Thursday Tidbits

Posted on March 7, 2019 under Thursday Tidbits with one comment

Strong women. Young and old.


Two important events are happening this week. They have nothing to do with a “border wall” or the unfolding drama in Ottawa. I will leave these political pundits.

It is International Women’s Week around the world. Tomorrow (March 8th), it is International Women’s Day (IWD), a day to recognize women’s achievements and acknowledge the challenges they continue to face in the quest for gender equality.

Two years ago, I witnessed an IWD celebration in southern India. It was a stunning affair beginning with a walk in blistering heat by 500 women wearing brilliantly colored saris to the convent at Stella Maris in Kannyakumari. The walk was followed by many speeches and entertainment. For me the highlight was being on a stage accompanying fourteen young women studying to become nuns as they sang “Let it Be”. The only thing that was quite incongruous was the fact that most of the speakers and platform guests were men.

It is a very scary and disturbing time to be on planet earth. We seem to be on a path to self- destruction as we pillage the planet for profit. Leadership, if you can call it that, still remains largely the domain of men. While some democracies have made advances in gender equality, there is still a dearth of women in key positions of leadership.

I am happy that in my sphere of family and friends there are countless strong, well educated women who are making a difference.

Yesterday was the beginning of Lent for many Christians. Lent is a solemn religious observance in the Christian liturgical calendar that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends approximately six weeks later before Easter Sunday. The purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer for Easter through prayer, doing penance, repentance of sins, self-denial and alms giving.

Shrove Tuesday or “pancake day”, is the traditional feast day before the start of Lent. In ancient times, Anglo-Saxon Christians went to confession and were “shriven”, meaning “absolved from their sins” on Shrove Tuesday.

Many Christians do something akin to self-denial during Lent. Back in the day, giving up sweets, booze or smokes were common. Today’s addictions include Facebook, cell phones and possibly Netflix. Sorry, I won’t be giving up any of these. May I recommend two outstanding movies on Netflix while you self-flagellate during the next forty days? “Lion” and “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” are based on true stories. One is set in India (which brought back a flood of memories for me) and the other in Africa.

I digress.

While self-denial is admirable, doing something positive might also be worth considering like visiting the sick or volunteering with a charity. I saw an interesting idea on FB a few days back. It was suggested that for the forty days of Lent, a person should look around their home and every day, pick out an item that they no longer use and at the end of Lent, donate these items to a charitable organization. Even if it’s not Lent, this is a really good idea.

Please take an opportunity this week to thank the strong women in your life.

Have a great weekend.

P.S. I made gluten free pancakes on Shrove Tuesday.

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