Almost two months ago, I participated with thousands of others in a day of fasting for the Nigerian young women kidnapped from their school in Chibok. We were each given one girl's name to help focus our fasting and prayers on her behalf. Mine was Amina Ali. That day, and every day since, she has been in my thoughts and prayers. Yesterday I saw her picture for the first time in this article:
And my heart broke wide open again.
The current social and political climate is such that words like "evil" and "abomination" are being flung around seemingly indiscriminately. Those who disagree on issues like birth control or LGBT rights, or interpret the Constitution differently, or simply see the world differently based on their personal experiences or belief systems, are labeled "enemies" or "haters".
Wake up, folks. This is evil. This is an abomination. And this. Those who shot this 15-year-old girl in the head to try to prevent her from speaking out on girls' right to education are the enemies of all good and decent people in this world. Those who deny others basic human rights - life, security, education, healthcare, freedom - they are the haters.
We are privileged to live in a relatively safe and free part of the world, which frankly skews our perspective quite a bit. That doesn't change the reality of what happens every day in other parts of the world, and even here within the borders of the United States.
Save those words for situations and people who truly deserve them.
“True patriotism springs from a belief in the dignity of the individual, freedom and equality not only for Americans but for all people on earth, universal brotherhood and good will, and a constant and earnest striving toward the principles and ideals on which this country was founded.”
This past week, history was made. Admiral Michelle Howard became the first woman and the first African American to achieve four-star rank in the United States Navy. After learning a bit more about her over these past few days, I'm definitely adding her to my list of sheroes.
Read a great article here on lessons she has learned about leadership during her naval career.
And a little light-heartedness to end off this Friday Four. I recently discovered a source of great book-related memes: the facebook page Title Wave. A small sampling:
|If I had a nickel for every time I decided to|
read instead of clean, I'd be really, really rich.
|That's a snazzy powder blue TV, isn't it?|
|(I can't count the number of times I've had this conversation...)|