Long Way

It’s easy to see the problems. That is where my attention is focused on.

But I’m learning not to lead with the problems when I’m working with other people. It’s a rookie move.

When I am climbing a mountain and I am tired and giving up, nothing picks me up like turning around and seeing how far I’ve come. That backward glance puts the trail ahead in perspective.

So for the times when I have to gather up a group of people to talk about what’s going on–when the problem is as loud and glaring as a repeating emergency alert

UUHHHHNNN

UUHHHHNNN

UUHHHHNNN

I gather my thoughts and state out loud what’s been done.

What we’ve accomplished so far

The road we’ve travelled together successfully

 

Before addressing the current problem to be surmounted.

I start by reminding every one that once upon a time, not so very long ago we had other problems and that today those problems are conquered.

So let’s get together and overcome a few more problems.

We’ve done it before, and we’ll do it again.

This is what I know.

I’ve been reading feminist books lately. And some of the problems have been sounding the glaring emergency alert in my mind.

I did what I do. Read more; learn more, go back to read the older books.

Today I picked up a real oldie: Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Women

She wrote this to the French during their famous revolution. Remember that one? Right after the American Revolution?

She was pushing them to give women the right to a better education and the right to vote.

She described how women were not considered human.

And that is a cold dark look up the long trail ahead. That lands in my gut like a punch. And I am only in chapter one.

Oh Mary. Mary. Mary.

Deep breath.

Look at what we’ve done together. Women are educated in record numbers in America. Women have been able to vote for 99 years in America. We can own property, have bank accounts and borrow money.

That’s a lot. That’s a lot of trail we’ve covered.

This is no time to lose heart. There is a still a long way to go. Like I said, it’s only chapter one.

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