Have you ever seen the movie Up? In the movie there is a talking dog that chatters away until he sees a squirrel. Instantly all other conversations and thoughts cease and he yelps “Squirrel” and turns his head to watch the squirrel.
One of the parts of expat life that I looked forward to the most is living on a compound with people from all over the world. …People of diverse races and religions and values and personal histories living next to each other as neighbors…
Last week I shared a post with my friends – including some of my expat neighbors, about the people from Iran that were arrested after they recorded their own “Happy” YouTube Video.
I shared it because I’ve been really caught up in the news in the past few weeks:
- News of mass abductions.
- News of a death sentence for a woman who married outside of her absent father’s faith, that will be executed once her baby is weened.
- News of others that have been arrested, beaten and jailed because of a stand they have taken.
I shared it because the longer I live as an expat in a land that operates in many of the same ways as Iran, the more I sense a silent pressure building between our little trips outside of this country.
Do you know any person or organization that is in the midst of their most significant struggle – ever?
Would it help you get through the struggle if you knew that it was necessary to unleash your greatest strength?
There is a pattern throughout history that fills me with so much hope that it almost makes me wish for a big struggle…
As most of you know, I’m in the midst of my first expat experience, meeting others, sampling the culture, tasting the food, and pondering the lessons that are coming from this experience.
Have you ever considered how much courage it takes to create a family or an organization where people are encouraged to speak and to live their truth?
For the first time ever, I’ve been pondering the wisdom and the courage of the founders of our country when they decided that EVERYONE should be allowed to speak THEIR truth.
Can you imagine creating a country where:
- Laws are not mandated by the titled ruler of the land but decided by a group of elected officials?
- You are allowed to speak your truth about anything? …Even if it is against the government?
- You have the right to practice ANY religion you want to?
It sounds chaotic and a little insane – right?
Seriously! …How do you get people to believe in your truth if they are given choices and allowed to use their brains, and follow their hearts?
I am not a mother. However, as Mother’s Day approached this year, I thought of multiple conversations I’ve had with mothers over the past few years.
- Conversations with new mothers that are in the midst of raising little children and have no time for themselves.
- Conversations with stay at home mothers that feel like they are frequently treated as if they are less intelligent, less creative, or have less to contribute to our world because they don’t have a full-time job outside of the home.
- Conversations with mothers in blended families, as they work to be peacemakers that are consistent, fair and explainable in all they do.
- Conversations with mothers that are a guiding light when their families go through trememdous change.
- Conversations with mothers that haverecently lost a child.
- Conversations with mothers that are raising children with cognitive challenges, health issues, mental health challenges…
As I think about the mothers and grandmothers I admire, these traits float to the top: