I have often been challenged to describe why it is important to empower those in our world, especially why it is important to empower women. Women, who others may believe will never live their dream or even work to their potential because of the political or cultural environment in which they live.
Before answering, I reflect on the changes I have seen in the lives of those which I have mentored. The confidence they developed, the liberty they found in freeing their creative minds and finding their own solutions, the ability to stretch themselves to the limit and bounce back again – intact and fully empowered. These men and women wove their own historical tapestry and I stand in awe of what they discovered within themselves and how their lives and businesses were transformed.
Mentorship is a leadership trait. It is the ability to draw out the best in an individual and to engage them in a practise that allows them to recognize without fear who they are and what they were born to do. Upon that discovery the mentor then can guide and coach them towards their self-described dreams and goals. It is not hard to understand why folks cannot grasp mentorship when the old human expectation is that when mentorship is completed, the mentee will have conformed in some way to our limited knowledge of ourselves.
And so when I am asked about why I would care about a woman far away from me – I can only smile and say that all men and women, boys and girls are at some point to someone else – a symbol of hope. It is true that I cannot transform the life of another but she can transform her life if she knows someone cares. It is true that I cannot bring riches into the account of another but she can when she discovers her self-worth and works towards her net worth. It is true that I cannot change the political landscape for every woman in every country but I can start here at home but educating Canadian women on the power of mentorship. And it is true that while I cannot define anyone else – I can define myself so I am not defined by another.
I am a good farmer. I am a courageous writer. I am an intense motivational speaker. I am a deeply compassionate and driven person.
Who are you?
Surely as a leader it is not only my duty but my desire to invest in people. Why? Because I believe that empowerment changes lives, one little word, action or act of kindness at a time. Because I believe that all women are priceless. Keeping our sisters who are in the depth of despair blocked out of human consciousness does not change one life or give a single ray of hope. Only when we care enough to be fully engaged and willing to part with some of ourselves will we empower the women who lead, feed and beautify our world.