Let’s End All Racism Now

 

I believe we are all born equal and die the same way, equal in rights, equal in opportunities, equal in dreams and goals. We all begin life with a winning trust in others and an expectation that people are all good. So how is it that so much racism and hate are in the world?

a40b43290aa742579d2781809981863dRacism, researchers find, is a learned behavior exhibiting in children as young as three years of age. They state, the two most powerful purveyors of racism in children’s lives today are the media and the adults they know. Racism is an attitude of a person who with their acts, behavior, and their words differentiates another person for faith, skin color, and social and cultural backgrounds. It is sad to live in a world where racism, hatred, prejudice, and ignorance still exist.

ae1abad2fdc1fef12b419d5ca66c29b2--racism-today-stop-racism.jpgMany people are hesitant and uncomfortable discussing racism and racial differences, especially with their children. But whether you talk about it or not, kids will notice when someone is being treated different or looks differently than they do. From an early age, children should be taught to appreciate diversity and practice empathy. Despite all our best intentions to avoid and mute any mention of racism, children learn about it from their environments. Children need to be prepared for a future society that is becoming increasingly diverse and we need to encourage them to see this diversity as a positive. Parents, caregivers, teachers and, in fact, all humans have a responsibility to ensure all children learn to navigate the complexities of our diverse world with empathy and respect.  It’s time to start talking to our children about race.

53dcb51fc25df8dceb8384b386a01874--anti-racism-skin-colors.jpgThis is not a new problem. We all know that racism abounds in our society. Yet, the recent events in Charlottesville, VA. are shocking to us. The most frightening thing about what happened in Charlottesville is that these hate groups exist all over America. And they will continue to build and grow until we put an end to it. With the recent events being broadcast all over the news and social media, there is a good chance your children have been exposed to these images. Children need to be reassured that they are safe, please have a discussion with them. Reaffirm your beliefs and explain the values you wish to instill in your child.

80480ef40b8400f66535dfa84e67b296--stairway-to-heaven-stairways.jpgWill racism ever disappear completely? I am hopeful. I wish to live in a nation where no one will be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. This may not happen in my lifetime, or yours, but let’s do our part by continuing the fight against the hatred in the world.

First, we must confront it in ourselves. Anti-racism begins with a basic respect for all people. All people of all races are equal, don’t judge the book by its cover. Reach out and get to know people who are different from you, learn about them and their cultures.

Build a community that helps to prevent hate and racism issues by creating a better future through instilling values to our youth by providing support and education in diversity and ethnic awareness. Let them know that hate and racism are unacceptable. Advocate for students in your community by making a concerted effort to stop racism, hate and bullying at your school. Learn to speak up and step in when you see racism occurring, and disrupt it in a safe way.

images.pngThe ultimate goal to anti-racism is to make institutional and structural changes in our society to achieve racial equity – equal opportunity and access for all. No one person can do it all or do it alone, but we can all do things to help, and in doing so, work collectively to end racism.

~Mary Beth

Girl Talk Marlton

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Celebrate Mother’s Day

As we near another Mother’s Day celebration, we make our way to the Hallmark store and the florist. But it is not all about the commercialized holiday festivities, at least to me it is not. Call me selfish, but it is about the time I get to spend with my lovies doting on me. The hugs, the kisses, and yes, OK, the flowers and cards. LOL. No matter what we do or where we go, as long as we are together, it is a Happy Mother’s Day for me. When you’ve lost your mom like I have, Mothimageser’s Day is a tough day—but my lovies make my heart full.

Mother’s Day is a celebration honoring the mother of the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. It is observed in over 40 countries around the world.

Let’s face it, moms are those amazing people in our lives who act as our guardian angels, cheerleaders, defense attorneys and personal assistants. They do more than we can ever imagine or pay them for. You of course, won’t understand this until you are a mom (or a parent).

Mother’s Day is also a good opportunity to celebrate women in general and to ponder THM_HappyMothersDay_1how to act to achieve equal rights for all. Not all women are mothers, of course – and not all want to be. But, Mother’s Day is a great day for thinking about the diversity of women in general and how all women should be respected equally.

So, whether it be in person, by card or phone, connect with the mother figure in your life and let them know you care.

Enjoy your Mother’s Day.

Mary Beth Iannarella

Girl Talk Marlton

 

The Greatest Love of All

44fad4f6843f1b92f5d97ab041a3709aI believe the children are our future, teach them well and let them lead the way, Show them all the beauty they possess inside, give them a sense of pride to make it easier, Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be.

Everybody searching for a hero, People need someone to look up to,
I never found anyone who fulfill my needs, A lonely place to be,
So I learned to depend on me.

I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadows, If I fail, if I succeed,
At least I’ll live as I believe, no matter what they take from me, they can’t take away my dignity.

Because the greatest love of all Is happening to me.
I found the greatest love of all, inside of me. The greatest love of all, is easy to achieve.
Learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all.

I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadows, If I fail, if I succeed, At least I’ll live as I believe. No matter what they take from me, they can’t take away my dignity.
Because the greatest love of all, is happening to me. I found the greatest love of all,
Inside of me. The greatest love of all, is easy to achieve.

Learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all.

And if by chance, that special place, that you’ve been dreaming of,
Leads you to a lonely place, Find your strength in love.

This song by Whitney Houston came on the radio as I was stuck in traffic last week. For the very first time I listened to every single word. She sings of self-love and standing up for your beliefs. But we all know the decision to love one’s self is not quite as easy as the lyrics suggest. There are many struggles faced in learning to love yourself and being happy with who you are, even the parts of yourself you aren’t too fond of.

Given all that has been happening in our country with youth on youth violence and youth suicide, I was struck by the timeliness of the message of this song. However, it was the chorus, which resonated with my spirit. I believe we need to teach our youth how to connect with themselves so they can create a better future for themselves and the next generation. We must teach our youth, and ourselves, the true meaning of self-love, The Greatest Love of All.

Mary Beth Iannarella

Girl Talk Marlton

 

 

Listen up, girl

0b05378e-a9ef-4b72-8b34-11604e323133Last week actress and doctor, Mayim Bialik from the hit TV show The Big Bang Theory released a video on her social media that went viral. In this video, she implored both men and women to stop referring to women as “girls”. The actress explains that the language we use matters, particularly when it comes to gender and equality. When we use words to describe adult women that are typically used to describe children, it changes the way we view women”, says Bialik, who also has a ph.d in neuroscience. It implies that adult women are inferior to men. While most of it is not intentional, it doesn’t make it less demeaning. We never refer to a grown man as a “boy” because it would come across as emasculating. When “boy” is used to dismiss a man, it is an insult and should be taken as one. As should the word “girl.”

She directs viewers to Google the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis — a theory that says, according to Dictionary.com, that the ‘structure of a language determines or greatly influences the modes of thought and behavior characteristic of the culture in which it is spoken.’  Clearly, language determines thought and can influence our decisions.  So, if the words we use have a massive impact on how we see the world, then we should be more careful about the words we use for the benefit of ourselves and those around us. As for the people who call women girls, she says: ‘I know your intentions are probably good, but I hope you can learn to see the unintended and negative impact.

Our language matters, because when we say “girls,” we are using a word that implies a maxresdefault.jpglack of experience. There are a lot of words used for women, not all of them are flattering. Truthfully, as a woman, “girl” doesn’t bother me as much as “ma’am” or “honey”, to me they are worse! My mom always called me “honey” and I knew it was a term of endearment but coming out of the mouth of a stranger takes on a completely different meaning. To me, they are insults disguised as compliments. It gives a false sense of intimacy to a total non-relationship. We are not friends, we are not a couple, you probably don’t even know my name. It’s demeaning and insulting even if you say it with a smile. If you do not know my name-ask. If you do know my name-use it when addressing me.

YES-words have power. Negative or positive-You can lift someone up or you can bring someone down with just one word. Always try to think about what you’re going to say before you say it. Also, the context matters, how you say it and what you’re talking about makes a difference. Even if you don’t totally agree with Mayim, it might be good to try and change things and show all women the respect and basic rights that are deserved.

You can view her video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHH3lhYwqcY

 

Mary Beth Iannarella

Girl Talk Marlton/The Wishwall Foundation

We all judge each other, and it is OK

b036f98c3c60785e075834f61a10fb55.jpgYou always hear DO NOT JUDGE OTHERS, but I think it is a part of human nature. No matter how subtle, most of the time we judge unconsciously or by intuition.  I judge others all the time, and you do, too. You are judging this article right now, and that is okay.  From the moment you meet someone, you are judging their clothes, hair, makeup, and so on. You don’t even notice it, but we do it all day long.

Judgment is nothing but evaluation of evidence or facts to help us decide.  It is that little voice inside our heads that tells us to ask that sweet looking woman for directions instead of that young teenager because you judged him that he wouldn’t know.  Or when you decide to not pick the checkout line with the young chatty girl because you assume she will be too slow. We judge or evaluate life experiences, situations, things, opinions, thoughts, and people based on the values, emotions and logic we were taught. As human beings, we are blessed with touch, speech, hearing, taste, smell, common sense (most of us-lol) and intuition. These senses help us to evaluate every person or situation-in other words, judge.

Accept your urge to judge, it will help you make good decisions. Assume everyone else judges everyone else (because they do).  Ask others to share their judgements of you. Listen with an open heart and mind.  Embrace your judgements and be willing to learn from others judgements of you. Every person you meet has something special to give you—that is, if you are open to receiving it.

judgeMerriam-Webster defines “judgment” as “An opinion or decision that is based on careful thought. The act or process of forming an opinion or making a decision after careful thought. The act of judging something or someone. The ability to make good decisions about what should be done.” Many people don’t use the “careful thought” part of the definition and that is where I think good judgment and bad judgment come into play.

Judge when it is right to judge, and know how to judge. That’s imperative. There’s a thin line between judgment and ignorance, which leads to injustice. Knowing when to judge is also very important. Discretion and calculation in judgment is strength, for it shows wisdom and maturity.  Gossiping, ridiculing, or wanting to cause harm to someone by judging shows only your immaturity and ignorance.

People fear being judged because they fear being evaluated. Don’t fear it, instead originalembrace it! We must recognize that we are all imperfect and it is okay. People are going to judge you regardless of what you are or are not doing, so just do whatever makes you happy. And when you choose to step out and walk into the things you have been called to do, you can and should except judgement. Prepare for it and it will not come as a surprise. We cannot always help what happens to us, but we can help how we react to these things.

 “If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher.” ~Pema Chodron

My wish for you is to Live Courageously!

Mary Beth Iannarella

Girl Talk Marlton/The Wishwall Foundation

 

http://thewishwall.org/desideri/we-all-judge-each-other-and-it-is-ok/