Women of the world, I hear your voices. I rejoice in your strength. I embrace your grief, your fear, and your anger. Stay involved. Make your voices known. I am not you. So, help me to understand you better.
My gender is male. I don’t know what it’s like to be passed over for promotion or paid less because of my gender. I don’t know what it feels like to be the target of sexual jokes and invasive touches. I’m tall and physically strong so I don’t know what it feels like to feel fear when walking at night on a city street. Help me to understand better how I can help you.
My race is white. So, I don’t know what it feels like to be black or brown or olive-skinned. I don’t know how it feels to be obscenely labeled a nigger, a wet-back, or a suspected terrorist. I don’t understand what it feels like to view my life through the lens of my color. I don’t think about it. What I do know is I have much to learn. Help me to understand better how I can help you.
I am rich in comparison to many. I don’t worry about the rent, recreation, or the cost of a restaurant meal. I give what I can to those less fortunate. To those who are hungry and homeless. And, I pray someday you will be blessed. I support you in your quest for better wages. Help me understand better how I can help you.
I am healthy so I don’t fully understand those who lack physical and emotional health. I have not suffered like so many. I have never experienced ongoing physical, sexual or emotional abuse. I don’t live with chronic pain nor suffocating addictions. My sleep is not interrupted with nightmares of past traumas which kidnap my future life. My heart breaks for those of you who do. I am incredibly lucky. Help me to understand better how I can help you.
I am a privileged man. I don’t feel shame for my privilege. Instead, I feel my privilege requires in me a deep sense of personal responsibility to understand and help others.
Politics is too often and wrongly seen as a war where votes replace bullets; where the victor vanquishes and enslaves the loser. A prison of only winners and losers.
I believe in a different world of politics. A place where we seek to understand others, find common ground, and work to take care of one another, especially those of us who are less fortunate.
As public servants, our politicians are also privileged. They have the privilege of leading us. And, I hope they will see themselves, not as victors who won a war, rather as public servants seeking to understand.
Women of the world, I affirm and encourage you. You are woman. And, I for one, want to hear you roar even more.