Becoming the best version of yourself

Shared From a Friend – –

on August 24, 2012

I love sharing things that friends have sent – I take no credit other than learning how to “cut and paste”!!  Thanks KJ!!


You may notice that in my title I did not say “beautiful” woman.  It is not that beauty is not desired, but meaning and understanding, loving and caring, are more important in my mind.  Our relationships to our friends, our husbands, our families, and our children are far more difficult to accomplish than beauty.
Ultimately, our relationships to men become the most difficult to maintain in meaningful ways.
One way of looking at this is to compare gender roles in this country.  As Gloria Steinem said in 2008,
      “Gender is probably the most restricting force in American life, whether the question is who must be in the kitchen or who could be in the White House.  This country is way down the list of countries electing women and, according to one study, it polarizes gender roles more than the average democracy.” (New York Times, Jan. 8, 2008).  Gloria suggests that the best gender role is one that equalizes men and women.
But I think one problem comes in definitions of roles.  For instance, being called a “housewife” is demeaning in this country; but, if you really think about it, staying home to care for house and children is one of the most challenging roles a woman can have, and potentially one of the most rewarding in the long run.  We have been goaded into thinking that the only meaningful life is that of the professional woman; yet, creativity is not limited to the professions. Many very creative and productive women are at home creatively rearing children, writing, thinking, and making waves politically and otherwise.
Thus, while I believe that the professions can lead to busy, productive, and giving lives, there is no secondary role in being at home “professionally” caring for and creatively giving children happy and meaningful lives.  Our society will be the better for it; our relationships with our children later on will benefit from it; and we will have plenty of time to get the PhD, the CPA, and the MD after the children have matured.  Unlike the 1950′s, however, women are not restricted to staying at home and have many choices for lifestyles and gender roles.  Madeleine Albright is an example of a woman who has been able to live a political life, to write, to rear a family, and to share her insights with all of us after her political life has receded (see Prague Winter, Harper Publishing, First Edition, 2012).
Let us hope that all women can make choices about the courses of their lives in many ways; not be restricted to professional or home lives alone; and be considered meaningful when we choose to show our creativity and energy through child-rearing and husband-supporting.  We will strengthen our country and our children when we have such choices.

One response to “Shared From a Friend – –

  1. Farris says:

    Well said. It infuriates me when people want to bash housewives. If people were only aware of how much fundraising for charities and volunteer work many women dedicate their lives to in addition to raising a family and supporting a working husband, they would quickly realize the true value housewives provide to society.

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