This is Day 20 of my Write 31 Days series for 2017: 31 Days of Kintsugi.
For an index of all the posts in the series, please click here.
Also linking with Five Minute Friday, where the prompt word is “discover.”
(image courtesy of Sanja Gjenero, rgbstock.com)
If you’ve been on social media at all this week, I’m sure you will have seen several posts containing the hashtag #MeToo.
For those who may have missed it, it started with a tweet from actress Alyssa Milano, following the allegations of sexual harassment made against the film producer Harvey Weinstein:
“If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote “Me too.” as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”
It certainly did- in the space of two days, over 12 million people had shared these words, and of course this is likely only a small proportion of those affected as many will choose not to share or feel unable to do so.
While it was Alyssa Milano’s tweet that caused it to go viral, the “Me too” movement was actually begun over ten years ago by the activist Tarana Burke. (You can read more here.)
I love her description of the impact of these two simple words:
“On one side, it’s a bold declarative statement that “I’m not ashamed”… On the other side, it’s a statement from survivor to survivor that says, “I see you, I hear you, I understand you, and I’m here for you, or I get it.””
Whether we’re talking about sexual assault and harassment or another topic, who doesn’t love to hear those two words, especially when they have shared something difficult?
How amazing is it to discover that you’re not the only one?
I saw the power of these words on a much smaller scale too earlier this week. I was leading at a discipleship conference for teenagers. A significant proportion of them had come by themselves, knowing no-one, and some found this quite a challenge. One of the most beautiful moments was at dinner one night when one girl spoke up and said, “I want to make friends, but I’m really introverted and I find it hard.” Straight away a chorus of “Me too” echoed round the table, and I could feel several of the teenagers begin to relax as they suddenly discovered they were not alone in their struggles.
In a culture that tries to hide brokenness it is not easy to show our scars. It is not easy to admit that we have been sexually assaulted, or that we struggle with making friends. Those things are not beautiful, and it’s easy to convince ourselves that no-one wants to see or hear.
But while there is no beauty in the situations themselves, there is amazing beauty to be found when one brave person has the courage to open up and show their scars and others stand with them saying “Me too.”
Suddenly we discover community and we no longer feel alone- we are seen, and we are understood. Our brokenness no longer seems like something shameful which must be hidden at all costs, because we see that others are broken too.
Shame recedes as what was hidden in the darkness is brought into the light; courage grows as one by one we speak these words of power and stand against the darkness; hope rises as we see that we are not alone, and a beautiful work of Kintsugi is created before us.
It may not fix the issue or change the world, but it can let us know that we’re not alone.
We may not have all the answers, but we can move forward together