Wisdom of Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

Music can ignite the political resolve of those
who would otherwise be indifferent.
– Nelson Mandela
Very early this morning, I watched the celebration of Nelson Mandela’s life on television.

Many survivors of domestic violence, child abuse, gun violence, and sexual molestation, harassment, and assault have felt the cold chill of indifference.  We are told, in essence, that we don’t matter.  It is a bitter pill that many of us have been compelled to swallow.  Hopefully, most of us no longer smile and say the obligatory, “yum!”

It’s frustrating.  We get angry.  We howl at the moon.  How the hell can so many turn a blind, oblivious eye to our suffering?  Why the hell doesn’t somebody do something?

The cold, harsh reality is that those of us who have actually been doing something are burned out.  We’re done taking the bullets for those who prefer to cower in corners.  We too would prefer to be elsewhere having fun.

When I hit the wall of indifference and never-ending expectations from people I have never met ~ people who can’t be bothered to remember my birthday ~ people who only show up when they want something ~ people who run for the hills when it is time to reciprocate, I had the good fortune to have dinner with Shannon Wilson.

Anne Caroline and Shannon Wilson

Anne Caroline and Shannon Wilson, January, 2013

Dance to the music.

There are few people I admire as much as Shannon.  She achieved more progress for protective mothers than anyone else I know about, and she got brutally kicked in the teeth as her reward.  I was devastated when she withdrew her brilliant Rights for Mothers blog, but I understood on a soul level exactly why she did it.

Then, I noticed that Shannon was happy.  She had a new man in her life.  He’d long been a dear friend.  She relocated and spent her days fishing and taking amazing photographs.  She invested her energies in favorite music that speaks to her soul.  I realized that it wouldn’t be long before I’d be following in her footsteps.

I know that many of my readers would love to achieve change.  Many of you think that the court system is your only answer.  Yet, throughout history, it has been the artists who lead real change.  So, at the end of this horrendous and taxing day, I want to encourage you to tap into your creative side ~ the aspect of your personality that connects you to the Universe ~ your Spirit ~ your essence.

You’ll likely discover that your artistic endeavors are far more powerful than your words or any legal brief.

2 responses to “Wisdom of Nelson Mandela

  1. Dear Anne,

    I only discovered your blog a few months ago but it has been a godsend to me. I appreciate the wisdom of you encouraging healing through moving away from the battles abusors thrive upon. But I am in the midst of divorce from a man who has filed dozens of motions, has his attorney send me letters threatening mr with jail, 200 pages of interrogatories, classic litigation abuse. It is sanctioned lunancy, made more so by the fact no mortgage has been paid in almost 3 years, the house is in active foreclosure while he incurs $6,000 per month from his divorce attorney. The courts allow this while the children face poverty. I am living a nightmare in trying to break free, trying to help my traumatized children and stave off homelessness while looking for a job and dealing with two legal cases (divorce/custody and foreclosure). Friends are shocked and disbelieving but the domestic violence advocates understand instantly. My youngest says he longs for pre-litigation mom, and that haunts me. BTW, I am a DePaul alum too. Best to you and others in this boat.


    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Wow! Deep breath. I need to process this.

    I’m not at the best place myself right now, but I think we need to noodle on your situation. “Litigation abuse” was developed and refined in the courts of Cook County. . .and allowed to happen by judges who are our fellow alums.

    If I get run over by a bus, my first recommendation to you is to make sure the judges in your case know you are a DePaul alum. A significant number of the judges in Cook County share our pedigree, and it makes a HUGE difference.

    DePaul’s law school has at least one professor who is empathetic. There’s a DV group in Chicago that does better than most. One of the followers of my blog lives in the Riverside area. She’s walking in your shoes. She’s found a measure of success by refusing to fight.

    I have an ironclad policy of not trying to help people one-to-one because I don’t have the energy or the time or the resources, but I will make an exception to e-mail you privately. No promises. Just good intentions.

    Eve Ensler’s One Billion Rising theme for 2014 is justice.

    My prayer is that we can figure out a way to find justice for you.

    Sending hugs and best wishes,
    Anne Caroline

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