Can you be with it? Can you have that thing there, threatening as it might be, and just be? And observe? And do nothing? None of your buttons pushed, none of your usual anger, or whatever… just silence, just peace, just emergence?
It is the most evolved state. It looks similar to ignorance… like all of Germany ignoring, turning a blind eye to the genocide of undesirables, of which Jews were just one group. Homosexuals, gypsies, communists, intellectuals that didn’t cooperate…
Ignorance comes from not caring. Ignorance is an animal state. It is the ultimate “desire-for-the-self-alone” because if you didn’t see it you don’t have to do anything, you don’t have to feel anything, including fear, oneness, you can just continue being sheep.
And although it looks to the uninitiated like the same behavior, the ability to be with it, without having to do anything, needing to react, wanting to jump up and kill, being torn by shoulds, and ought tos… it is the highest state, the state of being in total harmony with oneself, the state where the next thing you do will be the perfect thing, that will make sure you are well, that will nurture your Soul, and allow your Ego to be OK with that.
Something like this I went through this morning. I received an email through Avaaz.org, a place where you can ask people to petition or to pledge for an issue that is important to you.
The email was about pledging to support legal action against governments, police, etc. in Africa, where every 30 minutes someone, mostly a child, is raped. 1
It would have been really easy for me to get all upset, hate all males, blah blah blah. Relive the incidents of my rapes… Or alternatively close the email and mind my own business.
Both would have come from an inability to be still in the presence of something that is highly emotional, that violates my sense of right, my sense of order, my sense of justice.
So, I was just sitting, unblinkingly staring inside myself, waiting for the RESPONSE to emerge, to well up, to express itself, not involving my mind, not involving my ego, not involving morality, looking good, or being righteous… or whatever normally gets involved.
It took about two minutes. I knew what I needed to do. I click on the link, donated my support and my 8 bucks, and I was done.
I did not pledge my life for the issue. I did not give up what I want to do with my life to support little African girls and get killed in the process. I can get killed in the process of doing MY WORK, thank you very much. And yet…
And yet, I took a stand, it took a total of 3 minutes, I didn’t turn a blind eye, I didn’t get upset, I didn’t create drama, I was being with what was uncomfortable to be with, and allowed my deepest Self to give me directions as to what to do.
This, the capacity to be WITH it… is directly connected to the capacity to have, the capacity to allow… the root capacity of becoming a Human Being.
So, what should YOU do now? Well, close your eyes, and breathe. Then read the whole email in the footnotes section of this article, and just stare in front of you, paying attention to the storm that will happen inside you. When the storm simmers down, you’ll know what to do.
Click on the link, or click away: I honor your choice, whatever it is. As long as it’s a choice, not a reaction.
- Dear friends,
Kaia* was eleven years old when she was assaulted and raped on the way to school. A teacher took her to the hospital, but the police demanded bribes for even taking down a statement.
So Kaia did something incredibly brave. She sued the police for failing to protect her. What’s even more incredible is what happened next.
In Kenya where Kaia lives, a woman or girl is raped every 30 minutes. Police there routinely turn a blind eye, further isolating terrified young survivors and reinforcing the notion that rape is ok.
Kaia and ten other young survivors challenged that. On the day of the case, ignoring threats to their safety and a blockade from court security, they marched from their shelter to the courthouse, chanting in Kiswahili for “I demand my rights.” And then the judge issued his ruling: The girls had won!
The amazing advocates and human rights lawyers that worked with Kaia are ready to bring similar lawsuits against police forces across Africa and beyond, but they need funding to do it. We won’t process pledges until we reach our goal, but if just 30,000 of us pledge a small amount now, we can repeat this game-changing victory in other countries, remind police that rape is a crime, and take a powerful step forward against the global war on women:
Click to pledge what you can — we’ll process your contribution only if we hit our goal of 30,000 donors:
YES, I’LL PLEDGE $2
YES, I’LL PLEDGE $8
When Kaia’s story began, she looked set to become just another of the countless victims of child rape ignored by the police. But Kenyan child rights advocate Mercy Chidi and Canadian human rights lawyer Fiona Sampson joined forces to challenge this injustice in the courts.
The plan was hatched in Kenya by a group of colleagues from Canada, Kenya, Malawi and Ghana — it seemed like a long shot to sue the police force for failing to act, but they stuck with it and took risks… and made legal history. The work has just begun: like any win, it takes time, effort and money to make sure the ruling sticks, and to use it as a springboard to wipe out violence against women.
If we raise enough, here’s how we could turn a huge victory for Kenya into a win for countries across Africa and even the rest of the world:
- help fund more cases like this, across Africa and around the world
- use hard-hitting campaign strategies to make sure these groundbreaking judgments are enforced
- push for massive, effective public education campaigns that strike at the root of sexual violence and help erase it for good
- respond to more campaign opportunities like this case — with super smart strategies that turn the tide in the war on women.
Click to pledge what you can to start this important work right away — we won’t process any contributions unless we hit our goal of 30,000 donors:
YES, I’LL PLEDGE $2
YES, I’LL PLEDGE $8
As citizens, we often appeal to political leaders and other officials to get serious about protecting women’s rights. It’s important to keep doing that, but when they fail to hear their consciences, we need to appeal to their interests, and take them to court. That sends a powerful message: not only that there are new consequences for their crimes, but that the era of unchallenged misogyny in the culture of our societies is coming to end.
Ricken, Maria Paz, Emma, Oli, Nick, Allison, Luca and the rest of the Avaaz team
* Kaia is a pseudonym, but her story is real. She is not pictured here.
PS – To pledge an amount other than the ones listed above, click here.
In Kenya, a Victory for girls and rights (The New York Times)
Canadians force Kenyan police to answer for â€˜inexcusably’ neglecting reports of sexual abuse against girls (National Post)
Chance meeting led to justice for rape victims (Toronto Star)
African women the worst off – report (iOl News)
Africa: Violence Against Women Is Epidemic (AllAfrica)
India’s Rape Crisis Undermines the Country (The Daily Beast)
Malawi country report (UNICEF)
Avaaz.org is a 29-million-person global campaign network that works to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people shape global decision-making. (“Avaaz” means “voice” or “song” in many languages.) Avaaz members live in every nation of the world; our team is spread across 18 countries on 6 continents and operates in 17 languages. Learn about some of Avaaz’s biggest campaigns here, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.