Have you ever heard of the Friendship Bench?
The Friendship Bench is a big beautiful idea created by a small girl that has become a reality. Acacia Woodley thought of the Friendship Bench as a special place on a school playground where a child can go when they want to feel safe and to have someone to talk to. For more on Acacia…
Acacia goes and speaks at schools about the Friendship Bench and when she spoke at one school, the principal went over to her and “stood there for a moment to gather himself before he said ‘I finally get it, for so many years I have dealt with the problem of bullying. We as a country have spent millions of dollars in think tanks, and anti-bullying campaigns only to see the problem grow. I finally understand that we could never solve the problem in the route we were going because it isn’t about being anti-bully, it is about being pro-friendship, thank you Acacia for helping me to understand. I finally get it.’”
Bravo Acacia for your courage and intention and for also speaking to our mission as well.
The purpose and intention of women walking together as friends or buddies, is about finding common ground within our differences. Celebrating what makes us different instead of fighting against what makes us different. [We Walk With Respect (code of ethics): WomenWalking members engage each walk, each path, and each walking partner with reverence. We listen with open hearts and respect confidentiality.]
While it’s comfortable to be “like minded,” it’s expansive to over-come the challenges we face when talking with someone who believes something entirely different than oneself.
Walking together can be about pro friendship, diving deeper, community, connection, listening, experiencing joy of the moments, accepting there are differing viewpoints.
Walking becomes a symbol like a friendship bench; a place to be safe while sending a message that we want someone to talk to; to connect with and feel part of community.
Walking Partners Unite!