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Supporting Our Fellow Sisters While Taking Accountability For Your Actions

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Posted: Friday, March 1, 2019. 4:58 am CST.

The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize News.

By Lucia Reyes:  Growing up in Belize I’ve always been aware of the underlying dynamics seen in our society, even if I didn’t understand it at the time. Having the opportunity to live in several towns and cities in our country has afforded me the circumstances to observe the behaviors of many different people and how they interact in society. Despite the idea that we are all individual in our own unique way, we often mimic behaviors seen in our society whether we intend to or not and especially while growing up. Most of our behaviors are molded by those of our parents or caretaker as we look to them for guidance and support in our initial stages of development. As we get older and start attending school, we then become exposed to our peers and their taught behaviors. While that has the possibility of being either positive or negative, the fact of the matter is that the way we interact with them leaves impressions on us all whether it is fleeting, inconsequential, life-changing or just average.

A recurring theme of learnt behaviors I’d like to talk about today is the animosity shown towards women… by other women.

It can be seen in the schools, on the streets, and in the workplace just to name a broad few. It doesn’t always comes in form of outright disrespect or fingers being pointed in each other’s faces although that’s a familiar sight we’ve seen time and time again. Often its assumptions made about each other while gossiping or a serious ‘game’ of telephone-passing the information down the human line until your granny swears your next door neighbor was in bed with all the Toms, Dicks and Harrys in your neighborhood despite being faithful to her partner. The harsh words passing through us, as a way to assuage the real pain hidden within us. Other times it’s a comforting shoulder masking wicked intentions of revealing your trusted truths for the sake of making us feel better about ourselves. It’s elaborate dancing around each other wearing facades while planning their societal demise; a competition bred in us by the system, by the culture, by society. It’s the vindictive laughter and delight in seeing someone you don’t like being publicly shamed or just because she seemed ‘breggin’ and thus probably deserved it. It’s your female family members being complicit in your abuse because of an insecurity nurtured by the very abuse they endured themselves. It comes in the form of your aunts telling you about the ways you need to ‘fix’ yourself in order to attract the attention of men; as if that was a problem when we are females being raised in a society that spend much of its time objectifying little girls. These are but few ways we choose to put each other down instead of supporting our fellow sisters; we who experience the same obstacles, discrimination and pain while growing up and living here in Belize. We who are living our separate lives but are connected by the fact that we are the life-force of our country. We are the mothers, home-makers, and teachers of every single person in our line after the birth of our first child because what you teach a child will remain with them for the rest of their lives, thus determining how they interact in society and most importantly, how they interact their own children.

The first step in combating this problem is understanding our mistakes and being accountable for our actions. Many people go through the motions of their entire lives without facing the truth of their actions by remaining ignorant of the true power of words and bad intentions. Despite how insignificant you might deem the gossip you spread about your ‘friend’ living down the street or how innocuous your hurtful words may sound while being said to your daughters, every single thing we do, say or encourage impacts our society as a whole. We do not exist in this society solely by ourselves. We occupy and interact within our communities with each other in order to function and that means potentially impacting the entire world simply by just existing. Imagine! But it’s true.

When I think about Belize, the first thing I think about is love. The love I have for every tree, every hill and every drop of water in this country. The love and pride I have for my fellow Belizeans, for I see you striving and I see our potential. Then I think about hope. The hope I have for us as a country; that we will stand up and fight for the passions of our hearts and the dreams of a better future. I hope we learn to be kinder to each other and know the word EMPATHY for we all have the same dreams of happiness, no matter who we are and where we came from. Let’s talk about your pain, for it is valid. We exhibit these behaviors because of a pain inside us that has been left to fester without attention. Let’s create more safe spaces where we agree to leave judgements behind because we are all humans; flawed and prone to mistakes but deserving none the less of kindness and understanding. Be accountable for your actions because we ALWAYS have a choice in every decision we make in life, even if your options are something bad and something worst. Support your sisters and fellow Belizean women because there are none better to understand your pain and joy than someone who has walked these same streets as you.

 

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