Stand up for what you believe in

Today is Blogging Against Abuse Day. It’s an initiative created by BlogCatalog asking bloggers on Thursday, September 27th to write about putting an end to an abuse they feel passionately about. The goal is to try to form the largest group of bloggers to write about an important cause on the same day, and by doing so to raise awareness to help prevent abusive situations. If you’d like to join us, please do; it’s a wonderful initiative and worthy of your support.

I feel strongly about condemning all forms of abuse; physical, emotional and psychological abuse is about power, holding power over another life, denying someone the freedom to be all they can be. It’s a cycle that is difficult to break; some people spend their entire lives as victims, enabling the abuse, while others grow into the behaviour and inflict it on other people. I believe we should condemn abuse wherever we see it; if we turn a blind eye, how are we really any different?

There are two causes though I feel very strongly about. The first is animal abuse. I can’t describe how awful I feel when I hear a story about an animal which has been killed or maimed by humans, or when I hear about something like mulesing, or see abandoned pets crowding RSPCA shelters. One of the worst experiences I’ve ever had was five years ago when eight kittens were left abandoned outside our apartment. At first we didn’t know they were abandoned (there were lots of stray cats in our area), so we left a cardboard box and some milk for them. A couple of hours later we heard mewling. An eight-year-old boy had destroyed the box and was kicking and kicking them again and again and again. We scared him off but three of the kittens had broken legs and bruised faces; one couldn’t move at all, was just whimpering. We took them to the local vet and two had to be put down. It was just a despicable, cruel act against defenceless victims; I don’t believe in evil, not in the biblical sense, but I shudder to think of what that boy might be like in 10 years time. I’ll always speak out against animal abuse; I hope to adopt a pet at some stage in the next year myself and when I do, I’ll be adopting one from my local shelter. It just seems like a simple thing to do, a small way to make a difference.

The other cause I wanted to mention is abuse of freedom. I believe everybody has the right to be free, the right to choose the life they want to live; perhaps that makes me naive but it’s what I believe, what I feel every day. You can just look at what’s happening in Burma right now to know how important it is. The raids are terrible and should be condemned by every leader in the world; likewise the continued detention of Aung San Suu Kyi is a disgrace. On a day when we’re talking about abuse, I can’t let the violence go by without saying something against it. And the same goes for Zimbabwe, Sudan, Congo, Tibet and countless other countries and republics where their people are not truly free or live with violence, and it’s why I feel strongly about censorship in Turkey, China, Pakistan and Thailand as well. It’s what Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Freedom is like life. You cannot be given life in installments. You cannot be given breath but no body, nor a heart but no blood vessels. Freedom is one thing — you have it all or you are not free.

So that’s what I have to say. I think this is a wonderful initiative and I’m proud to be part of it. Alone our voices fade into the background, but perhaps together a group of committed people can be heard. We might not change the world but hopefully we’ll do some good.

So I wonder what abuses you’re against? Write something and let us know. 😉

2 thoughts on “Stand up for what you believe in

  1. cj, I was moved to tears by your kitten story. I believe that those who abuse others less powerful than them are feeling a lack of power and connection in their own lives. This sort of thing may give them an instant rush–but it’s short term, addictive, and there are so many better ways to feel better.
    This power-tripping extends to governments and institutions as well, and I appreciate you referring to the situation in Burma. I also posted on the initiative in my blog, and I’m privileged to be associated in this with you today.

    CJ: Thanks, museditions. I agree with you completely; abuse is all about taking power from someone to feel powerful in your own life, and it’s such a short rush that you go and do it again and again to feel the same way. It’s as addictive as any drug and turns you into a monster just as quickly. I have little tolerance for enablers either; I think there’s always something you can do to help, even if it’s just to lend support and strength.

    It was hard for me to write about the kitten story; I still see it so clearly in my mind, so I’m glad it came across powerfully, although I’m sorry if it upset anyone. What really disturbs me about animal abuse is how someone can be so cruel to defenceless, innocent victims. It’s why I feel strongly about child abuse as well; anyone who hurts someone who can’t fight back is despicable.

    I loved your post, your perspective on it. I think that’s what’s so remarkable about this initiative, it’s got people talking about the same thing in different ways, in ways that matter to them. I think it’s so important to have a message of hope – in the end that’s what we’re doing it for, the dream that we might make the world a better place.

  2. I skipped over the kitten story.
    I cannot cope with sad animal stuff, and I hate ‘people’. hate ’em all.

    I just read the CIA World Factbook on Burma –
    47 million people, 31000 have internet.

    no RSPCA

    CJ: Hi Ann, thanks for your comment. I’m sorry if the kitten story upset you and I understand skipping over it; it was very hard for me to write, but something I felt I had to. I think anybody who attacks an innocent and defenceless victim is just a despicable person; animals, children, the elderly, anybody who targets them has something seriously wrong with them. Perhaps they need help themselves, but I don’t know how you can help them when they don’t see anything is wrong. Or maybe some people are just beyond it.

    That’s an incredible statistic; what’s that, 1 in in every 1,500 people? Unbelievable. What’s more, it’s those with access who are risking their lives to get the pictures out to the world. They’re showing incredible courage and that’s where I find some hope in all this. And it’s all happening around the day of this initiative; I’m sure a lot more people are saying the same thing.

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