Dr. Bif Beats Adversity
In her Women’s Day address, rocker Bif Naked said she found two very powerful effects when helping other women through adversity. The first was laughter. Bif said she always tried to get people laughing even when they were all in a tough situation together, like facing cancer. Laughter and jokes always works to fight any health problem, any adversity.
The second was the power of connection. Bif said, “When we gather as groups, the connection we have will always get you through. The collective connection we have no matter what situation you are in, you can reach out to the hand of [another] and feel safe.” She said she does a lot of negative self talk. She allows herself to get defeated over the most stupid and shallow things. She said she thinks men probably do these things too. Negative self-talk is a human trait.
Bif was never really angry or confrontational. But she did say one thing that surprised me. Bif said when she thought Canada’s rape laws were too weak, she wrote a song entitled Come to Canada and Rape. In Abbotsford we have the Zero Tolerance Against Men Initiative and 64 BC child advocate agencies worry that the Canadian justice system is hyper-encarcerating boys and young men, especially First Nations children. All of us, or at least most of us, seem to agree that men can be, and often are, abused. According to a recent survey by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 40 percent of all victims of extreme domestic violence are men, with female perpetrators. Nonetheless, only 15 percent of all reported cases involve male victims, because, thanks to gender stereotypes, men know that society will most likely ridicule or dismiss them. And the high male suicide rate seems to suggest there is some negative self talk and defeat going on for everyone.
But this was Women’s Day after all and Bif finished up talking about the power of words, the power of music, and of course, the power of girls. The University of the Fraser Valley Senate has voted to give Bif an honorary doctorate for her important work helping women. Congratulations and thank you to the soon-to-be Dr. Bif for a cool talk.
We’ve had beautiful, sunny weather for two days now and I’m looking forward to “souffler des bulles d’amour” or breathing bubbles of love in the warm Spring sunshine with and for our kids.
I had a great time blowing bubbles last year and I don’t think I need to explain this phenomenon to you this year. Kids love to blow bubbles and even teens and adults laugh and get drawn in for a minute. You don’t even need a batch of cookies or any pamphlets about parental alienation (print Canadian pamphlets here). Just go to the Dollar Store, buy eight dollars worth of Bubble Wands in liquid soap and wait for a sunny Spring day. When a family comes by, ask the parents if they want a Bubble Wand, and watch the fun. It’s not an alternative to setting goals and creating an action plan, but when you feel really beat down by adversity, this is an inexpensive plan that helps everybody. First, it gives kids some fresh air and activity. Second, it gets everyone laughing. Third, it connects our communities. Beats the heck out of sitting around worrying about the problem. And you might just send the message that BOTH parents matter, so when parents remain at odds/contradict each other, it’s confusing and unsettling for kids, and can have long lasting effects.
I always love to learn new ways to blow bubbles. This morning a Dad taught me about the Bubble Pipe, like Santa Claus used to have before he quit smoking. Put your soap in a cup with a straw. Cover the cup with a Terry cloth, leaving the straw out. Blow in the straw long enough to fill the entire room with soap bubbles and foam, or until you feel dizzy, which ever happens first.
Sometimes on the Internet you will see photos of kids standing inside a soap bubble. It takes a lot of training to be a bubble scientist.