Reflections on Amanda Todd’s Choice and Community – written on October 14, 2012

The writer of this blog contacted me this week via email with the words:

“Dear Carol ~~ I’m not exactly sure how to begin this letter.  How does one begin such a letter to a mother so full of love despite the heartwrenching pain?”

And then I read her blog that was written on October 14, 2012.  Reading her words now ~ 2 years and 3 months and one day later, her words are filled with sadness, shock and emotions.  The words she has written are ringing more true than ever.  Amanda’s death (no matter how we describe it) has indeed been a call to action.  She continues to wake people up as to how vulnerable the people living in it are.  It doesn’t seem to matter whether we are describing youth, young adults or older adults.  There is a raw emotional need to fit in but yet, we need to know how to respect each others differences in the fitting in process.  I hope that you can share this blog as it was written with the raw emotion of a young woman days after Amanda’s death.  And it was in those days that I only remember living in automation and being guided by those and loved and cared about me.  I will always be thankful and grateful because if this hadn’t happened, I am not sure if Amanda’s Legacy would have been created.  Thank you Brie xoxo

Screenshot 2015-01-16 01.18.09
I am wracked with pain over the recent death of Amanda Todd, whose devastating line-up of experiences lead to her choice to end her life.  Having worked with young women for over a decade to inspire their sense of confidence and community, I am moved to speak to this issue.
In a fleeting single moment informed by vulnerability, Amanda Todd made a choice that changed the course of her destiny.  She objectified herself to find external affirmation because that experience outshone what it was for her to source it from within.  Her choice represents that of hundreds that have simply gone unseen.  It speaks to a sexually exploiting cultural fabric in which young women are challenged to know their own boundaries, to say nothing of their true and inherent worth. Youth are taught roles and value before they have the maturity to moderate their understanding of where stereotypes are coming from.  A culture that presents such a narrow range of options for whole construction of identity is not a healthy one.  Nor is one in which one man’s deleterious choice to blackmail – enough harm done – eilicits a domino effect: a whole troop of youth bring physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual violence to an aching member of their community.
As a society, we are all accountable.  Amanda’s death is a call to action.  We must bring medicine to remedy the social malheurs that befall our communities.  This I know is true:  Youth are sensitive and emotional; they move with inspiration or desparation.  They are vulnerable, but taught their own strength, are courageous as hell.  Connection and community forge pathways through the fearful social climate they navigate every day.  What if the youth around Amanda had learned healthy, constructive, and non-violent communication strategies to find their way clear?  What if Amanda Todd had known the value of loving the skin she’s in?  What if media literacy were considered as valuable as literacy and young women were taught to take a stand not only for the legacy they want to create, but for the value of community and connectivity in creating it.  What if a young woman was taught to value her substance, complexity, and unique humanity more than her body parts?
I believe in the power of social change movements.
Join me by lighting a candle this evening and setting an intention for the world you want to see.  May we begin by contemplating the light that shines within us.  From this recognition, what world can we envision?  What one thing will you do for a teen in your life today?  What conversation will you have tomorrow?  What will you teach?  Who will you be?
Yours in creating a more loving world for young women,

About Carol Todd

Being the mother of Amanda Todd has lead me on this journey shortly after Amanda's death on October 10, 2012. Amanda's prolific You Tube video has been viewed over 33 million times. Through this video, there has been an increased awareness about cyberbullying, social media safety and mental health.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Reflections on Amanda Todd’s Choice and Community – written on October 14, 2012

  1. merle48 says:

    “We need to know how to respect each others differences.” That is the KEY to all of mankind
    getting along with each other. Each of us can do our part no matter how tiny in the big scheme of things. Mostly, it doesn’t cost a penny because it should come from the heart and mind. Treating others as we like to be treated. Many of these tragedies would not exist. Schools should develop
    curriculum that addresses the morals of life that have gradually been lost to a considerable part of society. More emphasis is needed on “social life skills,” and less on algebra maybe? What good is it to pass all the subjects in school, get a job where you can apply those skills, and then quite possibly be bullied in some way by co workers/boss, and be ill equipped to deal with that? That is one of a hundred examples! This woman wrote her blog on Amanda filled with honest and raw emotion which I and MANY others experienced in the first days after hearing of this tragedy. I still wonder about the many reasons I was affected so much by what happened to Amanda, and I guess one answer I found lies in my disbelief, shock, and disappointment that our society has not progressed all that much from the 20th century and before by the way we treat others, with understanding, and not only valuing women, but men also. We are all part of planet earth, and I still believe that the ones that try to make it a living hell for others, are projecting their own “living hell” on them. It doesn’t make it okay, but once again, if we preach understanding and kindness, then it must be given to everyone or we are no better. That is what I most admire in you Carol. You are true to your word.
    “Rule #1: Use your good judgment in all situations. There will be no additional rules.” ~Nordstrom’s Employee Handbook


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s