Day 23,704: Because The Time Is Always & Never Right.
Women, I believe, are largely loyal, and have been taught to stick something out rather than take risks to start something new. We are taught to consider family over any other virtues, resulting in us too easily being talked out of taking on new ventures, moving to new areas, leaving secure positions — all in the name of what might be best for our families or others.
In general, if we know when to leave, we may not know how. Conversely, if we know how to leave, we may not know when. Is there ever a right time?
Staying Too Long
One daughter has a habit we’ve all recognized as staying too long at everything from camp to extracurricular activities to relationships. She generally puts in one long year more than she should, and subsequently leaves with less positive memories than she might have otherwise.
She takes after her father, not me, for deep loyalty at almost all costs to self. How does one gain such loyalty, and at what point is loyalty a detriment over a virtue?
My husband, the ultimate family loyalist, asks this question daily regarding staffers who work for the current president. He doesn’t understand what keeps them loyal to a man who is not loyal at all. Ironically, I, likely the least loyal in the family, have a different point of view and understand the call of the higher purpose. For women, that call is innate, based frequently on family. For current political staffers, it’s likely patriotism.
Finding Higher Purpose
It was Hebrew National Hot Dogs that started the famous ad campaign, “We report to a higher authority.” The question facing each of us daily in work, relationships, politics and nonprofit work is not only “What is the higher purpose?” but also “When is the higher purpose worth what level of self-sacrifice?”
Having the power to leave, stand for one’s principles, or putting oneself first requires resources. Women, for years, did not have property rights, independent financial means, or a recognized voice. No wonder, with just a few generations out of dependency, so many of us still find it hard to stand tall for our own best interests.
This is what makes the Women’s March of January 2017 so significant, but just a start. This is what made and makes Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) a significant force in the call for sober driving. This is what gives hope for the newer, but already larger MothersDemandAction.org in the fight for sane gun control laws. One woman can too easily be ignored, but masses of women give us a deepened voice to our more soprano tones.
One Voice v. A Chorus
It starts with one woman finding her voice and then increasingly loud chorus form added voices. Consider the combined voices of women in the #MeToo movement.
We women are known for backbiting. Instead, we have to learn how better to have each other’s backs. It’s hard because we’ve long thought we’re in it alone. That’s why it’s important to admit what’s going on so others can support us. That’s why women coming together in groups is something that has historically been feared, but is something we must increasingly find the chutzpah to do.
One leads to the other. It starts with commiting to come out and being willing to publicly stand with others for an issue, identity, cause or program. Courage comes later — well after we’ve questioned how and when to make the next move. Courage is the answer that comes back to you when the answer questions we ask ourselves is “NOW.”
Continued Focus on Gun Sanity. Dress for Effect. Red is the color associated with Moms Demand Action. The group has asked that if you’re marching on March 24, try to wear red if not a branded shirt so people desiring to be part of the same community can more easily find each other. Similarly, June 2 is the third annual day to wear Orange commemorating End Gun Violence Day. Find the background here on how one teen’s death, three years before Parkland, sparked the beginning of this part of the movement.