Friday, May 30, 2014

Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option (I like this, I really like this)

Maya Angelou died on Wednesday. She had such a rich and varied life. She was the wise woman of our time. She was so right on so many issues. I had never heard the "priority" quote until after her death but it sure would have saved a lot of tears.

Many of the women that I know….women who are intelligent, strong, amusing, resilient, fit, attractive… suffer from feelings of insecurity. Sometimes they are held back by self-doubt, sometimes they allow others to take advantage or treat them badly and sometimes they are driven by their own feelings of inadequacy to compare and to attack other women.

Wouldn't a world where every woman considered herself phenomenal be a wonderful world? If each of us had the self-esteem to demand the very best for ourselves and to believe that we deserve it.

As women, wouldn't it be wonderful to know that we can have dreams, that we can work to make them come true and that if they don't work out, we are creative and strong enough to have new dreams.

A few months ago, I read the book Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook. Sandberg and other influential women have started a campaign Ban Bossy to encourage parents and educators to promote leadership in girls. I remember years ago saying to my father who wanted me to take a typing class at school that I wanted to employ a typist not to be one. I wanted to use my school time to study languages, history and literature. As it turned out, I do type but I've never really got far with Home Economics. It's just not who I am! 

As a girl, I wanted to be Prime Minister, a lawyer or to work for the United Nations. In the 1960's, where I grew up, those lofty dreams were not nurtured or supported. A girl was not supposed to be "too definite." The future would "hopefully" bring a professional man for whom I would renounce my ambitions to raise children and clean house.

Don't get me wrong! I value caring for children and I truly enjoyed my time with my daughter. Cleaning house is a task that I would be happy to contract out.  We all have our preferences and our talents regardless of gender.



As parents, grandparents and educators, despite the negative press that the Ban Bossy campaign has received, we need to consider our role in creating the barriers to the advancement of women.

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