Each month we ask our readers to respond to a question. For December, 2012, we asked: What would you like to see changed for women or girls?
Provide visionary female elders I dream of a culture that intentionally grows true female elders who guide and provide a living example for girls and women of how to embody their unique beauty, wholeness and utter belonging to the world. I dream of a culture that encourages every woman to discover her particular gifts and to identify ways to bring these gifts to the world. I believe we need to support ... those courageous and visionary leaders and organizations that are helping to catalyze this type of cultural change, especially at the local level.
To my Sisters: Bravely be whole, strong and grounded in mind, body and place, and watch the world rise up to dance with you!
Tracy Sides, St. Paul
Teach girls to navigate social issues We need to create harmony in girls' lives. Starting at a tender age of 10 or 12 years old, a course on "how to encounter social issues" should be offered for one hour a week at school. Social issues can be so many things, for example, social network, family structures, personal relationships, college prep, stress and mental health, along with money management.
We need to create an environment for harmony and the ability for girls to build self-esteem by learning the skills needed to combat social issues. We need to educate them on abuse, sex and owning their destiny.
Mary Ella Smith, Buffalo, Minn.
A lesson from Pakistan: education for all Worldwide, I want more girls educated and willing to speak out. I don't want them shot, maligned or harassed when they speak out for themselves and their sisters, as happened recently in Pakistan. A brave young woman, only 14 years old, campaigned for girls' education and ended up almost dead from a bullet in her brain. Now in a British hospital, her shooting brought Pakistani women and girls to the streets, demonstrating against her Taliban enemies. The whole episode got worldwide attention, but what a price for her to pay.
I learned how disabling illiteracy can be when I was in Japan years ago and couldn't read the street signs when I went out for a walk. Alone, it was a shattering experience. I lost my self-confidence knowing that I was at the mercy of others.
Arvonne Fraser, Minneapolis
Share your thoughts! For the January, 2013, "Best of Intentions"-themed issue we're asking: What are your intentions for the new year?"
"Matters of the heart" is our February, 2013, theme. What matters to your heart? Tell us in 150 words or less.
Send YourThoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org by Dec. 10, 2012 for the January issue and by Jan. 10, 2013 for February.