If the sky above you,
Should turn dark and full of clouds
And that old north wind should begin to blow
Keep your head together,
And call my name out loud,
Soon I’ll be knockin’ upon your door
Recently I was wandering around the San Jose airport, killing time before a late flight home from a business trip. My boss had departed, and I realized I had just enough time to squeeze in two glasses of wine before boarding. I easily found an inviting wine bar within hearing distance of my gate and snagged a seat in front of the bartender. After pretending to read the intricate details of each red wine offering (if there’s no Chianti on the list, I’m at a loss), I feigned an opinion and ordered a glass of their least expensive Cabernet.
I was ecstatic to look up on the giant plasma screen above the bar to see not an obnoxiously loud sports highlight show (baseball season is over- RIP- and it wasn’t a Sunday, so no Broncos) but instead the radiant, ever glowing face of my childhood idol, Carole King. I soon realized that I was watching a DVD of VH1 Divas Live. Now- before you laugh- I too was skeptical. However, I was immediately sucked into an ensemble performance of Carole’s own “You’ve Got a Friend”, performed with fellow divas Gloria Estefan, Celine Dion, and Shania Twain.
Once I got over the sheer magic and talent I was observing, I started thinking about not only the meaning of the lyrics, but also the significance of the team of women singing them. In a world so full of female cattiness, backstabbing, gossip, jealousy, conniving, and competition, it is truly a rare gem to see such pure, respectful, mature, female camaraderie. Sure, we (hopefully) all have a best friend or two to whom we are eternally loyal, but in general, we ladies still have a pretty bad rep as far as respecting our fellow women. I tend to think of myself as pretty decent in that regard, but I’ve absolutely caught myself over the years, skimming through facebook, thinking/saying things that I’m not proud of.
I’m not the type to rant about men, but I’ll just summarize my point as such- at the moment they as a group are really failing at leading the world. Of course I know there are many, many brilliant, compassionate, progressive exceptions to the rule (my personal hero Jeff Skoll being a big one), and it’s always dangerous to make blanket statements like that, but because men are still running most of the world’s governments, large corporations, and organized religions, and because we seem to be moving further from global peace and closer to nuclear war, religious/cultural intolerance, and irreparable destruction of the environment, I think it’s only fair for it to give the ladies a shot at it. Who knows, maybe the presence of the maternal instinct and the absence of the male competitive gene (I know- women can be brutally competitive- and I’m not claiming to be any kind of gender expert here- but I just can’t see most women pulling a Napoleon or overseeing a rape-ridden genocide) will give us a better chance for survival?
The point I’m trying to make is that if women are going to have a chance at applying their intelligence, compassion, logic, hearts, and priorities to make a real dent in global issues, we’re going to have to take better care of one another. There’s room for all of us on that stage. There is plenty of love, attention, success, and respect for all of the Celine’s, Shania’s, Gloria’s, and Carole’s of the world. We’ll all have the time for our solos, but when we’re fortunate enough to share the floor with other beautiful, inspirational females, we need to remind ourselves that taking away from another’s happiness can only take away from our own-it will never enhance it.