WORLD SAVING Women
March 3, 2013 § Leave a comment
Three Septembers ago, at the Vancouver Peace Summit, the Dalai Lama not only called himself a feminist but also expressed his opinion that “Western women will save the world.”
I’ve read much online, posted since then, folks struggling to figure out what he must have meant.
A little like Monty Python’s LIFE OF BRIAN when Brian’s followers can’t figure out how best to honor his shoes (?) or follow him (?) or argue the merits of his…(?)
We in the West are so very FREE. We enjoy FREEDOMS that allow us, as women, to wonder out loud over anything we want to wonder over. We can WANT to save the world, and debate creating icons or pilgrimages or even public forums, as we work to save the world. We can literally go places and do things that seem to move world saving forward. And we can vote in or out of office leaders who block what we consider best for our world.
We Western women are, arguably, the most politically free of all the world’s women, which is saying something, and the most likely to be strategically ready to save the world.
So, let’s go already, right? Show me how, I’m there. Hooray egomaniacal Western cowgirl, go!!! Yeah, right.
But wait. It was the DALAI LAMA who said this, not an inside-the-beltway talking head or a Hollywood spin doctor or a tabloid psychic.
And he mentioned, also, that it was his mother from whom he inherited his “prodigious compassion.” Okay, now you’ve used the “m” word. We’re listening.
When the “DL” has a suspicion, I personally listen. His suspicions, opinions, whatever you need to call them, hold much more credence with me than any of the nuts and bolts of strategy or the whims of political machines or even the constitutional guarantee of freedoms we enjoy here in the West.
He has literally led millions of people, and their hearts, to turn inside and become better, more. Let’s give him a minute, then.
In the brief personal glance I shared with him recently, in passing, a nod, a stare, my hands at my heart in prayer for some larger-than-my-Protestant-self mystical reason (I genuflect to no one), I felt “where” it is possible that we Western women can go in order to truly save the world.
It is not that we are Western and therefore uniquely qualified to “go there.” It is that we are free to do two things necessary to begin saving the world.
First, we ARE free. Politically, legally. And most of us have lived under progressive enough circumstances that we KNOW ourselves as free. Very young women may even have to google “glass ceiling” and “bra burning” to understand what the fuss was all about one day. This is wonderful. The younger we are, the freer we know ourselves to be.
Which brings me to my Second necessary thing.
We don’t need to want to save the world. We need to come, “where?” To know ourselves. To know and accept our own specific feminine prodigious capacities for understanding aberrance and expressing compassion towards it. We need to BE who we are inside. Be that mother who inspired the DALAI LAMA towards his own compassion.
And then we can rejoice in our great Western woman freedoms and go out and embrace our DALAI LAMA child that is the world and inspire it, overwhelm it if need be, as only mothers can, in great big hugs of loving wonder and fingers wagged gently at naughty behavior and voices raised firm and true when things need correcting now, not later, young man.
Katherine Bigelow’s “depiction does not equal endorsement” point- in reference to her ZERO DARK THIRTY; my gut revolting over the hatred palpable on the screen in ARGO mob scenes- particularly the faces of the women; the underlying violence in Angelina Jolie’s SALT, full of slapping around women and men and political tension- we can watch, but not be that.
We need to be “in the West but not of it.”
What we as women are is bigger. Have we gone deep enough inside to know it?
The DL thinks we can, and will.
I’m watching for evidence in the film industry, sometimes the first line of defense when a thought needs promoting. I’m hoping to find films, directors, writers who HAVE gone deep into that woman we in the West are free to be. Who let her out, in story-line, promos, even in the walks they walk as public or not so public figures.
My brief glimpses of the DALAI LAMA will hold me the rest of my life. And if someone as serene and as influential on the world stage as he is thinks Western women will save the world, well, that’s a gauntlet thrown I’m not going to ignore.
And, to the degree I can influence other women not to ignore it either, I will.