I believe it was our friend Rachel, perhaps in collaboration with others, who coined the acronym “FDFT” which stands for “Friends Doing Fun Things.” If you add a second “T” at the end, which I like to do, you tack on the word “Together” and I think that’s key. This week has been chalk full of FDFTT and as we look ahead to the weekend there’s more coming. Two of the “fun things” this week were Ignite Portland 8 and a Half the Sky movie event.
Ignite Portland is an evening of unusual public speaking. Over the course of two hours we heard 20 individuals speak for five minutes each on a topic of their choosing, in front of a backdrop of 15 slides. The topics/speakers ranged from a woman sharing about traveling with her cats to a guy who is a volunteer editor for Wikipedia to a young man highlighting how to effectively be unemployed. Some of the talks were more serious than others, but they all were comical in their own way. This event takes place about every six months at the Baghdad Theater in SE Portland. An interesting and fun evening (and FREE) worth checking out!
The following evening we headed out of town again for the Half the Sky movie. A bit more solemn than Ignite Portland, this presentation purposed to continue building awareness and activism in the area of international women’s rights and it lined up with the celebration of International Women’s Day. If you haven’t seen or heard of or read the book Half the Sky I hope you seek it out. The title of the book is based on a Chinese proverb stating “Women hold up half the sky” and the book makes an argument that the world’s most under-used resource is women. Cultures accepting and sometimes even promoting and condoning oppression and violence against women around the world stifle the advancement of the world as a whole socially, politically, and economically.
The book quickly became one of my favorites when I was hardly halfway through the text. I came back from our travels overwhelmed with thankfulness that I am a woman of a Western country. As a result, my heart developed a new compassion for women who has no basic rights or opportunity for self advancement. And I love that the statistics of this effort show an impact not only how women feel about themselves and the opportunity they have for economic growth, but even more serious things like the conviction of sex traffickers, the lowered rates of extremism and acts of war, the healthy delivery of new babies and the subsequent care of those children, the decreased spread of HIV/AIDS, and so much more.
Our weekend continues with George Fox University women’s basketball games, a birthday party, cheese-making, and who knows what else. Thanks to the “F”s who make the “FT” fun!