Make Some Noise with Andrea Owen

Just an FYI- along with reading, you can listen to this post as well. Simply click the “play” button.

In 2008 I had a mentor tell me, “When your blog starts to grow in popularity, stay away from topics revolving around politics, religion, and race. It’s too risky, and one wrong move can ruin your reputation.”

She was trying to protect me. Helping me “stay on course” and only talk about personal development.

However.

For me to go on pretending like nothing is happening, to say nothing at all is unacceptable. How can I tell you to stand up for what you believe in, practice courage, and follow your intuition if I’m not practicing it myself whenever possible? So, here we go...

Two major things have happened recently. Let me start with the most recent.

Although I highly doubt you haven’t heard, but just in case-- this past Saturday a man shot and killed 49 people and injured at least 53 in a popular gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

This is heartbreaking. And infuriating. And scary.

If you’re like me, you’ve been thinking about the victim’s families. And like me, you probably can’t help but think about your own family. I think about my children, how I worry about them going to school, and when they get older going to the movies, out dancing, and to places where they normally should feel safe and be safe. Many of us no longer feel safe anymore.

When I was in elementary school we had earthquake drills and fire drills. Now, my children have drills on what to do if there’s a shooter in their school.

Let me repeat that. In the United States of America-- the land of the free-- my children in kindergarten and second grade, had a drill this year on what to do if there’s a shooter in their school.

I’m not sure how to wrap my head around this.

So, this isn’t a post about how pissed off I am or how I think you should vote this November. Right now it’s not a time for me to sway any opinions you have. This is a post about what you can actually do.

Because I imagine in all of your sadness, fear, anger and whatever else you’re feeling, you also face a feeling of helplessness. Here are a few action steps to take:

Here’s how you can give blood. Read what you need to (requirements, the process, FAQ’s), then click the green button to find a donation center in your area. You don’t have to live in Orlando to make a difference.

Here is the Go Fund Me page to support victims of the Pulse shooting. You can read more about where that money goes on that page.

For more resources like finding a vigil in your area (or adding one), go to WeAreOrlando.org.

If you have an opinion about it, contact your state senator to tell them how you feel about gun laws. You can search by state.  You can also find your representative here. If you’re stumped on what to say in the letter, you can find a sample here. (Scroll down a bit).

The second recent tragedy is about Brock Turner, a Stanford University student was found guilty of raping an unconscious woman. If this is the first you are hearing of this, please watch this because I believe it’s summed up nicely.

He’s been sentenced to a mere six months in county jail, which he will likely be free in three months. There are so many WTF’s about this tragedy, one of them being that Brock Turner has never publicly taken responsibility for his actions, only blaming peer pressure and Stanford’s party culture.

Again, this isn’t a post about how outraged I am (but for the record, I am). I think many of you are. And you’re wondering what you can DO about it. Well, here are some things:

Take the time to read the letter from the rape victim (known only as “Emily Doe”) wrote to Judge Persky. Her voice is important. Her story is important and it matters to all of us. Emily Doe represents all of us.

If you feel he should be, sign the petition to have Judge Persky removed from the bench.

And this is a really, really important one. Watch the documentary The Mask You Live In. It streams on Netflix or you can see it for $3.99 on YouTube. The trailer is here.

“Whether it’s homicidal violence or suicidal violence, people resort to such desperate behavior only when they are feeling ashamed and humiliated or feel they would be if they didn’t prove they were REAL men.”   - Dr. James Gilligan, Psychiatrist and educator

So, why is that documentary so important?

We need to do better raising our boys. Of course I’m not saying your boys are bad. I’m saying our culture is not creating an environment for boys and men to express feelings and ask for connection, so it’s on us to create this. As well as question these cultural norms.

Although both of the tragedies above are different, they both involve violence perpetrated by men. And many of you are raising boys, or know someone who is, or have some kind of influence on boys whether it be a nephew, brother, student, etc. And by watching the documentary, you’re educating yourself about what’s important and what needs to change.

All I’m asking is for you to start a conversation. That’s how change happens. By questioning the status quo, shining the light on a cultural and social problem, and opening it up for conversation with people you care about.

Direct download: 103.5.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am EDT