We Should Empower Girls

Is feminism good?

I got asked this exact question from an individual last week, and my answer was pretty constructive and straightforward.

I certainly think the actual REAL definition of feminism is good and it should matter to us all. Fundamentally, this is a human rights issue. Discrimination has no place in the 21st century, and every girl has the right to go to school, stay safe from violence, access health services, and fully participate in her community. Girls should be treated with equal respect and should have same benefits and opportunities.

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It’s something that WE all need to care about and invest our time in making sure that all girls have the right to be a girl and not what society forces them to be. You see because investing in girls is one of the smartest things we can do to promote a healthier, more prosperous world. More importantly, it’s the right thing to do. Every girl has the right to be in charge of her future and her fate.

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That’s what feminism is all about. I am here to say that I am a feminist and that if we can all support girls, we will have a better society for not only ourselves, but for the future generations to come.

To finish off this post, I want to quote a fantastic woman whom I had the pleasure to meet; she’s an artful vandal named @MissMe. She’s a feminist who stands for the right thing, and that is empowering girls, nothing more, nothing less. What she says is very important and quite frankly the truth.

“To be born with a woman’s body is to bear the unsolicited burden of society’s unresolved attitude to sex.”

© Benjamin Lessard – TheBenLessard


That’s why we should Empower Girls.

Featured Photo: Photo credit: Jiro Ose for UN Foundation

Photo #1: Girl Up

Photo #2: Photo credit: UN Women

 

The Importance Of Love

Imagine for a second if the entire existence of love disappeared from our minds and our world forever. And please ask yourself, What would life be like if love did not exist? And for those of you who have never experienced such love or has never demonstrated any form of love, ask yourself, How would it be different?

Our world is filled with hatred and love, that is the problem. I certainly wish that our world would be filled with only love, I wish we as human beings could banish hatred from our lives forever, but we can’t! But what we can do is focus on the positive, focus on love itself, and through the people we come in contact with, so love can spread to those who haven’t experienced love so that they may share that love with another.

But for many of us, we do not understand the importance of love in today’s society, nor do we know its effect on everyone we come in contact with. I say life without love is an eternity without happiness. The purpose in life is to love and to be happy. No matter what you think, I feel life wouldn’t even exist without love. We are here because of love and we are forgiven because of love. I just have to say, I wouldn’t be happy if I wasn’t forgiven, there would be no point in living. We are forgiven because God loves us. I don’t believe people can be happy without love. People try, but it’s not possible. Nothing else can truly make you happy. Money, fame, power … none of that can truly make a person happy, but love will.

You see, if I show an affirmative action such as love, it causes a chain reaction of that positivity, events, and outcomes. It sparks extraordinary results. But that doesn’t mean anything; it shouldn’t really mean anything if I, if we do not love.

And if you don’t believe that love is important, if you’re aren’t sure if love is even a necessity in our world and as human beings, then you must seriously take a moment to really think about a world without love. Our world would crumble, our nations would crumble, and we ourselves would crumble. So let us not think for a second that love is not important.

“Without love, our lives wouldn’t have meaning because love is the glue that holds mankind together.”

© Benjamin Lessard – TheBenLessard


Interested in making a collab post? Head on over to this link – https://thebenlessard.com/collaboration/

And please check out my previous posts if you’re craving for more TheBenLessard content. 🙂

Inspiration For Traveling

Like me, every traveler has something that inspired them to leave their lives behind and follow their dreams of travel. For me, there was that lightbulb moment when I realized: I want more from my life, I want to discover! Getting a taste of Cancun, Mexico was my lightbulb. Why you may ask? Well, because it gave me the opportunity to experience another way of life, another culture. It was then that I realized that traveling was for me.

Since my trip to Cancun, about six years ago, my interests had become consumed by travel. I started reading a lot of travel-related blogs, National Geographic magazines, and travel videos. I’d even go to the local bookstore to purchase the newest edition of National Geographic Travel. So this definitely got my travel juices flowing.

Later on in life, I fell in love with educational T.V. shows showcasing our world, specifically, the Discovery channel. I’d watch hours and hours of its content; I couldn’t get enough of it. This show helped reiterate the fact that I was on the right track and gave me the push I needed.

So travel in itself is very important in a person’s life. Why? Because traveling gives you time to think, ideate, observe and learn new things – culture, food, history. It also gives a lot of time to introspect and understand on how certain things are done around the world.

So in the end, what continues to inspire me to travel are the warm people I meet, the exotic sights and smells, the stunning landscapes and the sense of independence and freedom that travel has given me. And I hope to be an inspiration for others to pursue their ideal lifestyle. With a bit of cash in the bank and an open mind, anyone can go and seek out new adventures!

As for me, my journey around the world is only just beginning, and I can’t wait to see what the future may hold.

© Benjamin Lessard – TheBenLessard

In response to Winta’s weekly prompt: Inspiration for traveling

Read more posts from the Travel Blogging Challenge:

Week 1: Your Favorite Travel Photo of You and Intro
Week 2: Little Known Travel Tips
Week 3: Funny Travel Story
Week 4: Travel Misadventures
Week 5: Top three cultural foods
Week 6: Unusual Travel Activities and Photos

Who else is doing the challenge?

 

Life Is A Challenge…

 

One’s dream and aspirations to supersede in life must be stronger and greater than limitations set forth by others. The experience that were bestowed to me during my short life has elevated me to the young man I am today.

To be the person that I am today, I had to reflect and accept accountability for my past actions. My past if you will, is one that many would love to erase from their memory, a past, which remained asleep until I found myself. The steps involved in regaining myself encompassed letting go of my anger and self-pity. I had to look within myself and see my self’s worth in order to reach my full potential. In doing so, I realized how wonderful my life is.

But as I sit here, writing this blog post and drinking iced tea, I wonder in astonishment about past years. Thinking about my life, reading my thoughts from the past, I wonder, was everything worth it? Were all the fights, arguments, and troubles really worth it? I guess it is just a question we all ask ourselves as we age. For now, I will just forget about all of that drama and take a journey back to my past.

As a child, I always thought life was just grand! My days were spent having fun at school, coming home to a loving family, and playing outside with my sisters, all-over fun days. “Fun.” Yes, that is how they were, until the day reality smacked me in the face like a mack-truck colliding with a concrete wall. Life is not just fun and games. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m still young, and I haven’t lived that long to understand life’s reality fully. However, as the months progressed into years, I’ve been in countless arguments, I’ve lost my favorite toys and games, I’ve received mediocre grades at school, other students have used me regarding academic work…Now, this might not sound that grand or that bad, but it was. This is because it was when I realized that life is a challenge.

When I say life is a challenge, this doesn’t necessarily mean that we dimly perceive the world – it means that we understand that life is not always a piece of cake, but in this feature, this can also can be seen as the beauty of life.

Anywho, I’m going to cut this short and say that my life is beautiful, and I have yet so much to learn and discover about myself and the rest of the world. And despite the challenges I face in my life, I always remember that those problems can always be turned into opportunities.

© Benjamin Lessard – TheBenLessard

Why I Write Poems

Why do I write poems?

Well, because life is a mystery. A mystery in which changes day by day. Because for every second we breathe and walk on this earth, the world around us changes, and that means we, the people also change. What I’m trying to say is, the world in which we live in can quickly change a person’s life. But don’t get me wrong, this change can either be good or bad. Thus, this leaves me with so many questions, in fact, my life revolves around questions, and what better way to express them than by writing a poem?

You see, I write poetry because I am a member of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion and love, but it’s also filled with pain and evil. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. And that is what I hope to share with you.

So it gives me if you will, the opportunity to express my feelings, to show you the truth, pain, life, and love that comes with it, and perhaps you can relate to it. In doing so, it reveals my stress, my conscience, my part, my life. I write only for the hearts mind and the mind’s heart, to hopefully climb the steps of imagination and conquer any given obstacle. And just maybe will I tell a compelling message that will impact you, in which may lead you to return for more mystery and nourishment for the heart, mind, and soul.

So in the end, I write poems because, to me, poetry is a gateway of imagination and storytelling. It shines a light and gives hope to those who read it. That’s why I write poems. To inspire, motivate, and educate people about our world and what lies beyond it, and to show you the beauty and passion that comes with it.

© Benjamin Lessard – TheBenLessard

The True Importance of Literature

Today, there are too many people who believe that literature is simply not relevant or underestimate its abilities to stand the test of time and give us great knowledge. But to me, however, literature serves as a gateway to learning about the past and expanding my knowledge and understanding of the world.

All literature, whether it be poems, essays, novels, or short stories, helps us address human nature and conditions which affect all people. We need literature to connect with our own humanity. It provides growth, strengthens our minds and gives us the ability to think outside the box.

The “human condition” is an important part of our understanding of literature. Literary critics often label a piece of writing as literature – and not pulp fiction – if it tries to describe this “human condition.” Essentially, the discussion of the human condition is any thematic concern about human nature, human society or how we live our lives. In other words, it’s about the fundamental issues of human existence. One of literature’s central concerns is to comment on these issues; it might be better at it than psychology or philosophy!

The aspect of literature can show many forms of the human person, and in this case, human greatness would be a significant characteristic of the human person, which can be demonstrated in many ways. It can be shown through courage, virtue, happiness, as well as conquering obstacles in order to fulfill one’s destiny. But I find it is important to understand that literature truly unlocks the culture of the time period, and in a way can give wisdom to the modern society about life. It allows us to interpret our life and emotions and find ways to relate to the story so we, in turn, can reflect. Most importantly, it is a form of entertainment and allows people to use their imagination to visualize the story within their own mind.

All in all, I find the real point of literature is the story of life, and all people want to do is to connect to other human beings, so they find meaning in their own life, finding their own truths. This is how literature can show universal truths about the human person.

© Benjamin Lessard – TheBenLessard

Top 8 Reasons to Celebrate Mom on Mother’s Day

Before I go on with this post, let’s just take a moment to appreciate and acknowledge everything our mothers have done for us since the day we were born.

Alright, now since you’ve reflected on the subject, I figured I should share my top reasons why you should celebrate mom this Mother’s Day.

So without further ado, here are my Top 8 Reasons to Celebrate Mom on Mother’s Day:

She willingly baked four dozen chocolate chip cookies for the bake sale you “volunteered” her for, and which you told her about at 9 pm the night before.

She is a human calendar, keeping track of all your doctor appointments, play dates, lessons, practice, parent-teacher conference, and all the silliness you applied for.

She had a knack for finding missing objects such as your blankie, pet frog, retainer, lucky marble, homework, or belly button lint collection. Unfortunately, she is still looking for the remnants of her mind, memory, and body that once fit into size 4 jeans.

She tirelessly drove you at two different places at once when you suddenly needed her to do so.

She had to put up with your constant bickering and childish behavior in the house.

She prepared your everyday meals and always left a lovely note in your lunchbox in your toddler years.

She was there for you when you were sick and for the days in which you needed her the most.

She has never had a true vacation, comp time, sick day or other “break” from motherhood, and even if she were given the opportunity for one, probably would never take one.

Remember to thank your Mom on Mother’s Day. There is no love that goes deeper or which transcends time and space more than a mother’s love. A mom is the pillar and rock of their child’s life, and know that their love for you is infinite.

Wishing all the mothers a happy Mother’s Day!

© Benjamin Lessard – TheBenLessard

 

 

What Defines Us As Human Beings

What does it mean to be human?

An honest question I ask all of you, what is indeed your purpose and truth in your life? And does that define you as a human being?

A question I continue to ask myself. I do not know my purpose and truth in life, but I have yet to discover it. However, I do have some ideas of what it means to be human. I think as human beings, deep down we all love and care for one another, and some of you might think it’s frivolous but I have yet to tell you, is it really frivolous or is it the honest truth?

As human beings, we each have a desire to reach our goal and purpose in our life, and through the desire to reach our goal comes motivation. Without motivation we would not reach our goal, this is because we all have something inside of us that pushes us to strive for excellence, thus achieving our goal. And I think a big key in what defines human beings is love. Love answers our prayers and our hopes, it fulfills us with a sense of happiness and relief. Love defines us as human beings.

I could go on ranting about good qualities in what it means to be human, but I have yet not told you about the bad qualities that define us as human beings. Some of them being selfishness, lying, giving up, being deceived by idiotic situations, and many others. One that strikes me is giving up. The act of giving up is something very bad, and yet it is something we all have done. Or even lying, to know that lying may possibly save us from a situation, yet our lie may possibly bring upon a consequence in the nearby future.

All to say that what defines us as humans is good and bad qualities. So let us focus on the good and not the bad. If we choose to follow our good and true qualities, we will be overshadowed by only good, but if we choose to follow our bad qualities, we will be overshadowed by only darkness.

So I ask you, what is your meaning and truth in your life?

© Benjamin Lessard – TheBenLessard

The Importance Of Remembering The Holocaust

The Holocaust was a brutal and difficult time period. It was a systematic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six millions Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. The Nazis believed that they were “racially superior” and that the Jews, were deemed “inferior”, were a threat to the German racial community.

The Nazis also targeted other groups because of their perceived racial inferiority: Gypsies, the crippled, (Russians, Poles, and others…), homosexuals and many more. All this to say that it was a brutal and cruel era. To know that millions were persecuted and killed is horrible, but what was even worse was that the Jewish community was the primary target of the Nazis – to eliminate every single Jew.

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Auschwitz Camp

Many of us have learned about the Holocaust either by our parents or at school, but nevertheless, I believe that we often forget about the true importance of the Holocaust and how it impacted the Jews. You know, for a very long time, Jewish people among others were labeled as stupid and inferior. Many of whom were being hated on, even their Synagogues were being vandalized by hateful people. But this is still the case today, and I believe that for every religion and race, we must respect and treat each other as equals. I am well aware that this has been said many times in my previous posts, but I truly believe in the words respect, love, and equality.

Speaking of, two days ago, my family and I had the privilege of attending a beautiful ceremony in remembrance of the Holocaust at our local Synagogue. What was said through prayer and talks moved me and made me reflect much deeper on this subject. In the room, we were among several Holocaust Survivors as well as families who have lost their loved ones. A very difficult time for them to attend the ceremony.

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Overall, many prayers were said and many talks were said, but there was one thing that was said in which stood out to me, it was the fact that hatred towards the Jews never began with the Holocaust, but with words. I have to say, we as a whole have not yet learned to accept and respect each other, we are the problem to our problems and thus, we can only fix it if we first fix ourselves.

20150716__WCJ-MORAN-07172Before I end this blog post, I want to say that the ceremony ended with a beautiful, inspiring women named Hana (on your left) who talked about her experience during the Holocaust. What she said was sad but very moving, and there was not a single person in the room who wasn’t touched by her story.

51xVPLrt1jL._SY346_She is the daughter and born survivor of one of the three young mothers who defined courage, defiance, and hope during the Holocaust. You can find her story in Wendy Holden’s international best-selling book called Born Survivors. I have not yet finished the book, but I can say that it is really good.

So let us never forget the importance of the Holocaust and how it has impacted the lives of many.

“We are alive. We are human, with good and bad in us. That’s all we know for sure. We can’t create a new species or a new world. That’s been done. Now we have to live within those boundaries. What are our choices? We can despair and curse, and change nothing. We can choose evil like our enemies have done and create a world based on hate. Or we can try to make things better.” – Carol Matas, Daniel’s Story

© Benjamin Lessard – TheBenLessard

Freedom Is A Right – Immigration/Emigration

Freedom.

No matter your skin color, race, sex, ethnicity, nationality, religion or background, everyone deserves to be treated equally with kindness and love, but most importantly, everyone deserves freedom.

As human beings, we are all destined for freedom. I think of it as not merely a want, but a need. We need freedom. Freedom demonstrates the veracity of the human person, it defines us as human beings. But understand that if one does not have freedom, it is like loosing your will to live.

As human beings, we are all keen on judging one another, to jump to conclusion about that person, but we often forget that we ourselves have our flaws and that we are not perfect. That said, I think today’s society has gone too far in judging one another.

I’m referring to the millions of immigrants who are constantly being mistreated and are being told to go back to their home country. But don’t get me wrong, not every immigrant is being mistreated, in fact, many countries are welcoming and are open to immigrants, to give them the life that they need and deserve, which is a better and safer life.

But just imagine the hard life that these people are going through and are currently going through, hoping to find a better and safer life for not only themselves, but for their family. Recently, I just don’t understand why many countries are not willing to open their borders for these immigrants who have traveled a long and difficult way. I completely understand the security measures and what not to enter the country, but the fact that thousands of people from different countries are protesting against these immigrants is inhumane.

I think that many of these people are afraid that they will loose their values and culture because a new race and religion is settling in, but I also think that these people have the wrong impression on these immigrants. Many of whom believe that these immigrants are terrorists because that’s how they’re being portrayed in the media. The truth of the matter is, it’s false. Sure we have been hearing about terrorist attacks, but that shouldn’t give us the impression that these people are bad and that they are terrorist. Know that this does NOT represent them and their religion.

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I think I will cut it short and tell you that the reality of this subject is sad, scary and inhumane. In the end, we should all treat each other equally and be open and welcoming to these immigrants. Spreading love and kindness will always be remembered. Know that it is the little things such as this that will bring us far in life.

Hope you’re having a blessed day/night and hopefully you enjoyed my thoughts on this subject.

Stay tuned for more to come! (You can follow me / connect with me via social media)

© Benjamin Lessard – TheBenLessard / Living Life to Explore™