Thursday, February 9, 2017

She Persisted


I try to not use the forum of this blog for political comment.  Recent events have made that increasingly difficult.

I am an old white woman living in Canada.  That gives me certain...privileges...that others do not share.  I also happen to be liberal leaning in my politics.

Recently a female politician in the United States was shut down from entering into the record a letter written by Coretta King.  She was prevented from reading the letter, and in fact barred from further discussion on the topic at hand.  The explanation given was that she was warned, given an explanation, but that she persisted.

All of which wouldn't mean overly much except that several men then went on to read the same letter without censure.

Since then the hashtag #shepersisted has gained traction, partly as an expression of the inequality seen in the actions of a women vs several men.  Partly as a rallying call.

But #shepersisted applies to so many layers of human endeavour.  Dreaming a dream, then persisting in making it happen.  Accepting that failure is not the end but persisting through the failure(s) to success.  Being beaten down by the events of life, but getting back up and persisting in putting one foot in front of the other.

#shepersisted is, to me, not just a political rallying point, but a maxim for living.  Over and over again events will conspire against what we want to accomplish.  If ever once we give up, then we have truly 'lost'.  Persisting in the face of discouragement (sometimes from those nearest and dearest to us), persisting in the face of physical challenges (recovering from surgery, chemo, etc., etc.,) persisting in the face of societies quashing of our dreams.

Women - and men - have persisted in the face of discouragement, blocking, derision, bullying.  By persistently working towards their goals, they have given great gifts to humanity - in some cases - to themselves - in others.

Living a fulfilling life, a meaningful life, sometimes means going against the grain of societal boundaries.  But without that persistence, we would all be poorer for it.

On a personal note, my greatest conceit (if you will) was thinking that I could be successful as a weaver in the 20th and now, into the 21st century.  It was not an easy decision, nor has it been an 'easy' life.  But it has been enormously satisfying, when I look back over the 40+ years since I made that decision.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would travel to as many places as I have been, meet so many delightful people, all as interested in textiles as I am, write a book (or two!), grace the cover of Handwoven not once, but twice (thrice, if you count the collection of articles on colour I saw recently advertised.)

And all because I persisted.


Barb said...

Thank you!! Wonderful!

Peg Cherre said...

Indeed. Elizabeth Warren is a model for many of us. I've always been persistent, not taking 'failure' as an end, but instead as the motivation to try another way, approach the problem from a different side, or learn a new skill.

I find it interesting that in most of us, persistence is considered a virtue. But in those with various types of mental or emotional disabilities it is called "perseveration" instead of persistence and considered a problem. Just one more example of how we treat people differently.

lcampana said...

You are missing a very important fact. It wasn't the letter that caused Elizabeth Warren to be silenced. She violated Rule XIX of the U S Senate which forbids making disparaging remarks and character assaults of another Senator. The others that read the letter did not make specific character attacks of Sen. Sessions. There is a difference. She was not silenced for being liberal or for reading the letter. She was silenced for her remarks up to that point.

I do not expect our our Canadian friends and neighbors to understand all the rules of our Constitution and legislative bodies. I don't pretend to know the workings of your government.

It is better that we all just stick to weaving.

Diana said...

Laura's blog. Laura's opinion.

It's okay.

Michele said...

I'm with Diana. I loved this. Thanks.

Michele said...

I'm with Diana. I loved this. Thanks.