Tag Archives: Human Options

A Man, a Woman and a Dog

10 Oct

My personal Tedx

I love women.  I also love men.  I do not believe I have the right to govern over the organs of either gender.  I believe that the decisions a person makes regarding their organs are between the person and God.  And if a person does not believe in God, I believe that too is between that person and God.  I don’t believe hair should grow out from a mans ears, but hair keeps growing.  I’d like not to believe in the wind, but regardless of my intent to hold that belief in truth, the wind keeps blowing.  Disregarding the Creator no more casts the Spirit aside than my own aforementioned fancies sway the hair growth and weather patterns.  I believe my stated opinions are valueless and in no way hold supremacy or even honor that which is supreme.  They are my own statements and journey, and should be accounted as such.

I don’t know why, for so many years, women have been subjugated while men (in general) have not.  I don’t believe to liberate one is to incarcerate the other.  I don’t understand why we state we are a free society when truly all people are not free.  I don’t understand how I can claim a human right for myself and disregard it for another.  I have long wondered, given the history of human beings and their destructive ways, how-on-earth we apply (in the English language) the word “humane” as a positive term.

Where is this questioning coming from? One may ask.  Rivka, why are you going on and on in this way?  What’s your point?  Well, if you are thinking such things, I will explain.  First off, I am a filthy rotten sinner and in need of redemption.  Thankfully I have been redeemed through the blood of the lamb.  With that said, my introspections are result of understanding the darkness within.  If I deny my own inner turmoil then I am nothing short of a liar.  And as I navigate my way through the many messes upon our global society (ISIS, DV, Economic Crisis, political rule, etc.) I cannot fathom the contemplations without first honoring the human struggle at the core of my own being.

The other day, while driving on the I5 freeway (let me just say that the “I” in the I5 equation stands for “Interstate”) clipping along at my normal rapid rate which is typically 15 miles per hour Over the posted speed limit, I spied a woman, a man and a dog walking on the shoulder of this rapid thoroughfare.  The man and woman each pushed their own metal shopping cart (borrowed no doubt from an unsuspecting grocer) with what looked like all of their earthly possessions in tow.  The dog ambled on his own, alongside his human counterparts.  And as these three living beings steadfastly moved forward amongst the speedway just inches to their left, their untold story festered in my mind.  Their plight ignites my interrogations.  Their fortitude, in obvious adversity, nods to the innate character of man (humans).  Their journey became my puzzle.

Connected to the “I5 Three” are the rights each of us is given in this United States of America, rights which have not been wholly honored on the majority level.  As stated in the Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

I found myself thinking (and rightfully easing up on the accelerator pedal) that the I5 Three were in the same pursuit as myself, though theirs was on foot while I was in vehicle.  I no more deserve the pursuit than they do, just as I no more have the right to take it away from them nor they from me–not here in the U.S.A.  After all, we are not under totalitarianism rule.  And, as human beings, we are in this lot together.  I then quickly move from the brave ambulating strangers to the idea of Rights.  Rights for us all and how women (in general) have been in a consistent struggle, through the ages, to have those unalienable Rights bestowed them.  And through the process and rapidity in which the thoughts disperse within my being, I move quickly to the place of considering how to impact our world so my potential granddaughters are ensured the same consideration as my potential grandsons.  And why, in the first place, is it so tough for people to extend the courtesy of their own freedoms to that of another?

I am grateful to know my Creator.  I am grateful for the teachings of Jesus.  I am grateful that while upon earth The Christ exampled equality to both genders and showed love with impartiality.  I cling to the words of Jesus as stated in scripture, also known as “The Golden Rule” (paraphrased) Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Jesus himself was a champion for women and all people.  He lovingly gave us the right to choose–even if the choice made is apart from him.  So why today, in our supposedly westernized civilization, are we still politicizing the female and lording over that particular sex?  Why are some disempowered still by the lack of a Y chromosome?  Why are we wanting to rule over others and by doing so strip them of the same opportunities we are allowed to aspire to?

While I cannot answer the immensity of the questions posed, I can consider them at a level within my reach.  I can start with me.  I avow to pioneer for equality for women as well as pioneer for equality for men.  I will not take on one, without also tending to the other.  However, I will not stand by and quietly allow the rights of a woman to be disregarded while the rights of a man are not.  I will not align myself to “men haters” as that agenda is counterintuitive to the cause.  And I will not stand by and be silent, nor align myself with hypocrisy, within this nation I call home.

October is “Domestic Violence Awareness Month,” my post is in honor of subjugated women around the globe.

http://humanoptions.org

Loving the Good

10 Jul

I would make a good vigilante.  Well that is not completely true…a partially good vigilante.  A possibly good vigilante?  Ok, okay; vigilantes and good cannot coexist–at least they would not coexist within my person.  But I can attest to the fact that I do love it when good prevails and within my fantastical perspective, which I am indulging within this writing, the vigilance committee makes no mistakes while righting the wrong of another.  Thus, it is always good (do I really need to remind that this is fantasy, not reality?  Well there it is, the reminder, just in case one of you reading wanted to jump on that last statement as if it were rooted in truth.).  And with a deep sigh of relief…sigh, sigh, sigh…I can tell you that today I was privileged to experience the good; no vigilanteism required.

As written in my previous post titled, “Choosing My Stride”, my friend and her children were in peril as a result of violence within their home.  I am happy to say that she and the wee ones are in the loving, and extremely adept, care of Human Options (humanoptions.org).  Their safety is secured and the process of healing has begun.  Within the chaos of the last several days, there was one aspect of calm that came alongside us and whose presence brought forth such good that I am still blown away by it at this moment.

The calm force, ironically, was the high profile criminal attorney (also mentioned in the last post).  Without so much as a dime in his pocket, he invested time, energy, expertise, and his connections toward assisting my friend and thereby her children.  The result?  Today we received word that the district attorney rejected the case against her due to the complexity of the domestic violence circumstance.  This victory came without a signed contract, without a verbal agreement for payment, and in full knowledge that funds were not on hand.  And with today’s news, no funds are needed.  Case closed.  Again, as mentioned above, my loved ones are now fully able to focus on healing.

When goodness crosses my path, I feel as if I am bubbling over inside myself with joy.  I honestly feel giddy, as if I have been granted access to something extremely special.  As a result I want to express my elation from the roof tops (or tree tops, or any tops for that matter), “I have met a person of quality; a person with integrity; a person who exhibits generosity; a person who cares!”  It is not that I do not know and dwell in the company of such people, I assure you I am blessed to say I do.  And to them I give the same accolades, and for them I thank G-d daily.  But in the last several days, and most specifically today, I was privy to be witness to the good in action–the selfless, generous gift from a stranger.  A stranger only because the introductions are fresh.  Though with the bond of fighting the good fight between us, a new alliance is formed.  And indeed I am proud to say I know this person.  He is a good man!

For the first time in six months, in regard to the circumstance of my friend and her family, I can truly breathe.  The vigilant Rivka is not needed, of course it never is.  Gratitude abounds and joy leads to a peaceful slumber.  Hallelujah and an Amen.

Choosing My Stride

5 Jul

I had thoughts of writing a post about where I stand in the gluten-free diet regimen; the migraines, and how my junk science is panning out.  In fact, in the past week, I have concluded almost daily to write a new post with regard to the dietary subject–to no avail.  Yet, I ask myself (and you as well), how can I write a post on what now seems a frivolous subject when I have had heavier pressing matters before me?  I mean really, it doesn’t make sense to take to the black keys and formulate an anecdotal strategy for myself and share it with all of you when I have the effects of domestic violence present in my immediate path along with the continued health trauma of my son.

No, the glutton of the gluten must be cast aside.

My son?  Well, we meet with a specialist tomorrow who will hopefully initiate the diagnostic process to put him on his way to a better quality of life, within his newly disabled quality he is presently entertaining.  More to come on that as it pans out.

The domestic violence scenario?  A sad, and unfortunately, not so unfamiliar tale.  There are many a woman who have endured the tumult brought forth from the psychological and physical effects of brutalization within the home.  Not to mention the children who bear witness to, as well as endure, the cycle.    From my observation, if a woman (and offspring) can get out of the situation early on, she (and them) have a much greater chance of breaking the pattern and developing a healthy relational perspective.  The longer the lady is in the bloody mess, the deeper the damage–to all parties–and passing the sickness onto the heirs becomes more probable than had the violent interaction been eradicated within the formative years of the relationship.  And believe me, verbal bullying equates to violence; so let it be written that verbal and physical abuse share similar platforms of destruction.  I have been witness to this truth and will not back down on the statement.

So how can I come to my blog with tidbits about wheat when I have just left the office of a high profile criminal attorney who was referred to me through a connection from my friend, Tanya Brown (younger sister of Nicole Simpson)?  I mean who cares about grains when a childhood friend, and her children, have been subject to such despicable acts of violence that now, in despair, are requiring legal representation due to false allegations from their perpetrator.  …a story Tanya and the Brown family know too well and again, unfortunately, so does the criminal “justice” system.  To answer the questions (rhetorical though they may be), I can’t.  I can’t talk about my dietary functions or dysfunctions when there are these types of subjects crossing my path.

And because this circumstance is not new to my life, I have had the opportunity to become acquainted with the organization, Human Options (as you can see on my home page).  Human Options does a very good job of taking the women (and children) into their safe house, protecting them, educating them, nurturing their bodies and souls, and advocating for healthy change within each life that steps over their threshold.  Their success statistics are compelling–90% of their “clients” never return to a violent situation.  Within the world of altruistic organizations, theirs is a statistic worthy of praise.  In other words, they are doing something right.  And yet the hardest task is getting the adult victim to risk a better life by giving up the comfort of brutality.  Make no mistake, the perversity of the previous sentence was intended because it showcases the “skewed perspective” which ensues the cycle of violence within the home.

My friend’s husband came from a home where his childhood was riddled with severity, or cruelty.  He knows only one way; his inheritance is being passed on.   If only she would have taken the risk for life sooner…if only.  Yet even for her, it is not too late, though I worry for her stability.  She has drunk the poison for so long now that the sickness has infiltrated her mind and her judgement is marred.  Her idealism is now her foe, and she needs help.  Though her circle of support is dwindling down to those of us who stand behind our vow of friendship, support she does have.  We are few, but we are mighty!

So here is where I ask, “Am I choosing my stride, or is it choosing me?!”  To answer, I think I will go and eat a gluten enriched bagel, an onion flavored one fresh from Western Bagel in Los Angeles (thanks Aunt Susie).  And in the meantime, please take a few moments to watch the attached video.  Let’s not let another “if only” slip on by.

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