• Kiosk

Last night I sent my 24-year-old daughter down to the kiosk at the end of our neighborhood street to purchase a phone card so I could make some calls. It was around 7:00 p.m. and there was no electricity in our area, which is unfortunately typical, so the only lights were those emanating from cell phones as people use them as torches to light their way. Within a few minutes she beeped me and I immediately called her back. She was crying uncontrollably, but managing to convey that a soldier had come up behind her at the kiosk and beat her profusely. A friend of mine was at the house visiting with us, and since I’m handicapped and can’t move very quickly, she ran out the door to see how she could help. It seemed like an eternity before she finally called about five minutes later, saying they were fine, but my daughter was taking some time to calm down and collect herself before coming back to the house and into the arms of her 8-month-old son, my grandson.

We are living in a neighborhood relatively new to us; only being here for three months, but it’s a nice neighborhood. And my daughter has only been with us for two of those months, having moved here from another country nearby. As I considered these things, I concluded that there could be no “cause” for this violence against my very petite daughter. It was just a random act. And by one who’s supposedly given his life to service for our safety.

My unflappable friend went back out in that dark night to investigate what had happened. Our curiosity was burning, and our thoughts inflaming us. Turns out that there were two soldiers, and after my daughter had given her money to the man at the kiosk, she heard voices behind her saying, “Let’s beat this girl. Yeah, we won’t let her pass.” Then when she turned, thinking they were playing and talking about someone else, one of them struck her in the face, and then the other slapped her so hard it knocked her to the ground. Then they just kept beating her until the man at the kiosk intervened, saying, “Why are you beating her?” They then started to come after him and then the other young men standing around the kiosk (as young men tend to do that time of night), told the soldiers, “You just try and beat our friend and see what happens.” At that, the soldiers walked on back to their quarters.

How is a mom supposed to act in a situation like this? What do I tell my daughter? How do I help her deal with this? How do I help her put some perspective on what she just suffered? How do I relate to my community as this story circulates and everyone wants to give me their opinion or judgment, expressing their outrage or frustration?

What about these soldiers? How am I to feel about them? Am I to vent all my emotion toward them and some just punishment? How would that affect things? Should I direct all my venting at just these two soldiers? What about the other boys standing by who let them beat on my daughter, but then stood up for their male friend? And where do I direct my passion: toward those boys, or their parents? But isn’t this the mind that’s bred in our culture? It’s rooted in the very fabric of our society. So how do I react? What do I think? What do I do? How do I continue? What will allow me to continue? What do I need to happen from this situation? What is the result I really want?

Then I asked myself: What would affect the outcome I would hope to realize? And the answer back to myself was: A Miracle.

But as I analyzed this, I was brought to look within. And as the dawning of a new day emerging, I was seeing fresh light on an old landscape, which gave me to see what I already knew, anew. A miracle had begun to take place, and it was taking place in me. The desperate cry within was being replaced with rays of hope as a new perspective was lightening upon my consciousness. And panic was dissipating as peace was flooding my being.

Just a moment before I had been feeling hopeless and impotent; caught in a net of evil in a sea of ruined hearts and minds. But now I was feeling a field of immunity come over me, as if all the strands of corrupted nature that had found me, trapped and imprisoned me, were suddenly no longer able to hold me. Not that I was stronger, but had become of a different nature; one for which those cords had no effect. My mind had been seized, but now I was free! And what was the nature that had transformed me? Love.

It sounds trite to say it. In fact, as I see the words on the screen, I’m almost embarrassed to continue. But instantly I recognize that’s the old mind and not the new, trying to trap me again in that prison mentality. Why am I afraid to speak about love and forgiveness? Why is it easier to talk about how we’ve been victimized and abused? And who is my audience when I go on like that, but those who have also been caught in that evil net. And is there any end to that line? That chorus would sing for eternity. But is being a member of that choir breathing in any life?

I thought about those soldiers. What caused them to pick my daughter at random and just start beating on her? It suddenly seemed to me that this was a mind that was not so different from the one I had. It’s a mind that sees everyone and everything external to itself; separate from itself. In my case, I am continually being victimized. I am always on the defensive, watching out for those ruthless takers always trying to take advantage of me. Certainly these soldiers had been in my shoes before, suffering how I have suffered and so now, they have vowed never to be a victim again. They’ve seen that the world is full of takers and those being taken. So given these choices, they’ve decided to become takers. That whole line of logic is a problem; takers and those being taken. In fact, maybe it’s the fundamental problem afflicting the whole world.

Now I’m seeing out of a mind that wants to embrace those soldiers, and I know that sounds crazy. But I’m experiencing something within; something life changing. How do I communicate that? I’m experiencing something. Not dreaming about something, not feeling something; a change has come over me. I want to meet those soldiers, sit down with them and have a conversation. I want to explain to them what I’m now seeing; maybe in effect, being their eyes for a moment to help them see what I’m seeing. And what is it that I’m seeing?

I’m seeing that we are not all separate, but together; in fact One. We are all of one family. And we are all dependent on one another, not independent of one another. This incident has made this fact so clear to me. If I love them, they will feel love, and if I don’t, they may not. And if they love me, or more specifically, if they love my daughter, they would never think of harming her. These young men are brothers to my daughter, and she, their sister. These soldiers are my sons and I, their mother. Shouldn’t I as their mother, sit down and speak with my sons about this matter, heart to heart?

Does this thinking sound fanciful to you? It may. It probably would’ve sounded fanciful to me yesterday morning. But today I’m experiencing its life. Today I’m feeling liberated from a mind that continually held me captive to governing thoughts tailored to keep me subject to schemes that victimize me; to keep me afraid, skeptical, and poor. Today I am enriched by a mind that holds immunity against those systems of self promotion and greed. I still see they exist, and in fact govern over the lives of most people. But I have seen through that mind and am now seeing out of another; one which sees how we are together, and how you need me as I need you. And what’s interesting is that in this mind now operating, I can see that everyone else somehow inherently knows this. It’s just that we’ve suffered under the burden of an oppressive interpretation to all of our bad experiences. Instead of suggesting love and forgiveness, instead of suggesting dialog and interaction, that old mind taught us to fear, separate, reject, and avenge.

I’m going to go meet those boys. I don’t want them to think I hate them. I want them to know that I think of them as my sons and that I love them. I may scold them as any loving mother would, but they will feel my love and know that I am scolding them because I love them and have embraced them as my sons, and that I think and expect better of them. And you know what? They may reject my loving embrace. But that will not stop my love. And I know they will remember. You can’t forget a mother’s love.

And my daughter? Well, she’s their sister, and she’s going with me.

May there still be suffering ahead? More than likely, yes. But that suffering will no longer imprison me as it did before. It will become my soapbox to liberate another, perhaps a multitude of others; perhaps even the one being used to “net” me. For I see that he and I are together, and he needs me. He needs my love, that he too may be freed.


Hier soir, j'ai envoyé ma fille de 24ans, vers le kiosque à la fin de notre rue du quartier, de m'acheter une carte de crédit de téléphone pour que je puisse faire quelques appels. Il était environ 19h00 et il n'y avait pas d'électricité dans notre quartier, ce qui n'est malheureusement pas facile, de sorte que les seules lumières sont celles émanâtes de téléphones cellulaires que les gens utilisent comme des torches pour éclairer leur chemin. En quelques minutes, elle me fait bip-bip et j'ai immédiatement appelé son téléphone. Elle pleurait incontrôlablement, mais la question était qu'un soldat était venu derrière elle au kiosque et l'a battue à profusion. Un de mes amis était à la maison nous rendre visite, et étant donner que je suis handicapé et je ne peut pas me déplacer très rapidement, elle courut à la porte pour voir comment elle pourrait l aider. Il m'a semblé une éternité avant de finalement m’appelé à environ cinq minutes plus tard, en disant qu'ils étaient bien, mais ma fille a été prise peu de temps pour se calmer et se recueillir avant de revenir à la maison et dans mes bras j’avais son fils de 8 mois. Donc, mon petit-fils.

Nous vivons dans un quartier relativement nouveau pour nous, mais, c'est un quartier agréable. Et ma fille a été avec nous pour deux mois, seulement après avoir été en déplacé dans d'un autre pays voisin. Comme je l'ai pensé à ces choses, j'ai conclu qu'il pourrait y avoir aucune «cause» de cette violence à l'égard de ma fille . C'était juste un acte aléatoire. Et par celui qui est soi-disant donné sa vie au service de notre sécurité en abuse.

Mon amie retourna dans cette nuit noire pour enquêter sur ce qui s'était passé. Notre curiosité était en feu, et nos pensées nous enflammer. Il s'avère qu'il y avait deux soldats, et d’ après ma fille lui avait donné de l'argent à l'homme du kiosque, elle entendit des voix derrière elle en disant: «Allons battre cette fille , nous ne serons pas la laisser passer. "Puis, quand elle se retourna, pensant qu'ils jouaient et de parler de quelqu'un d'autre, l'un d'eux l'a frappée au visage, puis l'autre giflée si fort qu'il l'a jetée au sol. Puis ils ont juste continué à le battre jusqu'à ce que l'homme au kiosque intervenue, en disant: "Pourquoi battez –vous cette fille ?" Ils ont alors commencé à venir auprès de lui, puis les autres jeunes gens se tenant autour du kiosque et disent aux soldats non c’est trop, n’oser pas a frapper notre camarade vous nous verraient dans quels bois ont se chauffent, nous allons aider notre camarade et ont va vous tabasser a mort.

Comment une maman peut censé agir dans une telle situation? Que dois-je dire à ma fille? Comment puis-je l'aider à régler ce problème? Comment puis-je l'aider à mettre une certaine perspective sur ce qu'elle vient de subir? Comment puis-je rapporter à ma communauté que cette histoire circule et tout le monde veut me donner leur opinion ou un jugement, d'exprimer leur indignation ou la frustration?

Qu'en est-il de ces soldats? Comment je peux me sentir à leur sujet? Comment puis -je mettrais toutes mes émotions à leur égard et une punition juste? Comment cela affecterait-il les choses? Devrais-je diriger toute ma ventilation au juste ces deux soldats? Qu'en est-il des autres garçons qui étaient pressants qui ne sont pas intervenu et qui ont laisse les militaires battre ma fille, mais sont par la suite levés pour leur ami masculin? Et où puis-je diriger ma passion: vers ces garçons, ou leurs parents? Mais n'est-ce pas l'esprit qui est élevé dans notre culture? Il est enraciné dans le tissu même de nos sociétés. Alors, comment puis-je réagir? Qu'est-ce que je peux pense et dois-je faire? Comment puis-je continuer avec cette souffrance ? Comment puis-je continuer? Comment dois-je arriver à remédier a cette situation? Quel est le résultat car la ségrégation continue ?

Puis je me suis demandé: Que peut être le résultat, et comment y parvenir ? Et la réponse à moi-même était: un miracle.

Mais comme je l'ai analysé ce, j'ai été amené à regarder à l'intérieur de moi même. Et comme l'aube d'une nouvelle journée émergente, je voyais une lumière nouvelle sur un vieux paysage, ce qui m'a permis de voir ce que je savais déjà, à nouveau. Un miracle avait commencé à prendre place, et cela se passe en moi. Le cri désespéré au sein de moi a été remplacée par des rayons d'espoir que dans une perspective nouvelle qui alléger sur ma conscience. Et la peur, ou tout au moins la panique, se dissipait et la paix a inondée mon être.

Juste un instant avant, j'avais un sentiment de désespoir et d'impuissance; pris dans un filet du mal dans tout mon être et l’esprit en ruine. Et je voulais me venger, en portant plainte et le matin comme on dit la nuit porte conseil, je me sentais un champ de l'immunité vienne sur moi, comme si tous les volets de la nature corrompue qui m'avait trouvé, pris au piège et moi emprisonné, étaient soudainement plus en mesure de me tenir. Non pas que j'étais plus fort, mais il était devenu d'une nature différente; celle pour laquelle ces cordons n'a eu aucun effet. Mon esprit avait été saisi, mais maintenant je suis libre! Et quelle était la nature qui m'avait transformée? Amour et le Pardon .voila le changement que nous devons vouloir.

Cela semble banal de le dire. En fait, comme je vois les mots sur l'écran, je suis presque gênée de continuer. Mais instantanément Je reconnais que c'est le vieil esprit et non le nouveau, qui essayait de me piéger à nouveau dans cette mentalité prisonnière. Pourquoi suis-je avoir peur de parler de l'amour et du pardon? Pourquoi est-il plus facile de parler de la façon que nous avons été victimes et abusé? Et qui est mon public qui doit me lire et je vais m’éterniser dans cet esprit maudit comme ça ? mais ceux qui ont également été pris dans ce filet du mal pourront-ils mettre fin à cette ligne de conduite? Ce cœur chantait pour l'éternité. Mais une obligation d’être membre de cette aspiration du cœur dans toute la vie !!!!!!!

J'ai pensé à ces soldats. Quelle est la cause de prendre ma fille au hasard et commencer à la battre ? Il me parut soudain qu'il s'agissait d'un esprit qui n'était pas si différent de celui que j'avais eu. C'est une conscience qui voit tout et extériorise; séparé de lui-même. Dans mon cas, je suis sans cesse victime. Je suis toujours sur la défensive, en faisant attention pour les preneurs d'impitoyables toujours en essayant de profiter de moi. Certes, ces soldats avaient été quelque part, la souffrance que j'ai souffert et maintenant, eux pensent être les non juges et de ne jamais être victime. Ils ont vu que le monde est plein de preneurs et ceux qui sont plus forts. Donc, étant donné ces choix, ils ont décidé de devenir preneurs. Cette ligne et cette logique est un problème; preneurs et ceux qui sont moins forts. En fait, c'est peut-être le problème fondamental qui afflige le monde entier.

Maintenant que je vois que ces derniers ne comprennent pas que le monde évolue dans le positif et doivent avoir un esprit qui peut convertir ces soldats, et je sais que cela semble flou. Mais je veux vivre quelque chose au sein de notre pays, je dis quelque chose de changeant. Comment puis-je communiquer cela? Je rencontre quelque chose. Sans songer à quelque chose, ne pas se sentir quelque chose, un changement est venu sur moi. Je tiens à répondre à ces soldats, s'asseoir avec eux et avoir une conversation. Je veux leur expliquer ce que je suis en train de voir, peut-être en effet, être leurs yeux un instant pour les aider à voir ce que je vois. Et qu'est-ce que je vois?

Je vois que nous ne sommes pas tous distincts, mais ensemble, en fait un. Nous sommes tous d'une même famille. Et nous sommes tous dépendants les uns des autres, et non pas indépendantes les unes des autres. Cet incident a fait de ce fait si clair pour moi. Si je les aime, ils vont ressentir de l'amour, et si je ne fais pas, ils ne peuvent pas. Et si on m'aime, ou plus précisément, s'ils aiment ma fille, ils ne penseraient jamais à lui faire du mal. Ces jeunes hommes sont frères à ma fille, et elle, leur sœur. Ces soldats sont mes fils et moi, leur mère. N'aurais-je pas comme leur mère, s'asseoir et parler avec mes fils à ce sujet, cœur à cœur?

Est-ce son pensant fantaisie pour vous? Il peut. Il aurait probablement déjà sonné fantaisiste pour moi hier matin. Mais aujourd'hui, je suis dans sa vie. Aujourd'hui, je me sens libéré d'un esprit qui ne cessent de me tenait en captivité à des pensées qui régissent adaptées pour me garder soumis à des régimes qui me victimisent; pour me tenir peur, sceptiques, et les pauvres. Aujourd'hui, je suis enrichi par un esprit qui détient une immunité contre ces systèmes de l'autopromotion et la cupidité. Je vois encore ils existent, et en fait gouverner sur la vie de la plupart des gens. Mais j'ai vu à travers cet esprit et je suis maintenant voir sur une autre; celle qui voit la façon dont nous sommes ensemble, et comment vous avez besoin de moi que j'ai besoin de toi. Et ce qui est intéressant, c'est que dans cet esprit fonctionne maintenant, je vois que tout le monde en quelque sorte par nature sait cela. C'est juste que nous avons souffert sous le fardeau d'une interprétation oppressive à l'ensemble de nos mauvaises expériences. Au lieu de suggérer l'amour et le pardon, au lieu de suggérer de dialogue et d'interaction, que l'esprit vieille nous a appris à craindre, séparer, de rejeter, et de venger.

Je vais aller à la rencontre de ces garçons. Je ne veux pas qu'ils pensent que je les hais. Je veux qu'ils sachent que je pense d'eux que mes fils et que je les aime. Je les gronde comme toute mère aimante le ferais, mais ils se sentiront mon amour et je sais que je les gronde parce que je les aime et les ont adoptées comme mes fils, et que je pense et s'attendre à mieux d'eux. Et vous savez quoi? Ils peuvent rejeter mon étreinte affectueuse. Mais cela n'empêchera pas mon amour. Et je sais qu'ils se souviendront. Vous ne pouvez pas oublier l'amour d'une mère.

Et ma fille? Eh bien, elle est leur sœur, et elle va avec moi.

Peut-il encore souffrir avant? Plus que probablement, oui. Mais cette souffrance ne sera plus m'emprisonner comme avant. Il va devenir ma caisse à savon pour libérer une autre, peut-être une multitude d'autres, peut-être même celui qui est utilisé pour «net» moi. Car je vois que lui et moi sommes ensemble, et il a besoin de moi. Il a besoin de mon amour, que lui aussi peut être libéré.

Take action! This post was submitted in response to Ending Gender-Based Violence 2012.

Comment on this Post


Thank you for sharing this exquisitely lovely and thoughtful and world-changing article on what needs to happen WITHIN us before anything can happen outside. It is only when we remember, as you did, that we are all sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers and, as such, must address everyone as a beloved family member. That doesn't mean we have to like or accept everything that has been done, but just as we would help a young child learn their lessons, we need to approach others with the same love.

I became keenly aware of this in a dream many, many years ago. In my dream, I was getting into my car that was parked in a large garage. I because aware of someone hiding under a blanket immediately behind me and jumped out of my car, threw open the door and started to beat on the covered up person with a large ball bat, only to discover that the person I was so frightened of and angry with and beating intensely was my own precious son. I grabbed him in my arms and woke up in a terrified cold sweat wondering how I could be so badly mistaken and have beaten my own son almost to death. And that is when it dawned on me.

They are all my sons. They are all my daughters. Everyone deserves a mothers tender love. Including me. Including my attackers. Including the people I am most frightened of.

Thank you for your brave heart and your exquisite ability to share your voice.

That's why you are so recognized to come here and share it across my country. People will be changed because of you. The world will change with this change within..... this change of heart.



It is so good to be changing, Ruth. How wonderful it is to be growing. Awake we are becoming; alive, conscious, present.

Thank you Gran Sister.

Neema - In this piece you have singlehandedly illuminated not only the soul of your writing, but also the genius of your mind: the mind of a true revolutionary. Your words here will go far. Watch and see. Thank you for speaking out and telling your truth.

Jensine Larsen World Pulse

Thank you for caring Usha, and for staying connected. What a blessing you are. it's so good to see your embracing welcome when new sisters come and join hands with us.

Best to you,


A very touching and emotional story Neema. May you, your daughter, and family find strength following an unfortunate event. It's sad that these types of acts take place at all. Rest assured that not all soldiers and young men perpetuate violence, and those who do, have the potential to change when embraced. It is very brave and compassionate of you to extend love to these young men.

As a mother, you have every right to want to 'do something'. One of the best things you can do is be there for your daughter and grandchild, while harvesting "Love" in your thoughts and actions toward the young men. Another way to reach perpetrators of violence against women is by empowering them, and getting them to understand that rape is a tool used to hinder the progress of a community as a whole.

Maybe these young men will come to consider your wisdom, and embrace your peace offering. Maybe they will apologize (with sincerity) to you and your daughter. Perhaps they will become models for other young men to emulate.

There are groups such as Dolphin Anti-Rape & AIDS Control Outreach who train women, and young girls and boys, in protection and self-defense. They also believe in embracing aggressors in hopes of transforming them.

Thanks again for sharing how you turned a negative experience into one of love and forgiveness.

Blessings & Love!

Darren Bunton

Good to hear from you again Dean. Missed not connecting with you in person on your visits to the area.

Thank you so much for your supporting and encouraging words regarding the event, and words of hope as to how this response can and does produce the outcome we truly desire.

Thank you for your heart for us here,


My Dear Neema,

How my spirit cried out first in pain, then in rejoicing as I saw the spiritual change take hold of you deep within. It is so easy to lash out in anger, and make it two wrongs, and that never makes a right. How I know that the wisdom you shared will come to fruition as you begin to reach out to each individual in your crusade to change things.

So why did this have to happen to your daughter, and to yourself? Because she is strong, and you are strong, and therefore you have the power to change the mindset of your country, one by one. A weaker one would not have had the power within to change a situation, as you so desire to do.

It is you that has been chosen before the foundations of this world to make the change come about in your country that is so needed. And God has blessed you with a companion that completely and totally supports you in this walk.

And now you have the audience of the world. They no longer are able to sweep under the rug and keep hidden the atrocities you and your sisters have had to face, and continue to face on a daily basis. But it is through the avenue of education, teaching one by one the reality of what this life is all about, that will set each and every one free.

Bless you my sister. My prayers are with you, as I bring you before the very throne of God in prayer and supplication daily, knowing and believing that my prayers of you will be answered.

Love always, LightLily

You say something so significant Lenella: "They no longer are able to sweep under the rug and keep hidden the atrocities you and your sisters have had to face, and continue to face on a daily basis."

There is indeed a change taking place within us that is instituting a courage and determination to invite the revolution we have longed for. And I don't know how to characterize it other than Light! Seeing is one thing, but feeling connected to Light's Source, peace has flooded my being as it leads me forward in response to the deeds of darkness.

And I think it is right to characterize this change taking place as "a movement". For it is something happening within each one, and then moving us. I ran into someone at the internet cafe yesterday afternoon that I haven't see for a few months, and they had read another letter I'd written that followed the same line, and downloaded it to take and show our mutual friend, saying it had perfectly articulated things happening within them as well.

For your information, I finally had an opening in my schedule last evening and walked over to the compound to visit the boys. It was wonderfully confirming; 30 minutes that registered powerfully within each of us. They asked earnestly for me to come back again tonight. I don't think I will have time, but will get back there again soon.

Thank you for your prayers. I too believe they will be answered along the lines you suggest: it is His destiny for us.

Bless you,



I think it takes real courage to be able to forgive and embrace those who have harmed us. For you to tell your story, comfort your daughter, and also have compassion for the people who hurt her, I commend you. I think you are right about not making one's self a victim, but that still requires lots of strength and courage. Good for you! Your piece is very well-written and moving. Thank you for sharing.

Thank you Abby. I appreciate your support of us in Congo. The personal investment of your time, energy, and skills, are helping all of us here come into the Light of Life.

Your sister and friend,


Dear Neema,

Thank-you for sharing your very well-written story and for inspiring others to have the courage to forgive. You are a true role model, not only for your daughther, but for all of us.


And thank you Annie for taking the time to encourage me. Living these things out is where we truly experience their blessing. And a little encouragement along the road to that end is often quite refreshing. Together,


Hello Neema I want to commend you on your courage and open-heartedness and congratulate you on going to the US to spread your message further. Do you know about the work of Eve Ensler and V-Day in DRC? And the City of Joy they have built? I'm sure it will also be a great connection for you and your work. Love and power to you! Annie

Walk in Beauty Annie

Thank you so much Annie.

Yes, I am very familiar with Eve Ensler and V-Day in DRC. Their City of Joy is right here in Bukavu where I live. They are doing a great work.

Love and power to you my sister.

Dear Neema, Thank you for sharing so honestly about how your heart has opened up. I honor your courage for speaking your truth, despite the fear of sounding "trite". It seems that in times of crisis or woundings, we are given an opportunity to evolve or not to evolve. You have used this incident to transcend, to choose freedom (love) over victimization, and in sharing this story, you turned up the volume on how we can all choose LOVE.

Love to you, Carrie

Surely Love is everyone's preference. But to Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who persecute you, does not come naturally. But I want it so much; to no longer be wrestling with conflicting thoughts and emotions. I am endeavoring to give myself over to that liberated state. May Love lead us on in.

Love to you Carrie,


Dear sister,

The goal for all of us who recognize the unity of all things in one divine source is to live into this realization. You are Love in action, your realization of unity is evident in your action. You are a way shower on the path of Truth. It is easy to talk about it, profess it, and aspire to it, but you truly live it. I am grateful for your presence on the planet. the vibration of the Love that you allow to flow through you, blesses us all.




Your testimony is a life lesson. It is love. It is understanding the realities of the situation not only on one side but on both sides.

These soldiers have lost their youth forced to enroll in the army and to fight for issues they don't understand. You gave me the opportunity to self-reflect on certain situations by offering your story. I hope to reach you one day at the stage you already are now.

Violence has become a normal way of life. it seems to be the only option offered to the young generation.

It only needs one person to start a big thing. Hold on to your idea, plan and approach the officer. If he understands and accepts your approach you will have the opportunity to speak to all these young soldiers who many times forget that they are supposed to protect the population.

Information, education, understanding and love are the keys to difficult situations.

Thank you to make sure to keep us informed.

Kadidia Doumbia

Neema, Thank you for sharing your story. You and your family have endured much. Your capacity for love and forgiveness is a model to us all, and your idea of community as a bridge and as a tool to end violence is a powerful one that should be embraced the world over.

Thank you for your beautiful perspective, Neema. I felt a change in my own heart halfway through your story. I was originally feeling angry that those soldiers did that to your daughter. I felt hardened and sad that I have heard so many similar accounts of violence. Then, something changed in me. I read your words of love, of forgiveness, and experienced in myself the feeling of a generous and forgiving spirit. It is true that we are all in this together. People are complex, are meant to be loved, and desperately seek to be understood. People do not to fit clearly into categories of "victim" and "perpetrator". In order to change the culture of violence we live in, we must move beyond "victim" and "perpetrator" and seek to truly understand and see the humanity in those with whom we share this earth. With an open, loving heart and in solidarity, Shelley

Hi Neema,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts in such incredible detail. I love the reflection, looking externally, considering everyone involved to ultimately looking within. Love is such a powerful feeling, and hopefully it continues to trump fear and the actions fear encourages us as individuals to take. Are you still continuing to feel the same ‘blanket of love’ overcome you?

As I read your posting, I thought you may be interested in the following post:

Thank you for sharing the link; I did indeed enjoy it.

And I am still feeling the same fountain of Love issuing forth from within. It is not only peaceful, but enlivening, enriching, and wonderfully, beautifully empowering.

I was able to visit the Martin Luther King Center in Atlanta during the World Pulse Live Tour, and enjoyed it so much. And perhaps inspired, Posted another article at:

Best to you dear sister,