Why I wore Black today

stoprapeThis morning I took this photo of myself in support of Black Friday.  If you know me at all you’ll know that

1. I hate photos of myself,

2. I avoid taking photos of myself (especially in mirrors)

3. I try to limit my outrage to a select few topics such as parents that don’t put safety belts on their kids in cars. Rage and anger takes up too much of my precious energy.

BUT

Every one of us knows someone(s) that has been touched by rape, abuse or violence.  We can choose how we respond to it. We can try to ignore the inconvenience and un-prettiness of it, or we can be outraged and angry and declare how utterly fucked this country is, or declare that we will donate money toward a good cause, or do nothing, nothing at all.

Or we can choose to make a small difference every day, a positive difference in someone’s life.

That is my choice, and I’m lucky enough to be able to do that every day at work and will continue to do so.  I’m also blessed enough to be surrounded by people that are making a difference in their own big or small way.

I chose to wear black today in solidarity with the people that I know and love (or don’t know that linger my social media streams) that have had their power taken away from them in any shape of form.

I chose to wear black today because I will teach my children about their own power and that it is never acceptable or excusable to have anyone touch you in any way that is not meant to display love through my actions and my words.

I chose to wear black today because rape, abuse and violence in not acceptable. EVER.

I chose to wear black today because I refuse to be silenced and I refuse to allow people to be silenced and not be able to speak up for themselves.

I chose to wear black today because too often the victims are forgotten.

I chose to wear black today because we should never, never, NEVER get sick of reading about violence, because if we do, we will never choose to make a positive difference.

What is your choice?

Hope

I was lucky enough to interview some amazing women this week that are applying for work.  Women that each overcame a serious set of personal challenges to be where they are today.

And they each want to pass on their determination to people in similar circumstances and live as beacons of hope.

I have interviewed many people over the years and I am probably a bit of a cynic, but these women really stood out for me.

This made me think of all the amazing women that I have known for many years or met either IRL (in real life) or online.  There are so many, so I will just briefly share some of their stories and link to them.  This is my small contribution to giving hope to anyone that might be reading this and going through something difficult at the moment.  These women are all very special and have each overcome their own set of circumstances.  They are fighters and survivors, because that what we need to do:  Fight and Survive.

My friend Camilla is a breast-cancer survivor.

My friend Tertia is a fellow infertility survivor, amongst other things.

My friends Candice and Caz have both lost babies (and so has Tertia)

My friend Sally has recently had her third baby and home-schools.

My friend Tracy recently started a support group for young Moms that have no support.

My online friend Hanlie is busy with an amazing self-discovery journey.

And last, but not least, my online friend Melanie is the brain behind the Twitter Blanket Drive, an amazing initiative.

At the Willowbridge Slow market today I came across this necklace and I simply HAD to have it.  This is my message of hope to you.  On the back of “hope” it says “love”, because what is the one without the other?

Hope you can read the message on the card!

If you want to contact the lovely lady that makes these beads you are welcome to email her on beaditforward@webafrica.org.za or contact Marieta Fichtner on +27 82 976 5885.