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Monday, November 30, 2009

A Little Perspective

Last night I was flipping aimlessly through the channels. I have over 200 channels and yet somehow, I STILL could not find anything to watch.

That takes real talent.

I stumbled upon CNN (which I am sad to admit, doesn't happen as often as I like to pretend it does) which was broadcasting the CNN: Heroes tribute special.

The show was already in progress and Nicole Kidman was up on stage presenting an award to a woman in the audience. The woman wiped tears from her eyes as she walked up to the podium. The camera flashed on various celebrities (Pierce Brosnan, Carrie Underwood) who were shown also wiping their tears and looking inspired by this woman.

There was something about the quiet gravity of the woman's voice that moved me when I heard her speak, after she collected herself at the podium. And I wanted to learn more.

So I went to so I could read more about her.

Her name is Betty Makoni and she founded Zimbabwe's Girl Child Network, which assists young women who have been raped.

She has helped rescue over 35,000 women from the horrors of rape.

35,000 women.

200 channels.

35,000 WOMEN.

200 channels.

As I read more about this woman, this angel of a woman, I came to learn that she herself was raped when she was 6 years old. Her mother told her that it was not be discussed and she hid her scars away, as women and young girls must do around this world every day.

She has helped 35,000 women.

200 channels.

6 years old.

According to the article, there is a "virgin myth" that is perpetuated in Zimbabwe by religious elders and spiritual healers that a man infected with HIV can be "cured" if he rapes a virgin.

According to UNICEF, some of these "virgins" are too young to walk.

Too young to walk.

What does that even mean?

I started trying to do the math. My daughter started walking when she was thirteen months old.



As I read further, I stumbled upon the words that confirmed that I hadn't read that wrong. That I hadn't stumbled on the words.

"The youngest girl I ever came across was a day-old baby who was raped."



35,000,000 women.
200 channels.
6 year old girl
Day Old Baby.

God, no.

I went to my daughter's room and kissed her sleeping head and said a prayer thanking God that I can give her a life where she will never, ever have to deal with that horror.


I heard a quote the other day that struck a chord with me.

"Life is not considerate."

Well, just to be clear, Life has been pretty considerate to me. Life knocks on my door and drops in and leaves me a lasagne every once in a while. Life lends a hand and while it has sometimes been a little moody, for the most part, Life has held its temper with me and been polite. Life does not always feel like it's my best friend, but it has not stabbed me in the back and left me hurt with wounds that can't heal.

But I would say that for these women, these young girls, these toddlers, these BABIES - Life is NOT considerate. Life has been rude, stingy and hasn't given them a voice that was heard.

I sometimes wish I was a more religious person - but I do believe in God and while I don't necessarily understand more than this absolute - that I believe God has a plan for all the souls in our world, I must pray for these women that there is a plan. I have to believe that there is.

That there is hope.

That someone is listening.

That someone cares.

Betty Makoni is that person in the absence of divine intervention. She's the teacher, the healer, the leader, the figurehead and the force that will drive these women to the light.

35,000 women.

And counting.

Thanks to true heros like Betty Makoni. I am BLOWN AWAY.

What an inspiration.

Please read this article for the full story on this AMAZING woman.


Glennon said...

Maybe Betty Makoni IS the divine intervention.I think we're all supposed to be, probably.

Beautiful, though heart wrenching post. Looking forward to reading the whole article. Thank you Kiran!

Masala Chica said...

I hope so Glennon. Thanks for pointing that out.

In Sankskrit, the salutation "Namaste", which you probably have heard - means "In You I See the Divine."

Wouldn't it be wonderful if everybody could "see."?

Anna See said...

Thank you for sharing this story with us today, Kiran. You ruined my day, and I mean that in a good way. How can we go on knowing what we know now?

Masala Chica said...

I am sorry Anna :-( I really don't know. I think one thing is no matter how bad our day seems, having a true appreciation for how lucky we really are.

I know that I have a new charity that is going to be contributed to from our family as much as we can.

Namaste . . .

Glennon said...


Anonymous said...

Thanks for that. I really appreciated your blog, and you speak God’s honest truth when you say that Life’s not considerate for some. I saw the movie Precious (based on the fictional novel Push) this weekend and it’s about an illiterate girl who endures being sexually, physically, and verbally abused by both parents. Though the story was fiction, I couldn’t help but acknowledge the fact that somebody somewhere is going through the exact same thing, and I’m sure it’s happening here in the Land of the Free, much more than we care to admit. I went home and hugged my baby girl SOOOOO tight, and thanked God for her life, and prayed that I would always be able to protect her. I think we could all get so much more done in the way of protecting and caring for each other if we gave up our 200 channels. I’ll be sure to check out your blog more often!

- Candus

Glennon said...

"live simply so that others may simply live."

When Did I Become said...

I would love to read that article, but the reality is just too much for me to cope with.

I cannot fathom how someone can do that to another human being, and far less to an innocent child.

It makes me sick to my stomach and it sends me into a tailspin to think of the lives of promise, the ability to trust and love, sense of self, sense of security, sense of justice... lost.

Is this a sin that can really be forgiven?

Bridget said...

wow. I had no idea. I am trying to be grateful but I am so depressed.

So very sad.

I am going to read about more heroes. thanks for sharing the article!

nicklavezzo said...

I think the only way to understand how and why these things can happen in the presence of a loving God is to accept the fact that if we believe in good, we by default have to believe in evil. Evil is out there, and it does its best to steal from, kill, and destroy peoples' lives. Throw human free will into the mix and you've got the recipe for a very real and constant struggle between good and evil - a struggle that people seem to have forgotten about in the last few decades.

The great thing about good is that it comes from God, and when it confronts evil and doesn't give up, it always prevails. That woman is a perfect example. Terrible evil was done to her, but God has used that terrible experience to bring healing, hope, and a future to
35,000 other girls. Those girls now have the ability to do good in turn. I think that's a great charity, and every dime given to them is an act of good that will be used to overcome evil in the lives of precious human beings.

Masala Chica said...

Nick, that is a beautiful, eloquent thought. What makes what this woman does even more beautiful in our eyes is the stark contrast of the ugliness and the EVIL which set the wheels in motion in her life.

Thanks for your thoughts - as always - love them.


Glennon said...

i heart nicklavezzo.
don't tell craig.

Anonymous said...

I watched that entire segment - wasn't that amazing! - Jodi McDermott

Masala Chica said...

I stepped into it late. Words are kind of inadequate in retelling this woman's story . . . but amazing, awesome, inspiring, TREMENDOUS are some that work.

Anonymous said...

I just read her are right, words are inadequate. Makes me appreciate my life more.
BTW... I love your blog. - Michelle Ulino Leitao


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