Not sure how many individuals here would have read Maya Angelou’s, “Phenomenal Woman” from ‘And Still I Rise’. If you haven’t, I highly recommend you do – It’s worth your time, and then some more.
My previous post was focussed on the topic of the Golden Rule & The Wisdom of Silence, and in this one I will share a small thought on how we can build a better environment and society by acting in a manner which gives respect to its women, simply for no other reason that they happen to be incredible human beings, as you, or me.
I have frequently voiced my thoughts on how we need to create the right environment at the family level wherein we consciously seed out patriarchal/ matriarchal traits which differentiate between a boy and a girl (one which gives privileges to one child more than the other, at different levels/ instances/ ages etc); treating the children equally in terms of love and care, and enabling both to find and pursue their greatness in thoughts, words and deeds. This time around, I will focus around the concept of personal choice, and how we can move the needle forward, as individuals.
One of the few chosen leaders I mutually follow on Twitter is Tom Peters, a prominent globally renowned Management Genius who is often found living upto his label of “The Red Bull of Management Thinking”. Tom is the co-author of “In Search of Excellence” a book that is tagged as amongst the best business books out there, and I personally remember learning a lot from reading his work in my early twenties. One of his more recent tweets is shared below.
Excellence is your next email. Excellence is a smile. Excellence is bringing flowers to work on a dreary winter morning. Excellence is the essence of short-termism. Excellence is the next 5 minutes–or it is nothing at all.
— Tom Peters (@tom_peters) January 18, 2018
If there was ever an “excellent” tweet, above definitely qualifies as one (no pun intended).
Extrapolating the learning from Tom’s tweet, one might be served well to remember that life as we know it, is created and experienced next few moments at a time : Should we take care of the immediate next moments… We can be rest assured that life will, somehow, overtime, take care of itself.
Now how does this apply to Society, or Women, or Respect, or any of this combined? The answer works out to be not so complex should one think of how one has the power to reflect and act on his/ her choices every single time one has a path to choose.
- You come across “Locker Room Talk” (college/ workplace/ parties/ gym/ anywhere) – You have the choice to not participate, or even bother to weakly smile, or even try giving that setting your approval. Over time people will respect you enough not to bring up such, in your presence.
- Regardless of how stressful the day/ week/ month/ year was – When at work, when your co-founders, clients or colleagues light heartedly try asking how “hot” the woman CEO/ peer from a meeting was – You have the choice to bring back the conversation to saying you didn’t manage to notice that, but sharing what the meeting actually yielded for the organization. Your co-founders, clients and peers will know better than to ask you again.
- You are in the presence of senior individuals at an informal setting (Bosses in a Corporate setting / Senior guys in your industry) and casual crude or sexist banter is being exchanged – You have the choice to not play along and appear cool on the outside by sharing sexist/ misogynistic/ crude comments simply to gel into the “power” group.
- Add in succeeding events where you have the choice to act in accordance with your higher self.
Over time, with consistent effort and practice, you will notice how these small thoughts, words and actions compound not just within but also outside; and how people behave and act when around you.
None of us, including me, are perfect. Having said this, I also believe that we all are learning each and every second, each and every interaction… and have the power within us to move the world (within and outside) forward or backwards, with each and every thought, word and action that we commit out to the world.
As Maya Angelou would concur,
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
– Maya Angelou
Now let’s see how that makes you and others around you think, feel and act; as you keep moving the world, next 5 minutes at a time.