Thursday, December 19, 2013

Never Be Silent Whenever Human Beings Endure Suffering and Humiliation

Never Be Silent Whenever Human Beings Endure Suffering & Humiliation

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

"I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation.  
We must always take sides.  
Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.  
Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."

~Elie Wiesel, Political Activist and Professor



Wake Up to Live is about awareness in every aspect.  Waking up to live life is about questioning the social norms and the things that feel uncomfortable to talk about.  Wake Up to Live is about becoming awake of our biases, prejudices, and injustices. Waking up to live life is about waking up from unconsciousness to see what is really true.  Although waking up to live life with awareness and clarity may be difficult to do because now we must begin to make the hard choices, we must strive to Wake Up to Live and be responsible for our actions and the actions of others.  We are in this life together! 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Desiderata


































Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I am the Author of My Life

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

So love this quote!


Friday, August 23, 2013

Move Over Bliss; Life Is About Genuinely Getting In Touch With Others

Move Over Bliss; Life Is About Genuinely Getting
In Touch with Others

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Pema Chodron does it again.  She is such an amazing and "real" woman.  Today many people are promoting that "life is bliss;" "smile and life will be grand;" "think positively, and you can change your situation;" "stay away for the negativity of life;" and so forth.  But these concepts are "flawed."  Why?  Because if these ideas were reliable and valid, they would be reliable and valid across the board--across the world--but they aren't.  These ideas are reliable and valid especially in the Western world, but not across the board.  I don't disagree with any of these concepts, however I do disagree with the flawed concept of living with these ideas and then disregarding the realities of life: poverty; racism; sexual assault; chemical warfare; child and animal abuse and neglect; and so forth.

Life is about people and our connections to them across the globe.  As Chodron mentions, we may feel provoked, negative feelings may arise, we may get angry, or we may even withdrawal from the world, but these things that I mention is what life is all about.  It is not about holding onto a feeling of "bliss" removing ourselves from the world or from people.  This way of living puts us in a state of arrogance and/or a state of self-centeredness.  These seem to be the North American values that are distorting what life is really all about.  No wonder there are so many people in the West that are looking for meaning and purpose.  We have lost meaning and purpose because we are no longer connected with each other.  Humankind is regarded more as a piece of material, a thing, something that is disposable, and not something that is cherished, cared for, and loved.  It is time to "think."  We have lost our ability to THINK about what matters.  We are getting thrown feel-good ideas that are removing us from the realities of life--PEOPLE and our connection, our relationship, with them.

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

THIS IS NOT A FAILURE

You can cruise through life not letting anything touch you, but if you really want to live fully, if you want to enter into life, enter into genuine relationships with other people, with animals, with the world situation, you’re definitely going to have the experience of feeling provoked, of getting hooked, of shenpa. You’re not just going to feel bliss. The message is that when those feelings emerge, this is not a failure. This is the chance to cultivate maitri, unconditional friendliness toward your perfect and imperfect self. 

Excerpted from:
Chodron, Pema.  "Practicing Peace in Times of War."
      2007.  pp. 74-75.  

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Awareness Is the Precursor to Change

Awareness Is the Precursor to Change
by Desiree Leigh, Wake Up to Live

How many times have you heard that in order to change you must have awareness first?  You must be conscious to your surroundings, your habits, your beliefs, your patterns, your words, and your behaviors?  Even so, because you have awareness, this does not mean that your situation automatically changes.  In general, action must take place.
Making the unconscious conscious when it comes to unresolved or hidden past grievances, trauma, and pain can be enough to resolve anxiety or other mood disorders; but, in general, there is always work, action, or energy that needs to be put forth to create new habits or thoughts that serve the present situation.   
Awareness is the precursor to change; but action must take place for things to be and look different. The thing is most individuals have great intention.  However, they do not have consistent effort in making these positive habits or finding out why some habits (conscious or unconscious) hold them back or get in their way. Carving out any new pattern is never easy and support is always needed to stay on track because life gets in the way.  We become busy at doing things, and when we look back at what we have done, it’s never something towards are intentions, goals, or dreams.  Next thing you know it, life slips through our fingers.
Take planning a vacation.  When we do this, we are totally present and aware of our intentions.  We take full action in our plans.  Many of us put forth much energy to establish where we want to go; what hotel we want to stay in; what activities we plan on doing; what restaurants are in the area so we know where we can dine.  We research how much it will cost; if there are any cancellation fees; the cost of insurance; emergency plans; babysitters, if needed; and car rentals.  I’m sure you can see what I am getting at.  We do this for planning a vacation because we are excited.  We can’t wait to go see the Bahamas or the Alps.  We are determined nothing is going to get in our way.  Funny thing is, I wonder what it would be like if we put forth this much energy, excitement, and determination into planning our lives: our educational path, our healing process, our emotional and mental well-being, our families, etc.  Not to the point of inflexibility, though.  
 So when it comes to creating awareness of old limiting beliefs or limiting patterns of habit, why do we have so much resistance?  The thing is, if we created awareness to our patterns that hold us back and then created new pathways, just think about the amazing possibilities that would begin to surround us.  Awareness of the things lurking within us from the beliefs we hold, may be a bit scary to face; but it is much more freeing than the resistance we try to hold onto.
There are always obstacles and trying emotions that can get in the way.  Honestly, that is just life.  Overwhelm, distractions, and stresses are part of it.  What’s important, though, is to take one step at a time and continue moving forward even though in those moments it seems like the process is taking forever or the curves of life are taking you (as it seems) in another direction.  In the end, awareness is the precursor to change.  Nevertheless, awareness – focus – action – and persistence creates momentum to a life you desire. 
Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Wake Up to Live is about awareness in every aspect.  Waking up to live life is about questioning the social norms and the things that feel uncomfortable to talk about.  Wake Up to Live is about becoming awake to our biases, prejudices, and injustices. Waking up to live life is about waking up from unconsciousness to see what is really true.  Although waking up to live life with awareness and clarity may be difficult to do because now we must begin to make the hard choices, we must strive to Wake Up to Live and be responsible for our actions: the actions for ourselves and others.  

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Way People Treat You

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

The Way People Treat You

Don't let other people's treatment towards you dictate how you should feel about yourself.  You are worthy! You are deserving!




Wake Up to Live is about awareness in every aspect.  Waking up to live life is about questioning the social norms and the things that feel uncomfortable to talk about.  Wake Up to Live is about becoming awake to our biases, prejudices, and injustices. Waking up to live life is about waking up from unconsciousness to see what is really true.  Although waking up to live life with awareness and clarity may be difficult to do because now we must begin to make the hard choices, we must strive to Wake Up to Live and be responsible for our actions: the actions for ourselves and others.  


Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Friday, March 15, 2013

Seeing Another As Perfect

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh
Seeing Another As Perfect 

When you see another as divinely perfect, this is strikingly pure.  
When you see another as humanly perfect, 
this is cause for distortion in thoughts and feelings.  

No human is perfect; 
And, if you allow yourself to believe that all people are perfect and do not err, 
you will disappoint yourself.  
You will cause great and unnecessary suffering.




Monday, March 4, 2013

Secret of Existence

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh
Secret of Existence

From the time we are born, we become dependent on others for our survival.  Yet, the Buddha mentions to depend on no one.  "Only the moment you reject all help are you freed."  This defies everything we have learned in this physical world.  Because we have learned this dependency on others since infancy, we have grown used to this concept.  Some ideas are:  "Mom makes me happy because she spoils me."  "I am complete only with my soul-mate."  "I am happiest with my friends."  Thus, it makes our journey toward independence or towards soulfulness or divinity much more difficult.  We are pulling away from something we know; something that is real and tangible.  We cannot seem to fathom this concept, so we continue to tug at this idea of "depend on no one," but still we cannot figure it out.

Only until you truly begin to let go of everything you think you know and of everything you think you are, will you be stripped from the image that you think defines you today.  This is where the work is involved.  It is a hard choice; but it is still your own choice.  In this moment, you will have all kinds of internal struggles.  The questions and doubts will arise swiftly.  "I don't want to cause them emotional pain."  "Should I say good-bye or should I stay?"  "This is not what a daughter/mother/wife/sister should do."  Staying focused on your choice, on your wisdom, will allow you to move through these internal struggles with much more grace and ease.  It is not about other peoples drama or qualms or even about your doubts and worries,  it is about your existence - the dependence on your Self.  Only then, will you be able to see what you truly are and who you are truly intended to be.

In my own experience, understanding death was the most exhilarating and enlightening process I have ever gone through.  In the moment there was a lot of fear, desperation, and panic.  There was a lot of wanting to hang on to everything - to keep it the same - and, it wasn't exhilarating at all.  In fact, it was horrifying.  Nonetheless, after struggling through the fear, I finally and truly accepted that life was going to come to an end; and I finally became okay that life was transient knowing that there was nothing in life that I could keep or hold onto.  This did not happen over night, though.  Yes, I had tears of what I would miss - my boys especially; but I was really okay as long as I resolved to make the most out of each day and with the one's that were important to me without getting hung up on ideas.  Basically, the degree of my joy came from me and no other.  When I came to this resolution and acceptance of death, somehow my outlook on life changed.  Everyone else's demands, concerns, and squabbles became less prominent and less mentally and physically intrusive and, materialism didn't matter anymore.  I was able to see more deeply and let go of the chaos.

The thing is, as we continue to live life even after these experiences, everyday troubles and squabbles can get to us again.  We can once again loose sight.  The heaviness piles up, and we are back to the drawing board of stuck-ness or confusion.  Thus, it is important to remember who you are, to stay focused, to go within, to be present to your body and spirit, and to be alert to what thoughts pass through your mind.  Letting go or dismissing (rejecting) all help is a continual process of vigilance and the secret of existence.  You are responsible for your completeness and happiness, no one else.  It's up to you.  What's going to make you live your life fully; the way you want it to look?  Or will you continue to conform to the idea of how it should be because it was taught (socialized) to you that that is the way it looks?

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh



Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Choice to Take A Chance to Change


The Choice to Take A Chance to Change

It takes choice and action to move through fear and take a chance to change.  You can pray for change.  Prayer will deliver you the messages or messengers; but you have to take that chance and act to change.

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh



Wake Up to Live is about awareness in every aspect.  Waking up to live life is about questioning the social norms and the things that feel uncomfortable to talk about.  Wake Up to Live is about becoming awake to our biases, prejudices, and injustices. Waking up to live life is about waking up from unconsciousness to see what is really true.  Although waking up to live life with awareness and clarity may be difficult to do because now we must begin to make the hard choices, we must strive to Wake Up to Live and be responsible for our actions and the actions of others.  We are in this life together!  

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

How to Make Change Happen

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

It's so true!  Endless conversation about change and not doing anything doesn't make change happen.  Talk about change, write about change, draw change, and strategize about change; but then, in the end, the inevitable is to take action to make change happen.  You will never be fully ready.

Wake Up with Desiree Leigh

Friday, February 22, 2013

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Inflexible Body = Inflexible Mind

Inflexible Body = Inflexible Mind

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh
When the muscles in your body are tight and rigid, when your body is inflexible, your mind becomes inflexible and your life force dwindles.  Stretch, stretch, and stretch some more for the health of your body but also your mind and energy. 

My work and my studies revolve around my office desk, and when exam time comes, the stress and tension are at there worst. Time and time again has proved to me that when I get tight in my muscles, my energy slows down, I become short tempered, and rigid in my ways.  I get stubborn.  To me, it is an obvious sign of inflexibility!

These past two weeks, I seemed to be in overwhelm - emotionally and mentally.  Getting on the floor to do some yoga moves proved to be discomforting.  So I decided to take in a 2 hour full-body massage yesterday.  After the deep muscle massage, I thought I would end up going to sleep when I got home.  The reverse was true.  I was full of life and energy.  The healing power that comes from touch is a miracle.

So why do I put off getting a weekly or bimonthly massage when it does so many wonderful things to my mind, body, and energy?  Or why do I put off going to a warm hatha yoga class to release tension?  Those darn old habits from growing up.  Growing up where you learn that meat is the principle portion of a meal; learning to work until your body ached; learning to eat everything off your plate because there may not be food tomorrow; and learning that everything other than hard work and studies is frivolous.  These are all learned behaviors from someone else's rigid belief system.The programming from childhood still implanted in our heads is what allows us to go back to those old habits.

In the end, try to be aware of your habits.  Pay attention to patterns of learned behavior.  Be watchful and observant to what your body needs.  If you are connected and aware of how you feel from moment to moment, you will know when and what steps to take.

It is one thing to be mindful.  It is another thing to be mindful and take action to what needs to be done.


Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh


Wake Up to Live is about awareness in every aspect.  Waking up to live life is about questioning the social norms and the things that feel uncomfortable to talk about.  Wake Up to Live is about becoming awake to our biases, prejudices, and injustices. Waking up to live life is about waking up from unconsciousness to see what is really true.  Although waking up to live life with awareness and clarity may be difficult to do because now we must begin to make the hard choices, we must strive to Wake Up to Live and be responsible for our actions and the actions of others.  We are in this life together!  


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Get Conscious: Question Everything

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh



Get Conscious:
Teach Your Children to Question Everything

Back in the day, North America had more of a community spirit, I think, anyways.  More often, we looked out for one another, and we took care of one another.  Neighbors, family, and friends wouldn't starve since most people in the community would come together and bring bags and pots full of food to make sure they didn't.  Communities protected the individuals in time of famine but also in times of disrespect and injury.  They took a stand and gave love, warmth, and shelter.  There was a great respect for one another to do no harm for the majority of the communities.

I was born in 1964, and I still believe back then we spent more time as a union than as separate even though the economy had already changed dramatically since the late 1800's and early 1900's.  Now, there seems to be a different feel about the world.  The capitalist economy brought great pleasure, new technology, and new discoveries, but it also brought great pains.  I don't think it is the type of economy itself that brought the great pains.  I believe the change to be the works of the people behind the conglomerates, the government, and the large industries.  Because the capitalist economy has strong values of independence, self-interest, and personal benefit, it gave each one of us great opportunities to be the source of our own happiness or misery, our own source of economy - lack or abundance.  On the other hand, due to this unrestrained freedom of independence, greed, selfishness, arrogance, and deceit has claimed many.  To illustrate, for an industry to continue to profit and to always deliver the bottom-line, marketing tactics got sneaky and full of lies.  The more the large industry can sell to the small consumer (no matter how, as long as it is for the profit of the company), the better it is for the industry and the people that work for them, of course.  With this circle of production-market-sell-reinvest, the greater the industry grows and the more powerful it becomes.  Nonetheless, the greater the industry grows, so too does the destruction to the resources on the planet.  As a result, people were trained to consume more to the point of hoarding and disease without any real conscious knowledge to what was happening.  People were filling their brain 'pleasure signal' with over-consumption of foods, services, and goods with many deceitful marketing lies that you will be happy, thin, and beautiful if you eat this and buy this.  Still, these industries profess that it is the consumers own independent choosing to consume more and it is not the responsibility of the manufacturers.  I say hogwash!

The thing is, this deceit and bottom-line attitude has turned our good capitalist economy into a greed-mongering economy literally killing mankind.  The disrespect for human kind is rampant.  We are literally obliterating humans for profit!

So the point of this post is to GET CONSCIOUS.  Teach yourself and your children to question everything and not to take opinions, advice, or marketing tactic as truth.  Do your research and get educated for the health of you, your loved ones, and your planet.    

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Mindfulness

Mindfulness

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh


Live life mindfully: in the thoughts you think, in the emotions you express, in the foods you consume, in the air you breathe, in the steps you walk, in the words you speak, in the media you listen to, and in the facts you hear.  Live a life mindfully.

Living a life of mindfulness comes in many forms, not only the thoughts you think.

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh


Wake Up to Live is about awareness in every aspect.  Waking up to live life is about questioning the social norms and the things that feel uncomfortable to talk about.  Wake Up to Live is about becoming awake to our biases, prejudices, and injustices. Waking up to live life is about waking up from unconsciousness to see what is really true.  Although waking up to live life with awareness and clarity may be difficult to do because now we must begin to make the hard choices, we must strive to Wake Up to Live and be responsible for our actions and the actions of others.  We are in this life together!  

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Frozen In Time

Frozen In Time

I love this statement by Earl Nightingale.  How many times have you been frozen in time waiting for the 'right' moment, the right answer, the right opportunity, or the right path to take?  How many times have you been frozen in time because you 'needed' to know before you could move forward?  How many times have you said to yourself that it's not worth doing unless I know what I want - unless I know my purpose.

Life just doesn't present itself in an epiphany.  For the majority of us, it doesn't work that way.  The only way to know what to do is to do first.  Meaning, get out and be with others.  Be a part of life and your path will present itself to you.  Thinking about it too much will only cause more stagnant energy and confusion.

No matter what, time will keep moving with or without you so why not be a part of life and see what you discover about yourself.

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Every New Day Is Another Chance

Every New Day Is Another Chance
Wake Up to Live
with Desiree Leigh

Every new day is another chance to change your life.  If you are not happy, try something different.  The old adage is: if it isn't working, do something different!


  • Go within yourself to hear what it is your Self is asking for.  
  • Go to the library and do some research.  
  • Volunteer for various organizations to see what makes you tick.  
  • Do phone interviews with people that are in the positions you may want to be in.  
  • Go for a walk somewhere you've never been.  
  • Try a new sport.  


All these scenarios will make the mind and heart move and direct you to what it is you are desiring; what it is you may be passionate about.  For today you will enjoy different fruits than what you will enjoy tomorrow.  Do the work.  Become aware.  Change up the pace.


Monday, January 21, 2013

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Respect Yourself Enough to Walk Away

Respect Yourself Enough to Walk Away

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Respecting yourself enough to walk away is not always easy especially if you have lived through a lot of trauma in your life.  If you have lived through a lot of trauma, your self-worth may be extremely low.  But, don't give up or give in. Mental and emotional wellness begins with you.  It is possible to move past an abusive relationship or the memories of an abusive childhood and uncover true happiness.



Wake Up to Live is about awareness in every aspect.  Waking up to live life is about questioning the social norms and the things that feel uncomfortable to talk about.  Wake Up to Live is about becoming awake to our biases, prejudices, and injustices. Waking up to live life is about waking up from unconsciousness to see what is really true.  Although waking up to live life with awareness and clarity may be difficult to do because now we must begin to make the hard choices, we must strive to Wake Up to Live and be responsible for our actions and the actions of others.  We are in this life together!  

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Never Let the Odds Keep You from Your Heart

Never Let the Odds Keep You from Your Heart

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh


There are many of us that did not learn how to connect with our heart as a child, especially the ones that have been abused repeatedly, molested,  raped, or neglected.  Many of us closed our hearts.

As we grew older, we realized something was missing in our lives.  Somehow we weren't connected to others and life in general.  We didn't know how to feel.  We didn't know how to express.  We lived a life of deadness and blank.  We were outsiders looking in upon other people's lives.

As we grew older, we desired to know what it would be like to live . . . to feel . . . to experience . . . and to know.  We desired to be alive.  We had seen it around us, the smiles, the laughter, the love, and the friendship; but we didn't know how to get there.

Nevertheless, as we grow, as long as we desire and believe, life will find us a way to know the heart.  Though, you must desire as much as you want to be alive - as much as you want to breath - and know it is possible.

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dance With Your Thoughts; Go Deep Into Your Soul

Dance with Your Thoughts;
Go Deep Into Your Soul

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh


Your thoughts always dance with you; but it is up to you what you do (or not do) with them.

When you are upset or stressed, do not try to control the mind.  The more you try to control the mind, the more the mind becomes devious in its ways and tries to control you.  For instance, the more you resist the thoughts that the mind wants to produce, the more you become attached to those thoughts.

Controlling the mind also takes a lot of energy and creates a lot of stress.  For example, when I tell myself I am beautiful, my mind does not believe it.  I can repeat this over and over daily with no results because my heart does not feel it.  I may even become angry and resentful and lose trust in my words.  As you can see, you use up a lot of energy.  That energy, in essence, can be used somewhere else, like creating something you are passionate about.  As you can see, I am not a fan of fake it until you make it.

Instead, move into a space of nothingness.  Go inward to know the dimensionless.  Be with your body.  Leave the mind and go inward to feel your heart.  When you become the observer, you will begin to "see" what it is you desire.  You will begin to "feel" who you are.  You will begin to "create" a life that your greater self seeks, not what others think you should have.  Your thoughts of overwhelm will melt away.  And, when your thoughts of overwhelm melt away, you can see and feel and create more clearly!

Our Western society thinks we should all be millionaires; we should all have big houses; we should all be famous; we should all be recognized; we should all have glory; we should all have iPhones.  Feeling the heart allows us to focus on our community, our nation, and the world.  There is a greater picture.  There is a greater respect for the human race and the planet we live on.  Give yourself a few minutes of this action of inaction several times throughout your day, and you will dissolve the mind from controlling you.

In the end, let your thoughts dance with you.  View them as passing scenery while sitting on a moving train and go "deep" into your heart and soul.

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Monday, January 14, 2013

When Opportunity Knocks


Minus the word b*tch,

When Opportunity Knocks . . .
what do you do?
Are you open enough to recognize it?

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Walking My Talk

Walking My Talk

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Thrive Rather than Survive

Wake Up to Live is about awareness in every aspect.  Waking up to live life is about questioning the social norms and the things that feel uncomfortable to talk about.  Wake Up to Live is about becoming awake to our biases, prejudices, and injustices. Waking up to live life is about waking up from unconsciousness to see what is really true.  Although waking up to live life with awareness and clarity may be difficult to do because now we must begin to make the hard choices, we must strive to Wake Up to Live and be responsible for our actions and the actions of others.  We are in this life together!  

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Stupid Things People Say Not to Report Child Abuse

Stupid things people say not to report child abuse:
sexual, physical, and psychological.


Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

  1. My grandfather (or whomever) may have to go to jail.
  2. He/she is too old/young to be prosecuted.  You will ruin his/her life.
  3. Can you imagine what could happen to him/her if he/she had to go to jail?
  4. Just let it go. Quit living in the past.
  5. They aren't my kids, so it's not my responsibility.
  6. Keep me out of it!
  7. Well, she/he must have done something to get that treatment.
  8. It was so long ago; just forget about it.
  9. Don't tell me the gory details.  Leave me out of it.
  10. Every child has to go through tough times.
  11. A little slap or two won't hurt.
  12. Reporting this will destroy our family (as if it hasn't already).
  13. Nobody needs to know.
  14. But he/she didn't do it to me; therefore, he/she couldn't have done it to you.
  15. Don't stress.  Don't hurt mother and/or father.  It will devastate her and/or him if you talk about it.  Keep quiet.
  16. My all time favorite (sarcastically speaking): It was nothing!
Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Friday, January 11, 2013

I Am Somebody

I Am Somebody!  
Yes, I am.
What are you going to stand for?
What are you passionate about?

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Culture of Reverence Over Children's Safety


Culture of Reverence Led to ‘Total Disregard’ for Children’s Safety

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh



          With reference to the criminal findings of a 267-page report, Brad Wolverton writes about how the most powerful leaders at Pennsylvania State University continually covered up the child sexual abuse cases related to Mr. Jerry Sandusky – Penn State’s football coach – over a span of fourteen years.  He stated that Pennsylvania State University’s leaders showed a “total disregard” for the safety and “welfare of children” (p. 7).
In respect to sociology, how could a community so large, with various top influential leaders, deny the safety of even one child, let alone 52 counts of sexual abuse that Jerry Sandusky was convicted for?  In reading the article, it showed that various officials placed blame on other various individuals, repeatedly tossing the hot potato denying the allegations; of course until there was blatant evidence, and they could no longer deny the truth.  Does this hideous crime have to do with the various statuses and classes of society – the vulnerable, small child who works hard, usually for little money, to be noticed and the powerful and influential leaders ridden with importance, honor, and affluence?  The correctly taught child’s role is to listen to his elders and do what they ask or live in fear of being kicked off of the football team and perhaps even disappointing his parents.  So, instead, the child submits and continues to obey without voice.  This is an ideology that represents a system of domination, authority, and power that has been abused to the furthest extent.  The corporate university’s role is to educate.  However, in this particular case the corporate goal of the university was to maintain structure, keep-face with the public, and continue to promote athleticism of their team disregarding the child’s safety and welfare. 
Ultimately, the game of football was more important than the children’s safety and well-being.  In the end, Pennsylvania State’s top officials shared a pattern of beliefs, norms, and values such as selfishness, domination, and the lack of a child’s worth.  Still, in today’s society this culture is strongly noted.  This traditional authority continues to repeat itself, not only in corporations such as Penn State, but in the smaller structured systems called family.      

Reference
Penn State’s Culture of Reverence Led to ‘Total Disregard’ for Children’s Safety. (2012, July
12). The Chronicles of Higher Education. Retrieved November 05, 2012, from http://chronicle.com/article/Penn-States-Culture-of/132853/


Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Wake Up to Live is about awareness in every aspect.  Waking up to live life is about questioning the social norms and the things that feel uncomfortable to talk about.  Wake Up to Live is about becoming awake to our biases, prejudices, and injustices. Waking up to live life is about waking up from unconsciousness to see what is really true.  Although waking up to live life with awareness and clarity may be difficult to do because now we must begin to make the hard choices, we must strive to Wake Up to Live and be responsible for our actions: the actions for ourselves and others.  

Love and Justice

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Love and Justice

"Justice denied anywhere diminished justice everywhere"
Martin Luther King

I am fed up of listening to the condescending comments to 'be happy today and forget yesterday.'  Or  to broadly say that 'there is light at the end of the tunnel.'   Or that 'we all have a past, so just deal with it.' These patronizing comments to a survivor of childhood abuse, rape, incest, and molestation are useless.  These individuals that so broadly comment like this don't have a stand for anything or are too fearful to stand for anything.  If we don't see what we are doing wrong to these abused children by looking at their experiences from the past and who did what, how can we expect to improve the future?  

Our children have one childhood.  Allow them the right to feel joy and to receive respect, emotional care, and patience.  It is their 'human right' to get it.  It is not their destiny, their fate, their thought-process, their behavior, or God's will for them to be treated like dirt.  It is our, OUR, responsibility and God's will, OUR responsibility as adults and believers in a new way - an enlightened way - to do something about injustice and to create a blanket of love for these children - all children!


Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Ignorance to Child Abuse Doesn't Make It Go Away

Ignorance and Denial of Childhood Abuse Does Not Make It Go Away

By Desiree Leigh, Wake Up to Live


The residuals of childhood trauma last forever; and society as a whole is responsible in creating the behaviors from the residuals of childhood trauma.  Ultimately, society (you and me - we) is breeding these effects - the behaviors we try to control after they have become out-of-control.

Research has shown that psychological trauma from parental abuse and/or neglect (including emotional unavailability) has been linked to later abnormalities in brain development, especially in the right hemisphere (DeHart, Sroufe, & Cooper, 2004, p. 286).  Even when society ignores the evidence and signs of childhood abuse, the consequences remain and affect society as a whole.  Adults continue to show plasticity of the brain to reshape thought processes; although it weakens considerably with age; but growth and change, forming new thought processes and behaviors, and learning to live with the memories is constant work in progress.

We talk about gun control, we talk about incarceration, and we talk about death penalties and so forth.  Why not talk about the living parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and neighbors who ignore the abuse like it is not their responsibility.  Wake up!  It's everyone's responsibility.  Just look at the chaos in the world today.  Crime and mental health issues do not "just happen" because an adult turned bad.  Shooting sprees at schools do not just happen because someone somehow just lost it.  Mental health issues begin in childhood and the quality of care the child has received: physical, emotional, and mental.  


Many people in the world are not listening; social policy is not listening; and because of their deafness, indiscriminate and dramatic behaviors brewing since childhood are arising.  We are now trying to control the out-of-control behavior that began some time ago but chose to ignore it.  (Sounds very similar to our environ-mental issues, too).



You can deny this fact if you choose; but it doesn't make it go away.

The consequences society lives with today, is from our ignorance and denial to what we did (and what we did not attend to) in the past.  We don't confront our ignorance to heal it and wholeheartedly admit that maybe we have been wrong.  We just ignore it, place icing on the cake or some perfume on a cow-pattie, and forget about it; but the residual stench remains!  And, it's showing up in the world today.  In the end, we blame the abused ones, and we keep living in darkness without solving the true issue.


We look upon these victims with shame - the just-world hypotheses leading to blaming the victim - as though they are the guilty so that somehow we can feel comforted and go on with our pretty little lives independent from others.  They have already been shamed.  Who gives you the right to abuse them once again?

"WE" are all responsible for the health of this world: mental and environ-mental.


Some of the effects of harsh punishment, abuse, and neglect:


  • Uncontrollable anger
  • Aggression
  • Depression 
  • Emotional reactivity
  • Emotional disturbances
  • Inability to experience pleasure
  • Difficulty recognizing the emotional expressions of others
  • Avoidance of people or situations
  • Apathy in the face of challenges
  • Difficulty balancing the desire to explore with the need to feel secure 
  • Anti-social Behavior
  • Diminished quality of parent-child relations
  • Diminished quality of joy/happiness
  • Poorer child and adult mental health
  • Increased delinquency and/or criminal behavior
  • Higher risk of being a victim of abuse
  • Higher risk of abusing one's child
  • Parenting problems

Society is breeding these behaviors!

Ignorance and denial of childhood abuse does not make it go away.


Definition:
Just-World Hypothesis: the notion that many people need to believe that the world is fair and that justice is served; that bad people are punished and good people rewarded.  Blaming the victim is a dispositional attribution that comes from the just-world hypothesis.

Wake Up to Live with Desiree Leigh