Before I dive in – one of my favorite supporters on the weekly letter, who is male – my Dad – wrote me last week with a concern that I might hate men or blame them for our serious environmental and social problems. Here he is referring to the Masculine versus Feminine Economy I wrote about in last week's letter. And he has brought up a good point. So I want to clarify (I cannot speak for the original author: Jennifer Armbrust, only my interpretation of her work). Masculine versus feminine in these models to me is about cultural values not gender or sex. Men have plenty of “feminine” values and vise versa. I am drawn to the models not for the purpose of demonizing men or even masculinity but to point out a need to bring our values into balance. More women in leadership helps with this as does men accepting and prioritizing “feminine” values. And bringing things back into balance helps everyone.
Why is this important? Because we tell women that the strengths they bring are not valuable. That they are valuable people only when they embrace the “male ” or dominant culture economic principles: competition, profit worship, perpetual consumption. What I want to emphasize is that there are a different and very important set of values that can change the outcome of what our world looks like. When both women and men incorporate these principles we get a different end game. Take Elon Musk (he’s a man) and a great example of a leader walking the line between the values of the dominant economy and the “feminine” economy. His vision, action, and drive to create green technologies is both profitable and sustainable. It gives us hope and allows us to witness real momentum towards a better future. And he is doing it in the U.S., creating jobs where people in our communities build a greener way of getting around or storing energy.
Moving along to today’s Letter, this is going to be a short one because things are heating up at Reid Miller. I want to spend a moment to talk about my recent adventures in positive, solutions-based thinking. As things get more and more challenging preparing to launch the made to measure production, it has become vital that I hold fast to a positive attitude about what is possible in this world. The facilitator of our recommended we read Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Written to Reverse Global Warming by Paul Hawken. Each morning, in place of the newspaper reading over breakfast that I was doing on the soap opera that is currently our democracy, I read about 1 solution that is being implemented to reverse global warming. The book is beautiful, with photos of the solutions in real life, used by real people somewhere in this world. 1 solution=2 pages of reading. (It does not mean I am putting my head in the sand, just shutting down the time I spend reading articles that contributing nothing positive to what I am able to do or be, but rather zap energy and optimism.) I am finding that subtracting this energy drain and substituting positive, practical and empowering information is a small but extremely impactful thing to do to remind us how much power we have to make our world better.
It makes you realize that the reason we think that our problems are too big, too insurmountable, is because we are flooded with problems in newspapers, blogs, radio, and television, and very few of the solutions that are actually taking place as we speak make it through to us. But they are out there. Skeptical? Pick up a copy of The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Written to Reverse Global Warming and join me to begin each day with 1 solution and the knowledge that we can join these early adopters and have a positive impact on the future of our world. Or maybe it will provide you with a positive boost to carry you through a challenging day.
Last night we had our Women's Changemakers meeting to support women working on entrepreneurial solutions to environmental problems. I will report back next week.
Thank you for your support.