The Meaning of Strength

"It takes one voice, at the right pitch, to start an avalanche." Dianna Hardy



4/19/17
"What does the word strong resemble in your mind?
Take a moment and think and hold on to the image that was in your head.
Now, this image comes from
your experiences,
your environment, 
the media 
and other pivotal influences
or simply possible something that you just experienced today.


Did the word strong possibly bring forth 
an image of a child whose innocence was taken from them in a photograph,

or did it maybe flash an image of a young college aged girl, hair a tossled mess with makeup smeared, in a gown in a hospital bed going through a strenuous and intimate process after being sexually assaulted,

or maybe was it a funereal setting with loved ones gathered grieving and holding on to one another after a drunk driver killed their child.

Did the word strong possibly flash to a recording of a 911 call where children are screaming in the background and asking for someone to save their mommy.

Did the word strong make you think of the court house where hundreds upon millions file for protection and fight for their safety.

Did the word strong flash 
a child conducting in play therapy, 
a girl testifying against her perpetrator, 
a loved one of a victim advocating for the justice and education in drunk driving, 
or was it a woman, a survivor, standing in the capital rotunda on Victims Rights Day.


If the word strong…did not resemble some of these images in your head than I'm sure RESILIENT did.
Often, the word strong depicts physical physique, a certain class, an age, a race and a gender and in most cases we give this word wrongfully to those who need to be brought to justice and in turn we give the word “weak” to those who have been victimized.

The strong pray on who they feel are weak /vulnerable and at times also may choose those who intimate them by their independence and strength because they envy that for themselves so they choose to attempt to take that from someone else without their permission by making one feel small, miscroscopic, in fear and silent. 

Those who gain the title “strong” by our society, due to their lack of justice , never become stronger in their evil doing yet those who endure this dark force- 
have to do something incredible—
they must do what many could not fathom
- they must combine their strength and their resiliency with a fierce fight for their life
and 
they must rise from these ashes, from these dark times, 
and due to their incredible resilience
not only do they heal, grow, and thrive 
but their resiliency and strength, together, create a force that is radical and powerful and that, in itself, can shift the language of this society by just solely being the incredible souls that they are.


Survivors are also the ones speaking, the ones advocating , the ones sitting in this room, the ones fighting for justice, the ones loving, empowering and making a shift in this world where even the most common of words are disgustingly and wrongfully  misused. 

Victims of Abuse have laid in hospital beds, they have witnessed loved ones die, they have gone to trial after trial and not had justice, they have looked at their darkest days and nights over and over again just to heal and grow and be able to live as they should, they have been mocked, ridiculed, belittles, undressed, harassed, their bodies have been used in exchange for money to be pulled out of wallets and you know what else…. 
They are the strongest and most resilient men and women that I know because they not only have had to endure these times but they have chosen to rise because of them.

Today…..lets switch things up. Today, lets change the images and the language we use.

Survivors--- You know you aren’t weak, and you don’t need the word strong defined for you because you know what you are made of . You are love warriors. You all are worthy. You all are truth tellers, difference makers, society shifters, and you are so resilient.

Honored to know you "

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