Sunday, March 30, 2008


I've spent a good part of the afternoon thinking about a quote I read today.

"Well-behaved women seldom make history."
- Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

My instant reaction:
  • I'm boringly well-behaved so I won't be making much history
  • I've never wanted to make history anyway
  • Why would anything in my life be worthy of history, even if I acted out
After a bit more reflection on the misbehaving Britney's, Lindsey's and Paris' who are making the news today I decided if that's what it took to make history I was glad I didn't have it.

A few hours later it hit me, these misbehaving girls are making the news today in a world that glamorizes scandal and flash, but are they really making history? Will someone 500 years from now look back at our generation and ponder how these types of women changed the world? I hope not, I hope that instead they will look back and see pioneering woman who broke through the glass ceiling, woman who started micro-lending funds providing opportunities for woman in developing nations to start their own businesses, and woman who taught and raised a future generation who went out into the world and made it a better place.

Still, I think there is some truth in the statement that in order to be remembered by history a person (man or woman) has to step away from the norms of life. He or she can't sit by quietly and let the world happen to them, instead she has to stand up when others are sitting down and speak up when others are sitting quietly.

I also believe that you don't have to be world famous to make history. Exceptional lives lived today can influence a generation of children and grandchildren. After all where would I be if dad hadn't thumbed his nose at the doctors who told him he'd never walk or have children.

I think the quote resonated with me today because I've spent a lot of time during the past month, or even the past couple of years debating the path my life has taken. I didn't imagine I'd work for a company with only 3 women, 2 of whom never leave Lausanne. I didn't imagine I'd find myself the only woman (well except for the occasional wife/girlfriend who come and go) living in a compound in the middle of Delhi with a group of smart, talented men, or that'd I'd have to stand up and shout a bit more than is comfortable just to be heard above the general chatter.

If anything I thought I'd be more like the ladies I met Tuesday morning whose husbands are here are on work assignments. The ladies get together as a support network to help them navigate the challenges of living in a foreign country. I looked forward to talking to a group of women, but it quickly became apparent that I was a bit of an oddball - the only one there who was working. How did I, the girl who was never comfortable talking to a group of men, become more comfortable with my male dominated work group than with a group of woman?

I've veered off course, and to be honest I have no answer, I just know, it's been a reflective Sunday in Delhi and what good is a blog if you can't pound out a good rant once in a while.
Pin It


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...