Day 50 of 100 days of Blogging
A Facebook Friend posted this on his page this week: “I find it pure comedy that media talks about Paris but you hear nothing about the attacks in Kenya last April. The media is such a joke.”
I thought about this for three days. Instead of reacting or responding right away, I allowed myself to feel a variety of layers. Although he made light of this situation with a down stroke about the media, I could also feel a tenderness. There was an underlying question or desire about why we value one country over another.
Here is what I felt, noticed and thought:
My awareness about Paris first came through Facebook. The news reporting was shared by friends who live in Paris, have family and friends in Paris, were visiting Paris, or had fond memories of visiting Paris. Two of my friends were traveling to Paris at that time. It was a news event with a personal connection for many. One of the women in my 8-week program was in her home in Italy, about to fly to Paris for a 24 hour layover before flying to California to spend the holidays with her children. She discussed the decision to go instead of canceling. She wanted to embrace Paris and she refused to be allow fear to hold her back.
This event was personal to many people I know personally and professionally.
I am inundated with information every day. Weather tragedies, murders, domestic violence, rape, terrorist attacks. Births, celebrations, innovation, and personal growth programs. It takes time and I make choices about what I choose to share.
I finally wrote some comments to my friend about his post. I asked him to report and share news events on his Facebook page. I want him to use his personal power to influence us. I encouraged him to post the good, the bad and the ugly about areas of the world where he feels a connection. Raise our awareness. Influence and impact the people around him. Social media is a place to have a voice. I told him: “I want to hear your voice! Please share more. Embrace your political science-journalist self and give it to us!”
So, how do we influence and raise the consciousness and awareness? In this article, Evans Wadango says that we have a lack of understanding about Africa. http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/11/17/456342689/why-didnt-the-world-say-we-are-all-kenyans-last-april
Do you think the world’s reactions to the events in Paris and Kenya were different?
Certainly it’s different. More people are standing up for the French people and trying to support them.
How does that make you feel?
We are definitely feeling there’s more value attached to humanity if a tragedy happens in Europe.
Why do you think that is? Racism?
For certain people it may be a bit of racism, but I also feel it’s a lack of understanding. It’s just that people are so used to negative things coming out of certain parts of the world — of Africa, of Asia, of South America. It’s the norm. People expect bad things to happen. When something bad happens in Europe or the U.S., it’s unusual. If something bad happens in some other part of the world, it’s usual.
We receive information and ideas primarily from our culture, our families and friends. We expand our awareness when we read articles, watch commentary, and form our own opinions. Social media gives us an incredible opportunity. To connect. To touch. To be touched. To influence and impact each other and to witness the beliefs of others. To understand.
It is possible my friend will unfriend me from Facebook. I am sad about that because my intention was to challenge and encourage him to take action instead of blaming the media. I challenge him to Become the Media! Inspire us with ways to change the world. His sports reporting is fun and there is more I want him to share.
How are you choosing to influence, connect and impact others? Do you keep your ideas and opinions to yourself? Where are you connecting in dialogue, questioning, exploring new ideas? Are you a pioneer? Are you stuck in the past? Are you carving a new path?
Are you allowing other people to open your heart, to influence you, to raise your consciousness and your awareness?
I would love to hear from you in the comments.
Andrea Hylen believes in the power of our voice to usher in a new world. She is the founder of Heal My Voice, an organization that inspires women and men to heal a story, reclaim personal power and step into greater leadership. Andrea discovered her unique gifts while parenting three daughters and learning to live life fully after the deaths of her brother, son and husband. In addition to serving as Heal My Voice’s Executive Director, Andrea is an Orgasmic Meditation Teacher and Sexuality Coach.
She is following her intuition as she collaborates with women and men in organizations and travels around the world speaking, teaching and leading workshops. Her passion is authentically living life and supporting others in doing the same. To connect with Andrea and learn about current projects go to: www.andreahylen.com and www.healmyvoice.org.