Jenny’s Click

If I let myself I could write an entire blog post introducing Jenny and her story.  We first connected on Twitter maybe 6 months ago.  Because of something I wrote she decided to become a vegetarian and sent me an email to let me know.  For months most of our conversations took place in tweets but lately we have connected at a deeper level.  Jenny is positive, loving, and inspirational.  I am honored to call her a friend and spiritual companion.  The following is something she wrote after gazing at the night sky from her home in Las Vegas.  You can follow her on Twitter here and read her blog here.

Strangers in Flight

Where are you going to? What are you running from?
Are you coming to Vegas for that crazy Bachelorette party where life long secrets will be made?
Are you coming back to the city from a weekend back East in the gorgeous mountains?
Are you traveling to see your Mother for the last time? Are you missing your Mother who passed years ago?
Are you the honeymooners dozing quietly in the back row knowing you’ve finally found true love?
Are you the guy in the bathroom line coming back from a weekend affair watching that couple wondering how you and your wife drifted so far away from that place?
Are you lost in peaceful dreams?
Are you buying more games on Family Feud?
Are you typing up your first draft of a long overdue amends letter?
Did you just spend your Mother’s Day weekend saying goodbye to a dying loved one?
Are you wishing that crying baby would just stop wailing?
Are you the lonely Mom that would give anything to have her baby back after they were ripped from your life last year due to an illness?
Are you having another over priced drink wondering if that drink is having you?
Are you holding your sleeping toddler praying the plane will stay in the air for their sake?
Are you putting together last minute details to a kick-ass presentation that your career depends on?
Are you a teenager dreading that you have to spend part of the summer with your grandparents?
Are you a soldier heading off to war? Are you the hero returning for a two week reprieve?
Where are you going to? What are you running from?

As I lay in my ultra cozy, warm bed while my 5 year old sleeps soundly next to me without a care in the world, I watch your flight from my bedroom window. I wonder these things and more about each person on your plane, especially you.

I send up a prayer for all of you, to be able to find perspective in your trials, to find the serenity that has been bestowed upon me. I lay here in the dark watching the night sky for the next plane so I can do it all over again.

I smile and it clicks. It clicks with each blink of the planes lights. Everyone has a story. Everyone is fighting some kind of personal battle, no matter if it’s self inflicted or the cause and effect of life itself.

The Click – be kind to everyone more than you want to as we are all connected somehow. We are all here for a purpose, even if it’s just to learn kindness and tolerance for others, for yourself.

It’s about time.

Disrespect

I commented in reply to someone on my blog post “Opt Out.”  I immediately deleted it because I just didn’t want to offend my friend and I was afraid she might read my comment the wrong way.  But one thing I wrote in it led to this post.  I wrote about respect and how what people really hope for is that others will respect them.  I said that when we are disrespected it hurts us at a deep level and we carry those wounds with us always.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote the blog post “Wounds” and mentioned that I had a couple of experiences in junior high school that are emotional wounds I carry with me.  I said I would share one of them with you eventually and the other I would probably not share.  Well, in light of my thoughts on respect, I’ve decided to share the story I had not planned to.

When I was in 7th grade we had assigned seats on the bus.  I was seated next to an 8th grade boy that I had crossed paths with for years.  He was a pee-wee football player and I was a pee-wee cheerleader.  He had been my escort in 5th grade when I won homecoming queen.  He was safe…or so I thought.  Almost immediately when we shared a seat he started touching me.  He would pinch my chest (I had just started to develop) and try to put his hands between my legs.  I don’t remember how long it went on,  probably a week or maybe two.  Getting on the bus during that time was terrifying and I spent the duration of those rides telling him to stop and forcing his hands off of me. Eventually I told my parents what was going on.  They agreed to help (of course) but before they had the opportunity, I helped myself.  One day I climbed onto the bus and approached our seat.  I was wearing a dress.  He reached over and lifted my dress.  That was it.  It was one thing if he was going to molest me privately, but to lift my dress and mortify me for an audience was not acceptable.  I lost it and fought back.  He never touched me again.

The reason I am sharing this story is because it is about respect.  When we teach our children that they do not have to listen and respect other people, we are planting seeds for this kind of behavior.  Our children are always watching us and listening.  Despite your deep seated beliefs about the roles of men, women, children, people of color, and sexual preferences, it is so important that we realize at our core we are all human beings and we all deserve and HOPE FOR respect.  If we can root ourselves in the commonalities we will teach our children about respect.  Rape and sexual assault have been common occurances for years and years and stem from a belief that women are less than men.  This belief was passed on from generation to generation, not only through words but through the actions of the adults.  I hope that we can break this cycle for the generation of children we are raising.