Which group of people most appreciates that the future health of our planet is under genuine threat?
Which group has the deepest, most intuitive understanding that all our major problems are interrelated, and must therefore be solved holistically and simultaneously?
Which group knows, more than anyone else, that the damaging consequences of our current ‘way of doing things’ – in the areas of business, government, religion and society – are strongly related to an imbalance of masculine and feminine values?
Which group is in the best position to address these problems by harnessing Earth’s greatest source of renewable energy: the untapped potential of a billion daughters, sisters, mothers and grandmothers?
How will wise women save our world?
Wise women will firstly unite around the single message, ‘Enough is Enough’. This phrase proclaims unambiguously that, for the sake of our collective future, the status quo cannot continue. The time has gone for ‘business as usual’ … ‘domination as usual’ … ‘exploitation as usual’.
Wise women will have the courage to place their commitment to a better world above their loyalty to any colleague, neighbour, entity or ideology that they believe is having a damaging effect on individuals, society or the environment.
A rising tide of wise women – within families, communities, corporations, governments – will carry within them the insight, determination and capability to exert positive influence in every direction: top down, bottom up, peer to peer … at home, within the workplace, at the bus stop. Much of this influence will be subtle – one gentle nudge after another – but the combined effect, over time and around the world, will amount to a seismic shift.
Wise women know that current genuine attempts to solve world problems are disjointed. They understand that these attempts are largely constrained by conflicting agendas and traditional systems and structures often based on a ‘command and control’ management approach highly unsuited to dealing with complex, contemporary issues.
Because they understand that global problems are intertwined, wise women will bring about simultaneous positive change across a wide range of issues, including:
• Global conflict and warfare
• Poverty and hunger
• Human rights violation
• Social injustice
• Human trafficking and slavery
• Climate change
• Environmental degradation
• Deteriorating levels of wellness
• Domestic violence
• The suppression of girls of women
Wise women know we can’t effectively address these issues just one at a time, nor in isolation from each other.
Wise women will direct their initial efforts towards areas that offer the greatest leverage. For example, they will quickly enhance their own wisdom by drawing upon that of each other, their elders and of indigenous peoples who have successfully lived in a sustainable manner for generations.
An urgent role for wise women will be to connect with the organisations of other wise women, to define and align their purpose, intention and strategy. The first manifestation of ‘Enough is Enough’ will be to assert that the fragmentation of organisations currently focussed on women’s rights and empowerment must cease. Wise women from all these groups will collaborate to increase unity, solidarity, consensus and effectiveness.
Wise women know that many girls and women currently being disadvantaged feel they are alone in their suffering, and powerless to change their situation. Connecting these girls and women to others will reduce such feelings of isolation and convey the second unifying message, “You are not alone. We will all support each other”.
Wise women will see their main role as being catalysts for change. While they will lead by example, they also know the folly of allowing themselves to be consumed or burnt out by the ‘doing’ aspects of change; each knows their most valuable contribution will be as a healthy and energetic influencer, mentor and connector.
Wise women understand that it is not about men vs women, and never was. They understand that their nurturing work in healing the planet and its people does not involve a gender war, and must not be perceived as such. Wise women know that adversarial approaches toward resolving issues are a major root cause of our current mess, and hence will not be part of the solution. Rather than fighting fire with fire, wise women will bring to each flame a cooling mist of water … they will guide the oxygen towards a nobler cause … they will take fuel from the fire’s path and turn it into food.
Wise women know that their greatest ally is wise men, and will therefore garner their support around a consistent philosophy, message and strategy.
Wise women will design ways in which to harness, for the purposes of healing and sustainable development, Earth’s second greatest source of renewable energy: the currently misdirected capacity of numerous boys and men. This daunting yet critical task must parallel the rise of women, in order to adequately answer the following question which, while it may sound flippant, actually requires serious consideration: “What are we going to do with all this spare testosterone?”
Wise women will frame their plans for the emergence of feminine values within big picture goals such as ‘reducing pollution’ … ‘alleviating poverty … ‘achieving justice’ … ‘restoring basic rights’ … ‘fostering peace’.
When communicating their views and intentions, wise women will avoid divisive absolutes such as “This is what women think” or “What else would you expect from a man?” Wise women know that such statements only serve to polarise issues and reinforce existing prejudices and stereotypes.
Wise women will use every trick in the book (plus some not in the book) to right wrongs and heal our planetary home. Their rallying cry – and third unifying message – will be: “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”
When sharing their wisdom and influencing others, wise women will use, in addition to logic and argument, every form of creative expression such as dance, song, art, storytelling, satire, video, social media, local events and coordinated worldwide action.
In marshalling their fellow citizens, wise women will energise their movement with a force that merges three key phenomena:
• The empathic nature of girls and women
• Collective human wisdom
• Digital technology
Wise women will fully exploit this timely fit between empathy, wisdom and the digital revolution. The essence of empathy and wisdom is invisible, a product of mind and spirit. As such, it can be rapidly shared and amplified across the globe through digital means.
Wise women will take full advantage of digital technology to rapidly capture and disseminate information, stories, insights and advice. In particular, they will exploit the relative anonymity of the online world to connect to other women, form support networks and share proven tools, techniques and tactics. This online sharing, learning and support will occur without the need to pass through a filter of masculine values, and without permission being required from any real-world source of control, be it a husband, father, government or religion. For many girls and women, empowerment by stealth will be their only option.
Wise women will create a movement that has no central home. Instead, it will mainly reside and flourish within the hearts and souls of millions of individuals, on their smartphones and laptops, and throughout cyberspace. Importantly, within a matter of minutes, segments of the movement will be able to transform from scattered and elusive to focussed and forceful.
Wise women will plan and prepare for the inevitable powerful and well funded attempts to undermine their efforts. Dissolving these barriers will require the greatest wisdom of all.
Wise women know that, just as there is great diversity amongst humans in general, there is a wide range of personality and character types within the female population itself; this includes many women whose values, beliefs and behaviours actually have a damaging rather than nurturing effect on the world around them. While some of these women may, for whatever reason, lack empathy and compassion, others will resist change because they have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. Wise women know that these peers, along with the men who have a similarly damaging effect, will always be part of the problem and never part of the solution.
Who will push the button to set in motion the massive collaboration and action needed to rapidly improve the state of the one and only home we have?