Let me tell you a true story.
There was a bug sweeping through our area last week, causing no end of sneezy, eye-watery and hack-inducing misery to every unlucky, wretched soul in its path. Including me.
What started out one day as what I thought were just bad seasonal allergies, turned quickly into fever, cold sweats and enough liquid substance pouring out of every orifice in my face to lead me to believe I had started to melt. I felt so crappy, I went against my best judgment and took one of these nice big, green, goo-filled nighttime flu tablets, and I unwillingly floated around like Jack Sparrow in Pepperland for the rest of the evening and following day.
In all fairness, I never said I was telling an exciting story…just a true one. Point is, this little 24-hour mucous intensive bout put me out of commission for a day. When I awoke from that fuzzy stupor, I learned two things every other adult human being on the planet needs to know:
- I am excessively important and valuable to everyone around me.
- I am, when push comes to shove, expendable.
Things weren’t particularly easy on my family and employer, and they learned a little more to appreciate what I contribute to the their worlds They also learned they could and would survive without me.
On Wednesday, March 8, International Women’s Day, yet another women’s march is being planned, this one in the form of a Day Without Women mass strike with the intention of proving how important women are to the world.
Wow, it must be nice to have that kind of luxury to be able to take a day off just prove a point.
There will be times when we aren’t going to be able to be there for others due to means beyond our control, but to willingly stomp off your duties with the intention of making things harder on others is just selfish. I don’t care if you’re a woman, immigrant, white male, union worker or whatever.
I think women who truly know how important they are to others really don’t want to see others suffer and struggle in their absence. These may include:
- The teacher who knows which young students don’t receive love and encouragement in their own homes. That teacher knows they might be the only friendly and supportive adult that child encounters most days.
- The woman police officer who is the only one a young victim of sexual assault might be comfortable enough to talk to about her trauma. That woman knows she might not just be the key to catching a criminal, but also in helping the victim heal.
- The doctor or nurse who is there for a lonely senior citizen in a hospital or care home, helping them through a frightening treatment by listening to their story, laughing at their joke, and letting them know they are not an inconvenience.
- The soldier who puts the safety of her own community and country before her own comfort, because that’s the reason she enlisted.
- The stay-at-home mother who knows whatever is happening at school or the world beyond, there are no “days off” from being a parent to her own children.
These women might also know a little something more, which is they might not be fully appreciated for their work. Do they care? Well, yes, we all want to know we are needed. Do they consider “sitting out” on principle more important than doing the job they are needed to do? No, they don’t. They also know if their job is vital enough, there will be someone else stepping up to do it.
These women will be at work because they know their immense worth is more than the sum of a paycheck.
For those planning to strike so others know your worth, let me ask you one thing? Do you know your worth? I hope every woman going to work on March 8 does. For those planning on striking, you are about to find out, but you might not like the answer.