The other day, I took my daughters to a local shop that sells jewelry and accessories. There was a young family there and the parents were talking in a threatening tone to their very young daughter. I walked closer to them to see if I could get a sense of what was going on. They were attempting to coerce her into getting her ears pierced. The young girl cried saying over and over again, “I don’t want to! I don’t want to!” An older woman standing nearby was then coercing the parents into forcing their daughter to do it. She was giving parenting tips on how to take away the child’s new toy and not give it back unless she did as she was told.
photo by Jill Greenberg
My heart raced. I started sweating. I took a deep breath and walking over and said, “Excuse me. Would you be open to hearing an alternative opinion on this?” The parents looked at me and said, “Yes.” I shared with them that Ivy and Tiff decided when to get their ears pierced at ages 6 and 8 and that it was a special rite of passage, that they chose. I shared about the girls autonomy and how the connection between them would be hurt if they didn’t respect her choice. I also said that the trust that she has for them may be affected if they forced her against her will.
The father said, “Yes! I agree with that.” The Mom looked disappointed. I then went on to say that I realized it was a personal decision and that it was for them alone to decide. I shared that I couldn’t let them go on in what was happening without offering my view, so that they could make a truly informed decision.
They walked out of the store. They were still on the fence, but I was so glad that I spoke up. It isn’t an easy thing to do, especially when you have the opposing energy present trying to convince them otherwise. My daughters were very proud of me tonight and thanked me for, “helping that little girl.”
Don’t be afraid to speak up when you see injustice! You can do it in such a way that is peaceful, non-intrusive and respectful. Be brave. Be kind and speak your truth. The example you set for your children and for others when they witness peaceful communication is desperately needed in our culture. You can help shift the world towards more peace and the lives you touch will cause ripples that never end.
Peace & Love, Dayna