Fixing wrongs

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On Father’s Day, Sara decide to create a memorial to her dad using her favorite tools. Pure muscle. Nathan, her brother, also joined in, as did Amanda, Eve and Brent. Everyone had their quiet motives for expressing themselves on this day, but it was quite a ritual for all who participated. Here’s Sara’s version:


I should preface the following post with something of a warning. This post happens to be of the slightly more serious nature. I’ve got my little causes that I’m always rallying for. Self empowerment through movement, community empowerment through movement, blah, blah, babble, babble. But when self empowerment is absent or on temporary leave, my little campaigns might seem a little silly. Our tribes sometimes need support in other ways.

We’re hosting a fun, unsanctioned powerlifting meet this weekend. A friends-and-family affair aimed at testing our muscle and minds mano-a-metal against a heavily loaded bar. But it is also a fundraiser, and forgive my earnestness within this post, but, as Joan Rivers will blurt…

Can we talk?

Fixing Wrongs

Wouldn’t we be in a spiritual Disneyland if we could access our personal strength capital with the ease of summoning email with a T3 connection?

Our… “personal strength capital” you say?

Yup, it’s the bank account of badass-ness, true strength that we use to overcome obstacles, transcend mediocrity and make our planet a better place. Ya know, that personal empowerment nonsense I keep blabbing on about. Imagine if our mind and body communicated as simply and effeciently as a super-fueled ATM. We ask for a withdrawal to use instantly and the ATM satisfies before we even finish the request. We’d have strength on tap, be it physical or metaphysical, and our hypothetical archetype would be the body that responds to the mind’s needs instantly, even pre-instantly.

Cats are sometimes said to be sort of wired this way. As are ninjas.

But beyond defensive techniques against dogs and, uh, other ninjas, how cool would it be to access our hard-earned empowerment to bring a bit of goodness to a situation instantly, or to teach instantly, or to learn instantly? Should we be pissed off that we can’t? No. It gives us a goal to strive for.

What happens when someone realizes, on a level that is often far from conscious (and perhaps far from sober), that their personal strength capital is deep in the red? That they, in word, suck?

They could:

A) Take responsibility, admit to poor choices and begin to change behavior patterns.
B) Spend a significant time in pity and attempt to lay blame elsewhere.
C) Not only blame others, but punish them for it.

Sure a person who follows any of these paths could use some help. But someone in the C category will often leave a wake of folks who might also need help, not because they, too, have depleted personal strength capital, but because, like most humans, they couldn’t call on it as instantly as our dreams would have us do, and they happened to be in the path of an asshole who’s vacant self realization turned to rage.

I have many words that I won’t post here for any such asshole who falls into (um, actually chooses) the “C” category, less poetically referred to in hushed tones as a wife-beater or a rapist. Maybe there is hope for him (or her), but I haven’t the personal strength capital to concern myself with that. In fact my thoughts about their moral salvation (or personal safety, for that matter) aren’t very – how would one say it? – sympathetic? Buddhist? Christian?

As for those who must suffer them, those who now hurt as much physically as mentally, those who now have a possibly eternal-internal fight after surviving a few minutes (months? Years?) of physical abuse… now we should give a shit. A tribe/community breaks down, sometimes a lot, when a member must painfully suffer the insecurity of a spiritually bankrupt fuckhead.

There is a local organization that has a good program in place for helping women escape a violent environment. In fact, that’s its name: WEAVE. Women Escaping A Violent Environment. Our powerlifting party this Sunday is also a benefit for the strength and support that WEAVE offers. When someone suffers abuse, they often feel like their personal strength capital is absent. An organization like WEAVE lets them know that it is far from absent, and provides the first steps to accessing it again.

As you access your strength this weekend, remember that your entrance fee (and any other donation you’d like to make) will support others searching for their strength.


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  • Amanda

    Thank you for this post, Chip.

    I’m still putting together some thoughts in response, but for now, here’s the link to that article I was telling you about, regarding human capital development in Africa. The author explores similar ideas regarding how what’s needed to make changes in Africa is investment in women.

    Also, Eve Ensler talks about women as the planet’s greatest untapped resource (see her TED talk here). As you know, such a large number of women (both globally and locally) are having to divert much of their creative energies into surviving and then recovering from interpersonal violence. What a tragic waste of human power and strength (although strength can surely develop from adversity, if the survivor is given access to enough resources!).

    Healing from interpersonal trauma requires a community. Thanks for so actively creating a tribe in which we can explore and reconnect with our strength.

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