David Brooks, in his OP-ED NY Times April 22, 2013 column titled “The Confidence Questions” posed several questions, two of which I can personally relate.
“A generation after the feminist revolution, are women still, on average, less confident than men?” First I would like to offer that one generation is an extremely short period of time to achieve parity in issues that go deep back in time. My mother was born in 1916, prior to women winning the struggle just to be able to vote. I was born in 1943, twenty some years before Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, of which I am a direct beneficiary. Overcoming oppression is slow, hard work, but I can say from personal experience it is a blest effort which I proudly wrote about in “God Never Hurries—A Memoir.” And I continue to progress in speaking my truth in this weekly blog.
In response to David’s last question, “In society generally, are more problems caused by overconfidence or under confidence?” I can confidently respond “yes” to both since life got a whole lot easier when I understood that everything is a both/and thing. Over or under confidence get equal billing in my book as troublemakers. And I am getting some insight into their origin, namely that we are not taught about our own inherent goodness. What if we all knew the original blessing we are—could we then more easily speak our truth, and have no need to inflate our importance?
Teilhard de Chardin (1881 - 1955) the great scientist/priest/mystic saw man’s embrace of woman as consummating a union with the Universe, and in turn, growing to a world scale. Whenever I needed a boost to help me find my confidence, my voice, I would pull out an old Xeroxed copy of Chardin’s prayer, “Above All Trust in the Slow Work of God.” Today you can Google it.
We are still birthing Chardin’s vision of the future. What if we learned to first listen intently to one another and then engage in respectful dialogue? Would that bring us closer to Teilhard’s vision?