Where Were You One Year Ago?
Ester Bloom a senior editor for CNBC and a contributing writer for many periodicals states that “For centuries, a woman’s social status was clear-cut: either she had a maid or she was one” As painful as it is to read these words, this remains true today. Or as Joseph Brodsky states, “Life is a game with many rules but no referee.”
Is presence more important than being productive? Kierkegaard referred to this binary dilemma as being the question of a choice,” Distinguishing between “busyness” and intentional purpose is a self actualizing task adults face as they move through life.
I have de-cluttered my home and have been engaged this past year in clarifying and reprioritizing my energy to serve what has meaning and purpose to me. For the third time in my life I am fortunate to be able to reflect on my life’s direction. This is not the case for many women in this world.
The time to reflect, hope or believe that life could be different is not a choice. There are too many external forces that prevent women from begin able to consider doing anything that could make my life easier. In my travels this past year I have seen the stooped posture and the quick staring of women whose eyes are curious and seem to yearn to lift up my face with eyes that see beyond the never ending drudgery of repetitive activities that keep me busy, busy, only busy.
Those of us that do not have restrictions put upon us in making choices about our bodies, our desired ways to express and lead our lives, are sensitive to the chasms that separates those that have never experienced a life with choice. Responding to the discomfort of the have-nots should activate the desire to want to help. Serving as the referee or guide to women who live in cultures that have existed for centuries by suppressing the education and growth of women is theoretically easier than the actualization of good intentions.
Here is the paradox. My life has been for the first time this last year been unproductive. Yet I have been more present to myself and to the people and issues that occupy my restless, anger provoked, impatient, “psychoemotional” energy. This energy, born from an emotional place found the void it wishes to move towards. Ironically, Psychoemotional is a word coined by George Elliot, an English poet and author celebrating her bicentennial this year. She chose this male name instead of her own, Mary Ann Evans, to have her writings be heard. Psychoemotional resonates with me
I have used many mantras to guide me and once again, from Brodsky ( who ironically was exiled from Russia in the early 1900’s for writing his prose and poetry) stated, “What I regret most in my life are my failures to be kind,” I did not want to find myself saying this, as he did, close to his death. But now, this year I am reprioritizing my life. Entering a new decade, I am now intentionally seeking to recognize and bring to life “those issues that cause your hair to light on fire”( from a conversation with Nancy Austin, author of A Passion for Excellence (1985) and The Assertive Woman (1975), at our 50th High School reunion.
The desire to dream up, hope and then find support in achieving something personally to be proud of is a reality in the United States. In each of us in our own way could do as women have always done, and that is to take all our sisters with us, we can find the path to instilling hope and pride that translates form a feeling to a reality…we have done good. The journey may be long but the courage, strength and motivation for change is powerful.
The World Health Organization has declared 2020 The Year of the Nurse. Nurses worldwide are supporting the journey of their fellow caregivers in countries such as India, some Arabian Gulf countries, Egypt and in several European counties in educating their public that the laying on of hands activities of being a nurse is no longer a default profession. To be a nurse requires education and highly specific skills to share in the responsibility of keeping a countries citizens healthy. The Nursing profession can serve as a role model for elevating oppressed women from remaining uneducated and skill-less. The power of Nurses around the world who practice in places where pride, value, trust and society’s admiration of them is high are in the perfect position to use their hard fought similar battles to the aid of women fighting similar battles.