ILCA Women’s Networking Group

Women of the World; Sisters in our Struggles by corumkeller
April 1, 2009, 6:01 pm
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By Christa Orum-Keller


In tough times, it can be easy to get down.  To dwell on and see the dark side of things.


Recently I was at a dinner reception.  I was smiling, evidently quite brightly.  Someone walked up to me and said, “What are you smiling about during times like these?  You can’t be happy about the business climate.”  My response, “Smiling is better than the alternative.”


And it is!


When something is a challenge to me, and I begin to feel downhearted or overwhelmed, I always go to the big picture, the greater global community or severe moments in history to gain perspective.  It’s not as bad as it could be and I can get through this!


Recently, I have read and heard so many stories about women across the globe, their tremendous struggles, their lack of choices, their plight in trying to keep their children safe, clothed and fed, the dangers they face, and I find myself feeling extremely lucky to be a woman born in the United States.


Even though there are many enlightened men, and many wonderful fathers, husbands and partners to we women, for the most part, we still bear the greater burden in the way our families and partnerships are organized.  From the physical act of bearing children, to home responsibilities to juggling school drop offs, play dates, doctors’ visit, birthdays, lessons, sports, holidays, elder care, and the list could go on and on.  Our attention is diffused in a much broader way than for most men.


But, just as I will give thanks for the busiest days in our business operations this spring, we must give thanks for the possibility of the many choices we have as women in the United States, no matter how complicated, stressful or plentiful they are.  I was listening to NPR recently and from what the female interviewee was saying, it suddenly dawned on me that women all over the world look to us as their role models for change, development and – for defining feminism.



Women’s Facts:

·         Females in developing countries, on average, carry 20 liters of water per day over 6 kilometers

·         Pregnant women in Africa are 180 times more likely to die than in Western Europe

·         Of 1.2 billion people living in poverty worldwide, 70% are women

·         80% of the world’s 27 million refugees are women

·         Women own around only 1% of the world’s land


Think about that.  And then think about what you are doing as a role model for women in the world.  What is your position on feminism?  What are you doing to support your sisters? Are you reaching out to women across the world in some way?  Something small which you can do might mean something enormous to a far away woman.


Give thanks for every conflicting choice you have!

Give yourself a break when you feel you are doing all too many things and none of them well.

Give yourself the gift of nurturing care when you need restoration…




2 Comments so far
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You nailed it! We are the luckiest people in the world and ought to realize it. Yes our society has it’s faults. And we need to change them. But there is a reason prople all over the world want to come here, we have it really really good.

And about deciding to be happy, again couldn’t agree more. I went through a tough summer last year with cancer. People would tell me I was so positive and happy for a person in Chemo. And I told them, I can’t change anything about the disease, but I can control my attitude. I can be Happy or I can be miserable and I choose happy. Seems like a no brainer to me.
Finally, it helps to be working in an industry where life and growth and renewal are the heart of the business. If you’re miserable go outside and look closely at the buds opening,it’s a miracle.

Comment by Karen Morby

Karen –
Thank you for your kind commets. YOU are an inspiration!

Comment by Christa Orum-Keller

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