great things today?

Who are the kids doing great things today?

 

Meet Savanah Dietrich.

She was invited to go to a party.

She had a great time, drank way too much, fell asleep.

She dreamt of the great time she had and the stories she would tell of the great time she had.

She went to sleep a 17 year ld young lady with a future as wide as the big open sky ahead of her.

She woke up a sexual assault victim. 😦

She woke up to two boys (I will not call them young men…for only boys would act like this.) having finsdhed sexually assaulting her.

She woke up to pictures and videos of the assault being shared among people she knew. (They obviously show her asleep.)

She did the right thing (according to our justice system, and something very few sexual assault victims do) She reported the assault and the boys were picked up.

The case was tried, and because of their age, they get a light sentence.

She tweeted their names even though the courts told her she could not talk about the case because it involved minors, and if she did she would be held for 180 days.

I believe Savanah’s words are better than mine here:

“I’m not protecting anyone that made my life a living Hell”….”So many of my rights have been taken away by these boys,” “I’m at the point that if I have to go to jail for my rights, I will do it. If they really feel it’s necessary to throw me in jail for talking about what happened to me as opposed to throwing these boys in jail for what they did to me, then I don’t understand justice.” [Protecting rapists] is more important than getting justice for the victim!”

We are shocked at this.

We are outraged at this.

As a fellow preventionist said in response to this story:When did we start protecting the offenders?

Sadly….this is what we do.

We tell girls/women; protect yourself, watch out for men, have your keys in your hand, check the back seat and under your car, don’t help people or you could get attacked, watch your drink, don’t pass out unless you have a friend around, etc,etc, etc

We tell boys…Got get it! You know she wants it.  Oh, don’t hit girls.

Is it really so surprising these things happen. Look around.

We have the government trying to take away the rights of women and their right to choose what happens to their own body. There are state governments that won’t allow women to talk about their own body parts. Then there is talk about overturning roe VS wade and unfund planned parenthood.

We are living in a porn culture that is telling women don’t get raped and we’re telling men that every woman wants them. We make jokes like…”you can’t rape the willing”, and we have comedians like Daniel Tosh that thinks we shouldn’t take things so seriously and that rape jokes are just funny. Then when a woman stands up and says that’s not funny, he suggests that it would be hilarious if 5 men came and raped her right now.

The response to this from the entertainment community: Lighten up, it was just a joke. And all the comedians stood by him.

No doubt the boys who raped poor Savanah would stand behind him to.

And then….we find out that rape is more commo9n than smoking

So the next time you are walking down the street and you see someone smoking….just remember, 2-3 people just got raped.

What are you doing to stop this?

The scarier question….how are you promoting it?  The shows you watch, the stuff you buy, and the places you go and spend your money very well might be promoting just this sort of mentality.

Opt 4 ending sexual assault NOW!

Opt 4 ending sexual assault now!

 

 

Sit back.

Relax.

Allow me to tell you a story:   A person came up with an idea for a product. It wasn’t all that great of a product, in fact it had a lot of flaws. However, this person had backers and some money. They created commercials with women wearing barely anything draped all over the product. The put the product between the model’s boobs and posted these pictures everywhere…on the net, billboards, etc.  then they had very throaty-voiced women read copy writting about this product and aired it on every radio that would put it on.   The product was a success. When asked why they did their advertising like that, they simply said: Sex sells, and moved on to count their millions.

Is this a real story?  Yes, it is told, retold, and done, and redone every second in our world. We can watch this happen with everything from dusters, to vacuums, to cars, and beer. This si the way of our advertising and marketing.

We produce misogynistic sexist images catering to the most base instincts of human kind and connect it to an inanimate object. In fact, most of the time the inanimate object is treated better and seen as having more value than the living breathing women that are draped and displayed around in. In fact, often times the product is seen in its full splendor while the women (mothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandmothers, wives, girlfriends) are cut out of the picture so that only their body part is important…not the whole woman.

Is this ok?  NO!

Is this right? NO!

Why do we buy the product?  for when we buy this product we say that this is ok. When we purchase this “thing” we say that this “thing” is more important than the real living breathing person that is presented with it. We are ok’ing these actions.

here are a few examples of this:

Woman dead in car. Man dug hole for her. Advertising shoes.

 

A woman wrapped up beyond her will, bu7t look at that great car. Advertising car.

 

Only her butt is shown, and she is only an accessory to the full bottle that is shown.

These are not rare cases…women are cut up(pictorially or actually depending on the advertising) and used as accessories to all sorts of products.

This is not ok.

When you buy these things that are advertised this way…you accept this and tell them it’s not ok.

Start changing the world with your money.

Start voting with your cash.

If you take on this campaign and share it in all of your social networks what will happen…the numbers look like this:

You refuse to buy the $10 product. (You took $5 form the creator who agreed tot he advertisement)

You told 20 people. statistically, 4 people stopped buying the product. ($10 more from the creator)

You put this on facebook and 100 people see it. Statistically, 20 people stop buying the product. ($50 more from the creator.

This si where it gets cool…..Of the first 4….they have the ability to post it and may get close to $50 as well.

Of the 20 people, they post and talk as well….they have the ability to take over $100 from the creator.

In the grand scheme of things…just a few people boycotting, or as a popular website calls it girlcotting, they take $215 from the creator.

If everyone keeps talking, posts on their blogs, facebook, twitter, linke4d in, 4 square, etc, etc….and then thou$$ands go away.

Remember, the letters and boycotting of just 10 people have brought down shows, movies, and products.

We can do this too!   Go out and make a difference!

 

 

Dez Bryant, who plays “professional” football for the Dallas Cowboys since 2010 as a wide receiver has stepped over the line.

He tried to beat up his mom. According to his Mom(Angela Bryant’s):  I can’t keep letting him do this. I can’t keep letting him do me like this. I’m tired. I’m going to put an end to it today. I’m tired”

Please read the full article here.

Let’s stop here for a moment and look at this phrase his mother said on the 9-1-1 call.  “I can’t keep letting….”, “I can’t keep letting him….”, “I’m going to put an end to this…”. These are not phrases someone says after their son suddenly goes crazy. These are phrases someone says after having this done to them on multiple occasions. the word “keep” says that she has dealt with this time and time again, and now she is doing something about it. Her adult son needs to stop…NOW!

1) If a man is not respectful enough to stop hurting his mother, the woman who gave him life,  when she asks, what will he do to a woman who has no emotional ties to him?  what kind of power and control is running through his veins that tell him it is ok to hurt a woman as high ranking in a son’s life as his mother?  This is a problem waiting to happen.

2) What does the NFL corporations historically do with this type of situation. Nothing!   Now, keep in mind 3 things: 1. This was only on a Texas website, it’s not like this has been put on national news. According to most people, especially the news, this is just another domestic. If the perp in this case wasn’t a football star, we wouldn’t hear of it, and I probably wouldn’t be writing about it since I wouldn’t know anything about it.   2. In the past we have seen that the football viewers care more about the game, the playing of the game, and watching the game than they care about what the players do. Players have been resolved and stood behind when they have committed such atrocities as rape, stagetory rape, brutal beatings, fights, riots, and even blatant domestic violence. Each time these come up in the news, they are push aside as merely men that are stressed out (as if that resolves it for the victims). And what of the victims…they are usually paid very well to not press charges and shut their mouth, or they are buried in paperwork and negative publicity. The third is the rest of this blog…..

The National Football league and the teams that platy in it are money generators with owners and full management trees. In other words, they are corporations. When you’re dealing with a corporation you’re dealing with money. When you look at the money that is coming into the football organizations through ticket sales, concession sales, marketing, advertising, etc….you have to see that this is a money making industry. Each player has a price on their head, and every time that player steps onto the field they earn those corporations lots and lots of money.

So is Dez still playing…YES. Is he still receiving the fringe benefits? Of course. He is a football star and his is valuable, and what he does is not considered wrong.

Even though it is!

Opt 4 sending the NFL thousands of letters to end this type of senseless responsibility.

Opt 4 boycotting the NFL till their players are brought to justice!

Opt 4 stopping violence in our competitions.

Opt 4 making every player responsible for their actions, and if they mess up they do not represent the team.

Opt 4 football role models being real role models!

 

The idea of nonviolence is really quite simple….don’t use violence.  Done…Yeah! Problem solved!

The idea of stopping domestic violence is easy, stop hurting the people you love. Done…yeah! Problem solved.

So in order to do this we just tell people don’t be violent, they’ll listen of course, and we go home happy. The world lives in peace, and everything becomes better. Wash you hands and your job is done.

In order to end Domestic violence we just tell every person who is dating, don’t hurt the other person. they agree and promise to do it. Everyone loves the way they live and the world becomes a better place. Domestic violence stops right at that moment.

How easy this sounds…but it doesn’t work this way.  Why?  because the problem is actually baked into our national, cultural, and developmental existence.  See the 6 part series of what promotes violecne and gender inequality.

Peace and Nonviolence is the result…not the way.

The way to nonviolence is simple:

 

 

We must accept everyone for who they are right now, and understand that everything they know and do are from things they were taught.

We, no matter who you are, are socialized to be the people we are by those we grew up with and lived around.  Everything we have ever done in our life, there were others that reinforced the correctness of our actions. therefore, the person who stands in front of you is the creation of hundreds of minutes of acceptance and teaching.

That person, no matter who they are or what they are doing, are doing that because they have been created to do so.

When you accept someone for who they are, and then understand why they are that way……ONLY THEN.…can we begin the process of nonviolence and eventually peace.

An innovative professor, doctor, and author Leo Buscaglia stated that, when we can look past the person and see the humanness in them, we can find that we love all people no matter who they are or what they do.

Humanness is that part of them that is truly human, that part that is not created by a social norm or idea, that part that is not trying to prove something, that part that is truly human and looking for answers to those ever present questions: What is the meaning of my life? How can i be happy?  These are two questions that we must continually ask ourselves, and these questions are the ones we answer with every action of our lives.

At the moment of acceptance and understanding, we see the real person. When we see the real person…we do not see anything but a person looking to be happy and doing the best that they can to achieve that.

Then we may either show them a better way, educate them, or move allowing them to continue searching. if we all took this stand, we could decrease violence insurmountable!

That is how we can end violence and end domestic violence.  Educate all children to see everyone as a human being, as a person, as a person just the same as everyone else…looking for happiness.

Then we educate all children to see the world as a world of acceptance and understanding rather than a world of expectations and promises.

In the end, if a person sees a person’s human side and understands them, it makes sense they will treat them with kindness, respect, and strive to help the other person. For it is obvious, the more you try to help others, the more you help yourself.

 

REAL Manhood!

Being male is a matter of birth, being a man is a matter of age, but being a Gentleman is a matter of choice.

 

Listen to understand, then speak with love – Advice from a father to a son.

 

REAL men protect and nurture children…Because they do!

Real men wear pink. Because it’s just a color. Because it shows our support for Breast Cancer. Because we can, and we do!

 

A video posted by Engaging men in gender equality.  Please watch the whole thing…the 1st part is the wrong view…and by showing the wrong view…we find what real men are and are suppose to be.

Real men don’t hit women. Simply – BECAUSE THEY DONT! Anything else is not acceptable and it is up to every male and female to stand up to those who do!

Real men don’t rape…because they don’t. This is one of the most vile dispicable acts that can be done to a person or by a person, and it will not and can not be accepted. EVEN if you’re a comedian like Daniel Tosh. Boycott Danile Tosh, tosh.o for he sees Rape as funny!

A real man is not hard to define.  A real man is respectful, happy, kind, and helps others. A real man uses his strength to control himself and protect others.

BE A REAL MAN!

 

 

 

In march, I wrote about Lady Gaga’s “Born this way” Foundation.

Now I introduce some amazing things they are now doing.

Their entire mission, according to their website, is to:

Foster a more accepting society, where differences are embraced and individuality is celebrated. The Foundation is dedicated to creating a safe community that helps connect young people with the skills and opportunities they need to build a kinder, braver world.

We believe that everyone has the right to feel safe, to be empowered and to make a difference in the world. Together, we will move towards acceptance, bravery and love.

How amazing is that?  An entire group formed and ready to change the way people see people. I know i hear many of you yelling…Finally!!!!

To continue their mission they have created three pillars they are working on:

The coolest part is that YOU can do something to help this, and even lead this in your world, community, school, or center.

You have the ability to be part of the founding members to create the “Born Brave Nation”. By doing this, you then start creating change and develop your community into a world that is based on these pillars of change and acceptance.

What a great opportunity.

Not only that….if you go to office depot and buy any of the Born This Way foundation supplies, not only will you help out the foundation by 25% of your sales going to them…but you also have the ability to be a reptrestitive of the world you’re trying to create.

Opt 4 a world where there are more foundations just like this.

Opt 4 a world where we have no need for such foundations.

Opt 4 a world where we see the change we are making, and all embrace it.

 

 

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL MANDELA DAY

 

So what do you do on International Mandela Day?

It’s quite simple –  Mr Mandela gave 67 years of his life fighting for the rights of humanity. All we are asking is that everyone gives 67 minutes of their time, whether it’s supporting your chosen charity or serving your local community.

Mandela Day is a call to action for individuals – for people everywhere – to take responsibility for changing the world into a better place, one small step at a time, just as Mr Mandela did.

According to the website: The overarching objective of Mandela Day is to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better, and in doing so build a global movement for good. Ultimately it seeks to empower communities everywhere. “Take Action; Inspire Change; Make Every Day a Mandela Day.”

for those of you who don’t know who Nelson Mandela is, here is a quick comment of why we need to celebrate and embody this man as a hero and an agent of change:

 

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was born in Transkei, South Africa on July 18, 1918. resistance against the ruling National Party’s apartheid policies after 1948. On June 12, 1964, eight of the accused, including Mandela, were sentenced to life imprisonment. From 1964 to 1982, he was incarcerated at Robben Island Prison, off Cape Town; thereafter, he was at Pollsmoor Prison, nearby on the mainland.

Why was he jailed for all of those years…because he tried to make his country a better place. He wanted to end apartheid…..government mandated segregation and devaluing of Natural citizens, particularly the Black Africans.

A group of white people came in and decided to take over South Africa (if it wasn’t for Nelson Mandela and people like him they would have succeeded in taking over the entire continent). They instilled laws banning Blacks (natural africans) and begin a military rule that was racist and horrible.  Mandela worked to improve his people and his country as well as the rest of the world.

During his years in prison, Nelson Mandela’s reputation grew steadily. He was widely accepted as the most significant black leader in South Africa and became a potent symbol of resistance as the anti-apartheid movement gathered strength. He consistently refused to compromise his political position to obtain his freedom.

Nelson Mandela was released on February 11, 1990. After his release, he plunged himself wholeheartedly into his life’s work, striving to attain the goals he and others had set out almost four decades earlier. In 1991, at the first national conference of the ANC held inside South Africa after the organization had been banned in 1960, Mandela was elected President of the ANC while his lifelong friend and colleague, Oliver Tambo, became the organization’s National Chairperson.

Because of this, on this day and every July 18th, spend 67 minutes of your time making the world a better place.

Write calls to order on your facebook.

Write letters to end injustice.

Stand out in front of places that corrupt and destroy people with sign asking them to stop.

Do something, do anything to end the injustice and destruction of the world.

That is how and why we celebrate this great day.

 

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