A Dialogue to Heal All Wounds -
A Reflection on Cindy Rochstein and Panel Presentation at Mentone Public Library - 11am, Saturday, 27th June 2015
From the vantage point of a somewhat informed audience member,
this was a session of startlingly eye-opening proportions and showed two wildly diverse ends of humanity's pendulum.
On the one hand, we learned of the dire consequences when individuals are shunned and shamed for their beliefs, ethnicity or orientation - the ripple effect of heartache and the lifelong suffering and soul-destroying battles of those who can never resolve their differences, are always struggling to find acceptance, and those too afraid to live as they truly are.
On the other hand, we were introduced to a passionate, compassionate and dedicated panel committed to improving the system to better the lives of others currently experiencing victimisation.
By high demand, Cindy Rochstein; author, publisher, well-being advocate for our community, was requested to return to our library to lift the lid on the community stigmas that still remain hushed and are hidden.
Cindy brought with her the following individuals to help raise awareness, remove the stigma, and invite candid and healthy discussion on the very topics in our community we fear to tread:
Local Author of the acclaimed book "The Mourning After" and Beyond Blue Ambassador; Julie DeBondt-Barker
Terry Valentine; Chairman for the organisation Dads In Distress Support Services
Karen Hodgkins; Documentary maker of the film "Dad"
Andy Gough of the Organisation Eeny Meeny Miney Mo Foundation - advocating for both children and individuals experiencing parental alienation.
City of Kingston Councillor Rosemary West also made an appearance to shed light on her own first-hand experiences of witnessing individuals being stigmatised and outcast.
Thought-provoking, stirring, harrowing, but also hopeful, we left with a better understanding of the enormity of the task at hand to make the lives of those in our community facing alienation and rejection better - and better represented.
Additionally, we also got to see the degree of compassion in our community from those who have chosen to invest their skills and expertise towards fighting on behalf of and empowering those who are feeling helpless and experiencing a voice unheard. In turn, it evoked impassioned dialogue amongst those in attendance.
My verdict on the morning's proceedings, was that despite existing darkness, there always emerges streaks of light, and the promise of an afterglow to bathe in, thanks to those who dare to care.
My only critique of this powerful session was our featured author yet again selflessly taking the spotlight off of herself and redirecting it onto her colleagues to bring light on their community advocacy...
Cindy, you will have your own stand-alone presentation next time !!