Treating Your Fellow Wo-man

I know this will come as a huge shock to all of you but after I got home from work, I turned on some Oprah; Oprah’s Lifeclass to be exact. She was in her former Harpo studio with Iyanlah Vanzant, a woman I’d seen speak on her show more than once and whose immense wisdom has always struck me greatly.

The topic of this particular show was how women treat other women. More specifically, how badly women treat other women and why. As I watched it, the reasons seemed glaringly obvious but it’s amazing how someone else explaining it to you in such a visual manner can make such a huge difference.

Basically what it boils down to is that as women, we sometimes treat each other badly because of our own lack of self-worth and value. We compete because we’re afraid that if someone else has it all, there won’t be anything left for us. We gossip because we don’t want to focus on ourselves and because we want to tear others down in order to make ourselves feel more important.

Oprah said something I found to be extremely simple yet profound too. She said “you can tell the difference between a successful woman and someone masquerading as one because a truly successful woman will try to build those around her up and make them successful too, whereas someone pretending to be successful will try to tear others down.” I’ve seen women who do exactly that: tear others down on the pathway of what they think is their success, even their own close friends. I’d never thought about success or being a successful woman in these terms though and I think Oprah hit the nail on the head. I certainly hope I can be a successful woman in those terms.

Neither sex is perfect, that much is true. But it breaks my heart to see how women treat each other way too often. Instead of picking at each other and gossiping about each other, we should be lifting each other up and encouraging each other’s successes and encouraging each other for success. It’s unfortunate that literally out of the womb, our entire sex is pretty much born and conditioned to feel less than. To feel not good enough, thereby making life a constant struggle for self-worth and value (even if you don’t have a physical disability like I do) so we end up turning on each other. I think if society conditioned us to be more empowered, I might be writing a completely different blog right now.

I don’t want to stand here on my soap box though, preach to you, and tell you that here I sit, perfect and uplifting my fellow woman in every way…because I’m not. I’ve gossiped more than I’d probably like to admit. In fact, I did it today and you know what? I felt awful about it afterwards. It’s not worth it to tear someone else down just to make myself feel better or feel more important. I’ve said negative things about other women before out of sheer jealousy. But after watching this show, I want to make a pledge right here and now on this thing known as the Blogosphere:

I vow to stop engaging in gossip or any other kind of behavior that might tear my fellow woman (or any other person for that matter) down. I vow to start lifting my female friends and any other women I may encounter up as much as I possibly can. I vow not to let jealousy get the best of me and cause me to act immaturely or spiteful. I vow that no matter how low my own self-worth may be, I will no longer use it to tear down the self-worth of another.

Thanks Iyanlah (and Oprah)…another aha moment!

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