all images and stories are the property of Catherine Beerda-Basso and are not to be used without given permission...thank you

Friday, 19 April 2013

The Black Plague of our Time.....

 There is something happening with our children our youth our young people There is a Black Plague that has infiltrated this part of our population a Black Plague called


Last weekend I was talking to a dear woman in my life
a spiritual mentor
who's daughter took her own life
one year ago
She was the one who gave me this phrase
"The Black Plague of our time"
and she is so right
It is happening all over the modern world and most of it
being infused by the pressures of
Social Media

Every Monday I have be posting something
about my kids in Colombia
but today
today I wanted to post about my kids
in my own community and country;
because I am seeing their young faces on the news
I am reading about them in the newspaper
I am grieving their end of life.
And for those who still remain... 
I want to lift them up
I want to shine love and light on them
those trapped in their darkness
those who feel lost in their life
those who feel worthless and less then
today I talk about them
and I ask you my readers
to do the same
to hold space for the young people in your country
in your community
those who are struggling
hold space for them
a space of love, light and hope
that they matter
that they are important
that this season will pass
that they will not always feel this small.

I was emailing with a friend of mine
from the other side of the world
she was looking for support   
as one of her young work mates has been practicing
in self harm...
between the regular pressures of being a teen
and the loss of her mother to cancer one year ago
this young woman is having a hard time
finding her way
having a hard time
feeling the solid ground beneath her feet
having a hard time coping....

her story is that of many....

these stories are close to my heart
they have been stories in my personal life
and some of those I hold dear...
I know this darkness

I have said it once
and I will say it again
If you see someone doing something
"to get attention"
Do not ignore them
Do not dismiss them
Do not turn away from them
engage with them
reach out to them
look at them..and really see them
and when you do,
let them know that you see them

We can not stop someone from taking their life
We can not stop someone from harming themselves
We can not stop someone from thinking they are less then
We can tell them what they mean to us
We can tell them we will miss them if they go
We can tell them what it will be like to be left behind
with them in our lives
We can tell them how we feel about them...
over and over and over again
we can do.

My dear sister-friend wrote this last week on her blog
I loved it so much I asked if I could re-post it here.
I realize this is a long post
I hope you will take the time to continue reading
Our kids are worth our time...
Lets tell our Nyssa
Turn, turn, my wheel!  All things must change
To something new, to something strange;
  Nothing that is can pause or stay;
The moon will wax, the moon will wane,
The mist and cloud will turn to rain,
The rain to mist and cloud again,
  To-morrow be to-day. ~ Longfellow: Keramos

it's been an aching few days.

whose heart could not have been affected by the death of a young girl?
it has been a rollercoaster of emotions felt throughout the city and throughout the world.

rape, bullying and ultimately suicide.


wake up calls
breaking hearts
and idiocy
and denial

all that is best and worst in humanity played out... everywhere.

and i gather my girls close.
and my son.
my girls to say " you're safe right now"
my boy to say " well done, you honourable and caring young man. well done at being you"

but to the girls in the world who are not in arm's reach, i say " I wish we paid more attention"
" I wish this world didn't view you this way"
" I wish that the power and magic you hold in you..would have free expression and that you would know no fear, no pain, no abuse"

to the boys of this world who are not in arms reach, i say " be brave, be courageous, be honourable."
" Put down the need for power"
" Put down the facades. Put down your macho."

and to all I say, " do better"
" do better at loving yourselves and each other"

to us parents, all of us, I say:

" Let's be parents. Lets guide and teach and show our value systems. Let's care and do until our arms ache so our hearts won't have to. Let's talk. Let's watch. Let's rise up, let's lead the way. Let's put down our feet when necessary. Let's use that word "no" more often. Let's not let our own need for freedom be projected onto our children who have so few rules. It's not the same kind of freedom they need except to let loose with their talents and their souls. we may have needed freedom from repression and freedom of expression and freedom from spiritual abuses or marital discord but our kids don't need our baggage, they don't need our lessons, they have their own. Let's not overcompensate for what we didn't have or what we had too much of. Let's see them for who they are and step in and redirect when things are going wrong"

Let's actively parent.
Let's tell our boys to respect our girls and tell our girls to respect themselves and each other.
Let's tell our daughters to protect themselves while telling them we wish they would not have to.
Let's tell our sons to protect our girls while telling them they should not have to.

Let's tell our sons, honour and respect come first. always.
Let's tell them there are consequences for their actions. always.
Let's tell our daughters the same.

Now, let's show them what that looks like.

No one should have to be afraid of each other.
Of truth.
Of full disclosure.
Of being disbelieved.
Of being unsafe.

We have a long long road to go.
We were blessed to be born here where we can use our voices but instead we often choose to tune out to what is going on under our noses.

Our children deserve better than that.

Turn, turn, my wheel!  All life is brief;
What now is bud will soon be leaf,
  What now is leaf will soon decay;
The wind blows east, the wind blows west;
The blue eggs in the robin's nest
Will soon have wings and beak and breast,
  And flutter and fly away. ~ Longfellow

Let's wake up.
We've been asleep for far far too long.
It's time to roll up our sleeves and do the raw and messy work of teaching our kids what it means to be the best of being human.

lets wake up
and when we do
lets stay awake
lets take responsability for a place
in the lives of those young people around us

In my own life
there were those few who reached out
those unassuming few
they saved my life 
and I will never forget that

Love and Light
to the youth of our world
may they find the light they have is enough for the step that they are on
may they hear the words of love and adornment that is said over them
may they know, that they are beautiful children of God and loved beyond their comprehension
may they find their way home
and may there be someone waiting for them when they do


  1. "We can tell them what they mean to us
    We can tell them we will miss them if they go
    We can tell them what it will be like to be left behind
    with them in our lives
    We can tell them how we feel about them...
    over and over and over again
    we can do." yes, yes, yes! xoxox

    1. I echo your yes' sister
      I know this is what we can do

      love and light

  2. and those photos... beautiful!! xo

  3. This seems so right. ( I wonder why your posts never show up on my reader? I'm glad I came to check on you;)
    Not the suicides seem so right but that you took up a space for where you are placed in this moment. We need more people to be where they are.. In this moment... Listening to the anguish... To pleas of love. I loved Nyasia's words and I loved yours and speaking as a wife who walked too close to comfort down this road ( so thankful it turned out hopeful) you are right. We can't stop it but we can say what we need ( them) what we miss, what we love.
    You are also right that in the youth social media plays a big role of pressure and bullying. Tis sad that they can't each experience what we experience in this space instead.... Kindred ship. Support. Healing. Listening. Being heard.
    This post really touched a beautiful nerve in my soul. Thanks for sharing;) you have a very good heart and a kind spirit.

    1. thank you friend
      I am so glad your story turned into hope too...for all of you
      Social media is a tough game,kids are far more fragile then we think, and perhaps they are the reflection of ourselves...the adults that set the tone...perhaps it is time to listen and see what is going on and make some changes with in ourselves so our kids can do the same.....

      love and light K glad you came by too♥

  4. I'm not a parent, but I see teenagers everyday, lost & lonely, and in their eyes, I can see them desperately crying out for attention and acknowledgment and love.
    Teach your children well... (Crosby, Stills & Nash)
    This post is heartbreaking. But, I hope you have a weekend of peace. X

    1. we definitely don't have to be parents to reach out...I think we are all mothers in our hearts, whether we have our own kids or not.
      love that song...think I will post it
      and though this post does have a blend of heart break, i go into the weekend joyful that I have written my heart and someone has heart the call...
      always love your words my friend
      love and light

  5. Your words and Nyssa's are so beautiful and true. I've been thinking about how we can live our lives when others are suffering so much pain, in particular thinking of people I don't know but hear about in the news. I realized that I can honour them by just taking a moment to think about them, say a prayer or blessing. I also think I am going to start the ritual of lighting candles everyday, for those I know and those I don't. I know this practice will change me, I hope it will help them in some small way too.

    1. I love your idea about lighting candles, I fell this is a very powerful practice. I think I will join you with that one friend! It is so about honouring one another, and acknowledging that we are connected...connected in love
      love and light


Your voice is welcome here, your connection appreciated. Love and Light