To Share Is To Be Safe

I just watched the movie Spotlight during a recent 4 hour flight. It was the story of the Boston Globe's investigative reporting team that uncovered widespread and systematic child abuse by Roman Catholic Priests and what's more; shared the story with the world.
While watching the movie, I thought of my days as a reporter. I thought of my friends and loved ones so closely associated with the Catholic Church. I thought of my own siblings as we grew up in a less than perfect household. But mostly I thought of my own children and my desire to protect them from absolutely anything bad, let alone horrific. 
Then I visited Facebook and scrolled through the updates of friends and loved ones. With the story of the thousands of young boys molested at the hands of their trusted Catholic leaders fresh on my mind, I scrolled through many comments about how transgender bathrooms could potentially allow child molesters to gain access to our vulnerable children. Some comments are neutral but most are filled with fear or vile one way or another. There is an obvious divide when it comes to the hot topic of transgender bathrooms, but I question if that is the real issue. Is it not the ability to protect the vulnerable in our society that we are all concerned about?

Since moving to Australia, most of the public bathrooms I have used have been all-gender bathrooms. Some even have timers on them, telling me I have 10 minutes to pee before the door unlocks automatically. Others are make-shift bathrooms that a number of businesses share. Some are well-kept and some are absolutely unbearable. Restaurants do not have to offer patrons public bathrooms, like they do in America. I'm not really sure why but that doesn't matter much. At the end of the day, it's not a question as to whether or not a person has balls, but a personal choice.

And that's the issue. It's about making things more personal and allowing the world to get a little more personal, too. Making it "okay" to share and even, dare I say, encouraged to slow down long enough to make a real connection and actually care about something. I'm talking about getting involved and staying involved and evolving as the world around us experiences painful growing periods. Because when we stop growing, we start dying. And who, among us, wants to try and thrive in a world where death becomes us?
The concern to protect our most vulnerable is a shared characteristic of human beings that I, for one, adore. It's this desire to want to help, protect, to love and be loved that cuts across religions, gender identities, communities and continents.
This last thought for today is an image that I grabbed from a friend's Facebook post after riding the roller coaster of emotions that comes with staying grounded and growing at the same time. Landing on this screen shot gave me peace and I hope it does the same for anyone taking the time to read it. I guess the point of this story is that Facebook is not all that bad, and either are we.


Did you know that in more than 60% of all sexual offenses, the victim knows the offender? 

The Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW) is an unprecedented public safety resource that provides the public with access to sex offender data nationwide. NSOPW is a partnership between the U.S. Department of Justice and state, territorial, and tribal governments, working together for the safety of adults and children. For more information, please visit https://www.nsopw.gov/en/Home/About. 


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