Archives for January 2014

Remembrance Day: Never Forget

Six million Jews were murdered under Germany’s state-sponsored persecution and Nazi rule during the Holocaust.

While targeted persecution of the Jews began in 1933, the mass murder was committed during World War II. It took the Germans and their accomplices four and a half years to murder six million Jews. (From April to November 1942 alone–only 250 days–two and a half million Jews were murdered). It’s incredibly hard to even imagine.

Today we remember the Jewish people and we must never ever forget. But we can’t lose sight of the fact that history will repeat itself (in the case of Nazi Germany or any other place where genocide has occurred, or where the murder of innocents is in any way permissible) unless we do more than just obtain knowledge or take care to remember.

We must be vigilant to stand for life, liberty and freedom for all people groups, and for humanity in all of its forms. We must commit to staying awake, to feel the bitter sting of death, of sorrow, of pain and walk alongside those who have tasted it. We need to be aware of the reality of lost generations, unsung heroes whose destinies have been stolen, and those whose dreams will never come to fruition, because they have been blotted out of the annals of history. Their loss must be our loss, and our loss must be their loss.

Silence is not an option. Apathy is not an option. No excuse is acceptable.

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

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™–”Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Martin Luther King Day: Things That Matter

Today, January 20th, 2014, is a day set aside to commemorate humanitarian and human rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. Many of his words remain immortal, as if suspended in time. In large part, because they cross man-made boundaries, borders, and heart lines. One of my favorite Martin Luther King, Jr. quotes is:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that. -Martin Luther King, Jr.

If there is to be any significant and lasting change, then our “weapons of warfare” must be tools that allow for the greatest good (for all of humanity). Tools that make room for forgiveness, reconciliation, and understanding. It’s a type of violence of the heart–a formidable purposed action plan that invites sanity, promotes healing, cherishes true human brother and sisterhood, celebrates human potential for progress and good inclusive of all, and refuses to settle for less than pure truth.

Another Martin Luther King, Jr. quote that underscores the sacredness and the gift of life:

“Our lives begin to end the day we are silent about the things that matter.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.

So, what are the “things that matter”? They are the things that bring life, and light, and love. Apart from them, we can go through our entire life believing a lie, basing our attitudes and actions on false evidences, promoting disharmony, and limiting all that was meant for us–never living our true potential. These are the threads that bind humanity together despite our uniqueness. They help us see that we are more the same than different. We celebrate our individual uniqueness with a concurrent understanding that we all share in our humanness, in that, we are each made up of body, soul, and spirit and wired with dreams, goals, and aspirations.

None of us placed ourselves on this planet. We are all pilgrims on a journey, co-travelers. We are individually responsible to discover and then propagate that life, light, and love. It’s profound in its seeming simplification, but there’s nothing ethereal about it. It’s owning the stewardship of our own lives, families, and responsibilities; being responsible for, and propagating things like justice–true justice, mercy, and compassion; and, being aware and intentional about the purpose of our lives–being about our personal destiny–the why to our being here. These are things that matter.

A recognition that hate against our fellow humans is a useless destroyer that invokes darkness. Unforgiveness kills the potential of the one who refuses to forgive. It invites a sickness that cannibalizes the one who holds it close to their heart. Then there’s selfishness. A pathetic desire to indulge ourselves above all regardless of the outcome–to hoard and cling to every good thing and opportunity for ourselves before others. And what about pride? A lie that allows individuals, people groups, and entire cultures to believe they are better, more worthy; and, more valuable or important than another. All of these petty and frivolous thoughts can become attitudes that eventually become behaviors. That’s why it’s so important to guard our hearts and think for ourselves. These “ways” can creep into our thinking and set up shop, creating mindsets that are destructive both for us and those we live alongside in this life. Ultimately, they insidiously weave their way (because we’ve invite them) into our way of “being”.

In remembering Martin Luther King, Jr. today, I want to be about the things that matter. The things that underscore and highlight life, light, and love. The things that will make a positive ripple effect in the world. The things that have power to make a meaningful difference, inclusive of all. Apart from truth, nothing else matters.

Let us be radical about love, about moving toward the light, and radical about seeking out truth. We are all on this journey together, how will we steward our lives and our part in the lives of those we co-journey with?

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™–”Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Modern-Day Abolitionist Thought Leaders Come Together

Modern-day abolitionist thought leaders will come together for a Google+ Hangout event this Friday, January 10th at 10 a.m. PST and, you are invited!  They will speak about issues surrounding modern-day slavery, share their collective insights, and challenge attendees to collaborate in the fight against modern-day slavery.

The event will be hosted by Nicholas Kristof and Half the Sky Movement. Speakers will include Gary Haugen (International Justice Mission), Dave Batstone (Not for Sale / Just Business), Rachel Lloyd (Girls Educational & Mentoring Services, GEMS), and Susan Bissell (UNICEF USA). They will be answering the question: What Does 2014 Hold for the Fight Against Modern-Day Slavery?

The modern-day slave trade is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, enslaving more than 30 million individuals today. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “After drug dealing, trafficking of humans is tied with arms dealing as the second-largest criminal industry in the world.” Combating this $32 billion-dollar-a-year industry takes enormous effort as well as a large framework of diligent abolitionists. (via Not For Sale website)

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. What a great way to cross-connect with fellow freedom fighters, learn from leaders at the forefront of the movement, and invite friends to get involved! You can RSVP here: http://bit.ly/1cNChdw.

I hope you’ll join me there!

Join me on Twitter @DestinysWomen

(c) By April McCallum, Destiny’s Women™–”Championing the Life, Freedom & Destiny of Women”

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Second Chances

Second chances offer us an opportunity to start over, to reconcile, redeem, or restore things that aren’t quite what they could be, or could’ve been. A second chance may be related to a relationship, a new way of seeing, believing, or being; or it may be connected to a renewed goal or a dream.

Whatever it is, it’s an opportunity. It is unexpected grace, maybe even mercy, this ability to begin again. If we look for them, we can see second chances all around us. By respecting them and showing our gratitude, it’s as if we become alive or renewed again. Second chances are a gift. We can’t take them for granted, because nothing in this life is guaranteed. They may never cross our path again. By our attitudes and behaviors, we show how we value the gift. When we “awaken” to find that unexpected key in our hand, it is there for a reason. Unlock the door while the gift of the second chance is available. You’ll be humbled as you discover (or rediscover) what you once thought was lost. Here’s to second chances in the new year!

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