While I was talking to my friend Rob about the challenges of eating only rice, he asked me what made me choose to start with that one on the list. I had already thought of that question so the answer came quickly: “Because it’s much easier to physically sacrifice something than to make any other kind of sacrifice. I wanted to ease into this whole thing.”
13. Look up the closest registered sex offender in your neighborhood and try to befriend him.
Guess I’m done easing.
When I originally saw this one on the list, I wondered how I should approach it. If I should do exactly as it says or if I should alter it to be more appropriate for a young woman. Afraid I would be biased in making that decision, I asked a dozen friends if they thought I should befriend a registered sex offender.
They answered with a resounding: “No.”
Instead, I plan on doing a few different things to help me gain a better perspective on a topic I don’t know much of anything about: sexual assault. The first thing I’m going to do is to write an anonymous, random letter of random encouragement to a random registered sex offender here in Boone. (A random letter that does not in any way acknowledge that he’s a sex offender and I know it.) I’m going to continue doing that once a month for the next year. The second thing I plan on doing is meeting with Rob’s wife Claire. She just so happens to work for OASIS, an organization here in Boone that’s dedicated to ending domestic violence and sexual assault. Through Claire I learned of several opportunities for me to volunteer with OASIS. This weekend I’m going to help them set some things up at the shelter they have. I’m also going to look into the option of volunteering for their crisis hotline.
Expect a post in a couple of days with more information on sexual assault, OASIS, and how I’m having an impossibly difficult time writing (and meaning) encouraging words.