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Friday
Apr032015

Who Cries for the Little Children?

Photo courtesy of Alicja ColonI felt for the young Leonardo DiCaprio during those scenes where he longed to escape Robert DeNiro’s cruelty in “This Boys Life.”

Yet, nothing prepared me for the day when I witnessed a guardian yelling, cursing and hitting an adolescent boy who he appears to be walking school.

That was the scene playing out on a city street, one early weekday morning I wish could have ended with the simple press of a “pause” or “stop” button because the events taking place here just didn’t seem right.

Maybe I failed remember that for many children who have starring roles in scenes like these, children who you may never get to know, this kind of story is the norm.

Oh but how could I forget about the time I heard of a mother yanking her daughter around by the hair.

Luckily for this little girl, a close friend of her mother had good timing and was there to intervene.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the first incident, so who knows how many times the scenes starring this beautiful, bright and cheerful little girl I once knew, have played on “repeat.”

Maybe I could stand to learn a lesson from that person who intervened, on how important it is to speak up for the little ones who were cast in awful, heartbreaking roles that they never auditioned for. I can only wonder how many of us heard Derek Luke when he asked who would cry for the little boy, beaten and molested by his foster care parents in “Antoine Fisher,” and yet it seems like we’re not listening when it occurs outside of the movie theater and away from TV screens. 

So I write this today not only because I remember how difficult it was to watch those biographical dramas made famous by Oscar winning actors -- portraying real life experiences of men who were once boys suffering at the hands of the very people who were supposed to protect them from harm; but because I also remember walking down the street that morning and feeling helpless like nothing could be done to defend a young child whose day has already started off on the wrong foot.

I remember being in disbelief when learning that someone I knew had a tendency to lash out at her kid for petty reasons, or maybe no reason at all. Maybe it’s because I also remember not knowing the difference between what falls in the category of discipline and what constitutes abuse.

C is for ChildrenOr maybe it’s because I remember how we’ve all been trained to mind our own business – after all, no one wants trouble. At least, that’s what you learn from spending a lot of time in the cities, where everyone is doing their own thing. Thanks to social and cultural norms that vary from one nation, religion, generation, etc. to another, there has been a dangerous slippery slope that leaves far too many children vulnerable to neglect, violence and death.

I write this today because yes, I came, I saw, I heard, I remember, I’m listening and I too am wondering who cries for all of the little children when the rest of us don’t.

My A-to-Z Challenge post for Letter C is in honor of National Poetry Month and National Child Abuse Prevention Month. 

Thursday
Apr022015

How to Bounce Back in Life, Like a Boss! The Superwoman Edition

Lilly Singh aka Superwoman on set where she plays a spy named Lana Steele for the #ilovemakeup channel.Lilly Singh is a hero who always puts me in a good mood with her outlook on changing the world. As YouTube’s Superwoman, she uses humor to tackle situations and issues that the average person can relate to such as awkward moments with parents, friendships, having confidence, illness, dating, traveling, racism, goal setting, homophobia, depression and living your dreams.

There are times when I think I’ve lost all hope for humanity and then someone like her shows up.

Watching her work reminds me how we all have the power to make our todays better than our yesterdays, and inspire those around us to be all we can be and treat each other kindly.

So I dedicate today’s blog post to the person who finds themselves at the end of his or her rope and is trying to figure out a way to hang on. Canadian actress Lilly Singh is more than a comic who loves buttery popcorn, Chipotle, “surround sound and the colossal feel of the Cineplex” but thinks 3D glasses are horrendous inventions that were “designed to prevent couples from making out at the movie theater.” She carries with her the message that no experience is too much to handle when you believe in yourself enough to battle this gigantic monster called life with all your might.

Superwoman says no matter how many people watched her videos, all the work that went into making them would be worth it if she could make just one person smile. A lesson that can be gleaned from this is that focusing on others makes it possible for you to literally swoop in and save their day. Another way to look at this can be found in the likelihood that you’ll have a lot less time to be in a funk, because you’re too busy putting out positive energy into the world.

Superwoman says producing sketch comedy videos helped her get out of depression. So it should come as no surprise to anyone else how much laughter can really be the best medicine, especially when you are going through hard times. Listening to a funny joke or watching comedy movies are a quick way to lift your spirits when you’re feeling down in the dumps. If we can find it in ourselves to laugh, then that means some circumstances don’t suck as bad as we think they do.

B is for Bouncing Back and Being a BossSuperwoman says a lack of representation of women in her Punjabi culture, within the new media landscape, is what influenced the themes in her videos. If anything, this tells of the possibilities available when you become a leader rather than a follower. It’s one thing to consume entertainment but it’s a whole other ballgame when you decide to create the images that are being placed in front of the rest of the world.

That takes some balls and can be life changing when other people start coming out of the woodworks because they finally see something, or someone with whom they share similar experiences or viewpoints. The short of this lesson is that if you work to improve the things you don’t like about the media (or the world, for that matter) or introduce things you notice are missing from the space, you’ll make life a little better for other people while also doing the same for yourself.

It takes a willingness to get back up for another around in the boxing ring when life knocks you down, that builds your super powers. This young lady named Lilly Singh aka Superwoman doesn’t hesitate to let everyone know that we can be our own superheroes too.

Can YOU describe a situation, big or small, (illness, road rage, grief, breakup, injury/accident, work/job challenges, lawsuit, etc.) where you had to show those circumstances who’s BOSS?

Wednesday
Apr012015

Foolish Acts People Pull at Movie Theaters Across America

Movie tickets are too expensive these days for anyone to have to put up with rudeness at the cineplex. Yet, it’s common to find men, women and teenagers acting a fool in theaters across North America.

Someone brought their screaming baby to a theater where the Sci-Fi action film Insurgent was playing. Miles away at another theater, one woman played video games with the volume turned up on her cell phone during a showing of Marvel’s The Avengers; as if other people in nearby seats didn’t get enough of her earlier antics including scene-by-scene commentary with another moviegoer about The Hulk’s size.

Then there are those folks who recorded the big screen using their smartphone (Um… Isn’t that illegal?) when the martial arts action adventure Falcon Rising was on the festival circuit. Just a few states away, someone pulled the fire alarm during an evening showing of the romantic comedy Couples Retreat. It was the type of foolishness that caused movie goers to be evacuated until firefighters could determine it was a false alarm. One guy at a theater where the comedy Kevin Hart: Laugh at My Pain was playing decided to catch up on his Zzzz and started snoring so loudly that you couldn’t tell if it was part of the jokes or not.

A is for AmericaThese real life occurrences of individuals who didn’t think to be considerate for others around them include instances of people deliberately disrupting everyone else’s movie going experience. Even in everyday activities, it’s the simple things that really matter in the difference between whether we hold being respectful toward others in high regard or not. The foolishness going on at movie theaters in America is a prime example of how our “civilized” nation still has a long way to go in being the model of what we collectively like to deem good behavior.

What's the most annoying incident YOU ever experienced or witnessed at a movie theater?

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