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Annette Mattern: On Women and Wisdom

By HERWriter
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When asked how she defined herself, Maya Angelou explained, “I am someone preparing a place for someone who is yet to come.”

In an instant, those words served to liberate me, while simultaneously shoveling upon me so much more responsibility than I ever imagined. Such is the paradox of enlightenment.

As women, especially of my own Boomer generation, we were conditioned to classify our worth through accomplishments, those hard-won merits from a multiplicity of measures that validated the achievement of our potential. “I am,” too often categorized by what goes on a business card.

The freedom in Maya Angelou’s words came from knowing that I am part of a process that is greater than myself and outside of myself.

The responsibility heaped upon me by those same words captured the wholeness and connectedness of women everywhere, women come and gone, women young and old, of every culture and any time.

As we evolve as a community of women and enter the next chapter of our story, those of us who have walked many miles have a responsibility to those yet to come, for a trust was given to us to share the wisdom of that walk. We are the expression of nature that brings balance and harmony and grace to the earth. We have kissed the sky with our joy and clung to life and love with our tears.

Now is the time to live in gratitude, to see the next and the next generations of women as all our daughters and prepare this place for them, that humanity will be better because we were here and we were women.

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