We live in urgent times! This has always been the truth; but today, for the first time in history, we can bear witness to the misery of others seven worlds away.
Not only can we read about it in newspapers, books, and magazines, we can also see it live and in color on our TVs at home and in our vehicles; at the airport while we wait for our flight to board; on our smartphones and tablets; at the gasoline pumps; and in the checkout lane at our local Wal-mart.
There is literally no escape from the constant storm of images that allow those of us privileged to live in the West to witness the heart-wrenching, unfortunate, intimate struggles of others, especially of women, girls, and children.
And because we can bear witness, a gauntlet has been thrown at our feet.
Sisters of the West, we did not ask for the gauntlet, but none the less, it is ours.
And if you are a woman who has the good fortune to be living in the West, you have a responsibility to accept the challenge.
Because you are alive… you are human… you are woman… the Universe is pleading… and why not?
And who are you responsible to?
Well, you are responsible to:
Yes, you. Because our individual choices have weight and reach, even when we cannot see it or touch it. Furthermore, a wise choice has the potential to come back and sprinkle blessings where it first took root.
The Future: Your Children and the Children of the World
The next generation can use the rich compost that our wise choices will leave behind to regenerate, to grow, to nurture, and to thrive into perpetuity. This is a very good thing.
Emily Davison, Malala, and Many Others
Emily Davison did not throw herself under the pounding hoofs of the King’s horse in 1913 so that we women and girls of today can squander our choices on the worthless.
And then, there is Malala Yousafzai, who became one of the bravest “woman” ever at the young age of 12, when she picked up the gauntlet. Read her stirring story here and here and be ready for your heart to be opened.
The Worldwide Sisterhood
For all the women and young girls in Africa, the Middle East, in Southeast Asia, and too many other places across our seven continents, who at this very moment are being sold into marriage or on the open market, raped in their homes or some stinking alley or brothel, and/or oppressed under the black boot of an ignorant patriarchy that finds zero value in them and tramples their spirit and their pearls with impunity.
Yes, make the wise choices they cannot make–not because they do not want to or because they are frivolous–but because they are denied the option by oppression.
Kermit the Frog made a career lamenting the difficulties of being green. Well, he should try being a woman. There is nothing harder. Women have been tyrannized in every way since the beginning of humanity… and we are still being tyrannized thousands of years into the future.
We sisters of the West must bend down now and pick up that gauntlet, and we must remain forever vigilant.
And when we have choice, we must choose wisely–as if the sisterhood depends on it, because it does.
We must choose wisely–even when our souls and bodies cry out in the dark for comfort and understanding and all we find is loneliness.
We must choose wisely–and demand that arseclowns climb up, up, up to meet and exceed our high standards.
We must choose wisely–if this world is ever to be a kinder, gentler place for both men and women and our children.
We must choose wisely–if there is ever to be a time in history that every woman in the sisterhood prevails, grows in strength, thrives, and becomes the true director of her history, her present, and her future.
Listen, our acceptance of responsibility is grossly overdue! It is urgent. The time is now!
I urge all the women of the world–who have it in their power–to pick up the gauntlet and make it clear to the world:
We will not be anybody’s second choice.
We are first choice. We are first choice. We are first choice.
Yes, it is a tremendous challenge… but we are at war with “things as they are” and our mighty sword is our collective choices.
Call to action: All women and the real men who love us: Do you believe our individual choices have weight (power)?