This past Wednesday, I attended a very powerful and moving event in Greenwich, CT, hosted by 85 broads. It was an inspiring forum and gathering of trailblazing women, all of whom want to make a difference – no matter how small or large — in the world around them.
Whether they’re impacting law, finance, politics, technology, corporate policy, fashion, or non-profit, each attendee has a dream to not only succeed abundantly, but also help other women and impact the world in the process.
Marie Wilson — President and Founder of The White House Project was the featured speaker, and my God, what a powerful individual, women’s advocate , and speaker she is. She shared many riveting stories and vital information about the state of women in political leadership today, and how sorely lacking the U.S. is in representation of women in leadership.
The story that touched me most deeply, however, was about a group of young girls, 12 years of age or so, in Rwanda. Marie tells of these girls who were gathered together in their classroom in school, when suddenly insurgents crashed into their classroom with guns flying, and demanded that the girls divide themselves (ostensibly for the purpose of selecting who would be killed and who spared).
The girls sat completely motionless, saying nothing. The gunman screamed again, “DIVIDE YOURSELVES!” Again the girls did not move or speak. After a few long moments, one lone little girl replied, “We would rather die than divide ourselves.”
The moment I heard this story, I realized something that shook me. We in this country divide ourselves constantly – we make others wrong, we judge and criticize, and put ourselves above others (or beneath them), we distance ourselves and create walls around us – as a constant practice.
What is needed most today — among women and among all human beings — is connection, community and commitment. Connection – so that we can feel more for each other’s experiences, and can demonstrate compassion, empathy and validation. Community – because we can do so much more together than we can do alone, and being together uplifts us. And finally – commitment. It doesn’t matter what you “want” in life – what matters is what you’re truly committed to creating.
“We would rather die than be divided.” That’s a principle that I am now committed to living by.
Thank you, Marie Wilson, and Janet Hanson of 85 Broads for reminding us that community, connection, and commitment changes the world.
What are you committed to creating in your life, and where can you find connection and community to support you?