Two items stopped me in my tracks this week. Sharing them here on my outboard memory so I don’t forget (and hopefully they will inspire you, too).
On celebrating “small wins” during a long climb toward a goal:
After searching for ways to address this, a few months ago we turned a portion of our weekly All Hands Meeting into a celebration of these small wins. What we do is write the “small wins” on Jenga blocks (they’re a good size, easy to write on, and pretty cheap) and have started collecting them in a pile. Every week the pile grows. I think it’s a neat way to literally show us how the small wins add up to something much bigger—and an important reminder for me to take stock of the forward momentum and keep grounded and grateful for the day-to-day.
This reminds me of the “appreciation glow sticks” that Stanford Medicine X handed out last year. Everyone at the event received 5 glow sticks to give to the people who inspire them as a visible, ritual exchange of regard. I still have the note that Erin Moore passed to me, along with a glow stick. How can we incorporate this into our daily lives?
On lifting up women and girls:
The world is out of balance. Working with indigenous cultures has helped me to see where this systemic imbalance comes from. I have a theory for why men oppress women: It comes down to our fear of intuition. Women give birth, nurture life, need to keep their intuitive sense developed in order to protect their young. What intuition does, if it’s strong, is allow a person to meet the future sooner—and that gives an evolutionary advantage. Because of women’s evolutionary advantage, men had to figure out a way of keeping them in check. So what did they create? A system where intuition doesn’t make sense. Where it doesn’t serve us. Where I think, therefore I am.
But it’s not just about women and girls. We’re talking about suppression of the feminine, including the feminine in men. If you look at the yin/yang symbols, you see there’s a dot of the opposite hemisphere in each side. There’s yin in yang, and yang in yin. Our culture looks down on the qualities that come with the feminine hemisphere. In terms of trying to rebalance things, the first stop must be girls and women. Because violence against women is not a women’s issue. Period. It’s a men’s issue. It’s a human issue for sure, but it’s a men’s issue. There aren’t many women perpetrating violence against women. And it’s mostly a men’s problem because of what gets suppressed in men early on.
The idea that women are more likely than men to listen to an inner voice resonates with my fieldwork, such as women who tell me about birthmarks being “a little note from God” or having “a feeling I couldn’t shake.” And then that turns out to be what saved their child or themselves from remaining undiagnosed or untreated. I have stories of men who report similar intuitions, but far fewer. What other evidence do you see in the world that supports or refutes Peter’s thesis?