When I was spending junior year abroad, I was lucky enough to meet a brilliant woman. She was Valedictorian at Princeton. She gave me advice that’s stayed with me. She told me to study what I’m best at, what I truly love, because I’ll be able to bring a depth of insight that others, less passionate, may not achieve.
Before that pivotal conversation I was convinced that I should focus my studies on subjects that were harder, more challenging for me. But her wisdom showed me that would only lead to more shallow work, lesser understanding and fewer accomplishments. In her words, I wouldn’t be of help to the world with that approach.
I find that the older I get the more precious time is. And now we’re all so beleaguered in different ways from this pandemic.
So even more, I want to surround myself with feminists and visionaries and creative thinkers and people expert in compassion and courage, so I can more fully become who God intends me to be. The pursuit of joy is essential to a spiritually meaningful life.
I’ve realized that spreading myself thin is a distraction and doesn’t actually foster my spiritual growth. I also know that there’s a very big hole to dig engaging with close-minded people, when I could be encouraging so many others to soar to achieve worthy goals.
A number of years ago I was invited to be part of a 20 women faith-based delegation to lobby Congress in person in a series of one-on-one meetings. The goal was to pass the International Violence Against Women Act. Ultimately, we did.
That didn’t happen because I tried to persuade violent men not to be violent toward women. It happened because I was surrounded by feminist leaders and strong advocates who were willing to go to the wall to protect women.
I want and crave more of that. I want the best role models in my life, so I in turn can leave the next generation better off.
We are all – media included – distracted by the ongoing, devastating freak show of misogynist, racist, White Supremacist leaders. We need a different model.
And most of us at some point have gotten sucked down the rabbit hole of social media arguments. We’ve discovered people we had otherwise liked and connected with, gleefully espousing sickening isms.
A lot of people are voting for Biden/Harris not only for all the obvious, big, important reasons… but because we want some measure of quiet restored to our lives. We yearn for simple equanimity. Removing the madmen will help.
However, in reasserting our focus, we’re going to have to choose carefully the company we surround ourselves with. Who authentically inspires and supports us? How can we best reinvision and remake the world to be more lovely, just and peaceful?
We have before us an opportunity and a turning point. A chance to magnify our love and to be more truthful to those we love, to remember ourselves and reinforce our hopes and dreams. We have sacred quests to fulfill.