Just when I thought I had this internal conflict figured out, or at least a resolution decided on, I realized that something about the circumstance, the item, and the purpose stuck around and I couldn’t sell or throw away the issue. The book, Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg came into my possession in January and has felt like an emotional albatross ever since. I had read reviews of the material and had seen online interviews and parts of lectures given by the author regarding the book and something about the presentation of the content gave me a sick, sinking feeling. The whole concept of a woman measuring herself against the ‘white male standard’ and looking in that direction for the definitions of success and leadership just doesn’t fit and I don’t want to waste any of my energy perpetuating such an outdated vision. But, the crazy thing is that I haven’t read the actual words for myself.
I was ready to sell that book, but felt horrible since it was a gift. Nevertheless, I was going to stick to my guns….then, I saw reports regarding the World Economic Forum. The media presented highlights of the wealthy and powerful individuals and business/government representatives that met in Switzerland to discuss global economic issues. I read a related CNN article that pitted two journalists against one another. The male journalist said that the people who realistically make the decisions about how the world operates are at this meeting. The female journalist said that the people who work for the wealthy and powerful matter as well. The article presented itself as a class, power-struggle argument – should those without abundance be pissed and lash out at those with vast amounts; should those who have be content to believe that they are in a bubble of longevity, detached from those who have not?
My reaction to the initial reading about the forum was curious because, as I wrestled with what I thought was an internal conflict dealing with one item (the book), I realized that the topic of the World Economic Forum gave me the exact same heart burn. Two seemingly different topics that had flowed into my line of vision since the beginning of the year that caused the same hiccup in my brain. Could it be that this is the auto-reaction to which I am doomed for 2014, or do these two items share something other than the creepy crawly pit dagger sensation?
So, with my admittedly periphery knowledge of both things, I compared them to see what could be the common denominator. Structure. Structure of a system. They reflected a common structure through which concepts, agendas, discussions and subsequent plans of actions are based and must be measured against to come to fruition.
I understand that modern society survives within a certain structure, but is this structure the one that we should believe in and perpetuate? I’m kind of blown away and insulted that (a)maintenance of this structure, (b)patching up this structure or (c)trying to make this structure work better are the only options that mainstream outlooks want me to believe are even in existence. Why is it presented that the only choice is to find solutions that work within this framework? Perhaps with further analysis, I will find the initial question or awareness about the system that is presented, the conversation about recognizing the concepts that are in place, the structure in which we hold ourselves as a society and if we would even want to perpetuate and give our energy to that vision of the world. Okay…so, further research – I guess that means reading that book…..sigh.
© M.R.Collier, A Way of Your Own, 2014