16 Days Activism
My view on motivational programs is that anyone who has the motivation to plough through the material does not need it, and those that do not have the tenacity to pull off such a feat are wasting their money. This paradox of trying to get understanding to people who need to change and not preaching to converted is the challenge of 16 days of activism. One sure way to overcome this paradox is to start with educating children from the earliest age about gender equality and the value of all human beings. This requires 365 days of activism in the home, schools and places of worship. We witness dehumanising practices every single day all around us. Every person has the power to be an activist by confronting, protesting or educating people who engage in dehumanising practices. In the home it begins when fathers treat mothers with respect and expect the same from their children. Children should not be allowed to call each other names, bully or tease each other in the name of “just being kids”. They should be expected to treat employees who help in the home with respect. It extends to mothers leaving men who abuse them or their children and not delude themselves that staying for the children’s economic well being will serve anyone in the long run. It means teachers confronting colleagues who demean, belittle, ridicule, hammer, exploit or engage in any dehumanising practices towards children in the name of education or discipline. It means ending the conspiracy of adults to protect each other when they know a member of their congregation is an abuser and they keep quiet especially if the person is a donor, big wig or the leader of the congregation. The behaviour that is witnessed and practiced in childhood shapes the character of the adult formed out of that child. We may not be able to fix the abusers of today. We do have the power to prevent new ones being created.