Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Why It Matters: The World I Live In Starts With Me

“A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.” M. Gandhi

I am on vacation. Today I watch and allow. The rain taps on the windows of the beach house where I am staying…a “hi how are ya?” from the sky above.

My days have consisted of little other than waking, meditating, thinking, running, yoga, eating, watching and allowing—a divine chance to reconnect to the Self, the one who takes risks, steps out and with right-brain fully engaged, believes that she can change the world.

I am struck this morning, by why it matters. Why I matter. Why you matter. Why Girls on the Run matters.

It matters to the 12 year old girl, from Peoria, Illinois, who for three years has struggled with anorexia nervosa…nothing left to house her spirit other than bones and skin. Her eyes are wide, intense and uncertain. She is starving herself to become beautiful, unaware that she already is, bones, skin and spirit; wanting to know that she is loved. It matters to the 12 year old girl in Ethiopia, torn from the inside out while giving birth to her baby, urine and feces from her body stain her clothing, she and her baby dying from malnutrition. They are starving, cast out from their village, wandering, wishing and seeking the love of just one other.

It matters to the fourteen year old girl in Atlanta, Georgia who, after a few beers with her friends reluctantly has sex with her boyfriend… unintended, but so it goes. At least in her mind, he will love her, maybe. It’s worth a shot, so why not? It matters to the fourteen year old girl in Somalia, carrying water with her sisters back to their village, overtaken by a group of boys. She is brutally raped. No one wins. The boys do and know only what they have been shown by the men in their lives. They know not what they are missing, the tender touch of a woman, the love between two…The real and raw of it; the transformation possible.

It matters to the nineteen year old girl in Burlington, VT who for graduation wants nothing more than breast implants, to be loved, accepted and alive, be one of the pretty girls…popular, attractive and powerful…to be desired by many…seeking love in that mix somehow. It matters to the woman-child in Mali Africa, tied down and restrained while her clitoris is removed, cut, mutilated. Her body disfigured, but her spirit intact; eyes wide, scanning the space for one loving person.

It matters to each of them, each time I choose to speak negatively of myself, my age, my body or my character. It matters to each of them, each time I choose to judge, criticize or condemn without seeking first to understand, be compassionate, gentle and kind.

I watch the rain fall from heaven above, feel the thunder in the wood boards of the house where I sit, see the lightening bridge the space between here and there, me and you, us and them and know, without question, that what I do, what I say and who I choose to be matters…to them.

I yearn to love that much.

The world I live in starts with me.

What actions will you take today to create the world you wish to live in?


  1. I so needed to read this today! Having dealt with some things you mentioned, reading this was like a reaffirmation of life, and a reminder of why I have chosen to live my life the way I am, and why I keep choosing joy, every day. :)

  2. Nice call to action. Today I am taking my son, and a bunch of other boys, to Cub Scout overnight camp. Likely to get crazy, but certain to create a better world!
    "The world I live in starts with me" echoes Victor Frankl (who experienced the worst side of humanity)... "We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."

  3. Diane in OrientalJuly 18, 2010 at 3:55 PM

    You are an amazing woman who inspires so many and can make a difference in how people, especially young girls and women, make choices that are better for themselves than they otherwise would have been. I hope you feel renewed and ready from your retreat to keep up the work that you do so well.

  4. Amazing. If you don't mind, I'm going to provide a link to this post on my blog and my Facebook. Thank you for writing what so many need to read.

    Kym Klass

  5. No problem Kym. Thanks for reading and re-posting!

  6. Molly-
    What an incredible post. Beautifully written.
    I am attending a training/orientation in August for GOTR San Diego and could not be more excited to get involved. You are such an inspiration. All I want is to make a positive impact, big or small, for one or for many. This post reminded me that I can. :) Thank you!