Rudyard Kipling has very succinctly preached how a boy can become a true man. It’s one of my favorite poems – helped me through many tough times. I return to it every time I’m in my deepest lows, and for some time, I’m 14 again – I can restart myself.
The other day, it struck me, that women today – surrounded by possibilities to achieve their ambitions – might need to return to ‘If’ too. In the history of all womankind, today is the best time for all women. They have gained their freedom from most oppression and are able to achieve their goals. However, while competing with men, they are being made to compete with each other too.
Today’s woman is educated, bold and articulate – but most of them still carry old times with them. Just imagine a world where all women stood together – without all the bitching, politics, pettiness – and fought for equal pay, fought against rape, eve-teasing, domestic violence, trafficking and all other issues that still ail them.
Women are being foolish in comparing themselves with men – they are achievers in their own right! All they need is each other.
If you can love yourself when all about you
Shame you for your weight, body or for just being you;
If you can be positive inside no matter what,
Respect yourself and your body too;
If you can bear to speak the truth,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
Or try to protect other women from this plight:
If you seek beauty – and not make it your master;
If you seek popularity – and don’t bully for personal gain;
If you can be Head Cheerleader and Prom Queen
And not prize these titles above being Human[e];
If you can give credit where credit is due,
Nurture your underlings with compassion;
If you can withstand leg pulling and differentiation
And protect others from facing it too;
If you can love your daughter and daughter-in-law the same,
Support them both for their own sake;
If you can teach your son right from wrong,
The strength, ability and respect of other women;
If you can stand up to societal wrongs,
And nip crimes and haters in the bud;
If you can raise your voice for the voiceless,
And give them strength to be like you;
If you can accept the end of a relationship,
With mutual respect and understanding;
If you can put your children above pettiness,
And not give way to alienating;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Woman of worth.