Thought For The Day

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Thought For The Day

Perhaps the secret of living well is not in having all the answers but in pursuing unanswerable questions in good company.

Rachel Naomi Remen

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Have You Done Your January Clean-Up?

I spent most of the weekend — well at least the part of it that did not involve pre-game, THE GAME, and post-game analysis of the Packers-Cowboys game — pursuing my traditional January clean-up.  I am a Packer fan through and through, and I cannot commit to anything else too big on game days.  Fortunately, my team won, and I did not have to totally abandon the clean-up efforts for pouting and drowning my sorrows.

Even with the concentration on the Big Game, I also was able to work in some serious “clean up and toss out” to keep my January promises to myself.  January is the time of year when I reassess my goals, review my game plan and get rid of everything that is in the way of accomplishing what I set out to do.  I used to joke that the dog should not get in the way of these serious activities or, surely, he, too, would get thrown out!

This is a necessary process for me.  It clears my mind and forces me to think about things that get lost in the frenzy of the other 11 months of the year, especially November through December.  (Speaking of that, I am considering initiating a referendum to move Thanksgiving to a different time of year.  I am not so sure about the historic accuracy of all the Pilgrims-Indians thing anyway, and it sure complicates the Fall calendar.  If we really want to highlight the contributions of the first Americans, we should not be running out on Black Friday to bargain grab and trimming the Christmas tree within days after Thanksgiving.  Really.  Think about it and tell me if you want to join in the effort.)

But, I digress.  My point is that you need to take advantage of the lousy weather in January, which seems to be pretty much nation-wide this year, and do some cleansing of your own.  Save time for some serious goal-setting and throw in a few New Year’s resolutions that you forgot to make earlier this month.  Make it a clean new slate, and reach high.  This may just be the year when you get what you want.  You will never know if you do not plan for it and try for it.

Good luck.  And I know that you also wish me good luck next weekend for the Packers-Seahawks face-off.  If the Packers win, I promise to clean out a few extra drawers to show my appreciation!


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Thought For The Day

You may be whatever you resolve to be. Determine to be something in the world and you will be something. “I cannot,” never accomplished anything; “I will try,” has wrought wonders.

J. Hawes

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Getting Ready for Future Years of The Women

As a follow-up to last week’s blogs on feminism and whether or not it is passe, we need to talk about Senator Barbara Boxer’s recent announcement that she will not run for Congress again.  Twenty-four years ago, the then House of  Representatives member from California led a group of female legislators to crash a luncheon of Senate Democrats and give them the message that women were concerned about sexual harassment and wanted their elected officials to be concerned, too.  It was the time of the Senate confirmation hearings for now Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and the allegations against Thomas by Anita Hill had women across the country shocked and motivated for change.

Although the women led by Barbara Boxer were not successful in getting into the closed-door meeting of Senators, the next year, which became known as the “Year of the Woman,” Boxer won a seat in the Senate as part of a new group of female lawmakers who went to the Capitol.  They formed a strong alliance, and they put Congress on a path of change in reviewing laws that had a disproportionate impact on women and proposing new more protective legislation.

Barbara Boxer is now one of 20 female senators.  The announcement of her impending departure from the Senate is about more than one woman lawmaker.  As pointed out by the Washington Post, it signals that the members of a group of “historically important” lawmakers is approaching the end of their careers.  As a result, a new generation of women will have to step up on women’s issues — in and out of the US Congress.

We would be hard-pressed to tell women like Barbara Boxer that concerns for issues affecting women are behind us and that all of the work has been done and the victories celebrated.  Think about that when you ponder the past, present and future of feminism and the causes it has championed.

Even someone like me, who is more of a woman’s advocate than a feminist and appreciates the contributions of men and their role as allies in the solutions for women, does not want to throw feminism into the trash heap of history.  That is a very short-sighted approach. The better approach is to morph feminism into something that is more compatible with Generations X and Y without losing sight of its important place in our history and in our new global society.

We have more Years of the Woman before us.  We need to be ready for them.

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Thought For The Day

Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

Mary Anne Radmacher

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Thought For The Day

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Thomas Edison

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More on the Vanishing ??? Women’s Movement

In the last blog I gave you some information about current attitudes on the women’s movement, as reported in an article in More magazine, and I asked you what you thought.  Before you make up your mind, consider these facts:

  • Yes, women are earning undergraduate and graduate degrees at an impressive pace; and
  • Yes, women CEOs and other public figures are talking openly about the importance of their personal lives and what they need to achieve a satisfactory work-life balance.

Does this mean that women have achieved their goals and that there is nothing left to talk about?  Does it mean that women are now in positions of power on par with the men and that issues of work-life are not women’s issues at all but really issues for all high-achieving individuals?

It might seem that way when you are competing side by side with men and it is an equal playing field.  Today, with the achievements of the last 50 years, it can feel like gender does not matter.  If you think that, consider these additional facts:

  • Full-time working women earn 77% of what their male counterparts earn;
  • Women with children are seen as less desirable employees than men, according to a recent study at Cornell University cited in the More article.  The results showed that childless women were six times as likely to be recommended for hire as mothers with similar qualifications;
  • Women make up less than 20% of the members of Congress, the lawmakers on matters near and dear to the hearts of women, who want choice about issues affecting their personal lives like abortion, contraception and paid family leave;
  • Women lawyers make up less than 20% of equity partners in law firms today; and
  • Over her lifetime, the average American woman is paid $464,320 less than the average American man.

So, the author of the More article, Jessica Grose, says that it is tempting to look at the progress that has been made on women’s issues and be satisfied with that.  But, she also posits that as unwise, and she produces facts about regression on issues like abortion and access to contraception to support that opinion.  She is glad that young women feel empowered, but she knows that there is much left to do.

As a women’s advocate, I know that we cannot take any of our progress for granted.  As a woman, who studies the profession of law and the challenges to women in that profession, I absolutely know that we must keep the forward momentum going.

Call it feminism, or do not.  What is in a name, as Shakespeare pointed out so eloquently?  It is all about choice — having it or not.

What do you think now?

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