Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mother of a Teen Mother

Learning that my teenage daughter was pregnant was very hard. It brought up so many issues, so many questions...so many insecurities.  I wondered if her choice to have sex and her choice to keep the baby was an indictment on my parenting. Where did i go wrong?

Ever since she was young, i brought my daughter everywhere with me. And where possible, i worked at every school she attended.  I wanted to be near. I loved so much sharing my life with her and her sharing her life with me.  No matter how busy my life was, no matter the demands placed on my time by work and study, i kept her close. I never wanted her to have the life of an absent parent...someone so busy helping the world or working that she/he wouldn't have time to nurture her/his own child.

Over the years, i watched her grow.  She dealt with loss and several large challenges at a young age. I did my best to help her work through them. And attempted to bring others into her life to offer love and support. She is such a wonderful child...and every year, every moment of her life i have loved and cherished. If there is such a thing as a blessing (i am not a religious person in any way), then she certainly is it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Moving Beyond Survival

What would a world that valued all life
look like?
There is no question that African women are resilient, strong, and have walked through the fire. We have birthed and rebirthed generation after generation of people, ideas, practices, habits, and so on. We have endured displacement, abuse, death, life and love in its many forms.

As hindsight is 20-20, we can say that survival is not enough to fundamentally change what is needed to bring a new world into being.  A world in which the lives of each person, each woman/man/child are valued in prinicple and practice.  While survival has permitted us to reproduce our population, it has not helped us to change the conditions of our existence such that we have charge of our lives, communities, societies, and nations. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Olivia's Turning Point: A Fable

The photo is of the Ancient Egyptian principle/goddess called Sekhmet. Sekhmet is a protector-warrior.

Olivia's Turning Point

Developing relationships was a challenge for Olivia.  She didn't fit in with the others in her peer group and often was alone reading, studying, contemplating the meaning of life, when she wasn't competing in sports. Sure, people liked to be around her, but she learned early on that much of it was tied to her appearance.  Olivia was easy on the eyes, so to speak. She fit a standard of beauty that drew attention from the old and the young, men and women, married and single.  At a young age she knew that there was something fundamentally wrong in reducing the totality of a person to physical attributes.  Unlike her peers, who spent seemingly endless hours getting their hair and nails done, going to social gatherings, and the like, she found greater satisfaction in her studies - of history, life, material reality, science and philosophy.

At 23 she felt good about the path she was on.  Having just completed a Master's degree in architectural engineering, Olivia planned to switch gears to study philosophy.  She was finally ready to begin repairing her soul and saw philosophy as a move in that direction. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Purpose Lends Wings to the Traveller

Purpose lends wings to the traveler.  It offers guidance as one makes her journey through life.

When someone moves through life with a purpose, her time becomes all the more important and valuable; that is, how she spends her time and with whom she chooses to spend it.  Casual evenings out on the town do not sufficiently feed her soul.  Attending dinner parties over the houses of various acquaintances no longer has the meaning that it once had as purpose increasingly organizes her life.