Thursday, March 8, 2018

Thursday Thinking 3-8-18

I came across these quotes this week that have really stayed with me:

Oscars 2018
"...with Coco we tried to take a step forward towards a world where non-white children can grow up seeing characters in movies that look, and talk, and live like they do. Representation matters, marginalized people deserve to feel like they belong and I hope that we made a difference and I hope it's just the beginning. Muchas gracias." 
This came from the acceptance speech Lee Unkrich in response to receiving an Oscar for Best Live Animated Feature, for the film Coco. I saw this film when it came out with a cross-section of Anglo and Latino friends, and we wept big soggy tears in the last several minutes, but with smiles on our faces too. I can verify that my friends of Mexican descent whom I sat with that night indeed cherished this rare opportunity to see themselves and their heritage celebrated so beautifully. Like Unkrich, I too hope it's just the beginning.

Advancing Women in Leadership 2018
"If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together."
Apparently an African proverb, this was quoted by Jo Saxton, a self-described "Nigerian Brit" who was a keynote speaker for this conference that I attended this past Monday. Saxton is a truly inspiring leader and a force to be reckoned with. I look forward to hearing more from her.

This quote captures so much of what it means for me to lead. Rather than try to go it alone, I have found it is always better to build a team and a community. I have often found this to be more possible with other women, who tend to want to lead collectively and collaboratively. The conference was a good day of content, networking, and encouragement. Plus I enjoyed leading two breakout sessions on mentoring in the 21st century.

The World's Deepest Problems
"What, after all, are the world's deepest problems? They are what they always have been, the individual's problems--the meaning of life and death, the mastery of self, the quest for value and worth-whileness and freedom within, the transcending of loneliness, the longing for love and a sense of significance, and for peace. Society's problems are deep, but the individual's problems go deeper; Solzhenitsyn, Dostoyevsky, or Shakespeare will show us that, if we hesitate to take it from the Bible."
This comes from J.I. Packer, and landed in my inbox through a daily email called "The Christian Quotation of the Day." I won't deny that they frequently fall flat for me, but occasionally a lovely one appears. I liked this one because I appreciated the way Packer plainly states the big existential questions of life, in a way that caught my attention. And I'm still left pondering his contrast between individual and society's problems: do I agree with him? Not sure.

Representation Matters
“I remember reading, Marian Wright Edelman, and she was actually writing about children, and it hit me, in relation to kids, and for women as a whole, where she says, 'you can’t be what you can’t see.' If you don’t see it, you wonder if there’s something wrong with you, something's presumptuous, something arrogant about you for wanting it in some way. I think women have a complicated relationship with ambition anyway."
Resonant with the first quote by Lee Unkrich, this was quoted by Jo Saxton (I know, the connections between my quotes in this post run amok) during a podcast interview with Jen Hatmaker that I listened to today. I really connected with Saxton's words regarding the contradictory messages that women receive regarding leadership. We are so often asked to be responsible for things, but just as often are deprived of the fruits of those efforts. And if we press forward and still ask for opportunities and recognition, we are often snubbed or shut down. I appreciated the dialogue of this episode and still hope for change...

What are you reading and hearing? 

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