In a world filled with chaos, violence and disrespect, there was a touching moment of honor and dignity at the 94th Academy Awards.
Liza Minnelli, who was celebrating the 50th anniversary of 1972's "Cabaret," for which she won the Oscar for best actress, was a surprise presenter for Best Picture, along with Lady Gaga.
Minnelli, who had retreated from the public years ago due to a debilitating illness, appeared in a wheelchair, and was greeted with a standing ovation. Lady Gaga gave her the spotlight, taking no accolades for herself and said, these people love you! Minnelli then proceeded to introduce this year's best picture nominees. When she started to stumble over her words, Gaga smoothly picked up the cue and helped her along. At the end of the presentation, the pop singer knelt by Minnelli and softly said "I got you." Minnelli whispered back "I know. Thank you."
We need more moments like this, where women stand up for one another and when they need it most someone says, “I’ve got you!” I am often more inspired by amazing selfless acts from the most unsuspecting moments or people.
The war against Ukraine has shown many moments of inner strength and resolve from people who have faced unimaginable circumstances. Women and children leaving everything often including their husbands, and families to protect the innocent who are not able to care for themselves, only to be met at the borders which should have brought peace and freedom by human traffickers. The Independent has reported that as hundreds of thousands have fled the conflict that has taken hold in Ukraine following the Russian invasion, experts say they are “alarmed” that refugees are falling prey to criminal gangs that are “waiting to traffic people across Europe and into the hands of exploitative industries.” These reports are being substantiated by charities and volunteers on the ground who are intervening. Exhausted from fear and intense travel, women are being met by a seemingly good Samaritan, offering a free ride to safety, and then find themselves in the grips of a trafficker who is exploiting them for money. There are emerging many who are stepping in for these women and children and saying, “I’ve got you.”
The Violence Against Women Act was recently renewed and once again we are reminded of the many women and children, here in our nation who have experienced unimaginable abuse at the hands of someone who should have cared for them. Instead, they are powerless and made to feel worthless. There are warriors who fight in our justice system for these women and children to have a chance at a life free from abuse.
For many though help has come too late. How many have died who could have been saved, if someone had come alongside them and said, “I’ve got you.”
Abuse, hatred, disrespect, violence runs rampant in our world today, but I have seen the beauty of someone rising and saying not on my watch. On my watch you will receive honor and dignity and know that “I’ve got you!”
At Xquisite our mission and vision is intricately woven around our belief that every woman, every human deserves honor and respect and that they can have hope, courage and a voice to rise within them. This can only be achieved by someone who comes alongside them, loves them right where they are, and says “I’ve got you!” No one should ever walk alone and feel the shame, fear and paralysis that has been inflicted on them by a coward. It is time we stand up for what is right and say enough to the abuser and “I’ve got you” to someone suffering in silence. Their voice needs to be encouraged to be heard.
I was inspired by a young 7-year-old Ukrainian girl, Amelia Anisovych, at the urging of a woman, who sang “Let It Go” - in Russian - reportedly from a Ukrainian bomb shelter as men, women and children fell silent. “I always knew Amelia was very talented and a sweet angel and now the whole world knows the same,” Amelia’s mom Lilia, 39, told the Sun. “But it is a tragedy that she is only a star because of so much death and destruction. Amelia’s video showed the conditions that children had to suffer. We were down there for a whole week with not enough food. To go to the toilet we had to run upstairs as his missiles were flying overhead.” Several days later, Amelia walked onto the stage of the Atlas Arena in Poland to give an a cappella performance of the Ukrainian national anthem. Her crystal-clear voice filled the 13,000-seat venue in the Polish city of Lodz, and the audience raised their phone lights and torches up in a moving show of solidarity with Amelia, and the country of Ukraine. This moment shows the deep resolve from even the youngest of warriors. We see you. We hear you. We’ve got you Amelia.
Madeleine Albright, an American diplomat, and political scientist who served as the 64th United States secretary of state, stated that, “resilience of spirit, more than intellect, is the key to life. It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it. I am not going to be silent.”
Silence is no longer acceptable. We need to be the voice that will step in and protect you from someone who tries to exploit vulnerability, to champion a little voice who bravely sings in a bunker uncertain of her next breath and most certainly we should step in and whisper into someone’s ear that is frightened and with honor and dignity extended say, “I’ve got you.”