Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Strength of the Olive Branch

Choosing the olive branch to surround the words Kind Girls Make Strong Women was deliberate and intentional. Most believe the olive branch to be a symbol of peace, but there is greater depth in the symbol.

Long before modern civilization heralded the olive tree's healing properties and long before the olive branch represented war torn countries the tree became sacred by its own strength. Not only drought resistant and adaptable to even the rockiest soil, a single tree can live for thousands of years through limb cutting or limb transferring. In other words, no matter how destitute its foundation or how many times it's cut, the tree will live on.

Much like truth.
Much like kindness.
And very much like powerful peace.

I've witnessed a growing chasm between civility and tyranny within my own family. To say it's heart breaking would be a massive understatement. Everything I am and everything I try to teach my girls, is to be kind and strong. My little (immediate) family discuss politics, religion and even taboo subjects like mental health. We are far from perfect but I pray that Damon and I have created a safe place to question. The exact opposite of what my extended family has become.

Shouting opinions and brow beating under the guise of "educating" has become the norm. Dismissing the ideas and feelings of others by saying "they're young" or they're ______ (insert any label).

The most terrifying part is this isn't new. Any time there is an "us" and there is a "them" we wade into dangerous waters. I cannot save the world but I can nourish my roots, have them cling to the rocky soil. I can take heart that my children will leave my home and spread their peaceful strength out to the world, transferring their strength to others, like the olive tree.

For those interested in why it's dangerous to draw the line between old/young, Christian/Nonchristian, American/NonAmerican, Republican/Democrat...
Click here, or here, or even here


pamreeves555@gmail.com said...

"Identity formation" seems key here. One of my favorite quotes of all time is by J. Krishnamurti , "When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence." Thank you for taking a step toward bridging the gap. You're articles provide fodder for a blog I've been mulling over.

Unknown said...

Beautifully put, Clarissa. You provided us with knowledge, reason, and truth. Blessings upon you and your family. You are taking action to make the world a better place. Thank you. Love, xoA