Thank you, friends.
Because you took the time to read and share last week’s piece, We All Know Him was republished for the Huffington Post. We made the front page. The response was huge. Our dialogue about rape culture continues to expand and evolve.
I am so grateful.
This week, I’ve heard hundreds of unique perspectives about consent and accountability. It’s fantastic that so many people are taking action. Change is coming. People are talking. YOU are making this happen.
Thank you to every individual who reached out to share personal stories with me. You broke my heart, taught me things, and inspired me with your bravery. Your continued effort to understand these issues and spread awareness (both online and IRL) is making all the difference.
Last week’s discussion also attracted its fair share of angry readers who tried to shut it down. I appreciate them very much, because they merely further my point. Silencing victims of sexual assault has never made things better. Dodging uncomfortable facts with aimless arguing can only distract us from the issue at hand. For some, it’s sensible to approach difficult subjects head on, without ego or hatred. But for many, conflict is the easy way out.
These topics are difficult, no matter how we approach them. Between rape culture, violence, economic instability, the election, sexism, racism, unreliable media coverage, and an uncertain future…most of us are worried about something. We have too many burdens and not enough muscle to carry them by ourselves. Nobody changes the world alone. We need each other.
A lot of us (myself, included) would love to go about our business without having to think about these things. After all, we can’t feel responsible for things we don’t know, or don’t care about. Ignorance rests easy; it doesn’t care to know what the bills are, or who’s paying. Meanwhile, there’s someone in the other room, crying over a pile of receipts.
To be awake is to be responsible. Sometimes, it feels a lot like loneliness, overwhelm, anger, sadness. Worry.
A lot of you are pressing through these obstacles. You’re choosing to stay awake, even when it’s exhausting. I want to take a minute and thank you for that, because it’s hard.
It can be scary to listen, and risk being unheard or proven wrong. It’s more convenient to shut others down and minimize our own vulnerability. But as long as we’re fighting, nobody’s right. If we stop yelling and start talking, we’ll hear and be heard. Eventually, we’ll find some answers in common.
“Anything that gives light must endure burning.” – Ethan Hawke, Rules for a Knight
There are millions of people in the world who want to make it better. We each see the truth with different eyes, and I love that. It’s what makes life interesting. I just hope we can be honest and committed to understanding one another.
This might not always be easy. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve got a lot to learn. I created this blog to start over, and I’m proud of what we’ve built, together. Let’s keep growing!
Thanks to ratings-driven news networks, hate is pretty loud. But the ones who ultimately write history are the ones who win. I am in awe of everyone who connected with me this week. You’ve taught me so much in sharing your stories, hearing each other, and resolving conflict together. By having the courage to take action, to speak, and to listen… you are inspiring change.
The lighthouse stands alone. But by doing so, it saves lives. So if conflict has you feeling hopeless, stop swimming in it. Stand tall. Show them what it’s like to be awake. And if you feel alone, squint your eyes and watch. There’s another light in the distance, waving with the same intention.
It’s me. Hi. I love you.
We have a lot of growing to do, but humanity is alive and well. If Darkness is the absence of Light, our solution is to simply shine. As long as I’m writing, you’re reading, and we’re both sharing our stories…you and I are persevering. We’re facilitating understanding. We’re taking action. Moving forward.