Today is International Women’s Day or so the internet says. I have seen and read many of my friends writing heartfelt thanks and memories to the women in their life. Others have written about women they never knew, but made a difference. Everyone has such a list of women that were directly involved in their success as well as many other women across time and space that have made their/our world an easier place to live. Only the most foolish will deny the impact of women in our world, but alas, the world is full of fools.
Many will remember on this day that a woman played a key role in their success. They might even say something nice, send a card, buy flowers, or offer a hug of thanks. The one who remembers will feel good about their memory and feel enlightened for highlighting the value of that woman in their life. And then tomorrow they will likely return to another 364 days of ignoring, taking for granted, and sometimes reducing women to a position that is less significant than our memory reminds us of and our heart tells us is true. Most of us have real short, pathetic memories.
Women should know their place in this world. I want that for my wife, my daughter, my mother, my sisters ( Amanda and Renee), and the many women that I have worked with over 20 years. I am at least somewhat successful because of how many women have given the best parts of their days to help me along. Most did so because it was their place in life as mother, wife, employee, or friend. They have the scars to show for being in their place in my life. Thank you God for sending them into my life to be in their “place.”
When a woman knows her place then her ceiling is unlimited and her future unstoppable. Women that know their place have made bigger steps of faith and courage than millions of men who lead without knowing anything about place, power, or proper rhetoric. I know what you are thinking – “And just where is a woman’s place?”
Well, history reminds us that many, many women knew their place. Let me remind you of a few that come quickly to my mind.
Rosa knew her place…on the front of that bus. Eleanor knew her place…leading and championing civil rights and poverty causes in a broken America. Sally Ride knew her place…right inside the space capsule. Hilary knew her place…offering herself as the most qualified candidate for President in the history of the USA. Oprah knows her place…as the first African-American billionaire and most successful television personality ever. And Jamie knows her place…as a great teacher to specially made children, a gifted musician and leader of praise, a brilliant storehouse of knowledge of many things, a faithful friend to everybody she meets, and most importantly to me,… the love of my life. But I digress.
So many women don’t know their place and that is a shame. Maybe they don’t think they have a place of standing, leadership, or relevance in this world. That is not true. So let me attempt to build a framework for them so that the next Rosa, Sally, and Jamie can get ready for the road that is ahead of them.
Women of all ages, all colors, all backgrounds, all upbringings,…your place is in the home, the classroom, the steel mill, the pulpit, the oval office, the space shuttle, the race car, the board room, the news desk, the locker room, the barn yard, the operating room, the fire station, the coffee shop, the war room, the play ground, the drafting table, the lectern, the kitchen, the subway, the Broadway stage, the finish line, and about anywhere else you want to be.
So go to your place and thrive, hustle, challenge, and lead away. Many people will follow you. Trust me they will. Only fools will discount your abilities and rights to be there. They will be the minority, but they likely will not be silent. Don’t listen to them. Keep going. Only the real foolish will objectify you and disgrace themselves (and their families/nation) in doing so. Don’t lose heart over them. Pray for God to have mercy on them. You are vital to the flourishing of society on every level. Don’t forget it and don’t ever think otherwise. Every generation is watching you and waiting for your example of faith, hope, and love to stir the waters of the world.
Happy International Women’s Day/ Year / Decade / Century/ Millennium! Your place is right here.