Vallarta Living | May 2007
|What Do You Stand For?|
Joy! - experiencejoy.com
At 1 pm on Sunday May 13th, Mother's Day for Westerners, a group of Vallartan women stood for five minutes of silence in answer to this call:
|The Mother's Day Proclamation of 1870 on a sign in front of the Old Mission in Santa Barbara CA, where a crowd of women gathered for peace on May 13th, 2007.|
"The women of Ohio call upon the women of the world, from the day-old babies to our most senior elders, to stand with us to save the world."
The Standing Women concept originated with women in Ohio who were tired of what is happening to our world, and felt that women everyone are ready to stand up and do something about it.
In the summer of 2006, they came across the origins of Mother's Day in the U.S. from Jean Shinoda Bolen's book, Urgent Message from Mother: Gather the Women, Save the World.
Julia Ward Howe issued the original Mother's Day Proclamation in 1870:
"Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, whether our baptism be that of water or of tears!
Say firmly: 'We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.'
From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says 'Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.' Blood does not wipe our dishonor nor violence indicate possession. As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each bearing after their own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.
In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace."
After reading this proclamation they wanted to do something for this Mother's Day, and came across the book The Great Silent Grandmother Gathering by Sharon Mehdi. It inspired them to call the women of the world to stand together to save the world, to save our children. Here is a quick summary of the story:
A busboy who worked in a café whose window faced the public park noticed that two grandmotherly looking women had been standing in the park all day without moving at all and without talking. They were dressed up in their Sunday best and were just staring at the town hall. He asked the other patrons in the café what they thought the women were up to. They speculated on a variety of things. Then, a five-year old year who was in the café spoke up and said "One of them is my grandmother and I know what they are doing. They are standing there to save the world." All of the men in the café hooted and howled and laughed. On his way home the busboy decided to ask the women what they were doing and sure enough their answer was "We are saving the world."
Over dinner that evening the busboy told his parents and he and his father hooted and howled, but his mother was totally silent. After dinner, the mother called her best friends to tell them.
The next morning the busboy looked out the café window and the two women were back, along with his mother, her friends, and the women who had been in the café the day before. All were standing in silence staring at the town hall. Again, the men hooted and howled and said things like "You can't save the world by standing in the park. That is what we have armies for," and "everyone knows you have to have banners and slogans to save the world - you can't do it by just standing in the park."
The next day the women were joined by the women who were in the café the day before and a number of their friends. This brought the local newspaper reporter to the scene. He wrote a derisive article about the women. The day after it appeared, hundreds of women showed up to stand in the park in silence. The mayor then told the police chief to make the women leave because they were making the town appear to be foolish. When the police chief told them they would have to disperse because they didn't have a permit, one of them responded that "we are just individuals standing in our public park and we are not giving speeches or having a demonstration so why would we need a permit." The police chief thought about this and agreed with them and left the park.
At this point 2,223 women, including the mayor's wife, the police chief's wife, and one five-year old girl, were standing in the park to save the world. The news quickly spread and soon women were standing all over the country.
The story ends with women standing in every country throughout the globe, standing to save the world.
Sharon Mehdi's story has seven chapters, one for each day of the week. The first chapter, "Sunday," is where the two women who take their stand in the park are noticed by the folks in the nearby cafe. This began the wonderful unfolding of events that culminated on Saturday, in the "Saturday" chapter, with the entire world standing.
On Sunday, May 13th, thousands of women and men stood together throughout the world-some as individuals, some in small groups of a few to a few dozen, and others in groups of several hundred.
In Vallarta, two dozen women and a couple of men gathered in the gazebo in front of the church to take our stand for peace, we were one of 3620 places in 75 different nations. No matter what the size of the gathering, the magic of collectively connecting occurred.
We have six chapters left in the story. The Standings continue, to find out more go to www.standingwomen.org and join us as we continue to write the story that Sharon Mehdi envisioned in her "little story for her granddaughter." We hope that we will together write the stories for Monday through Saturday.
Peace be with you. JOY!
JOY! Is an internationally acclaimed life transformation coach, famous for her unreasonable success in helping people move through their challenges with her unorthodox approach and emPOWERment tools. For more information, visit her website ExperienceJoy.com or call 044-322-129-1128.
Click HERE for more articles by Joy!