I find myself with a heavy heart this evening.
I spent the afternoon working outside on our Mobile Energy Centre on this beautiful sunny day – it felt so nice to be outside and working quietly. I just came in to the office to check my mail and gather my thoughts before heading home, only to find that there was a large explosion at the Boston Marathon that killed 2 people and injured many more. I am shocked and dumbfounded.
My felt the same way last week, after hearing that a teenager – Rehtaeh Parsons – took her own life after being bullied incessantly after being the victim of sexual assault. It saddens me that none of her peers stood up for her loud enough that she could find other options, and that defending herself only led to more bullying. In one of the news articles, a friend stated that she had quoted Martin Luther King, Jr on her Facebook page – ‘In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends’. This struck me as such a small and mighty statement. The silence of her friends….
Being a teenager is a tough time, and friends can make all of the difference. Courage can be hard to find, especially if it means that her peers could get ostracised for defending her. We need to build atmospheres where the type of courage to defend someone and have critical and challenging discussions is celebrated at schools, and in our communities.
Some of my friends shared this blog post on Facebook last week, by a wonderful writer, Katie Marti. I really enjoyed it, and really has me thinking about community. Our communities are changing, although I think that our communities have always been changing and always will – the natural, messy process of evolution. But our communities are larger this time around, especially with technology and social media. I think we have to safeguard our integrity and hold each other accountable in our ever-shifting communities, and applaud courage and integrity when it seems so shockingly lacking at times.