Every Child is One of Our ChildrenPosted October 26th, 2012 by Marianne Williamson
Motherly love – putting the care of children before every other consideration — is the ultimate intelligence of nature.
My own mother saw the world through a rather traditional lens; she was passionately devoted to her husband, her children and her home. And I thought I could improve on that. Raised around the social turmoil and feminism of the Sixties and Seventies, I wanted to go out into the world and do something more important than what I thought my mother was doing. It took me several decades to see the error of my thinking.
What I ultimately realized was that my mother was right to see the care of home and children as a women’s highest calling. It’s just that we’ve evolved now to a broader sense of what this means: the entire planet is our home, and every child on it is one of our children.
Just as we wouldn’t tolerate elements to enter our home that needlessly endanger our own children, so we shouldn’t tolerate elements in the world that needlessly endanger anyone’s children. A common anthropological characteristic of every advanced mammalian species that survives and thrives is the fierce behavior of the adult female of the species when she senses a threat to her cubs. From the lioness to the tigress to the mama bear, any threat to her cubs is met with ferocious response. The adult female hyenas even encircle their cubs while they’re feeding, not letting the adult males get anywhere near the food until the babies have been fed. Surely the women of America could do better than the hyenas.
Yet how can we play this role effectively – protecting not only our own children but also children around the world — if we’re not willing to wield the power it would take to do so?
That is where politics comes in. Currently, the U.S. Congress is comprised of 16.8 per cent women. Our State legislatures are comprised of 23.6 per cent women. Would the state of America’s children be as compromised as it is now, were there to be anywhere near gender equity among our elected officials? Currently, 23.1 percent of America’s children live in poverty; among 35 developed nations of the world, our poverty rate is second only to Romania. In a country where economic power buys political leverage – and children, of course, have no financial leverage – how could it be otherwise? Who, if not the women of the world, will rise up and say, “This will change, and it will change now”?
There are understandable reasons for the lack of female participation in our electoral politics, not the least of which is that the entire political system is contrary to everything a feminine heart stands for. Its mean spiritedness and toxicity represent everything most women are trying to escape. But where does that leave us, if we simply shudder at the thought of politics and then mainly ignore it? It means we will have gone from men telling us condescendingly to not bother our pretty little heads about important things like politics, to not bothering our pretty little heads without even being told not to! The suffragettes struggled and suffered so much on our behalf; what a travesty of everything they stood for, if we simply look away as though we can’t be bothered.
In fact, we should be bothered. Our challenge is to not look away, but rather to transform American politics; to create a new political conversation, our own conversation, out of which we can speak our truth in our own way.
Imagine if we were to insist — as with our collective political and financial power we could — that the amelioration of unnecessary human suffering become society’s new bottom line. Making money more important than the welfare of your own children is a pathological way for an individual to run their affairs, and it’s a pathological way for a society to run its affairs. From the 17,000 children on this planet who starve to death each day to the millions who lack a basic elementary education, from the relative complacency of the industrialized nations to the brutalization of women through the world to the billion souls among us living as best they can on less than $1.25 a day, the sleeping giant of a conscious and awakened womanhood that can help stem the global tide of lovelessness and fear.
An event called SISTER GIANT: Women, Non-Violence and Birthing a New American Politics (www.sistergiant.com) will take place in Los Angeles on November 10-11, 2012. Also available on live stream, Sister Giant will help incubate a politics of conscience, through which women can help shift the ordering principle of human civilization from economic to humanitarian values. May all of us rise to the occasion, for the sake of our children and the planet that is our home.