There Are No Glass Ceilings

It is possible women have been lied to all along;  there is no such thing as a glass ceiling.

In the time since my grandmother’s  birth in 1906, women were headbutting some force, that is for certain.  We were allowed into the military, and shortly after, granted voting privileges.  We were allowed to earn our own living, and we might yet one day be guaranteed equal pay to do so.  We have fought – and continue to fight for autonomy over our own bodies.  And in my life time, we have been allowed to open bank accounts and lines of credit without a man co-signing our debts and co-owning our assets.

Javits Center in NYC – future home to one of many monuments bearing the image of our first female president.

Don’t tell me the ceiling is glass.  It would have shattered years ago under the swell of women rising.  It is granite and the first head to break through was never going to do it with lipstick straight and every hair in place.  This is hard, dusty labor.

Early in the election cycle – when we were all still allowed to hope for better than what we’ve already had, I wanted a different kind of President.  My chief complaint about Hillary was and still is that she is no different than any of the seven men who’ve occupied the oval office in my lifetime , or really, the 19 since my grandmother was born.  Her scandals are no more egregious than Nixon’s, Carter’s or Reagan’s – to name a few.  But her experience is greater than Coolidge, Hoover, FDR, JFK, GW Bush, or Obama – to name but a few more.  I understand the philosophical difference of political opinion where Hillary Rodham Clinton is concerned, but I reject the fallacy that she is too corrupt and not experienced.  All things being equal, scandal and experience would remain ignored in a male candidate.  One need only look to her opponent’s own active investigations, trials, business failures, and lack of even the most basic civic knowledge for proof.

I stand by what I’ve taught my sons and daughters:  gender is no reason to vote for a candidate.  But on Wednesday, it is why we will be celebrating.

Thanksgiving vs. Thanksgetting

Maybe this year, instead of distilling this beautiful life into shooters of thankfulness for daily Facebook consumption, what if we actually share our gratitude, not just our descriptions and defense of it?

Maybe we can honor the people and situations in our lives in a way that brings no recognition to ourselves.  There is no harm in receiving a pat on the back or an “atta girl!” for recognizing that we have so much to be thankful for – but does the search of those things not tarnish the sincerity of our thanks?

Does my friend in Alberta appreciate  knowing how much I appreciate my barista in Raleigh?  Can my former co-worker in Iowa feel the blessing of my love for family, near and far?  I suspect that it is only I, the common denominator – who benefits from the daily chore of social media displays.

Every person I know wakes up each morning and stares down one demon or another.  And sometimes, we all blink.  But what if, starting now, we also face everything that is good and is light?  Let’s  look the person or situation squarely in the eye and say, “I see you, and I thank you.”  And then, we stay still without squirming long enough to give back – whatever it is we have to give.  An ear, a cup of tea, lunch, or a lifetime of companionship.

I’m betting that in the absence of recognition or praise for merely stating our gratitude, we will find the real meaning of gratitude.  And  I’m betting we all have people who will be thankful we did.