Today I’m talking to a brave and determined young woman who’s speaking out against her culture and looking to make a change in her community.
Fatu was born in Sierra Leone. As a young girl, she was subjected to a cruel and brutal practice called Female genital mutilation (FGM) also known as female genital cutting or the somehow innocent sounding female circumcision.
This is by no means similar to male circumcision. FGM is the ritual removal of some or all of the external female genitalia. It involves the total removal of the clitoris and the narrowing of the vaginal opening through stitching or cutting and repositioning the labia minora or labia majora. The practice has no health benefits whatsoever. In fact, it harms girls and women in many ways and sometimes it leads to death.
It is one of the most extreme forms of violence against girls and women across Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. The practice has also been found around the western world, in countries such as Australia, UK, USA, Canada etc. It is estimated that more than 200 million young girls and women around the globe have been mutilated and are living in immense physical and psychological pain.
I used to think the world was an ugly place, that people were cruel and life was a long and lonely road to hell. That was until the day I met my late teacher. He kindly took his precious time to listen to my sorrows and gave me some wonderful advice that changed my life forever. Through his small act of kindness he helped me restore my faith in humanity and gave me hope for a better future.
It’s very important to always keep in mind the positive parts of life. And there is no better example of the goodness in our world than random acts of kindness performed by complete strangers.
Kindness is contagious. Never underestimate the impact of a single, simple act. All it takes is your willingness to reach out and help those less fortunate than you.
La’ve Jackson is a homeless man from Dallas. He spent most of his life living on the streets because of poor choices that lead him to drug and alcohol addictions.
After a lifetime of struggle he finally pulled himself together and has remained sober for the last nine months. He spends most of his days on the streets selling STREETZine, a street paper. One day, by a chance encounter he met a group of kind strangers from North Dallas Firewalkers. They came together, took him off the street, got him a VIP ticket to a powerful seminar and then raised funds through gofundme to help him get his own place. La’ve is now determined to stay off drugs and working hard to get his counselling license and make something out of his life. All thanks to those strangers’ kindness.
When someone suffers from drugs or alcohol addiction their entire family is paying for that terrible choice. Addiction brings about serious damage to families and to relationships. Those who take drugs can experience deadly consequences such as overdoses, crime, traffic accidents, violence and suicide. Children of alcoholic parents are at high risk of mental, physical and sexual abuse. They also suffer from low self esteem, loneliness and fear of abandonment. Sadly, I am one of those children…
In this episode I’m talking to an incredibly intelligent and beautiful lady, Natalie Calkins Rountree, who was kind enough to share with us her epic battle with alcohol addiction and her journey to recovery. Natalie came from a good background but, due to some poor choices, she became addicted to alcohol early on. She lost her self worth, dignity, the custody of her young daughter and almost took her own life. After a 15 years battle with alcoholism she had finally kicked the habit and has been sober for almost a decade. She rebuilt her life, got her daughter back, she’s happily married and has a very successful career.
“Please help me. My daddy killed me with a knife and I’m gone. Can you please send the army men or the ambulance? I woke up suddenly, uh, my dad he was killing my mom. And then my dad told me to go on the other bed. And then he was like, ‘You’re next’, and then he killed me. And I was still alive. I kind of survived.” – Anthony’s 911 call.
He was 8 years old at the time.
His father brutally murdered his mother. He stabbed Anthony six times in the chest and face. He then left the house not knowing that his son was still alive. Anthony had a punctured liver and was bleeding profusely when he made that 911 call.
Today Anthony is a grown man and an aspiring musician. And after all the pain and suffering he’s been through, this exceptional and courageous young man still finds it in his heart to forgive and love the man that tore his life part.
“Every time I would think of my dad, I would think of hate,” Anthony said. “The only way I could find peace and love within myself was to forgive my father.”
Anthony is sharing his story with us today hoping to inspire and show us that it is possible to leave our past behind, forgive the unforgivable and move on with our lives.
Your story is your medicine. Your suffering is part of your sacred experience.
Sophia is a wise, unconventional and enlightened woman. In this interview she’s sharing and showing you some simple yet very powerful and insightful tips of how to make peace with the bully that lives within your mind and heal from the negative, destructive and damaging self talk.
To get in touch with Sophia visit her website here.