Must read A Thousand Spendid Suns

I just read “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini (author of “The Kite Runner”). It gives a real picture of why women in Afghanistan have so few rights today. Although women were once politicians and academics, when the Taliban came in they essentially forced women into their homes. It helped me understand how fear (of torture or death) can completely control men and women. No one dares to question! It makes me so sad that husbands allow the abuse to continue and that their wives and daughters are prisoners who cannot to run away. And although this is fiction, the news tells me that this is still happening today.

Here is an excerpt from his novel: “If you steal your hand will be cut off at the wrist. If you steal again your foot will be cut off. If you are not Muslim, do not worship where you can be seen by Muslims. If you do, you will be beaten and imprisoned. If you are caught trying to convert a Muslim to your faith, you will be executed. Attention women: You will stay inside your homes at all times. It is not proper for women to wander aimlessly about the streets. If you go outside, you must be accompanied by a mahram, a male relative. If you are caught alone on the street you will be beaten and sent home. You will not under any circumstance, show your face. You will cover with a burqa when outside. If you do not, you will be severely beaten.” (page 278)

 

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Mindfulness is being amazed at everything

“Mediation for me is an amazement that whatever I am contemplating is there at all. How incredible that spring comes and the grass grows, or that a cup of coffee awaits me on a table, even that a table exists! Anne Bancroft.

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I am taking an art course by Suzanne Northcott

Yes, its true. I am dedicating three days to locate my artist inside. The best part is that it is in Whistler BC. Thanks to Whistler Arts Council who plans all these events.  Go to www.ArtsWhistler.com or call 604-935-8410 to find out more. Wish me luck!

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The unlived life is not worth examining

“As the philosopher Socrates once said, the unexamined life is not worth living. But the opposite is also true. the unlived life is not worth examining. Swami Beyonananada

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Please I beg you stop using Mrs and Miss

I just booked a flight with Air Canada with my daughters. When I got my e-tickets they called me Mrs. Fitzgerald (who does not exist) and referred to my teen daughters as Miss. This was all done automatically so now I have to phone back in and ask them to change all three to Ms. This NEVER happens to men and this is no small issue. Women are no longer possessions of their husbands. There is no reason why anyone needs to know if a I am married or not or whether my daughters are single. This language (that we all passively accept) blatantly promotes discrimination. That is why women fought long and hard to have the term “Ms.” introduced into the English language. It is time to get rid of Mrs. and Miss. once and for all and do what men do (with Mr.). Please I beg you, please email those businesses who refer to you as Mrs. or Miss. and ask them to stop it.

 

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How to create your own manifesto

I think everyone should have a manifesto or a call to action. Here is how to do it (based on my book Mission Possible) and the article below. I worked with my own mission to help make it easy for you.missionpossible

Step1:   Describe your “big” problem as a belief. “I believe ignorance is the cause of most hatred and human suffering.”

Step2: Describe what you want to do to help. “I want to educate people about how our beliefs, traditions and out-dated institutions hold us back and keep us hating each other.”

Step3. Describe the solution as something you already know. “I know that if we knew that we were ALL CONNECTED to each other and to the earth,  we would stop treating each other badly and flourish.”

Here it is in short form as my new mission statement:

“I help people see how their own beliefs and the systems in which we work hold us back and I inspire people to open their minds and hearts so we can all flourish as a connected global community.”

[based on the article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/grammarly/write-manifesto_b_5575496.html]

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Mindful quote on the journey

“Its good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters in the end.” Ursula LeGuin

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Great clip shows how we all deter girls from science

This ad show how saying “you are pretty” and other harmful words hold our daughters back.

Well worth the 30 seconds.  How we hold girls back video

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Ten things we do not see that hold women back

This is a great article. Please visit EverydayFeminism.com. They really know what they are talking about!

http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/06/10-everyday-sexisms/

Here is an excerpt:

Research shows that most people don’t see sexism even when it’s right in front of their noses. How do you think about and respond to these 10 everyday sexisms?

1. We tolerate the ritualized silencing of women mandated by all major religions.

With minor exceptions, this bars girls and women from authority and mandates that access to the divine is mediated by exclusively male speech. This is by any definition gender-based suppression of speech that is legally unchallenged.

From the moment a girl realizes that she is not invited to participate in clerical rituals, because she is a girl, she learns that her voice is powerless and not respected. At least we pay to undermine the public good through tax credits and subsidies.

2. We live with an infinite number of hierarchy-building double standards based solely on gender.

Most of these restrict women’s free expression and ability to achieve lifetime security in equal measure.

These double standards range from expecting girls to exhibit more self-control and politeness and he’s a stud/she’s a slut sexual norms, to grossly different treatment of men and women when they age and the conflating female nudity with obscenity, to warped ideas about boys and girls “natural” capabilities.

Did you know that math ability and confidence is not so much a function of sex but status? The more equitable a culture, the more equal the math skills between boys and girls.

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Imagination is important

“Imagination is more important than knowledge” Albert Einstein

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