Editorial

All you need to do is look within

It’s become such a popular word. We use it nearly all the time, especially for women.

I am referring to the verb ‘empower’.

What exactly does it mean? The dictionary says: ‘To give someone or something the authority or power to do something.’ To me, that implies an external input. In my view, women are innately empowered. It’s an internal process. They have everything it takes to authorize their progress, to give themselves the power to shape their lives.

Every woman is empowered simply because all of us, every one of us, is gifted with qualities, talents, abilities, and possibilities to make a difference in our own lives and the world. We are all rich with accomplishments in waiting.

One of my close friends from college was a bundle of talent. She was intelligent, ambitious, and determined to make a name for herself professionally. She scaled heights in her career, always brimming with confidence. But there was another side to her – as a wife. Her relationship with her husband was rocky. Despite her professional success, she found herself drawn into a spiral of doubts regarding herself.

Her parents could not understand her career ambitions; this was an additional source of friction in her life.

Eventually, she moved to Europe and raised her daughter by herself. Those were tough years for her. Some days, she would cry in despair. Could she persevere? Yes, I would tell her, you can, and you will. I tried to banish her doubts, boost her confidence, reminding her of her strength, determination, and spirit in building a successful career for herself. ‘Look within,’ I would tell her. ‘Everything you need to stride ahead is already there in you. It’s always been there. You just need to rediscover it.’

The strongest of us hit a weak moment sometimes. And that’s alright. At such a time, a helping hand, a motivating thought, a hug, an encouraging pat on the shoulder is like restarting a stalled engine. I call it empowering the empowered. You are reminding them that they have what it takes. It’s to encourage them to reread the chapter on possibilities.

I believe it is essential for each of us to reach out and appreciate the spirit of the women in our lives: mother, sister, relative, friend, colleague, neighbor. Every woman is innately empowered; her unique abilities are proof. She will forge ahead using her potential. But if she falters for a moment or two, just remind her of what she has achieved and never to give up.

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