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'To Bless All Mankind'

MeToo and the potential for healing

From the January 8, 2018 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

Adapted from an article published in The Christian Science Monitor, October 19, 2017.

Most of those active on social media recently will have seen posts in their feed including the hashtag #MeToo and sharing stories of sexual harassment and assault. As I saw an ever-growing stream of posts from both female and male friends, I wondered what to do. First and foremost, I wanted to show compassion and support. ​While I respect that some may choose not to speak up, eventually I also felt it was important to say “me too,” briefly list the unsolicited and inappropriate advances I have experienced, and offer inspirational ideas.

Tarana Burke, who started the #MeToo campaign in 2007 to help sexual assault survivors, said that the phrase was intended “to let folks know that they were not alone and that a movement for radical healing was happening and possible.” I agree. As large as the problem is, the potential for prevention and healing is even more impressive.

My engagement along these lines is empowered by seeing and loving myself and others as God’s spiritual children, composed of indestructible qualities such as joy, peace, and wholeness. This does not mean turning a blind eye to evil. Mary Baker Eddy illustrated through her founding of The Christian Science Monitor that we must be willing to confront and handle even the most difficult trends and events in the world, while striving “to injure no man, but to bless all mankind,” as its motto says.

Christ Jesus provides a tremendous example of overcoming evil without becoming bitter. Hated, slandered, and executed in one of the most painful and demeaning ways possible, Jesus rose above all he had been subjected to through a clear vision of his, and everyone’s, God-provided and God-sustained substance and purpose. Sexual assault can threaten to be a death-dealing blow to life, joy, and feelings of self-worth and safety. But I have found that prayer affirming the qualities that make up our fundamental essence—none of which can be touched or harmed—can make all the difference. It has empowered me to realize that I am not weakened, ashamed, or stained. And I firmly believe that is true for everyone.

Prayer to see everyone in this spiritual light has been key to my response to the #MeToo trend on social media, leading me to offer supportive comments on the posts of friends who spoke up—whether sharing their experience or posting simple but powerful phrases like “I believe you”; or individuals taking on the responsibility to rebuke unacceptable behavior, support others when they feel unsafe, and respond to the call for better models of manhood and womanhood to be raised up in our society.

I am heartened by the support I have received and the prayers, conversations, and actions coming forward as a result of the #MeToo campaign. May we increasingly discover that evil is not inherently a part of anyone, male or female, nor is it the ultimate power. Instead, may all feel the tender but mighty touch of the infinite good that is God, divine Love, that protects, washes clean, reforms, redeems, and causes us to rise up renewed, in ever fresh and increasing expressions of mutual freedom, blessings, and love.

Adapted from an article published in The Christian Science Monitor, October 19, 2017.

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