Kelly Wendorf didn’t know she was political, until she became a mother and realised that raising a healthy happy child in a culture completely at odds with family was one of the greatest political act.
One rarely thinks of motherhood as political. But as Kali Wendorf, editor of Kindred sees it, mothers, and fathers, need to find their voices in the political domain. “Our world is becoming increasingly sterile and hostile. We are moving away from the recognition of what it means to be human and humane,” says Wendorf. “Political policy is geared to serve the economy, not the human family. Hence the growing trends of violence in our society. This needs to change and the only way it can change is for ordinary people to take extraordinary steps towards making a difference.” Those are the kind of statements indicative of the courageous national magazine Kindred that Wendorf founded two years ago and publishes from her home in Byron Bay. Heralded as “groundbreaking” by professionals on the front lines of child development and social activism, Kindred and the voices carefully and deliberately presented in the magazine, offer readers a way forward.
When Wendorf became a mother, she was appalled at the lack of real and intelligent information available to parents. “Generally, in the media and also publicly, I found that my status as a citizen became completely compromised,” says Wendorf. “I was spoken down to, made to feel stupid and dismissed.” She also found that real information was severely compromised by the media’s need for advertising revenue. Most articles are commercially driven and do not supply the reader with enough information to make wise decisions. “I learned that making wise choices for my children and myself went completely against the cultural stream, and therefore took tremendous effort to maintain. If I wanted to eat organic, I had to make the extra shopping trip and pay more. If I wanted to have a homebirth, I had to assert my right to do so and had to work hard to find a midwife.” Out of this experience Wendorf decided to create Kindred. Her aim is to empower parents and professionals through making available uncommon information gathered from professionals all around the world. She wants parents to know they are not alone and that there is a whole community of like-minded people out there too, working to make a difference.
But making a magazine was not enough for Wendorf. She wanted Kindred to be a political and social platform from which initiatives could be created and the voice of children and parents could be heard by a broader audience. “The issues surrounding children and families today is everybody’s business because parents cannot raise children in a vacuum. To the extent that we are marginalised and pigeonholed, is the extent that our future society will be compromised,” says Wendorf. “We need to create a new tribal paradigm, where the wellbeing of children is everybody’s responsibility, not just the mother’s.” Wendorf’s profile grows as she becomes active in an increasing number of global events, most recently the International Soul in Education conference and the upcoming summit “Healing a Nation’s Trauma” in California presented by the Alliance for Transforming the Lives of Children happening at the end of April. Among the keynote speakers of the event are the illustrious Joseph Chilton Pierce author of Magical Child and the Biology of Transcendence among other books and Suzanne Arms, internationally acclaimed author and founder of Birthing the Future. Wendorf will be presenting a workshop and appearing on a panel at the summit.
“I believe this is a time when people, ordinary people, must take a stand and reclaim the dignity of their own lives,” emphasises Wendorf. A dignity, she asserts, that has been robbed by the corporate agenda, economic rationalism and a media that prefers to keep people dumb and mute for its own survival. Wendorf believes strongly that the media should serve the people and not the other way around. “That dignity is brought forward in part by receiving intelligent information from which we can honestly reflect on our own lives and from there make changes. But it is also brought forward by being inspired by the truth and beauty of who we are as human beings and what this lifetime we have been given is about.” says Wendorf, “We need to be reinspired.” Inspiration is hard to find these days now that so much of the real human experience is denied us. Death, natural birth and time to love are becoming rare experiences, increasingly shrouded by the busyness of our lives.
Wendorf believes there is a chance to turn it all around. “When I look into the eyes of any child,” she says, “I see what our birthright is. That is what motivates me and as long as there is that knowing, there is always a reason to fight for what is good and a recognition that it is always worth fighting for.”