Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Hand That Rocks The Cradle

Women have perhaps the most powerful influence in the world.  Some lead with a gentle calm and other's fiery force is one to be reckoned with.  As women, we are given the gift to co-create life.  How beautiful that is!  To carry a child is a blessing beyond a dream.  However, a woman does not need to carry life to receive the most precious package that can be given.  A woman has such a deep capacity to love and nurture.  Some of the most amazing mothers I know and try to emulate are those who did not physically bear their children.  And by the way, I have a handful of friends that have not had an opportunity for either, yet they unconditionally love other's children.  How is that possible?  To love a child who was not born of your blood?  Because love is love.  True love does not recognize the red running through.  Love in its purest form sees only the soul.  

My idea of femininity is constantly being heightened by new layers, interlaced with morals and values, sewn neatly together with the string of my own experiences, and finished with an un-knotted end, slipping through the eye of the needle, leaving me room for more padding.  There is no *one* perfect women, but we each have perfect qualities that make us defectless to the ones who call us mother, friend, wife, companion, partner, daughter, aunt, cousin, co-worker, soul mate, my love, (and my personal favorite) goddess divine.  A woman who takes her own personal trials and writes a beautiful story instead of a bitter tragedy is a woman who understands her divinity.  She can look upon another with rose colored eyes and see herself somewhere in them.  She chooses not to harvest resentment or place judgment because she herself may have done the very same thing that could have, if she chose, offended her.  If, for a brief moment, she made a mistake and lashed back, she is quick to make amends because she lives honoring peace.  Her lips publish that same peace and offer kind words of encouragement.  She lifts and lightens.  Supports and sustains.  She is a friend to all.  This is the woman I strive to mold my nude-colored Silly Putty into.  That is, when I'm not imprinting newspaper comic strips into it.

Women come in all shapely sizes and are painted in many beautiful colors.  Our different features make us stand out from one another and in a very superficial way, gives us our uniqueness.  The question I pose today is not what gives us our uniqueness, but our authenticity.  I believe the answer is found in our divine qualities.  Those divine qualities are what links us all together, bonding us in the chains of sisterhood by the same set of perfect hands.  Within those divine qualities, every woman has been endowed with a tremendous capacity to do good in the world.  She has inherited the skills to cultivate crops of kindness and mercy.  She has power to influence and inspire.  Overcome and progress.  I believe this to be truth and yet why do we tend to fall in to the tempting traps of acts that contradict this?   We all posses these angelic attributes but do we choose to practically apply and daily display them?  This question has lead me to thought, naturally leading me to action, and therefore, I propose this:  Instead of searching out opportunities to pass judgement on each other, let us bolster up one another in complimentary affirmations that inspire.  Let us speak with a ginger and honey tongue towards each other (towards ALL people) and run, run, run as fast as we can from gossip circles that hurt our friends, our sisters.  Through merciful acts, we can nurse back to health open wounds and give aid to the brokenhearted.  Let us blot out the meaning of cliques from our memory and make room for all.  Commit to keeping confidences instead of revealing secrets that were told to us in tender trust.  There is no peace in those practices.

I heard a beautiful story several months ago.  It pricked my heart (in a good way) as I took in the example of one woman who chose to save another...

On February 11th, over 100,000 people filled Cairo's Tahrir Square in wild celebration as the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak was falling.  Among the crowd that night was CBS news reporter, Lara Logan and her team.  As she was broadcasting the events of the night, the camera battery went dead.  Within minutes terror struck.  An Egyptian man who was among Lara's team heard the horror in the words surrounding them and he screamed for the team to get Lara out quick.  Men began pulling and twisting at her limbs and within seconds, Lara's team lost her.  She had been assaulted repeatedly in ways no woman should ever have to endure.  Those men then began to pull at her scalp, trying to rip her at every seam.  All of the sudden, a woman wearing a chador, revealing nothing but her eyes, pulled the barely breathing Lara towards her.  And then, one by one, other women followed the example of the brave and began to blanket Lara with a protection that saved her life. 

It is a story that proves the power of sisterhood.  When we stand together, we have the potential to save each other.  When we look away or participate in behavior that leaves someone hopeless and alone, we destroy.  What I have taken from this story is that the choices I make can have a huge impact on changing our culture and also the stereotypes that we have created for ourselves.  We gossip, so we are known as backbiting.  We nitpick at our husbands and boyfriends and so we are taped with the unattractive tag "nag".  We find things to reveal about others so that, for a brief moment, we will feel better about ourselves.  We form circles and turn other felines away at the door with a scratch and a hiss.  We compare and contrast and try to out do.  Let's move away from those practices and step closer to peace.  Through our changing examples, we can influence and inspire others, especially the young girls in our lives, and hopefully help to create a more unified society of women.  From the mouth of one of my favorites, Mr. William Wordsworth whispers:

"A perfect woman, nobly planned, to warn, to comfort, and command; and yet spirit still, and bright with something of angelic light."   

It is not the hand that rocks the cradle that rules the world.  It is the hand that forever extends in compassion and kindness, the hand that takes hold of another and offers unconditional friendship, the hand that quietly searches to serve others, hands that are striving to become closer to the ones that made them.  Those are the hands that rule the world. 




  1. Lovely, Stephanie! I especially like this provoking thought: "The question I pose today is not what gives us our uniqueness, but our authenticity." I'm still pondering on that. I love being a mother and agree that we need to stop gossip and back-biting in this world--those of us privileged to raise the future generation need to expect more of ourselves. We can't afford to indulge in self-gratifying behaviors, because children learn from our examples. Besides that, the pain we inflict on others will need to be answered for tenfold, whether in this life or the next. Compassion and service are the keys to happiness!

    Hope you are doing well, in school and otherwise. :)

  2. Very beauitful and inspiring!