I had been meaning to create a hope and empowerment jewelry craft for some time now.
Originally, I thought it would be particularly suited for my eldest daughter because I think girls in particular need encouragement to believe in themselves as more than their bodies since so much of the external world wants to reduce them to just their bodies. I wanted the craft to focus on the mind, heart and spirit.
Then I realized that the need to feel empowered is not a gendered need. The need for validation and a sense of self-actualization is a universal, human need. I expanded my idea to include boys in the conceptualization of the craft.
And then the results of the presidential election came in.
I was saddened and shocked. I feel like a darkness has fallen because now I feel fear. Fear for myself and my children. When before, I knew there would be many challenges that my children would have to face in their lives as they grow into adulthood, now I feel that there may be a new and potentially stifling layer of both subtle and overt oppression weighing on their chances for happiness.
Is there a way to pierce the darkness and return the light? How do I remind myself that the world is still populated by goodness and kindness? How do we start a conversation about acceptance? How can I protect my children?
Though I have decided going forward to fast from the news, I was able to read several articles about the safety-pin movement which many Americans have borrowed from the citizens of Great Britain. Wearing a safety-pin is a way to show solidarity with those threatened and marginalized by the new president, an outward display that one does not believe in xenophobia, misogyny, racism, sexism, discrimination and intolerance based on gender, sexual orientation, disability, etc.
Now, there are already detractors from both the pro-Trump and anti-Trump camps in regards to the movement. Many Trump supporters have threatened to wear safety-pins only so that they can get close enough to then hurt and ridicule Trump detractors. Other Trump supporters say that it is not hypocrisy to wear a safety-pin even though they support Trump and his rhetoric and policies. Many people outraged with the election results argue that wearing a safety-pin is not enough and simply a way for liberals to feel better about themselves and Caucasian Americans in particular to signal that they did not vote for Trump.
So what does all of this have to do with a children’s craft project?
Before, I can help my children to feel empowered, I myself need to regain a sense of empowerment. So I created this very simple pendant, a play on the safety-pin movement, a variation of my kid’s craft idea. Am I scared to wear it? Yes, because it is a declaration, albeit it very small, that I will not tolerate hatred and injustice which may make me a target. Will taking the time to pin it on every morning give me a moment to pause and appreciate the blessings in my life as well as imbue me with a little extra strength and optimism? I hope so. Is it a solution to the problems we now face? Certainly not but it is a first step to reclaiming a little light and goodness.
If you would like to make your own pendant, it is very simple. I found these charms at my local Michael’s and you can buy safety pins at many stores. Simply bend open the c-ring and slip the safety pin loop through the c-ring and re-close. If you would like to purchase a pre-made pendant, they are available at my ETSY store . The purchase price is only time & materials, I don’t intend to reap a profit from the pendants.
I hope when you pin this pendant on, it is a reminder that:
- Even change engendered by hatred & anger can lead to good as long as we are vigilant and pro-active.
- You should never stop believing in your own intrinsic goodness and self-worth no matter what others say, no matter what they do.
- You are on a journey towards integrity, truth and wisdom.
- You are an ally.
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