My participation was to take the form of fasting. (along with the, mostly men, that would be doing the same at the "national event.")
Briefly for those not aware of this campaign (in Canada) a First Nation's father & his daughter started this (what has become a movement) to address violence toward women & children in First Nation's communities. They created small moose hide patches that can be pinned to your clothing. The wearing of the patch signifies that as a man, you commit to and end to violence toward women & children, by men. The movement has expanded to include violence toward women & children throughout all cultures (as it certainly not an issue that is exclusive to First Nation's).
Not so long ago they distributed their one millionth moose hide pin. Not only do I see this as a very necessary and worthwhile undertaking; it is inspiring to realize, the impact this is having in terms of sheer numbers of lives impacted, through raised awareness, from the vision of two people.
I didn't get wind of today being the date until after I had already had a couple cups of decaf. My experience with expressing "interest" toward events posted on Facebook is that I don't see any mention of it again until the day is upon me. Perhaps that is something I could adjust in the settings somewhere. Anyway at least I hadn't eaten anything yet so I could still honour my intention to "fast."
I may never know what my seemingly indirect involvement in this event nearly 3600 kms. away by plane might accomplish. When participating in the local event which included a gathering with speakers and breakout groups for participants to engage with each other and toward the end of the proceedings there was "break the fast" ceremony & a delicious buffet dinner afterward. All that to say, there was a more tangible sense for me of being part of something.
As it stands, I've now not had anything to eat, for 14hrs. (my intention to break my fast being another 3 hrs. away). I've added the stats for context. So that now, when I say I'm doing what I can to not make this act of solidarity - only about food & my hunger; the time references won't be contradictory.
The lack of food or focus on attaining and having food, throughout the day, does give me a window of opportunity for a different perspective. Perhaps a more direct connection to my inner world (without the inclination to dampen it by stuffing myself with food). An awareness and sensitivity to my inner environment might be an important adjunct to a further sensitivity to the suffering of others and to how I interact in the world (or avoid being present).
It might be considered counter-productive that I have chosen to sit in the middle of the mall "food court" to write this post. It happens this place is on my path, after finishing at the gym. I would often go to a coffee shop to write, where of course there would be an expectation I buy something. In this space, it would seem, I can do my thing - without purchasing any food.
I suppose my involvement is impactful on a energetic/consciousness level. By now writing about the experience I hope I am spreading the word about this movement and what it represents. Violence toward women and children is not okay! Not in any way, shape or form. I am a stand for non-violent alternatives for conflict resolution. I believe in respect, compassion, inclusion for everyone. I will within this post, refrain from speaking in generalized terms about violence within humanity overall, because I don't want to water down the message of this particular focus. Today the message is men (specifically this man) standing for an end to violence toward women and children by men. This includes of course the obvious; physical form, but also includes, emotional and spiritual violence (verbal & otherwise).
Today this is the form - "walking my talk.." I "nourish" myself through direct participation in something bigger than myself. The "discomfort I might be experiencing with respect to "hunger" pales when compared to my hunger for communities, societies and a global consciousness that no longer sees violence as "inevitable" & "just the way it is. It also can't begin to compare to the suffering of those that have been (and are being made) the targets of violence.
A feast for heart & soul comprised of a world of non-violence - would be a feast beyond compare.
Let it be done!