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This one’s for the torn down, the experts at the fall: Thankful Thursday #19

November 25, 2010

1. As I mentioned, last Friday I participated in Free the Children‘s Vow of Silence campaign. On Saturday, we joined together on the steps of old city hall in Toronto to stand in silence in solidarity with those around the world silenced by exploitation and poverty. As you can see in the video below, we were each standing up for a different issue: for the children who don’t have access to clean water, health care, or education; for the 218 million child labourers; for children affected by war…and the list goes on. Whatever the issue, for an hour that day we were a voice for the voiceless. I am so thankful for those who stood with me, in Toronto and across the country.

2.  Standing in silence for an hour gives you a lot of time to think. At first, I focused mostly on the people walking past the steps where we stood – the people who stopped to read our signs, or cheer us on, but mostly the ones who barely glanced at us as they passed. There were many of them. As I stood there, I started to think that this is often the way the homeless are treated in Toronto. And, on a larger scale, how the people I was standing up for might feel: ignored.

But slowly, I started thinking about the reasons I was standing there: the issues I’m passionate about and the inspiring people I know. I am lucky to have friends who are constantly teaching me about compassion and courage through their actions and their words, friends that remind me of the good side of change. I thought of my family. I remembered Maria, a woman I met in Ecuador who became the leader of her rural community at only 18. I thought of my trip facilitators in Ecuador, Kenya, and on the U.S.-Mexico border, who were a constant source of knowledge, support, strength, and inspiration. I thought of the many children in Kenya and Ecuador who were getting an education. I thought especially of the girls – girls who would grow up with the ability to read and write, with access to clean water and education, and who would become leaders themselves.

When I got home, I searched for a project I discovered months ago, but that had slipped my mind: The Girl Effect.

3. For those wondering, the lyrics in the subject line are from Greg Laswell‘s Comes and Goes (In Waves):

Happy Thanksgiving to those south of the border!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Laura permalink
    November 27, 2010 9:00 PM

    Yep. Cried a bit watching the Vow of Silence video.

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