Moving On from #METOO… PLEASE! [Mother Grandpon and the Catacombs]

I think this is just a short post and not something I would usually write but enough is enough.

There’s an old world that is dying–it is characterized by greed, extreme materialism, self absorption, hate, blame, revenge, violence and insanity. I think almost everyone can see this.

There’s a new world, a New Earth coming in and in part, it’s characterized by compassion, kindness, community, personal responsibility, caring for the Earth and working to make the world a better place. [the WORLD not America]

Blaze-Nathan-BernsteinA month or so ago  Blaze Bernstein, a 19 year old,  University of Pennsylvania student was brutally murdered by a ‘friend’  He was home on Winter Break and was missing from his parents’ house. When his body was found a week later, he had been stabbed more than 20 times. And his parents made this statement:

“We won’t succumb to hate, bitterness or disillusionment; we will use wisely the time we have left together. When we stop crying we will start doing positive things to affect change. We ask that everyone work towards something good. Stop being complacent. Do something now.

Now is the time to set aside fear, ignorance and judgement. It is time to love. Love each other. Be good. Do good and honor Blaze’s memory.”

~Jeanne and Gideon Bernstein

Then a few days ago, I happened to watch a segment on the sentencing of Dr. Larry Nasser. One of his abuse victims was reading a statement in which she talked about how she cried every night [still after 15 plus years???!!!] and she was not able to work because of the abuse. After she finished her statement, her father who was at the proceedings, lunged at Larry Nasser but was stopped by the guards. The father later made a statement in which he droned on and on about the whole situation. His statement was filled with anger and bitterness and hatred.

When I was  watching this, I thought of the Bernsteins and I thought about how they had turned the worst possible nightmare a parent could ever experience into something for good, for others, for the world. Revenge and hate would have been expected, accepted and supported but they chose another way and in doing so have inspired many, many others to choose another way. @dogoodforblaze

*I taped the Bernsteins statement to my refrigerator as a reminder to myself…when I”m feeling mean, judgemental, revengeful, I will read and remember. There’s another way.

A few days ago, when I saw one of the ‘metoo’ storiesHip GrandmaI thought about my stepmother and I laughed. My stepmother who we called Mother Grandpon, prided herself in coming from what she called ‘a nice family’. She loved playing bridge, shopping, drinking vodka martinis and going to parties. She lived to be 91.

There was a story she liked to tell: it was the story of when she was a teenager visiting the catacombs in Rome and a monk pinched her butt as she was touring the catacombs. She thought it was funny and we did too.  I tried to imagine her now joining ‘metoo’ dredging up an ancient story, crying and feeling offended because now you can be offended by the tiniest thing.  But it would never have happened.

So I guess this is about choices: the choice to keep the cycle of hate and revenge going which is reaching out and poisoning everyone and everything, including the Earth itself or the choice to take personal responsibility, to accept what comes, to work toward making the difficult, painful things that are bound to happen.. into something to learn from, maybe as a way to help others… and to remember to

“Accept whatever comes to you woven in the pattern of your destiny, for what could more aptly fit your needs?”

Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor  161 -180

angelou