“...in a time lacking in truth and certainty and filled with anguish and despair, no woman should be shamefaced in attempting to give back to the world, through her work, a portion of its lost heart.”
Louise Bogan was appointed Poet Laureate of the United States in 1945, when the country was trying to recover from World War II. Her lines quoted above are the opening words of Sarah Ban Breathnach's book, Simple Abundance—A Daybook of Comfort and Joy. When times are difficult, it is the feminine, whether in women or in men, that brings heart/soul back into a culture that has lost it. Hear these words of Willa Cather: “Her eye, her ear, were tuning forks, burning glasses, which caught the minutest refraction or echo of a thought or feeling...She heard a deeper vibration, a kind of composite echo...” What is needed in the world right now is revival of the deep feminine. It seems as though we have strayed off course into the harshest sort of self-interest, and we must find our way back.
When a nation loses its feminine heart, it begins to value money and power over humanity. It is indifferent to the plight and suffering of the most vulnerable of its people. Life is reduced to grasping, and those who cannot grasp are considered to be “collateral damage.” I had a conversation with my friend, Anna, last night about the way the world has changed just in our lifetime. Of course, we both grew up in small Southern towns, she in Mississippi, and I in North Carolina. During our childhoods, businesses were people centered—companies cared about their employees and their communities, before their bottom line. Maybe that was because they lived with the people who worked for them, went to church together, ran into each other in the grocery store and at the ballpark. There were few if any shareholders to please, no boards or corporate structures. Just people to people. Even the factory owners, who held all the power, knew that if they didn't take care of their people, they themselves would suffer, as would their product.
We don't have to continue down this path. We can revive the feminine soulfulness of business. It will not be done by governments. It will be done by people who have beating hearts; people willing to take a portion of what they have and share it. We have some good role models in America—Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and many others. But you don't have to be a billionaire to lend a helping hand where it's needed. You can be a good neighbor, a kind person, someone who speaks hope and values relationship over self-interest. We are decent people, by and large, and as good-hearted human beings, we need to step up.
In the Spirit,