“Sometimes we have to go right into the fire in order to find our true healing.”
With this post, I join hundreds of bloggers who are publishing articles today on the Girl Effect. This project was masterminded by Tara Mohr for the purpose of raising awareness about the plight – and potential – of adolescent girls in developing countries around the world.
Who among us hasn’t seen images revealing the horrific conditions that define the reality of many of our brothers and sisters in the human family? We are so habituated to them that it seems almost too easy to protect ourselves by turning away. But in denying the truth of human suffering, we are shutting the door on the possibility of our own awakening.
Let everything in, including the seemingly unbearable, and we can no longer uphold the illusion of separation. As all edges dissolve and resistance falls away, our heart breaks over and over. I am the mother wailing as her starving child dies in her arms. I am the young man so stuck in a belief system that terrorism becomes possible. I am the teenage girl just handed over in marriage to a man whose abuse is sanctioned by her community and government.
Let everything in, and we realize the truth of a heart overflowing in all its manifestations – love, sorrow, tenderness, humility, reverence, awe, devotion.
Before you consider the facts and watch the videos below, invite your walls to collapse and your denial to disintegrate. Then simply and fully receive whatever happens.
Whether you are moved to action or not is secondary. If you are meant to do something, it will become clear without any effort on your part.
Instead, from a place of openness, with no preconceived notions, feel, allow, welcome. For in the dissolving of separation lies the sweetest truth. Everywhere you turn is you. You meet yourself endlessly, infinitely. You are love itself.
The Girl Effect
Here are the facts:
- Today, more than 600 million girls live in the developing world, with numbers on the rise.
- One-quarter to one-half of girls in developing countries become mothers before age 18; 14 million girls aged 15 to 19 give birth in these countries each year.
- A survey in India found that girls who married before age 18 were twice as likely to report being beaten, slapped, or threatened by their husbands as were girls who married later.
- 75 percent of 15- to 24-year-olds living with HIV in Africa are female, up from 62 percent in 2001.
- Compared with women ages 20 to 24, girls ages 10 to 14 are five times more likely to die from childbirth, and girls 15 to 19 are up to twice as likely, worldwide.
- In Mozambique, 60 percent of girls with no schooling are married before age 18 versus only 10 percent of their educated counterparts.
And here is the possibility:
- For every year of schooling, infant mortality declines by 5-10 percent.
- When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90 percent of it into their families, as compared to only 30 to 40 percent for a man.
- An extra year of primary school boosts girls’ eventual wages by 10 to 20 percent. An extra year of secondary school by 15 to 25 percent.
- Girls work hard and are devoted to their families. They carry water, care for children, harvest crops, and tend livestock. With adequate support and direction, these qualities can be channeled to improve the lives of themselves and their families.
I’m a big fan of intelligent solutions, and the Girl Effect is certainly one of those. The organizers invite you to learn, donate, and spread the word. The effect of the Girl Effect? Watch this.
Any comments? I’d love to hear…
If you’d like to write your own Girl Effect post, please click here for all the information.