Tuesday, March 22, 2016

What would you do if you weren't afraid?

I have a fascination for the women who fought in various resistance groups during WWII. Fascination in the way that I admire them for their fearless courage, commitment to a cause they believed in, and total dedication in the struggle and fight for freedom.
I feel grateful for them, grateful to think that they risked having to leave their home and family, they risked their own life. They gave up jobs and personal safety. They lived a life in danger, always having to look over their shoulder, always being careful in everything they did.

As their husbands, sons and fathers were away at war, many women took on jobs they normally would not have had. They kept the work places going. They fed their families. Previous forbidden job opportunities opened up for women.

Some were drafted to non-combat jobs in the military. But there were many who worked underground. Some were spies, others worked with cryptography. But most often women helped house refugees and other members of the resistance groups and helped make and distribute illegal newpapers.

One of the most dangerous tasks women had during the war, was that of a courier. Even though the Germans did not suspect a woman as much as they would a man in this role, it was the most hazardous job to have. If they were caught, they had the sensitive material with them. There was no excuse, nor any way out.

Some were caught and sent to prison, experiencing torture and horrible treatment. Many ended up in concentration camps.

As a freelance magazine journalist, I recently finished an article about a Norwegian resistance woman, Henriette Bie Lorentzen. As I learned about her life and her bravery, I was filled with admiration and gratefulness. I spoke with her son and daughter, the latter who was actually born while Henriette was imprisoned.

I salute these women and thank them. Even if they survived the war, many
would have problems for the rest of their lives, both psychological with post-traumatic stress-syndrom and trying to forget with alchohol and pills.

Today, I read a meme that said, "What would you do it you weren't afraid?". It was from the Togethernessproject, a group that invites women to stand together, and be brave together.

It got me thinking. What would I do with my life if I had no fear of men, no fear of what others might say or think? What could I accomplish in my life if I did not worry, if I wasn't sceptical and filled with a lack of self-confidence. Would my life be different? Would I do things differently?

It's a thought I will pursue and ponder. Maybe I will be able to see that I can do more than I think now.

Today's water color is "Late Spring". Choose the darkness of the clouds or the light piercing through.