Happy International Women’s Day! This sparkly day has been recognized for well over a century. It’s all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action.
World-renowned feminist, journalist and activist Gloria Steinem once said, “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights. I couldn’t agree more. Yet, whenever I think about women’s struggle for equality, I can’t help but also think of human rights in general, and how equality remains elusive for so many people beyond just one’s gender. This has really been top-of-mind for me lately and I find myself reflecting on how to most effectively raise awareness against bias.
My starting point: We need to understand that “different” is our connecting thread to one another’s humanity. It’s something that should be welcomed and embraced.
I believe it’s our responsibility as human beings to take an interest in each other and acknowledge all our unique differences. This includes different genders, cultures, skin tones, preferences regarding who we choose to love, and the list goes on and on.
What would life look like if we not only acknowledged all the unique differences amongst us, but also approached them with curiosity, acceptance and celebration too? Would it not provide us the opportunity to achieve more unified, harmonious outcomes with each other?
Why this is important to me!
Well, to move towards true equality, we must change the world’s perception of the word “different” and see it as something wonderful, as opposed to something to be feared. If you believe that the collective human experience is enriched by the individual – uniquely special differences that we all possess – you can then let your guard down and be open towards the differences you encounter in your human experience. Ultimately, to create equality as a society, we need to be honest with ourselves about how and where we “see” differences. Only by doing so can we raise our level of consciousness and help let go of our judgements.
On that note, I challenge you to look from a place of understanding for the beauty in difference before passing any judgement. If you happen to encounter a unicorn in your human experience, may you consciously reserve judgement and embrace it as a gentle reminder that we are all one and it’s our differences that unite us!