Can you imagine a world where everyone had to figure out everything for themselves? A situation where nobody could learn anything from anybody else. Languages wouldn’t evolve, any breakthroughs in Math and Science would have to be repeated over and over again. Progress would only ever be able to go so far. And not very far at that. It’s doubtful that every new person would be able to figure out how to start a fire, then how to use it to make goods and so on. An individually isolated humanity would never advance beyond hunter-gatherers - if they even survived at all.
What if we were allowed some freedom - say you could communicate with the people in your community, but no one anywhere else. You would make some progress. People could pass on some of their knowledge and so on. You may even be able to get to where we are right now, but it would surely take longer.
What am I getting at? As the famous saying goes,
“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself."
The world thrives when people learn from each other. Not only when they build on their successes… but when they redirect from their mistakes. The journey of progress is signposted by dead ends, not one ways.
I’m placing a higher calling on all women, not just to be CEO’s or politicians - nothing so specific. In whatever it is that they do I am calling women to be trailblazers. To be the kind of people who rise above the norm and explore the unknown. Those who are not afraid to barge through any barrier in front of them. Who keep going, when everything seems to be to trying to push them back. They keep going even if it gets darker, even if they lose sight of the horizon because they know that it takes valleys to get there. That going forward will sometimes mean going down before coming back up.
There was once a man who said he will blaze a trail into unreachable places so that his grave could become a steppingstone for those who follow. I implore you to do the same. And I don’t just mean the grave at the end of your life, I mean all the previous versions of yourself that had to die so the newest one could rise up. I’m talking about the grave you buried insecurity in, the resting place of depression, the burial ground of anxiety. Each and every time you put to death one of those things you have the opportunity to place a marker on the path for someone else’s journey.
But they’re never going to see it if you cover it up. If you have story, a testimony of the battles you fought, why would you hide it? You need to tell the world. Some people need to see how the phoenix formed before they even think about rising from the ashes. Some of you have cried enough tears, for generations to come. But most of you will allow future generations to cry the same. You see, when you share your story, you break the cycle. When you learn from others you avoid making the same mistakes. Instead, make new ones and build upon the collective wisdom. Listening to what others went through makes you a part of the restorative process. You can find out what you should do for 99% of the things in your life from others. Then you can focus on figuring out how to revolutionize that 1%. Instead of 1 step further in 100 areas, you can take 100 steps further in one. Distance and depth will always carry more weight than short and shallow.
Allow what has died to lay the bricks for the road to success, awareness, and happiness. The yellow brick road is formed from the golden nuggets of those gone before, but it’s formed for those who are to follow.
Many have gone before so that we may go further. Women have suffered in silence until the last moment when they finally shared their story. Let us not dishonor their lives by repeating their mistakes. Woman to woman, it’s time to blaze your trail.
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