Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Power of Technology

Once we decided to gather together the world's women, the next question became how we can do it. Of course, that answer was using technology.

Beck, one of the wonderful women who said "yes", also is a technology woman. She was sure we could do this with a website and a YouTube video. So, we embarked on this great venture--using the magic of technology to call together the women of the world.

Sapna S., another fabulously wonderful woman, quickly joined us and designed the beautiful website www.StandingWomen.org.

In early December we filmed the video that appears on YouTube. Again, Beck and Sapna guided us through the filming, and Beck edited and posted the video.

As soon as the website was ready to go, we began flooding the world with e-mail messages about StandingWomen.

The power of technology truly is amazing!!!! Without Beck and Sapna, none of this would have happened.

The Power of "Yes"

Margaret Wheatley, author of Finding Our Way: Leadership for an Uncertain Time and other books, believes that all social change begins with a conversation among a few people. She also believes that someone in that conversation must say "yes" we can do this.

After Jean Shinoda Bolen's visit to Columbus, the first two women I talked to about inviting women of the world to stand together on Mother's Day were Gail G. T. and Rebecca (Beck) A. Both are fabulous women who inspire me in so many ways. The question I asked them was whether this was too crazy to work. Both said, yes it is crazy, but just crazy enough to work. If they had not said "yes" we can do this, the idea would have ended with these two conversations.

We hope all of you will say "yes" we can do this. By standing together, we can all make a statement to the world, but most importantly to ourselves, that this is our world, this is our global family, and that we--not someone else--are responsible for our world and that we--not someone else--have the power to create the world about which we dream.

From this collective statement, we can be energized individually and collectively to create the world of our dreams.

Please say "yes" with us.

Origin of Standing Women

The Standing Women concept originated with a number of women associated with Ohio State University, although this is not a university project. Over the last year a number of us have felt that women everywhere we traveled are just weary about where the world is moving and, more importantly, that women everyone are ready to stand up and do something about it. We also know that many men are ready to stand up, also.

In the summer of 2006, we came across the origins of Mother's Day in the U.S. from Jean Shinoda Bolen's book Urgent Message from Mother: Gather the Women, Save the World.

Julia Ward Howe issued the original Mother's Day Proclamation in 1870:

"Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, whether our baptism be that of water or of tears!

Say firmly: 'We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.'

From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says 'Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.' Blood does not wipe our dishonor nor violence indicate possession. As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each bearing after their own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God.

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace."

After reading this proclamation we began to feel that we needed to do something for this Mother's Day, May 13, 2007. What, however, we did not know.

Jean Shinoda Bolen spoke at Ohio State in October, 2006. During her visit, we shared our thoughts with her. After listening to us, she pulled a little book out of her case and shared it. It was the original version of The Great Silent Grandmother Gathering by Sharon Mehdi. After reading it, and talking to Jean, we knew this was what we had to do.

We had to call together the women of the world to stand together to save the world, to save our children.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The women of Ohio, U.S.A., call upon the women of the world, from day-old babies to our most senior elders, to stand with us on May 13, 2007, to save the world.

We will be standing for the world's children and grandchildren, and for 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 will stand.

If you share this dream, please stand with us for five minutes of silence at 1 p.m. your local time on May 13, 2007, in your local park, school yard, gathering place, or any place you deem appropriate, to signifiy your agreement with our dream. We ask you to invite the men and boys who you care about to join you. We ask that you bring bells to ring at 1 p.m. 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 this world. Please feel free to sit rather than stand. Afterwards, hopefully you and your loved ones can talk together about how we can bring about this world.

See www.StandingWomen.org for more details and to register your commitment to stand with us.