International Women's Day

Kaity Van Riper
Posted March 8, 2019 from United States

I'm a United States citizen. I didn't do anything to earn it, didn't have to travel to get here. I have a small, modest, but comfortable home, large enough for my family of four. I call it small by American standards, but I'm sure many people throughout the globe would call it a mansion.

We have food on our table every night. Even when money is tight, "no food" just means we have to resort to the canned tuna or pasta in the back of the pantry.

I can say what I want freely. I can come and go as I please (mostly, as I am a mother). I can dress as I choose and pray without persecution.  

I'm incredibly lucky, which I take for granted too often.

Another woman was born in Syria, her country war torn, she flees for her life. Someone else was born in Mexico. Her children are hungry and in danger. And another woman in North Korea. 

Not one of us chose our circumstances.  I did nothing right to live so comfortably.  They did nothing wrong to suffer so much.

I feel sick and ashamed at the red, white and blue nation of Donald Trump.  How dare we close borders, build walls, turn away those in need. Lady Liberty once stood as a beacon of hope as the "tired, the poor, huddled masses" were welcomed to Ellis Island. Today, her hands are tied,  forbidden to lift her arms in a welcoming embrace.  

Have we Americans lost all sense of humanity? Perhaps. We've forgotten our own roots. We are also afraid. And so, we turn everyone outside our hypothetical walls into "the other".  

I urge my own people to stop. Stop being afraid. Look. Do we see our own, scared children in the eyes of a refugee child? Do we see our mother in the wrinkled face of a woman who has lost everything? Do we see our sister, who would do anything to get her children the medical help needed? 

We are not so different.  We all just want the same things. To my sisters out there today, all over the world. Please know,  i dont deserve what I have. You are stronger and braver than I could ever be. 

You are in my heart and prayers today. I will fight for you. Just know, in my heart and my home, you are always welcome. 

 

Comments 17

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Leina
Mar 08
Mar 08

Happy International women`s day dear sister Kaity.Thank you for sharing with us on this special day.I deeply admire your heart of love and concern.Hugs

Kaity Van Riper
Mar 08
Mar 08

Leina,
Hugs to you. I just read about how you're educating young girls about their bodies. What an amazing mission!!

Mauri Favaron
Mar 08
Mar 08

Kaity, sister dear,

I'm from Italy, and also did nothing to deserve the same luck you say. And so many times I pondered and wondered, in so similar terma you do. Politicians here have already built their wall, in the Sea, and make a motive of pride and glory of blocking people there.

And, the language. You know, it's the same as in US now. A language of aggression, rage, hatred. Of difference-seeking, and making. Of Territory, of Us vs them. Many profess these inhumane words, and many more follow them, with nothing special to say because they lack even the courage to let others to know how tiny, how useless their lives are.

The only hope, is concern, as you so powerfully say.

I feel people of good will as you have a dire task, now and in the future. When the flame of rage will have consumed itself, after the usual wave of destruction it carries on the World, survivors will have to re-build connections, communities, hopes.

A mother's job.

Hugs, and love.

Kaity Van Riper
Mar 08
Mar 08

Mauri,
Thank you for writing so beautifully. I know people like you can be a voice for change in your country!! Love to you.

maeann
Mar 08
Mar 08

Let’s continue to be hopeful... Hugs

Kaity Van Riper
Mar 08
Mar 08

Mae Me,
Yes! Let's never stop hoping. Hugs to you, too!

Dear Kaity,

I found my tears falling while reading such a beautifully-written post. It's true that a standard American home is already considered a mansion in the Philippines.

When the poorest of us say we have "no food”, we mean there is nothing to eat at all. Because a small portion of rice with a little salt can still be “food”.

Every year, we are hit by disasters. Many of our countrymen lose their homes, livelihood, and worse, family members. We did not choose to be born here, too.

I’m so touched that with your privileged life in America, you chose to look beyond and emphathize with the rest of the world. Thank you for reaching out and offering encouragement. That is such a precious gift this International Women’s Day.

Thank you!

uduakedet
Mar 09
Mar 09

Happy international women's day. Thanks for this

Olutosin
Mar 09
Mar 09

Thank you for your stand. Together we will go far.

Jill Langhus
Mar 09
Mar 09

Hi Kaity,

Welcome back:-) It's great to see you back on the forum! And, I hear you. I'm also a U.S. citizen but truly fortunate to have had the opportunity to move to Spain. So, you think the main problem with the immigration, or possibly in general, in the U.S. is that people are afraid? I'm curious what your thoughts are. I personally think it could be a multitude of things, including general lack of empathy for others (since a lot of Americans stick to themselves and their own families) and/or also a general blind faith in following the masses (which could also be a global epidemic to some degree).

On another note, you may want to consider submitting your post for the current call for stories, "Change starts with a story." If so, this is the link: https://www.worldpulse.com/en/voices-rising/story-awards/89833

Kaity Van Riper
Mar 13
Mar 13

Thanks for writing. Yes, I'm glad to be back writing. I had a second child and life got chaotic for a bit.

I do think the immigration issue/border talk in the US is murifaceted and there's no simple solution. One, I think there are a lot of uneducated, racist people who have suddenly felt free to voice a lot of hateful speech. Sadly, our current leaders have helped create that environment.

I think the majority (my opinion, no facts to support this) of Americans actually do care. I live on the east coast and many of us have lost loved ones on September 11th, 2001, or were impacted by the Boston Marathon bombings, etc.
I think people are afraid and the media feeds into their fears . When people are afraid they close up and shut down.

I also think our two party political system is outdated and problematic . I think our last presidential election proved that. The majority of my friends and family, which is diverse on religious, economic and political beliefs voted for a candidate because they hated them less than the other candidate . Other friends didn't vote at all because they felt that both candidates were dishonest politicians and neither deserved to win, or, they felt that a vote for an independent candidate would just be a vote for Trump . I really believe the majority of Americans felt hopeless in the last election.

Jill Langhus
Mar 14
Mar 14

You're welcome:-) Oh, I bet!

Yes! Hmm. You're probably right about that, unfortunately. We need more love, tolerance, and diversity training/sensitization.

That's great that you think that Americans care. I hope they do. I hear you about 9/11. My hubby and I were living in Ellicott City, MD at the time, and boy did that hit us personally. I had quite a few co-workers that knew of people that were in the pentagon and the towers that day, so I hear you on the impact of that event. I totally agree about the media feeding the fears. It's not a good influence at all. I suppose people do shut down when they're afraid. I hadn't thought of that. It seems people are more likely to follow the crowd when they are fearful, I think that's why the media does it.

Yeah, that last election was a joke for sure, and I totally agree with you. The system is outdated and needs to be reworked. I heard that from a lot of people about just voting for one candidate over the other because they hated them less. So much dirt was flung on both parties, that no one knew what was true and what wasn't, or what the candidates values are/were. Difficult. And, I also understanding about the not voting, too.

I'm really curious how this next election is going to go down. I really hope, though, that a candidate that cares about women's rights and the environment gets in, though, because our beautiful planet can't sustain anymore setbacks, as far as I'm concerned:-(

Kaity Van Riper
Mar 14
Mar 14

I agree with you. We need so much more love and tolerance. The political system seems like a complete circus these days, with certain leaders especially.

Wow, we lived close! I live in Frederick, MD.
Elllicott City has been hit hard with flooding this past year. I've only been there once.

I love this small world!

Jill Langhus
Mar 15
Mar 15

Yes, I agree on the circus.

Wow! Have you always lived in Frederick? Such a beautiful area, and state for that matter. I miss the lush greenery there. My sister still lives in Ellicott City.

Kaity Van Riper
Mar 21
Mar 21

So crazy. I've been here for about 5 years. I lived all over, but Jersey for most of my life. What are you doing overseas? What a cool experience.

Jill Langhus
Mar 22
Mar 22

Oh, okay. My hubby and I decided to relocate for a slower pace of life, so we could focus more on life, my purpose, and also to be closer to his family, in England:-) Yes, it is. We are blessed.

otahelp
Mar 09
Mar 09

We are all one Blue, yellow, red, pink and black. We need to understand that and we will be free to accommodate others not by lip service but in our hearts and action.. thank you Kaity. Stay hooked her and we are here to connect

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