Be Bold for a Beautiful Change
International Women’s Day has come around again. Besides the breakfasts, lunches and dinners that bring us together to discuss gender equity in society, what does it actually meant to you?
I sat here this morning writing this and asking that question of myself. I am going to two breakfasts this year and a luncheon and I will enjoy the company of other women and hear from inspirational speakers, but what is it that am I personally supposed to do?
What does International Women’s Day mean to the average person on the street? What are we you supposed to do about all this?
Asking myself these questions, I went to the one place that seems to give me all the answers in life…Google.
And I came to the International Women’s Day website which reminded me that although it ‘means different things to different people’, International Women’s Day provides a global focus on equality and celebration of women. Phew I was right! Tick!
The theme for IWD this year which is #BeBoldForChange which is a call for both organisations and individual people – you and me – to commit to helping “women and girls achieve their ambitions; to challenge conscious and unconscious bias; call for gender-balanced leadership; value women and men’s contributions equally; and create inclusive flexible cultures.”
Reading that my heart sank a little. It feels like we have such a long way to go to reach this ideal. What can you or I as ‘little’ humans in this big, big world possibly do to create that change and have any impact?
A wise woman, and good friend of my mine – Heidi Alexandra Pollard – has a mantra that ‘change starts with you’…and me!
How do you wish the world to be? What sort of world do you want your children to grow up in?
I know, personally, that I wish to live in a world where people are kind to each other, not catty. I want to live in a world where people can resolve their differences of opinions peacefully without conflict. I strive to live in a world where respect for each other is our highest value.
I want to live in a world where the term ‘gender pay gap’ is some vague reference to a problem in history. I want to live in a world where we there is no domestic violence, where there is no violence at all. I want to live in a world where we don’t need to keep talking about the need for gender equity, we are all equal.
In the words of that magical songwriter and performer, Michael Jackson, ‘I’m starting with the man in the mirror. I am asking him to change his ways. And no message could have be any clearer. If you want to make the world a better place take a look at yourself and make the change.’
It’s not easy to look in the ‘mirror’; but that is the only way that we can truly be bold for change. To change the world for the better, we must start with ourselves and see where and how we can be more loving, compassionate and empathetic toward others; to let love rule our thoughts and actions, not fear.
This International Women’s Day, and every day after, I ask you to look in the mirror with open eyes, an open heart, an open mind and with courage. To look within, to find awareness about who we are, how we see the world, and how we treat other people.
Start by being kind, by freeing our thoughts of judgement, by understanding and accepting that we really all all the same where it counts inside. Man, woman, black, white, Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Australian, Chinese, American and so on and so on. Regardless of our gender, race, religion, sexual orientation: we all breathe and we all bleed.