1.29.2011

Who inspires you?





I'm a PACS major. (Peace and Conflict Studies)
Basically I learn a lot about conflicts around the world and how to integrate peace. They are known as the "hippie" classes in university but I have found them so thought-provoking and really testing my knowledge on what I believe in about peace.

Take my history of peace movements class for example. This past Thursday the class had to write three discussion questions beforehand on the readings and when class started we got into groups of 4-5 to talk about and debate. I thought this would be a wonderful class to skip, because lets face it, who goes to discussions classes, but an hour later I learnt so much and couldn't stop thinking about that class for the rest of the day. Here's why.

Conscientious Objectors.
I've always been one to stand up for what I believe in. Most of my hero's are people who stood up, even when people didn't want them too or think they could. MLK, Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela, Ghandi just to name a few. But have you ever considered a CO as a hero before? Someone who stood up for what they believed in, even when no one approved of them. Isn't that what inspiring people end up doing? It puzzles me because I have never really researched them until class. CO wanted peace and in doing that they didn't agree with war. Can you blame them? But in World War Two, things def. changed. Because the world was fighting fascism, it made killing people ok and made CO the worst people in the world. If you were a CO in Canada, you could fight your case but you would more likely end up in jail and shipped off because people hated you to much. In the USA, it was a lot worse. If you refused to wear military clothes in the prison, you didn't have clothes. They starved them, beat them and treated them terribly. They were no longer humans because they believed in peace. Many CO died in the prison cells and the guards would clothe them with  military clothing (mocking their beliefs) and ship them home to their families. What a horrifying experience.

I don't completely know how I feel about war. I have my opinions but I know without a doubt that these CO's were so brave for standing up for something they truly believed in, something some of them had to die for- even though they weren't on an actual battlefield.  They inspire me this afternoon to continue to fight for and what I believe in and they also make me realize I know nothing about these peace movements but I'm excited to learn more.

So I'm thrilled I'm taking my "hippie" classes because I learn how debate, discuss and talk about people who really made a difference; even if people didn't notice at the time.

mads.

1.21.2011

In love with love

9 textbooks spread across the kitchen table on a Friday night. Trying to master the concept of self-awareness but barley getting anywhere when my fingers stumbled onto Clayton Austin's work. I find myself once again going through my favourite artists blogs, reading their thoughts and looking at their magical work. As the textbooks lay open but unread, my heart once again travels to one of my favourite places.
The feeling of love. I'm not in love, nor do I plan to be for a long time but looking at pictures and reading stories my thoughts wander to when I will be in love.
 Every word I read and every picture I admire from each couple is different; so unique. It tells their story and their love, no one elses. It's amazing to see a glimpse of potentially the  most wonderful feeling in the world. I really can't wait to experience it more myself. I've had a taste of loving a lot of people but to really be in love, to get married- I wonder what it will be like.
I have most of my wedding planned out, things that I want and what I don't, but after spending 2 hours embracing other couples love, I can't help but think about the time when I will get to experience it. The excitement is almost to much to bear already. I can't wait to wake up with morning kisses from my best friend and husband; or help make a candle light dinner together just because were in love.

I know my time will come and I'm perfectly alright with being patient until the right man comes into my life to take that place but a girl can dream right.

Having mono has left me sleeping a lot and lying in my bed thinking. I love a great love story. I'm a hopeless romantic and i'm def. in love with love.

Can't wait to be romanced by my future husband where ever he is- but for now I'll marvel over couples who found it, who love and aren't afraid to love and I'll go back to checking out Clayton Austin's work..
Check him out too:)http://claytonaustinlovestories.com/blog

much love

mads.

1.20.2011

You Didn't Have a Choice

Today in our democratic society we have a lot of freedoms. We pride ourselves that we get to make choices and have the freedom to decide what we want to decide. 

However, we can't decide which country we were born in. We can't decide who are parents and siblings are going to be. We can't decide if we would be born into a life of poverty or wealth. A life of AIDS or health. Thats a choice that we didn't have. .

So what makes us feel more superior than others? What makes us feel that we can use more resources than needed because we have that choice? What makes me any different from the 18 year-old-girl living in the sex trade being raped every day? 

People say they care, but I am so frustrated on everyone saying they care and no one doing anything. You didn't have a choice on being born into a wealthy country, so stop acting like you deserve it and that you can use whatever resources you like. ( I am speaking to myself on this issue as well)

The first step is educating yourself. This site is marvellous and it puts into perspective just how blessed we really are. Check it out!


Than make practical decisions on living out just how blessed you are!

Love 
Maddie

1.13.2011

New Reality Show- Empowering Women?

Can one person really change the world? 
This question has occupied my mind for many days at a time. Could my actions really change someone's life? If the Lord wants to use me, could I really make a difference- a difference that would last?


Today, my question was answered. This man inspired me more than I can ever put into words. His idea and mission leaves me smiling and motivated. This man motivates me to be better, to not give up and to believe. Believe that I CAN make a difference: a difference that will last. 


Meet Sami Mahdi. Mahdi is 28 years old living in Afghanistan. A man who respects and loves his mom, working in the television business. Currently Mahdi is employed as a current affairs manager at 1TV. He decided to produce a show that gave women a voice. 


It is still extremely uncommon in the 21st century for women to speak out in Afghanistan. Mahdi is changing this through a reality show called "The Mask."  The mask these women must wear protects their safety but also symbolizes the oppression they go through which is the burka's half of the mask. The other half of this mask is white, which symbolizes their innocence. 


This show has empowered women to speak up about the abuses and situations they are currently in. This show helps the women feel liberated to a degree but also helps the world understand more of what the women go through each and every day. 


There are many movements going on around the world today similar to this so why am I so impressed? Why am I inspired beyond words?


Looking into these movements for women's rights and equality, the vast majority of these leaders are women. What I find so astonishing is a young man, not even thirty years old standing up. What an incredible witness he is to men in Afghanistan beating and raping these women and to men around the world! Mahdi is taking a stand. He realizes these actions are not ok in his country or any country and is not just realizing this- HE IS STANDING UP against it!


Men often feel so helpless and sick with guilt when they find out about the effects of human trafficking or domestic violence. I hope Mahdi can help inspire men who feel this way to stand up against it as well. 


I wrote Mahdi an email today thanking him for what he's doing and reminding him just how much of an inspiration he is. 
This young man is really making a difference in these girls life.
He is yet another hero of mine and has reminded me that I can make a difference.


For more info check out this article/video one by CNN
http://afghanistan.blogs.cnn.com/2011/01/03/battling-abuse-from-behind-a-mask/?iref=allsearch


Maddie. 


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