There is perhaps no conversation more difficult to have than the one where a single woman must say to her parents or her lover that she is unexpectedly pregnant.
Pandora’s Box held Hope, as well as Hate and Envy. If we hope to resolve issues that foster feelings as strong as hate and envy, we must start by honestly stating our beliefs.
Can you imagine what it would mean if no woman ever had to have that conversation?
There is no one single answer to the problem of unplanned pregnancy that will ever fit every woman and every situation. Our current public conversation, with its polarized positions, is never going to lead to any answers other than the situations we have now: unplanned pregnancies, forced marriages that rarely last a lifetime, single mothers raising children, and abortions.
This issue, like every other issue, is based far more on beliefs than on facts. What bothers me is that neither side states its true beliefs in the public conversation on this polarizing issue.
A more truthful conversation might frame up the two sides as the Right to Punish vs. the Right for a Woman to Enjoy Sex. Continue reading
What if we viewed all of life’s hardships as natural, and took it as normal that our struggles with them should be tackled in full view of and with open support from our friends, family, neighbors and co-workers?
Just as a sail is too heavy to hoist alone, grief is too heavy to bear alone.
I got to thinking about this after I heard Alix Spiegel on NPR report on how differently Japanese and Americans tackle classroom education. In America, the brightest student is held up for peer praise and respect, while the one struggling to learn is left alone, nearly shamed and shunned. In Japan, the student who is having the most difficulty is brought before the class and learns in front of his peers, with their encouragement. They all share in the student’s accomplishment of conquering the difficult lesson. Struggling to learn is seen as a natural part of the journey to become educated.
I am struck by two facts. One is the open acceptance of the struggle. The teacher and peers openly give their support and it is openly received by the student. The other is the recognition that learning is a journey and eventual success is expected and perhaps inevitable. Continue reading
Tomorrow is Veterans Day, the day we honor all armed service veterans and celebrate the signing of the armistice that ended World War I. In a way, it’s a day to celebrate living in courage. I’m convinced that if
Courage exists in many forms and can be found anywhere.
you have never served in the military, you can not fully know the courage it takes to go into battle and to fight. To live inside a war and knowingly put yourself in harm’s way. To risk being maimed. To kill or be killed. Continue reading