In the latest video in the series of seven in my conversations about Feminine Leadership with Dr David Paul, David shares a great story about a golden buddha.
Apparently, in order to protect it from being taken by an invading army, someone came up with the bright idea of covering up the gold with mud. It fooled the invaders who left the buddha undiscovered and intact. It was decided that it might be safer to keep the mud covering on for a while longer ….. of course the years go by and now nobody remembers the gold underneath!
David shares this as a great metaphor for where women are now.
We have to remember to uncover our gold inside.
In our series on Feminine Leadership David and I have talked about how women hold themselves back. Currently we have an issue with not having enough women on boards; there are not enough women government leaders. Although the system is actually holding women back because there are many occasions when the men have to ‘give permission’ to allow women to move through; the picture is much more complex. There are things that we are doing as women that are not advancing us, or our game. We could change what we do. I asked David what he had noticed that holds women back? (Watch the video)
David responded by asking: Why aren’t there more women prime ministers, why aren’t there more women CEOs … yes we have a few but why aren’t we seeing more women leaders in the 21st-century? Why is it that we don’t we see more women driving the agenda behind the scenes?
Women are nurturing, they care about the environment, the planet. So why aren’t women a real force behind environmental issues? There are women doing that but maybe they are not getting their voices heard ….. why are they not getting the publicity?
There is another place where women could drive change: why do we still go to war these days to solve our problems? Why don’t women mobilise against war ? We could create a women’s movement to stop war, protesting about sending our men away to war… but there seems to be only silence. Yes there is activity but women are doing things in pockets. We are against war but we are not organised as a group of women against war. There isn’t a women’s voice against war in sufficient quantity to make a difference. Why can’t we do something which unites us to fight something out there?
The question to women from David is: “What can you do as a movement, what can you do as a united whole?” David points out that women connect far more easily than men. Women are always talking …. you see them in coffee shops every day. Women get together and talk about social things ……. why can’t we use that time, that force to do something even greater than what women are doing today? That is the question for women.
David says the reason we have not been leading and driving change is because women are not united behind a cause. There are lots of causes but they are not united. It’s like we are putting out small bushfires. We are all working on separate fires, we are not united. Why aren’t the men turning around the global financial crisis? It’s because men have not got the answers….. so we need to women step into the foreground and say “this is what we women have been doing…”
David then shared a story about the Golden buddha in Thailand. When the army was coming to ransack village, the villagers covered it in mud to hide the gold. 100 years later and with the mud still there, everybody forgot about the gold underneath.
That is what women have done … they have hidden their gold, it’s now time to get rid of the mud covering up the gold. Let’s bring out the gold in women. When I was touring Australia earlier this year I was giving talks about The Rise of the Feminine pointing out that the biggest threat to this potential shift in society is women themselves NOT stepping forward. In our own inner talk we often ask ourselves “who am I to do this?”. We have all sort of ways of holding ourselves back. Women have used many barriers and defenses to hold themselves back. In the past we have not been allowed to do many things: it’s not been safe to speak out, many times we’ve been told to keep quiet, shut up and not to say silly things. That probably remains within us still and yet there is a strong part of us is calling us forth to speak. We now have to listen to that stronger voice. David says women should use our conversations to get rid of “all that mud”, let’s really think about what is covering up our gold.
David stressed that this is the of decade change. This is when we are going to cross certain lines globally and not be able to go back. The environment is breaking apart, there is a lot of evidence to say that. Unless women say this is a cause worth fighting for we are going to cross a line where we can’t go back ……. our children, the next generations, will not be able to do anything about it.
We have to be outraged and take action. Just like S A W I D (South African Women in Dialogue), we have to get into conversation to discuss what our priorities actually are. Currently we’re not in that conversation of working out what our priorities are. We are not thinking about how we could make time to create something better. David pointed out that after decades of unrest, violence and destruction in South Africa, things are changing because women are taking an interest. Women are passionate about change. They are getting themselves heard.
It’s time to reach within, discover what our personal gold is inside and bring that forth with conscious and constructive conversation with other women about how we can drive change. Watch the interview on video.
What are you passionate about? What is your gold? What are you doing now that is driving change? I’d love to hear your thoughts after reading/watching this.