First Annual Fundraising Breakfast May 29, 2009
At the 2006 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Former US. President Bill Clinton said, "I worry about all these grand ideas that we promote here working to benefit ordinary people. If ordinary people don't perceive that our grand ideas are working in their lives then they can't develop a higher level of consciousness."
(Ode Magazine, April 2009, Jurrian Kamp)
I. Let me clear: Women Writing for (a) Change is not a grand idea. It is now, and has always been, an operating system. Yes, I said operating system, functioning in the lives of thousands of women and girls, an operating system based, not on an idea, but a SEEING, a bona fide Vision that when women and girls are safe, empowered, prosperous, expressive and authentic, so is society.
As long ago as the mid- nineteenth century British poet Matthew Arnold wrote: If ever the world sees a time when women shall come together purely and simply for the benefit of mankind, it will be a power such as the world has never known.
(The revision I suggest from the vantage point 18 years of WWf(a)C experience is: when women
come together purely and simply for themselves for a change, the benefit to humankind is a
power the world is just beginning to know.)
Yes, everyone sees it, and data from every international aid and NGO (non-governmental organization) on the planet confirms it: the well-being of women and girls trickles up, and all around, for the benefit of humankind.
But I see that few if any of the Seers (or the program creators) go so far as to do what they see.
Let me be clear about what every person in this wwfac system is DOING. Every writer, every staff member, board member, is engaging in a set of practices for:
- seeing what we see
- feeling what we feel
- remembering what we remember
- knowing what we know
And then, critically, Giving Voice to what we see, feel, and remember not as THE TRUTH, but as a piece of the truth which the larger world needs, and will be deprived of if we do not learn to access and express it.
II. How do we do this?
- by writing, both together and individually, wherein we listen to ourselves for a change
- by having that writing heard in the WWf(a)C community process wherein which we access even more insight than when we were writing.
III. And what does this doing create in our lives?
Worth, health, safety --dare I say happiness?
IV. And what does it uncreate:
Poverty: both material and physical, submission to lies, abuse and violence; low self worth, depression
V. And how does this personal operating system affect larger social systems?
Everyone who has ever been here long enough to integrate it, has operating in her life the
- access and give voice to her piece of her family's/ community's truth and genius,
- as well as the capacity to create space for others in diverse settings and for many purposes to access and give voice to their truths and gifts.
This then, is that elusive "higher consciousness" which Bill Clinton referred to a consciousness which does not sacrifice, but instead requires the uniqueness of each part and its point of view. (Macy and Brown, Coming Back to Life, p. 44)
VI. Finally, this is why you were invited to support this work:
Because we have learned in our eighteen year history that our resources will come only from those whose vision allows them to see that WWf(a)C is not just a writing school, it is not a grand idea, or even an old-paradigm "change" organization, it is a living system, operating on the genius of every one of its constituent parts and visible---and therefore invisible because it’s not able to be counted----in the relational lives of everyone who ever fully experienced what happens wherever a person experiences the truths of her life and commits them to language.
VII. And that, my friends is leverage, is bang for the buck, is an organization helping to shift consciousness from:
- about me to
- about Us to
- about All of Us. ( phrase from Ken Wilber in Ode Magazine,May, 2009)
Thank you in advance for your support.