What’s a girl to do?

I have been so world weary lately. Elections and legislation fights, mudslinging, celebrity sightings, political gossip and pollution, the war on women, what’s a girl to do?

I’ve always thought that the operative word was “do.” What can I do? What will my elected officials do? What will Snookie do?

And I keep coming back to how little power or control any of us really have. The concentration of power resides in large oceans owned by a very few. We may dip our toes in once in a while but for the most part the little people in this world are lucky to have a pond or a puddle they call their own. We influence perhaps locally but what can we do in the bigger picture anyway?

No wonder so many of us just give up and abdicate our power. No wonder some of us don’t even try to find that ocean, don’t even try to dip our foot in that pool. No wonder so many of us eat fast food every day and make ourselves content to breathe polluted air and shake our heads at the death and destruction in the rest of the world and pray late at night it does not reach its hand out to pull us in as well. What is the point in trying?

What’s a girl to do?

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to meet a couple of young girls. One was around 8 and the other was in her early 20’s. I had two conversations with each of those girls. By way of back story I’ll tell you that for the last two months or so I’ve been trying to curb my “know it all” tendencies. Nobody likes a know it all, especially me. So, in conversations both online and offline I’m working on listening more and talking less. I’m having mixed results with that but I thought I was getting the hang of it here and there. It’s tough to be a recovering know it all. But the conversations with these girls though went differently. I listened and I heard their stories. I asked more questions and genuinely marveled at their responses. And then, I found myself talking. I found myself talking about power and about strength. I found myself encouraging them to find their way. I found myself telling them about strong women I have known and about strong women I have read or watched. I asked them to do the same, to revel in the fact that they are women, that they are mystery and wonder, that they are more than the fairer sex. When the conversations were done, we were all still smiling and I took that as a good sign. It was hopeful, at least it was hopeful to me.

What’s a girl to do?

A girl is to be loved and honored as equal because she is lovable and honorable and because she is equal. She is not a percentage of a person. She should not be treated that way. A girl is to be encouraged to be strong without injecting fear that she’ll be discarded because of it. A girl is to be considered dangerous rather than fragile, because women are dangerous, because women are powerful. We are a force of nature and our time is coming now.

World weary or not, I figure I need to put on the long lens here. That’s the best I can come up with in the face of elections and legislation fights, mudslinging, celebrity sightings, political gossip and pollution and the war on women. What’s a girl to do? As much as I fully believe we need to sit in the present, to continue to voice our opinions, to continue to move toward the oceans of power owned by the smallest population of the mighty I believe too that the real hope lies in paying close attention to the people we’re raising now, especially the girls among us. It’s not an “either or” it is a “yes, and” plan.

Do your part, vote your conscience, voice your opinion in places it matters most, march when possible, do your homework, open your mind, listen to your neighbor…and encourage those young and wise women among us. Encourage them to know and engage the world around them as if they are equal, as if they are valuable, as if they are the future of us all because they are.

The world depends on what that girl will do.

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