Essay: Prelude to Women Walking part 1 of 2

Written by: Melanie McLaughlin Reed

I love Southwest Florida and I feel privileged to live here in Paradise.  One of the 
things I enjoy most about living here is being able to walk year round in beautiful 
parks and nature preserves.  One of my favorite places is Eco Park where it is so 
lovely and peaceful.  Whenever I hear a twig snap, or leaves rustling, I turn in 
delightful anticipation of seeing something wonderful, a mother fox and her 
kittens, a family of raccoons, or perhaps a beautiful bird...but the other day I 
watched the news before my walk, and the program focused on the increasing 
violence against women and children around the world.  It so distressed me that 
the solace and peace I sought on my walk for the first time completely eluded 
me.  At every rustle, my stomach leapt,  at every sound, my body tensed, my heart 
pounded, and  finally I had to turn around and go home.  I had lost my sense of 
peace and security in life and I felt desolate.

Now I don’t know the answer to the problems of the world, but what I do know is 
that what humanity is currently doing isn’t working.  It doesn’t take a great genius 
to see this.  Everywhere we look around the world we can see that what we are 
doing isn’t working, and Denial ain’t a river in Egypt folks.  What I also know is 
that Scientists have mapped the human genome and have found that each and 
every last one of us on this earth can trace our origins back roughly forty 
thousand years or so to a tribe in eastern Africa.  That’s right, every single last 
one of us all came from the same place.  We all have the same base of origin.  
We’re all made of the exact same stuff.  We all may look different but we’re really 
not. We are the family of mankind.  Humanity is all in the same boat, and if some 
of us are sinking, all of us are sinking.

                                                         Continued