Speak UpPosted: January 30, 2012 | |
Some people watch reality shows, I watch political news because I find it more entertaining. You can’t tell me that the Beverly Hills Housewives could possibly be more profligate than our government tax loopholes . Snooky is no more amazing than the crop of Republican candidates for President. The news sometimes makes me want to laugh or cry about how far we still have to go in this nation. Recently, the talk shows were all about a book that criticized the White House for the sexist attitudes toward women. We are still on the path, I suppose, but we’re travelling slowly.
When I wrote Wise Women don’t worry, Wise Women don’t sing the blues, some people told me it was too late – women’s issues were all over. I was amazed at how certain they were that, because women had marched in a few parades and burned a few bras, everything was fine. The women I knew were still barely balancing work and career. Many of them were supporting children without much emotional or financial support from fathers. Just about all of them were making less than their male colleagues. Very few of my women friends were living happily ever after. Even if they were quite happy, they were juggling jobs and always on the alert.
My Wise Woman book is still in print 14 years later and it is still selling well. I’m doing another workshop in May and I get letters from churches who have women’s groups that are continuing into their second, fifth or tenth year. Maybe I ought to send a few copies to the White House?
The truth is that ideas and cultural beliefs change slowly and only if we are persistent. When we elected Obama, we had a choice of a black man or a woman. They were both exceptional and well qualified. Most of my friends had a hard time deciding but we found our choice of candidates was thrilling.
I think some people wanted to say everything was healed now and we could put the whole civil rights and the women’s rights issues in a big sack and store them way up on the top shelf. But that wasn’t the end of the story.
Suddenly, we heard quite a bit about same-sex marriage and “don’t ask don’t tell” policies in the military. It was as if the media suddenly discovered a new issue. I can tell you that the issue of civil rights for gays has been around a long, long time. As is true for other minorities, gay civil rights is better, but it is not healed.
Nor is the issue of women’s rights healed. You may notice that there are very few boards of corporations or educational institutions or governments or any other seats of power that have a majority of women on them. Nor is the representation of blacks and Hispanics anywhere near their statistical numbers in the United States. I have no doubt that at least some of the hatred toward out current president is based on race.
Change comes slowly or not at all when we are asleep at the switch. Right now we need to wake up and see what is really happening in our nation. When there is a strong belief that there is not enough to go around, it is difficult to get those on top to share. We are experiencing a lot of fear about falling behind, about jobs and about money.
New Thought followers need to speak up and proudly proclaim what we know. This is a spiritual system that has been happy to have women, minority and gay people among its leaders since the very beginning. We are probably one of the most equalitarian organizations in the nation. We are certainly the most equal opportunity religious groups.
At the very beginning of the New Thought movement, there were more women leaders than men. We have had many well-known gay ministers and people of color. We see that every human being is a unique and individualized expression of God, no matte what gender, sexual orientation or color he or she may be. We are true to our beliefs and I am very proud of that.
New Thought leaders need to step up and speak out for equal opportunity for everyone. We are the perfect people to do it because we have a spiritual teaching based on the idea of God as Unlimited Power and Possibility. We also know better than any other people on the planet that the Creative Nature of the Universal Mind can always come up with new ideas, new inventions and new systems.
As you move into this new year, I hope you will pay attention to the cultural belief system that surrounds you. Without making anyone evil, you can speak up on issues that mean something to you. Are you in favor of good education? Are you in favor of taxing the rich equally with the poor? Are you in favor of electing officials because of their conviction and honesty, rather than because of how much money they can raise?
Speak up. This is the perfect time to be heard.
When I am in a crowd of “regular people” do I tell them what I believe?
Do I know who my congressman or woman is? What that person votes for?