In this era of leaning (forward, in, sideways – just don’t anyone fall!) I can’t help but wonder: if every woman out there is so intently focused on their own physical and figurative position in life – who is focusing on the other verbs?
What about reaching, embracing, helping, encouraging, recognizing and promoting? What about the actions that are less about the internal self (where is my seat and how close can I get?) and more about the external…have I thanked my children’s teachers this week? Do teachers even get seats "at the table"? What about police officers? Nurses? Counselors? Sister, mother, cousin, best friend?
I can’t help but wonder: We women supporting each other in a variety of sectors, fortunate to consider which way we want to direct ourselves, and by just how much, in order to be everything and everywhere all at once...have we lost sight of something fundamental: What am I doing to help someone who might be the closest female in my life?
We so often focus on the "system" being broken and out to get us – the man is literally getting us down! – that perhaps we don’t realize it’s the closest ones to us who benefit the most from the smallest signs of encouragement. And that a seemingly small gesture can go a long way.
You are remarkable every day of the week, a role model who literally is the closest woman to me in any room, regardless of geographic distance.
Thank you for being you.
You are relentless in your passion for helping children in New Orleans from extreme poverty receive the same high level of education that all children deserve regardless of socioeconomic status. You often work 14+ hour days, are a certified teacher with teachNOLA, and when I ask you about your students, you respond that you have thirty-one babies, and that you instill in each and every one of them, daily, that they should be able to go to college.
It’s amazing how many women tend to think that if we don’t have it all, do it all, in the most grandiose fashion, we all...fall...down.
My sister proudly marches into schools in what I consider to be one of the most lawless places in the country, and doesn’t give it a second thought. And then, for only a finite amount of time, she becomes everything to thirty-one eight year olds, on her own, amidst a system that truly is a broken promise.
“One is not born into the world to do everything but to do something.”― Henry David Thoreau
Who is your closest? Your unsung hero? Your sister? Have you told them lately they are remarkable?