Women and Emerging Futures

The next wave of my own evolution lies in exploring the potential of women to profoundly shape our world. Not only if women can but if women will...do what is required to make the difference. This demands redefining our notions of 'leadership' and reclaiming meaningful expression for women. To progress beyond historical notions of evolution through incremental change, we must redefine what it is to be human - and women are the key.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Cries in the dark

Here I was... wandering through my day, thinking that it was going to be an easy ride… and two things happen in quick succession.

First, I get an email from a client in great distress because their young teenage grandchild has been taken by police into psychiatric assessment for trying to stab the mother. The question put to me was: why do our children carry so much rage????

In part, my response went something like:

Our children are full of rage because we hurt them...we lie to them....we use them to gratify our own needs and serve our own purposes....and we pretend that none of this is happening. We have a social network that says: "I won't notice what you're doing to children if you won't notice what I'm doing." That way, when any children speak the truth of their shitty lives, we can all pretend that there's something wrong with the child because, after all, adults would never do such things to helpless, vulnerable children that they are supposed to protect; and that they want to continue to be seen to be doing so, even though these same adults are the very perpetrators of the misery in their children's lives.

Our kids are full of rage because they have good reason to be full of rage! They are tired of being used and lied to. Tired of being unheard and crying into their pillows in the dark. They are tired of being shut-up through drugs and shut down by physical punishment/assault. They’re tired of being spoken to and about by 'experts' who insist that there is something wrong with them - because the experts aren't willing or don't know how to turn to the adults and ask: what are you doing to this child????

The rage our children carry is a measure of the misery they live with and in. The alternative to their rage is depression. When they have become completely without hope that their lives will ever change; when they have completely lost faith in anything or anyone else to make their lives better; and when in that moment, they recognize that they feel powerless to do this for themselves, depression ensues. In my book, the rage is a sign of hope. It is a sign of an unwillingness to give up, to completely surrender and to go quietly into the night.

We medicate our children to silence our children. We treat them with disrespect and disinterest for the things that matter to them; and worse, with disdain for being the child that they are. Our deepest and deadliest wound is that we seem to need to devour their innocence…almost with a rigor that speaks to our need to press back any memory of our own.

Our children are fighting back! They are fighting each other and they are killing each other. When they become unwilling to be silenced anymore; when the drugs no longer can be imposed, they don’t begin to speak – they roar with rage! A raw, ragged rage that has been building for years. And when it moves, it takes on a life of its own.

Our children are drugged into silence or numbed into silence or shamed into silence. They’re fighting it and won't give up. .And a large part of it is that the ugly truth must come to light - whatever it may be.”

Shortly after that note came another from a colleague who spends much time working with adults, assessing their parenting capability with their children. Truly compassionate, caring, competent and skilled in her field, I was surprised when I read, “In a weak moment I might say there are a lot of ineffective parents out there!” And I wondered: why are we so afraid to come to that conclusion? Seems to be that the evidence is pretty compelling! Are we so afraid to offend that we can no longer trust the truth of our own experience?

Today has reminded me of why I do what I do. It is never about 'what's wrong with the children – it is always about the adults who design their lives and their experiences of living. It is always about us…about those of us who ‘do to’ and the rest of us who stand by and ‘do nothing’. Given we create the problems, we're the only ones who can do anything about them.

Breathing is good……


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