All That Is Bitter & Sweet: A Memoir by Ashley Judd

By Ashley Judd

Ashley Judd is better referred to as the acclaimed actress in movies such as De Lovely and Double Jeopardy, yet nowadays she is likely to be stumbled on wading via an African refugee camp or Asian brothel than on a movie set. for many of the previous decade Judd has been vacationing human rights hotspots world wide to unfold the observe of wish, well-being, and gender equality on behalf of 1 of the best public well-being nonprofits, PSI/YouthAIDS. Her paintings has positioned her within the corporation of Bono, invoice Clinton, and different international leaders within the conflict opposed to illness and poverty and in advocating grassroots courses to enhance the lives of ladies and children.

Memories of her personal painful formative years encouraged Judd to arrive out to these in determined want, in particular abused and deserted ladies. She writes movingly of acquaintances resembling Kausar, an AIDS patient within the slums of Mumbai who turns into an activist and peer-educator, and heroes reminiscent of Dr. Rene, who lends his center and soul to...

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I tell her that is a lovely name, also my mother’s name. Muntuzu Angel has a beautiful, soft presence. She tells her story gently. She confides that she doesn’t usually let on that the baby was conceived in rape; she does not want Naomi to be stigmatized. This child is as cherished as her babies conceived in love, she tells me. Once again, I am staggered and humbled by the human capacity for suffering, resilience, and compassion that I experience in this hellhole, and all the other hellholes I have visited in the past seven years.

The UN and International Rescue Committee estimate that hundreds of thousands have been raped in eastern DRC, five million have died since 1996. Two million are displaced in North and South Kivu alone. I listen to the Wisdom of Forgiveness written by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and my friend, Victor Chan. In it, the Dalai Lama speaks with a fellow lama who had been tortured by the Chinese for years. ” His Holiness asks. “No,” replies the man. “Really? ” presses the great spiritual leader. Pause.

Mamaw must have been terrified of losing him, because she nearly smothered him trying to keep him safe. He chafed at her vigilance, and when it came time for high school, he asked to go to Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia to slip out from under her watchful eye. Dad thrived there, academically and athletically. The once sickly kid had turned into an outstanding baseball player, whose achievements were chronicled in the local paper and who briefly considered going pro. When he was sixteen, his parents bought him a Corvair Monza so that he could drive himself back and forth to Ashland.

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