I was running hills earlier this week when I saw a group of women. They were all running different paces, but they would stop and wait for each other. As I sprinted up the hill, I heard them cheering me on. As I got to the top of the hill, I stopped and cheered them on. When they all reached the top, I asked them their story.
Ranging in age from 62 to 85, they were a village of women who had been running together for 35+ years. During our brief encounter, they shared their stories. Stories of the happiness and sorrows of living. Marriages, children, grandchildren, loss, careers (some of them had been working moms, many of them stay at home moms.) A few of them were training for their 138th marathon! And a few of them had never raced. It didn’t matter how different their experiences were, they were each other’s village.
We’ve all heard the saying “It Takes a Village.” Stemming from the old African proverb, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’, this phrase has been used to explain the responsibility of an entire community, an entire village, in the upbringing of children.
In today’s society, it can often seem like we’ve lost the village mentality. It has been replaced with the ‘me’ mentality. The mentality that we have to do things on our own. That if we aren’t like others or others aren’t like us we won’t have anything in common. Instead of the village mentality we often wage battles for those who are different than us. The stay at home mom vs the working mom. The republican vs the democrat. The christian vs the atheist. It’s become an ‘us vs them’ mentality.
But how different would you feel if you knew that being the same as someone wasn’t a prerequisite to getting to know them. That instead of taking the us vs them, you could go through your day assuming that everyone is trying their best, just like you. And when your best wasn’t enough, you would have sisters that had your back, cheering you on. Believing in you!
You can change your thinking and you can start now to find your village. Next time you are at the park, start up a conversation with that mom you see there everyday. Message that person you’ve been following on social media to let them know you would love to meet in person. Send out that email to organize a Mom’s Night Out.
I had to stop my workout to chat with the group of women running. But I’m so glad that I did. Our five-minute conversation inspired me. It inspired me to see a group of women who had been through the ups and downs of life together, but through it all, still met up everyday to cheer each other on.
SisterUp is an action. One that means we are going to lift each other up. We fill in each others gaps. We are each other’s biggest cheerleaders and assume we are all doing our best. We believe that the world will be a better place if we all find our voices. If we all find our strength. If we build a world of strong, supportive sisters.
We are grateful to have you as a part of our village. We are stronger together. #SisterUp.
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