A Big Life Question
I’m a long-distance Nana. So, when I found Big Life Journal I was thrilled! Big Life Journal is journaling for children and adults to do together. It is full of stories and questions that inspire big life conversations and sharing moments. With the aid of Facetime, my granddaughter and I had a standing appointment, each week for several months, to journal together.
One week the topic was how one person can make the world a better place for someone else. The question for the week was, if there was one thing in the world that you could change, what would it be?
I had no idea what my Granddaughter’s answer might be. Personally, I had to think about that one. So many things came to mind. But my Granddaughter knew immediately. Without skipping a beat, she answered. “I would like for boys to stop thinking they are better than girls.”
“Dear me. Are boys still doing that?” I asked. “They were doing that when I was a girl. In fact, they were doing that when your Great Grandmother was a girl.”
“Ya! Right? They’re just mean. They say they’re better at sports, faster, stronger, smarter. What makes them think they’re better than girls?” My Granddaughter was adamite about this topic.
Equal or Respect?
“I understand.” I say and truly mean it. “Boys have been doing that since the beginning of time. I don’t know why they feel the need to put girls down. I wonder if they even know they’re doing it. But let me ask you this. Do you want to be equal to boys or respected by them?”
I received the look that said, ‘you lost me’. Trying to clear-up the confusion I asked, “Do you like doing everything that boys seem to enjoy doing?”
My granddaughter wrinkled her nose. “No. Boys are silly. They like to chase each other, push each other down and wrestle. That’s not fun.”
“I get what you’re saying. Remember, I raised two boys.” I remind my Granddaughter. “Boys tend to be physical. They like to run and jump and climb. But I bet there are some things that boys do that you like as well. I know you play soccer. Do you enjoy that?”
“I like soccer. But boys say, girls are not good at soccer. And that’s just not true! My friend Jenny can run faster than some of the boys and they still make fun of her.”
“So, being equal did not stop the teasing?” I quizzed.
Tilting her head to one side, my Granddaughter stopped to think for a moment. “No, it didn’t. So why do they tease us?”
Life is Not About Equal
“Because it’s not about being better or equal. You just told me your friend can run faster than some of the boys and they still teased her. Addison, do you know what respect is?
“I’m not sure.”
“Respect is when one person values another person for what they do instead of who they are, what they look like or where they come from. Many years ago there was a women’s movement called Women’s Liberation. That might not have been the best name because some people thought it was about women wanting to be equal to men. But a few years ago, I heard one of the leaders of the Women’s Liberation movement say that it wasn’t about equality it was about respect. About respecting the talents, capabilities and perspectives each of us brings to the table. And that when all the talents, capabilities and perspectives come together the world is a better place.”
“Ya! That’s it. I want them to respect girls. So how do we make them do that?”
“Well, I suppose you could say something like, everyone is good at something, glad you found your thing. But don’t forget, boys deserve respect too. Besides, no one can make someone do something they don’t want to. It’s more important that you respect yourself and show the boys why you deserve their respect. Don’t let their teasing make you think less of yourself. Remember, every boy on the face of the earth is here because of his mother, and I bet he thinks she’s good at everything.
A big smile spread across my Granddaughter’s face. “And that’s something boys can never do!”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“Be a Mom.”
Thank you to Big Life Journal, https://biglifejournal.com