Today is International Women’s Day.
It is a day to pause and allow my thoughts to consider the lot and the contribution of women worldwide and throughout history.
The women I work and live alongside are an impressive bunch of people.
Likewise, are they also at the gym and within my sober online community. (and also among the readership of this blog 😉
Powerful, creative, bright, brave, resilient, loving, inspirational, sharp as buttons and quick as you like.
Awesome people, leaving a wake behind them as they blast their way over obstacles and into the future.
I can name dozens of women in my field of vision who are blazing trails.
However, when I look back on history, I come up short.
I can think of a small handful:
- Marie Curie
- Joan of Arc
- Mother Theresa
- Rosa Parks
- Emily Parkhurst
- Sirimavo Bandaranaike
- Mary, mother of Jesus
And then I start to struggle.
Part of my inability to call more names readily to mind is my ignorance, for which I apologise to those I have missed out.
I do not believe that women have suddenly become the potent, effective and influential people they are in just my lifetime, so they must have existed in their millions before then.
Who were they, and why do their memory and achievements dwell in anonymity?
I can think of only two logical reasons:
- The women of history were kept down and not allowed their chance to contribute to the world stage.
- The women of history left their mark on our evolution story, but the history books wrote them out of the narrative.
A combination of both, most likely.
Both are injustice.
Both rob the women concerned, and we are all deprived as a further consequence.
Whoever you were and whatever you did, here and now, I recognise your unlabelled footprints in the sands of time. Thank you.
What did it feel like to be one of those women?
What was it like to struggle alone in a crowd, to accomplish but not be recognised, to be kept prisoner in plain daylight, to have the results of their efforts confiscated, the accolades of their work given to another?
What must it be like to serve from morning to night and never be noticed, let alone thanked? (I will ask my mum)
I find a small crossover in my life that helps me empathise.
Anyone addicted to something will know what it feels like to be alone in a crowd and relate to being imprisoned invisibly.
Anyone who has fought to recover from addiction knows what it is to fight and serve from morning to night and for no one around them to comprehend their daily achievement fully.
I also know what it feels like to be judged unfairly.
Anyone can be great because greatness is not measured in material wealth but in service to others.
There are many great women dotted anonymously throughout history.
There are many great people in recovery today, where their efforts are serving those in community around them.
I am proud to be one of them.