Rise Up

You know what I don’t like, hate actually?

All the people who are saying they “don’t care” about politics, or what’s happening in the world. I really, really hate that, and I am no scholar or schooled in politics. But, I am trying to lead with love in these dark times of uncertainty and hate.

The Indifference.

Maybe they don’t care because they live small lives, myopic ones where no one is starving in their home, they own two cars, maybe three TVs, two computers, play stations, a fridge full of food, fresh drinking water. You know, all the modern conveniences.

Or maybe they have less than nothing, and they’ve given up. They see gold and riches being dangled in their face, just close enough to touch but never really close enough.

The carnival mirror is filled with dirty tricks, big words, and clever clowns masquerading as the Masters of Ceremony.

I don’t know, who’s to say?
What happened to them?
Why don’t they care?

As a storyteller, I’m intrigued to know the 60 million plus reasons to believe in bullies and paperweight pushers. I hate that, the unbalanced power scales, the ugly, vitriol bitter humans, the chest puffers who think because someone has money and power, they’re better or more entitled.

I don’t understand how you could watch what is happening to our country or the world, to the extraordinary, ordinary people same as you, same as me and not give a damn about equality.

How could you turn a blind eye?

I toss and turn, losing sleep at night. The earth, vibrating so ugly. I would hold all the heart heaviness of the world in my arms and wash away the weight with the tears I have cried.

I don’t see much truth in the new administration.
No, I see stink eye, pink eye and lots of turning a blind eye.
I see chaos and lies from the gut.

I went to both Catholic and Public school. Do I think Public or Catholic schools make a difference? Yes, and no. I think good teachers, parenting, values, and common decency make all the difference.

It can be seen on the faces of the misfits, rebels, artists, intellectuals, individuals and protestors today, the kids who stuck their neck out for others. Some friendships I made K- 12 lasted a lifetime, and my Creative Writing teacher in public school would give me a lethal weapon, an invaluable tool. He would give me the beginnings and makings of a voice.

A voice.
A voice that would not be silent.
A voice I would cultivate to speak out, and share stories with passion and fervor, not politics.

Human stories. Stories of love, fear, joy, courage, strength, redemption, curiosity and tears. We are uniquely powerful when we lead with love, and we are weak when we boast because we are afraid.

I abhor boorish wealth, inflated ego, poverty, injustice and wish we were all equal, that the scales weren’t so seriously messed up.

I was young the first time I learned a life lesson, maybe ten-ish. I don’t remember the age, I do remember the day, and it stuck with me all these years.

I learned prejudice early one Tuesday afternoon during English. All the boys wore the same hideous green shirts and slacks. The slacks could be whatever they wanted. One boy, just one boy, was singled out and made fun of. He only had the one pair of checkered slacks. All the kids were hooting and hollering, laughing and pointing at this boy, while the teacher stepped out for a bathroom break.

I was beet red livid. I cussed, “fuck you.” FUCK YOU ALL!!! I wanted to punch them.

This boy with red hair and freckles same as me, held his head down in shame. He wore them every day, and a hole was popping through the knee. I was a child, but I understood bullying instinctively, being singled out. I glanced around the room into the eyes of the assholes filled with hate. The awful kids teasing and taunting this boy who was holding back tears, and I knew. No way, never again. I understood in the gut I needed to STICK UP FOR MY FRIEND, and I did. I told them all to shut the hell up, and they did. Something bigger than all of us was happening.

Empathy.

The door creaked, the teacher came back, and we all scurried to our seats. I remember looking out the window; the sun was out. The sky was a perfect shade of blue; it was 75 degrees and almost time for recess.

After saying three quick Hail Mary’s, and asking God to forgive me for my foul mouth, the child returned. I couldn’t wait to get outside to run around and play.

Caring means thinking about someone other than yourself.
Caring means sticking up for those that can’t and telling the truth.
The truth matters, so call me political if you must, or better yet call me Jackie.

If you need something, I’ll be there.
If I see a bully, I will call them out.
If I look you in the eyes, I will know when you’re lying.

I will always, now and forever use my voice.
To rise up, and offer you my hand.

Photo Credit: Picturepest Flickr via Compfight cc








Jacqueline Cioffa

A retired, international model, and celebrity makeup artist. Co-Author of Model Citi Zen, the guide. Founder of http://modelcitizenmakeup.blogspot.com/. Author of numerous prose pieces in various literary magazines. Most recently published in Little Episodes Brainstorms the anthology, among esteemed artists Sadie Frost, Melvin Burgess and Todd Swift.

2 thoughts on “Rise Up

  1. Jacqueline CioffaJacqueline Cioffa Reply

    Dori,

    Thank you for the sweetest sentiment, and biggest compliment.
    I am proud to have the same name of your mother-another whom you adore, and hope to follow in her big shoes,
    leading with integrity.
    You are a constant source of support and inspiration.
    I am grateful for your presence in my life.
    I hope she enjoys the piece, and thank you caring.

    XX love and admiration
    Jackie

  2. Dori OwenDori Owen Reply

    Oh, Jackie, how I love this so. You remind me of my mother–another Jacqueline. She stood up, always, for the poor, the voiceless, and anyone she felt was singled out because they were different. I cannot wait to read this to her. She’s going to be so proud!
    xoD.

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