Tuesday, June 14, 2016

What I'm doing so Stanford and Orlando never happen again. Join me?

In the quest of why, we blame. 

Religious fanaticism, guns, the victims, the system, each other.... the list goes on. Whether we are talking about the Stanford Rapist or the Orlando Massacre, the focus is wholly on who is to blame.

We gather our pitchforks and torches and want justice to prevail! Someone is to blame!! We have to do something so it never happens again!!

Mostly, we cast that blame to others.

What if I told you that YOU are to blame; that I am to blame?

We ARE to blame for the Stanford Rapist. We ARE to blame for the Orlando Massacre.

Not because I'm this color or that, 

           this religion or another, 
                       that shade of gender or sexuality or this one....

I am to blame because I am contributing to the cause.

It's true. 

Even in the aftermath we are priming the pump for the next tragedy, the next horror that sweeps the media and puts images in our heads that only belong in nightmares and bad movies.

                     Every time I walk away from a situation where I 

                     had a chance to stand up -
  • racist humor
  • religious targeting
  • homophobic comments
  • sexist harassment
  • bullying
  • name calling.
                     Every time I engage in
  • racist humor
  • religious targeting
  • homophobic comments
  • sexist harassment
  • bullying
  • name calling

Yeah, maybe it's just on FB - a "like" of this sexist comment (but it was FUNNY), a share of that name-calling post (it's true, you know he really is a...), a homophobic status that I rant against (yes, even that continues the harmful rhetoric, calls attention to it).

Every time I participate or let it slide,
        I am priming the pump, letting the river of hate and pain 

        go unfettered.

What's interesting is I have the power to change it.   

      So do you.

                  No, really - hear me out.

I have the power of change in every day life, in every day situations. It's pretty simple really, all I have to do is:

               BE RESPECTFUL - ALL THE TIME: 

                          WORDS & ACTIONS.

See, I don't have control over anyone else; not the government and gun control, not the mental health system, or how other people think. 

 I DO, however, have control over ME. I am not powerless.

I can respect myself - no self degradation, no harsh judgement of me, and clear boundaries that require others respect me, as well.

Respect others - no judgement of choices in clothing, food, politics, religion....
       Yes, even those on FB with  whom  I don't agree.

Respect the World - taking care of my planet, my community, my things.

        That means I don't name call, I don't insult, I don't bully 

        or intimidate.  

            I don't force my opinions and perspectives on others, 
            demanding it is the only way.

I don't support others who do those things either.

  • I use my words to speak my truth without judgement or blame.
  • I accept that the diversity I see around me is a gift.
  • I understand that everyone has a right to their perspective - and I could learn a lot from those perspectives that are different than mine (even the "extremists") without being threatened by them.


  • I do hold people accountable in ways that can be heard.
  • I do stop my own habits that lead to blame, judgement, and hatred of others.
  • I also then call those habits out when I see it in my circle of people; my friends, family, and community.
  • And ask them to call me out, to hold me accountable.

If EVERY ONE of us did that


We'd change the  World.

And all I changed was ME.

Join me? It's simple really:

Respect myself
Respect others
Respect the World

With Respect,

Leah R. Kyaio, M.Ed.