I just read an article on Bill Hybels, leader of the Willow Creek, one of the biggest “mega churches” in the United States. He has resigned after sexual abuse allegations within members of his staff. My heart is sad.
We can analyze all day long about how this has happened. Doctors taking advantage of student athletes, preachers taking advantage of staff, teachers taking advantage of students, bosses with employees...everything from promises of job and stardom to “date drugs”. Hollywood, Illinois, Ohio, New York......no one is immune. As a society we do analyze. We want to know HOW this happened. We want to know HOW to stop it. We want to make sure our daughters, our friends, our grandchildren, our nieces and nephews are SAFE.
I am not going to pontificate about all the breakdowns in our society that could have brought us here even though I could........I AM going to say, I know more women who HAVE been sexually abused than women that HAVENT. Think about that. I know more women with fuzzy stories with memories that just don’t fit right, like a blurry puzzle with pieces missing than I know women WITHOUT those stories. Add those stories to the many with clear memories, details framed like movie stills.....physical sensations intensified while emotional sensations stunted. This isn’t a hashtag#, folks.
No one, in all the coverage I have watched as said one thing about POWER. What is power in the United States? Is it leading with humility? Is it vulnerability? Awareness of our weaknesses? Admitting insecurity, failure, fear, rejection.....Pride.
I watched women become empowered. And....then I watched allegations that seemed to go to far. Tweets with random allegations. Guilty by association. Death by the firing squad through a Tweet. Power is dangerous without accountability.
I know I should end with some grand solutions and wrap this up in a neat little bow......it doesn’t work that way. Nothing will change until we teach people to be humble leaders. Show we respect our celebrities as much as we do our neighbors. Can you imagine what this world would be if we started this adult race showing our vulnerability rather than hiding it.
“Hi, my name is Beth and I am a terrible speller so I might ask for help sometimes. I am not a good housekeeper so dont’ drop by without calling first. I sing too loudly in the car and to be really truthful, I am not the best driver. But, I love puppies and conversation and good red wine. I am a good friend. I wanted to be a synchronized swimmer when I was 12 even though I never learned how to dive. Nice to meet you.”
What would your introduction say?