Voice Lessons

I have been so fortunate to travel all over our amazing world. 86 countries ca. They have all been so inspirational to me. The people I meet along the way are the most interesting. Its really insightful for me to hear from the women in these countries, as they share with me their thoughts on how lucky I am to be a woman in America. No matter where I go, I hear that at least once. And I agree.

I am so grateful to live in a country where my voice is heard. I am so lucky that both genders, stop to hear what I say, and care about my thoughts. I have never felt unheard  in America. I am in awe of the opportunities I have in this country. Especially when I compare my good fortune to women in other countries. I once met a woman in another country who told me she did not get to choose her life partner. Her voice was not significant. I spoke with another woman who told me she was not allowed an epidural to birth any of her 7 kids, and no hospital stay. She had to return home and cook for her family immediately after birthing her child. I have met women who are not allowed to drive, and women who can not speak to a man or look them in the eye. I never realized how real this was, until I visited these places. It certainly helped me put my good fortune in perspective. No where that I have visited have I seen women treated any better, than right here in America.

I have never had no hope for the path ahead of me because of my gender. I feel that I have seized every single opportunity that has come my way, and not one time have I been denied anything in America because of my gender. If I have not succeeded, it is because of me and no one else, or the fact of my gender or any sort of discrimination.

I love all of the women of the world, as well as the men. I see them as individuals, not as male or female. I cant say that I divide them in any way, nor have I ever been expected to. I do realize this is because I am a woman in America. The most fortunate place in the world to be a woman. My hope is that I will never misuse my good fortune, or bully others to think like me. Please dont let me be that arrogant. Hold me to be about inclusion for all, based on individuality, not gender. Help me to remember to use any voice I have, to push for change for the individual, who is less fortunate than I am. Not based on their gender.

Remind me that when a man treats me unkindly, it is about him and the person he is, and not about me. The same with the women who are unkind to me, it is about their disrespect for themselves and has nothing to do with me. I dont think in either case it is about my gender. Yes, men have treated me poorly, but in equal measure women have too. I dont think they treat me poorly because I am a woman. I think they are disrespectful because that is who they are, not what my gender is.

Let me blaze a path to mobilize and unify my fellow man and woman to work together to change futures, change lives, and change EVERY person in our society for the better. May I never use my voice to divide. Hopefully, I will always respect myself by respecting the individual and building him/her up . Not tearing them down. I know our tasks at times are different, and we may not always think alike, thats ok. I dont want to live in a world where everyone thinks like me. Boring. I love the differences we are allowed in our country. I do not like bullies who try to squash my voice, because it is not like theirs. We all have not had the same life experiences, therefore our perspectives are not the same. Our perspectives are our past coming forward  into the present, and they are ours. They dont have to be like yours.

Our America is wonderful. As I  travel I am reminded and also thrilled each time I return to this land, where I have a voice and I matter. Not because of my gender or my skin color, but hopefully because of my individuality. I know that people can come together and treat each other with respect and dignity, in the places that this is lacking in our country. I am reminded when I return to America of who we are, and what we can be. All of us, not some. The best in us all is here, we all have a choice to use it for good or bad. We are at our best when we come together, embracing common sense and our different values and ideas, and unity. Your voice matters, find it and use it to unite not divide. Be all inclusive, not exclusive because of gender, or age or any other difference you have with another.

The answers to our national problems are all around us. They are me and you, being decent and respectful of one another and using common sense. Open your hearts people, when you see a sister or brother being hateful to another, use that display of bad behavior to motivate you to be the change you want to see in the world. One person can make a difference. Don’t think for one minute that is not true.