As I See It...

Experiences, Life Lessons, Observations, Thoughts...
a little bit of this and that...as seen through the various tinted glasses I wear.

** 2017 Life Lesson ~ Life is too short not to rejoice in all that is amazing, say all that needs to be said, share all that we find to be awesome, and change all that we see needs transformation. It is time to say, to do, to mean it, to live it, to be it... and yes, even to blog it!**


Outside the Comfort Zone

February 20, 2014

People walk. People talk. If they would just have the courage to do them at the same time. No, this is not a decades late Gerald Ford gum chewing joke, it’s a social calamity in my not so humble opinion. One that I wish more people would take a deep breath, exhale, and act with the courage of their convictions. Few do. Maybe they forget to exhale and stay full of hot air.

No, I’m not just snarking about society in a late night rant. Something that occurred today hurt my heart. It scared me for our society. It is both easy and challenging to rectify. Here’s the story.

I was in West Hollywood today, standing in the checkout line at the grocery store. These two men in line behind me we talking, at a volume usually described with a more far reaching scope than merely talking. The one gent seemed to have had a rough Valentine’s Day weekend. Did his Honey not act so sweet and turn up her possibly surgery enhanced nose at his best gift efforts? No. He was ranting about a street closing for an event. An event that he referred to as ‘a bunch of whiney bitches wanting attention’. Sound like a fashion show? Nothing so shallow I can assure you. As he described the time and place my gut instincts proved right. He was referring to the V-Day event by 1 Billion Rising (www.onebillionrising.org). In a semi cracked nutshell it is all about the truth of violence against women…. Around the world in its various forms and levels of intensity and obscurity.

I listened to him rant some more, and while I wished I had used the often faulty self checkout aisle, I realized I was there, hearing this for a reason. His bravado, his inconvenience in traffic that irritated him SO…..what caused it? I could guess its root cause but I digress. The point is, energy is just that ….energy and WE choose how we direct it. If he had so much aggression – aka passion – to burn…. then maybe if he could get his foot out of his mouth long enough, he could ‘use his powers for good’.

Suppressing my urge to grab one of the apples I was buying and stick it in his mouth luau style, just as I was finished paying I turned to him and said – ‘I couldn’t help but overhear about your weekend upset. Let me ask you something – what would you do if you heard someone had hit your mother? Your daughter? Your sister? Your wife? Even just threatened them?’

‘Well I’d kick their ass. No one gets to hurt someone I care about’ he boasted proudly.

“Good!” I said. “But let me suggest an even BETTER technique… a way to use your big male protective and frankly aggressive nature… use it to protect them BEFORE it happens. SAVE them the trauma by using your attributes BEFORE something would happen to prevent it instead of after when they are affected for life, and all you can do is seek vengence. Understand the statistics of how maybe – probably – even one of them or if not then someone else you know – HAS been subjected to violence in one form or degree or another. Understand that the more you discuss the facts, the more you learn how to support them, how to defend them, how to make it SPOKEN ABOUT and FULLY KNOWINGLY unacceptable…and then you are being the big tough guy you so desperately seem to want to be.”

By now a few people were listening, and I almost stopped… I almost let self consciousness silence me too… the annoyed by his loudness induced adrenaline rush wearing off and with it my own bravado to speak up. Then I thought of my two daughters, their friends, my friends… and I had to go on.

“Look”, I said, “I know it’s uncomfortable to discuss and it SHOULD be. We should never be OK with the concept of violence against anyone. And I understand that it is even more uncomfortable for men to voluntarily get involved in as a discussion and a change. I get that…  get that AND I just read the most amazing blog written by a man – a courageous man in my opinion… here let me show you….” And I pulled out my phone to show him the blog.

The blog I am referring to was written by Writer/Director/Producer/Actor Eoin Macken… known to some of you from the BBC show Merlin, and soon to grace our screen on NBC’s upcoming med drama ‘Night Shift’, among numerous movies he has starred in, written, directed etc. I am putting the link here because a mere quote would never do it justice. (http://eoincmacken.blogspot.com/2014/02/one-billion-rising-and-something-that.html )

He wasn’t supporting a cause because it looked good for his actor image; he wasn’t writing prolifically to show he went beyond fiction into social awareness…. It is raw and beautiful… and clearly from his heart – from his ethics and concerns – what matters to him in truth.

I had bookmarked this blog on my phone to be able to share it with a friend of mine who is an admin for another anti-violence against women and children group in a local SoCal area. I’m glad I did.

As I handed this man my phone, I pointed out that the blog author was a man who expressed the challenges from a male perspective, and also the importance of exactly that – male presence in this work against this segment of violence. He started to read it and then said ‘one minute’ and typed the website into HIS phone and bookmarked it for later. The cashier – also a man – asked me if he could do the same.

I guess it was a good thing his loudness earlier had made others flee our line so none of this held up other shoppers. Everything indeed for a reason.

He said ‘hey thanks, that’s all interesting’…. Still gruff but… a tad more contemplative, or so I hope.

As I walked away I heard his friend say ‘lame chick, she probably has a nasty boyfriend or something, all (and here he raised his voice to what I am guessing was his version of a female pitch) ‘oh help me, I’m a victim’. ‘Shut up Dave’ said the original loud formerly insensitive boar….”You should read it too”.

I smiled to myself. That weirdness and my uncharacteristic speaking up was worth it.

 

*** Eoin – if you ever end up reading this…. THANK YOU. You have made so many people turn and look at themselves and at this issue. Sure they may follow your blog, or your twitter because of your amazing smile, super charisma, and extraordinary screen presence (for lack of another socially acceptable way to put that)…but they find…substance…amid the great humor and anecdotes… they find the wisdom, the heart… and it makes them…it makes US... all more comfortable with finding our own heart and wisdom, and courage. Thank you!***

 

As I said I have two daughters… that makes 3 women in this home… with 1 of every 4 women (as per accurate statistics) being subjected to some level and form of violence, abuse, or other threat… I just simply do not like those odds. I also have a son, and know how I have raised him to be! We ALL – men and women alike – have important women in our lives. And no matter what gender, what age, the individual is… this goes beyond what happens to these victims, it is also about who WE are… what WE allow to continue.

“All it takes for evil to prevail is for good men (and women) to remain silent”…. Eoin spoke up eloquently and movingly in his blog…. I got uncharacteristically confrontational at Ralph’s Supermarket… BILLIONS around the world stood… and danced… and became aware.. and made aware. Now it’s your turn. What are YOU going to do???

 

PLEASE read Eoin’s blog, and pass it along to men and women alike… but dare I say especially to men… let them hear from a MAN (y’know the type with courage, conviction, and ethics stronger than his own comfort level) how to BE the strong protective warriors they truly seek to be…. And not waste it on being a loud blowhard at the market. Also included in Eoin’s blog are several helpful links… check them all out… and I will share them below here as well.

The world…not just the women… Thank You.


Here are the links Eoin shared on his blog (copied and pasted for accuracy including his descriptions of them) - but you should be reading these THERE... I told you to read his blog too!

Here is the One Billion Rising website

http://www.onebillionrising.org

And here is an article from the Huffington Post with Eve Ensler
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kristi-york-wooten/eve-ensler-more-than-a-bi_b_4775067.htm

There is also an organisation for Men to get involved directly, if they want to avoid Eve and take a more masculine approach

http://www.acalltomen.org

 

I've Ben Starr Struck!!

November 9, 2013
I must begin with two clarifications.... 1) No, this title is not misspelled, and  2) This blog is years late in the making! Life and my desperate desire to 'get it right' kept delaying me... I would re-edit this...try to improve on it.... and in the end I came back to my original blog about one of the most amazing peeople I have EVER had the privilege to know... at long last, here it is.

The end of 2010 and flowing into early 2011 was a rough patch for me. Ok to be fully honest I have accura...

Continue reading...
 

Rear View Mirror Reflections

November 8, 2013
As we travel the journey of life, we often get retrospective, sentimental, remorseful, or even regretful. As if we are looking in the rear view mirror as we drive forward on our path. It is human nature to look at the past to see what we have experienced - hopefully to learn from it, but unfortunately more often than not we see only past mistakes and pain. I always remind myself as well as my children and clients that keeping our eyes fixated on the past will bring the same result as looking ...
Continue reading...
 

Michael Jackson - Two Years Later

June 27, 2011
I first posted this piece on July 7, 2009 - the day of Michael Jackson's funeral. As June 25 marks the second anniversary of his passing, all of the feelings I bear about his life - and death - resurfaced today and I chose to share them again.


  




A local Hollywood Entertainment Industry Venue asked me to blog a social commentary as Michael Jackson's Memorial was aired. 

Here is what I wrote: 

I sit here bawling, heartbroken and bereft as I watch Michael Jackson’s memorial service. 
I was a teen ...

Continue reading...
 

Legacy - What am I Leaving Behind?

May 27, 2011
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about LEGACY. Looking back in history, it has usually been the father, who has established a business, created an empire….to hand down to his children. Legacy of family name, reputation, status, money, power.

Yet, psychology finds that the mother’s influence is the one most sited for causing the lasting innate legacies of behavioral patterns – be they good or bad.

   

Maybe I worry over this more being a single mom….any lasting lessons, legacy, inheritan...

Continue reading...
 

Moments of Motherhood

May 1, 2011

When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts.  A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child. 

 ~Sophia Loren,Women and Beauty

 

I love this quote by Sophia Loren, who is perhaps not whom we picture, when we think ‘mom’….but a mom indeed she is! In addition to the glam, the glitz, and the exotic accent….she is a mom, and by this quote, clearly gets ‘it’. You know….that exhausting factor that no one else…not even fathers ca...


Continue reading...
 

Singlehandedly Yours...

January 24, 2011



I've always done things on my own. An only child of preoccupied parents, I was left to entertain and care for myself for the vast majority of time. Always independent, always the lone ranger. You’d think that when the leg of my journey as a single mother came around, I’d easily adapt. Hmmm…..not so much.
I guess I actually DID. We have always had a roof over our heads, even when I was unemployed for months on end, and not receiving child support. We always had food on the table even when...

Continue reading...