Tag Archive: Valerie Anderson


my wife Valerie

my wife was attacked in the street yesterday.

fortunately not physically and thank God there were two Latino guys in a car nearby that she was eventually able to get to come to her assistance but even then they didn’t really know what to do and the [can only assume he was completely drugged up] guy continued to threaten.

many, many thoughts on this and the closest to the foreground is complete and utter thankfulness that she is okay… or as okay as someone can be who is verbally and otherwise assaulted…

Val recently shared two blogs with thoughts on related issues:

the first being this very hectic one where she shares a reaction to some of the music and attitude and behaviour we were confronted with when we lived in Kensington, Philly last year: On being woman [explicit]

and the second one in which she shared some situation she has been in where she got involved and took some kind of action to prevent the possibility of an attack or situation ending badly: on being my sister’s keeper

stop

the solution to this is not victim-blaming, nor giving women a list of ways they can dress or act and behave that can “help protect them from being raped” – we should not have to go there.

but i really don’t believe the solution is man-bashing either – all men are not evil, potential rapists waiting to happen – throwing blame at the general male population feels completely unhelpful as well.

and personally, i’m not convinced that joking about rape is EVER helpful [although i know a bunch of people disagree with me on this one – see the next post for verification of that] – for me anything that makes light of or lessens the impact of how absolutely hideous and horrendous and just plain evil rape is, counts against finding a solution to the problem.

this thing is so much huger than any of those three areas – we are talking absence of strong positive role models and negative influence of the media and prisons being punitive rather than redemptive and desensitisation of both the word and the act and a hundred other things…

but just because it looks so huge and daunting, does not give us the freedom to continue with our heads buried in the sand on this one. we need to create safe spaces for people to share their stories. we need to be able to talk about this thing without using blame language on either side and try to figure out together what we can put in place in the short term to at least reduce the risk of it while we look at bigger solutions. we need to be investing into the young men and women of the future and training them up in the way they should go…

as evidenced by my new friend Magda’s letter to her children [aged just 11 and almost 8] that she allowed me to share parts of on my blog over here, that both deals with speaking about sex and rape with her young children and teaching them how to grow up to be young men that make a positive difference.

let’s get serious about working together to put a stop to this. this should not be something we are ever okay about having as a part of our world.

[to continue to part II which involves a confusing hashtag on Twitter which got me into a bit of trouble with a bunch of people]

i attended a formula 1 grand prix last year in Austen, Texas, which was basically a dream-i-never-would-have-realistically-had come true as i had been watching the sport since i was in primary school… and in the midst of this international event, sitting flanked by people of all nationalities from all around the world, i had the joy of seeing this South African flag draped casually over someone’s chair near me… great reminder of home in the midst of all the foreign…

Proudly South African

this picture, which was taken on my honeymoon with tbV is a beautiful nature scene, but for me it is the wall that stands out – i absolutely LOVE stone walls [made with different types and sizes of stones joined together] – as someone who doesn’t get excited about all that much in the way of architecture and design this is one thing that jumps out for me everywhere i see it and so it was great spotting this gem in the midst of the surrounding beauty and life…

Stones of Wall

and then talking of lost in the details i found this picture of the stunningly beautiful Val on our wedding day – what i like about it is the range of leaves from blurry and up close to very much in focus and detailed and then trailing off to blurry again… and there in the background the hint of my beautiful bride – the suggestion of a greater story than what is seen in front of you… and a greater story to follow…

valleaveswedding

 

[For the previous Photo Challenge on the theme of ‘Forward’ click here]

the beautiful Val, loved by this guy!

my wife, the beautiful Val [tbV], is an incredible writer who does not blog often enough – i tell he this often and she agrees and one hope i have of this coming 18 months where our work week looks like it should be a lot closer to 30 hours rather than 80 might just give her the opportunity to do so…

if you have never read her stuff before than you should and especially these two written into the very sensitive context that South Africa finds itself in at the moment…

on doing something

on being my sister’s keeper

you should read and like and share and link to her blog because when she writes it is life-changing society-transforming stuff and the more of you that get connected to her, the more we can encourage her to keep speaking…

i love you Valerie-Claire Anderson – keep on cos you are so gifted at this…

i am continuing this series which i feel has gone so much further than the initial email that got it started and has provided some valuable insights which needed a springboard to launch from. so am daily becoming more grateful for it as it has helped me share what i feel have been some helpful ideas about living life to the full.

what i am wanting to look at today is something that i have found immensely helpful in my relationship with tbV [altho still definitely have a long way to go] and in some of the conflicts i have been involved in in recent times [who, me argue?] and i imagine that the more i get this right, the more effective i am going to be in terms of challenge and even rebuke…

the concept is very simple: receive the rebuke/challenge/word of wisdom you are about to give… so using the email i received, let me for a moment assume that i had written it – i am ready to send it, but before i do, let me put myself in the place of the person hearing it and see what they receive…

rebuke

Brett, let’s be honest: your youtube videos suck. Big time. And I don’t even see the purpose in it.

hm, okay if i am receiving that particular sentence, is it going to make me open to hearing the message, or is it likely to make me angry or sad or antagonistic and make me react rather than respond to the heart of what i was trying to say?

i think it becomes quite easy once you make the time and effort to do that. that line is an easy one but sometimes we do need to deliver tough Truth to people we Love and it is not going to be an easy one to hear. by becoming that person hearing the message i will more than likely find a better way to deliver the message.

how would i receive a message that my videos are a waste of time? the word ‘suck’ followed by ‘big time’ is probably not going to be the best way, right? and as i mentioned yesterday, by changing a strong statement into a question, maybe i can ease towards a time when i am able to share that, ‘well honestly, i don’t think they’re a great use of your time.’ i know that as a person who regularly has to do a stock take on how i use my time [cos i do tend towards getting caught up in addictive things altho often very silly and time-wasting ones] i am aware that that can become an issue and so i am likely to listen to the message and take it to heart if it is presented well.

on the other hand i don’t want to water down the message so much [if it is a strong message that really does need to be heard] that the point of it is lost completely. but i think this is where relationship comes in – i try to be accountable to everyone – as someone with an audience, as a Christian leader in different areas, i am aware that that is a crucial thing to do. but at the same time it is the people who i have specifically invited to speak into my life – people like Regan Didloff, Rob Lloyd and Bruce Collins, people like Mike dreadlock Strauss and Mandy Hunt and of course my wife Valerie [and a bunch of others] who get a much stronger invitation to speak more directly and harshly where necessary. Val will be able to tell you i don’t often take it well in the moment [does anyone like to be told they are wrong?] but that i will take the criticism to heart and more often than not think about it for a while and then make a response to it later.

a clue i can share with you is that accusations such as “you always” or “you never” don’t go down well in arguments or even received emails – questions are good as well as “i feel that…” or “i think…” statements which allow space for you to be possibly wrong instead of just loading something on to the person you are speaking to…

so i encourage you next time you are about to write an email or have a conversation with someone that requires you to share a tough Truth [in Love] to take a moment and try and receive it in the way you are about to give it, and see how you would respond and whether it is worth taking another minute or two to figure out a way that you would receive that particular message well. i believe this will help give your message a much needed boost and possibility of getting through to the person you are engaging with.

let me know how it goes…

[to continue to part V: a glimpse into the why, click here]

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