It is impossible to deny the chaotic dark ethos on our little planet these days. News is terrifying, deeply sad, and disheartening. But what I have been noticing is the light. September 11th occurred when my children were very small …and I was lucky enough to be part of a school that offered great guidance. It is something that has stuck with me and bubbles to the surface quite frequently. They told us to look for the helpers. The intent was, of course, for us to find a way to support our children as they encountered tragedy in life and instill hope. And yet this directive has has illuminated so many other moments. There are so many sources of human warmth, kindness, bravery and inspiration that can be seen as helpers to moving forward. The beauty of humanity is all around us.
In fact, I think all this darkness has stirred up a groundswell of brightness – amazing yet ordinary people whose way of being in the world will encourage a major shift over the next half of my lifetime. I see a change in the way women treat each other. Perhaps it’s the global awareness, perhaps it’s the possibility of connection at anytime from anywhere, or perhaps it’s just the right time. But I see change.
I see women supporting other women. The old patterns of quietly striving to get ahead or stepping on each other are giving way. I see more and more highly successful powerful women using that strength to help others. I have noticed this across the board and think it portends something important. At the very least we are raising the bar for the next generation. It can be as small and simple as sharing news of a new business someone is starting, liking a project online, or even simply a kind word of support. Or it can be as big as asking how can I help and making introductions.
All the connecting and sharing online is translating into real world connection. Businesses, friendships and communities are growing. In local neighborhoods and across oceans great ideas are percolating because of the general feeling of possibility. A possibility that you can do something – that it will reach someone who cares and it will matter. Amidst all this end of the world noise there is change. A friend was telling me about a toast offered on her birthday where someone thanked her for creating a community. This friend is in the midst of incredible success and yet what floored her (and what I think she holds as one of the greatest accomplishments and sources of joy in her life) is the idea of a community she sparked.
There is an authenticity and an honesty replacing the posturing and girl gang mentality. I’ve noticed people holding their space and their truth, and by doing so they’re holding it for others as well. The cool girls are now the ones that are inclusive, listen well, offer a hand, provoke conversation and know how to forgive and be kind. You don’t need to be perfect or the best to belong, hallelujah. I witness women passing along kindness daily.
This all may sound a bit lovey dovey… but it’s been around me and on my mind. I think it’s important to acknowledge it and contribute. And as such, I want to say thank you, to all the amazing gals who have offered advice, asked advice, trusted my guidance, encouraged me to keep going or appreciated something I did. I’m liking this community of kindness.
And to go back to that inspired recommendation to look for the helpers, my point really is to notice the everyday helpers in your life, those people that offer the light. Show your kids the helpers, support a helper or be a helper – we all win.
Just a few of the places I see this light:
Girls on the Run
The Class by Taryn Toomey
Cleo Wade’s Blog
Knocking on Forty’s Instagram
The Children’s School
Ordinary friends all around me… just look.