Monday, March 17, 2008

Stand With Us on May 11, 2008

First there were two, then four, than another three, then two more, then.... From down the hill, over the fence, up from the street, from across the stairs, they came to answer the call from StandingWomen.org. We intuitively formed a circle. Women and men and children and Coyote, the dog, came together in the lush clover with the majestic Loretto Convent building boarded up and empty behind us. We casually introduced ourselves to one another as we rang our Tibetan bells and cow bells and school bells and silver bells to announce the location. And then at 1:00, we held the silence. Sometimes the noise from the busy street or voices from the top of the hill intruded, but this circle held the silence. In those five sacred minutes, our silent intentions joined the bustle and rode the gentle spring wind to join with others who were also standing. A chill snaked up my spine as I looked around and beheld the circle of strangers and friends and family standing together to change the world. This silence was golden indeed! When the bells rang out to end the silence, my soul sang. May 2007 Standing in Ontario, Canada

Last May 13, 2007, thousands of women from young babies to our most senior elders, and the men and boys they love, stood together for five minutes of silence at 1 p.m. their local time in 75 countries on all continents in a 24 hour wave of humanity. We stood in parks, in school yards, in churches, on front porches, in back yards, on beaches, at graduation ceremonies and in our living rooms. We, who call ourselves StandingWomen.org, stood in support of our dream for the world’s children and grandchildren and the seven generations beyond them:

We dream of a world where all of our children have safe drinking water, clean air to breathe, and enough food to eat. A world where they have access to a basic education to develop their minds and healthcare to nurture their growing bodies. A world where  they have a warm, safe and loving place to call home. A world where they don't live in fear of violence--in their home, in their neighborhood, in their school or in their world.  This is the world of which we dream. This is the cause for which we stand.

One may ask, “What good does it do to stand in silence for five minutes?”
The transformative power of standing in silence, knowing that at the same time thousands of similarly committed humans are standing with you all up and down your time zone, is profound. We felt the connective tissue that binds us together as one world, one people, who have both a commitment and a responsibility to care for each other and for all of the world’s children.

Many of us left the standing last May with Helen Keller’s famous quote in mind:
"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do."

Our hope is that the very act of gathering and standing together in silence will inspire and energize all of us to take actions that will help realize our dream of a better world for our children, our grandchildren and the seven generations beyond them.

We have great power to shape the world to achieve our dreams. Individuals in deciding how to spend their time, where to donate their money, and even just how to treat other beings on this earth can have an enormous impact on the world. For example, students from a school in the Bronx, P.S. 52, made up of some of the poorest kids in the area, after seeing the water scarcity in a UN video hosted by rap star JayZ, got together their pennies, dimes and nickels and raised over $2,000 to send to the most drought-affected villages in Africa.

If you share our dream of a better world for our children, for ourselves, for our future, please stand with us this year on May 11, 2008.

Please gather for five minutes of silence at 1 p.m. your local time in your local park, school yard, gathering place, or any place you deem appropriate, to signify your commitment to this dream.  If a different hour is better for you, please stand then—you will simply be joining women and their loved ones from a different time zone.

We ask that you invite the men and boys who you care about to join you. 
Please bring bells to ring to signify the beginning of the five minutes of silence and to ring again to signify the end of the period of silence.  During the silence, please think about what you individually and we collectively can do to attain the world of which we dream.  Afterwards, we hope that you and your loved ones will talk together about what you can commit to do, individually and collectively, to bring about this world.

And, then, just do it!

6 comments:

Laura said...

Women in San Diego are excited to stand. Balboa Park at the fountain next to the Fleet Science Center. The http://www.WomenInJoy.com community is aligned and bringing about change one compassionate woman at a time

Holleigh said...

I stood today for the first time with women in Cincinnati, Ohio. Although I am always involved with peaceful gatherings, I didn't know about this annual event until yesterday. It was beautiful and moving. I will be there again until we no longer have to stand, when we can speak, and sing, and live in peace!

Gini Hyman said...

We gathered under the trees by the Children's Fountain in Island Park off US 41 at Downtown Bayfront, Sarasota. Commissioners Jennifer Cohen, Gini Hyman and Evelyn Moya were present at the event. We were Mothers and Others including a canine contingency from Dogs for Peace! We rang bells before and after 5 mins of silence at 1PM. The Sarasota Commission on the Status of Women joined with Standing Women.Org and Americans United for Peace and Justice along with women from over 75 countries all over the world. Thank you to all that participated and all the people in the park who joined the event as we started ringing the bells! We stood for peace in our homes, in our communities, in our country and in the world for our children, grandchildren and generations into the future!

Hayden said...

I stood yesterday, in mental solidarity. I stood at a harbor, looking out over the San Francisco Bay and prayed for Abundance.

Betsy Marro said...

Men and women, young and old, local and visitors, stood together at Sunset Cliffs Park in San Diego and focused on peace. We had about 60 people, twice as many people as last year and all of us promised to stand again next Mother's Day with even more of our friends and neighbors. Here is a photo of us and also a link to the local paper which took a picture.Link: http://www.sdnews.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2008/05/15/482c788a56ba6 . We feel blessed to be part of a worldwide group all focused on what is most important for our world. It is what Mother's Day is truly for.

David said...

I just found this site, and I wanted to share that the results of this movement can be quite profound...

There's a similar movement taking place that had documented real change that has happened as a result of standing in a space in silence and hope Fountain International