Opinion: Look to women for role models in all areas of life
- Alyson Bear | November 02, 2017
When I think of role models the first person who comes to mind is my grandmother, Ruth Cameron. Grandmothers, and mothers play a vital role in our lives.
Women are constantly multi-tasking taking on all sorts of roles, inside and outside of the home. Single-family households being led by women and their never ending tireless work gets over looked by these other dominant roles men get to play in society due to the mother of their children, or their wives or mothers or someone else taking care of the children, the home, the cooking and cleaning.
Women today do all this while working and or going to school and therefore creating a real home for the children of tomorrow. The roles the grandmothers play in our lives I think many of us know this all too well they are the backbone, the pillar that holds the homes and community together. Our grandmothers have always been there for us with open arms no matter what we get ourselves into we can always run to them, especially when the outside world seems to be crumbling around us.
My great grandma Sarah shared unconditional love with me that I will never forget, and is something all children need in their lives. That love I learned from her I am now able to pass onto my children. Time is precious as we see the elders growing older and as they have always been there for us to lead the way and make sure we always had a safe place to run to, we also have to be there for them; the cycle of life.
We need to go back to our true role models, the ones with the wisdom, language, culture, the knowledge of how to survive through lived experience. They know true patience, have seen pain and overcome it and can still show love. What I see when I look in my grandmother’s eyes is true resilience. She is my true role model in life the strongest person I know, someone my daughters are blessed to have and call great-grandma (Chapan).
I recently met Dr. Jane Goodall and she reminded me of my grandmother. Dr. Goodall is a scientist who lived in the wild and studied chimpanzees. She lived off the land therefore connecting to the land and animals and seeing the world for what it is. Dr. Goodall is now 83 years old and travelling every day from city to city sharing her story and knowledge. Before her show began the Mayor Charlie Clark and I were blessed to share some time with her and when he asked her how she has the stamina to do what she does she responded saying, “That there is an urgency to reach as many people as she can in hopes to wake up as many people as she can.”
Be the change you want to see in the world. I believe in this and this is why I choose sobriety and to work hard. I am exhausted, but I feel as though I am being taken down this path for my ancestors, through who I am as a Dakota/Saulteaux woman, through my great-grandparents, grandparents and my parents as I am them, because without any of them I would not be me. I want to give my children something more than dysfunction or a poisoned world and if right now is the time that we have this window of hope, we need to act now.
With all the madness going on in this world it is clear that not only is our Mother Earth poisoned but we as a human race is poisoned. If we want peace, happiness and balance we have to start being that change we want to see in the world and never forget about the power we have in numbers. Perhaps the governmental structures in a capitalistic society play a dominant role in the harm being done to our Mother Earth, our animals and the suffrage of people in society, but if everyone stood up and tried their best to make a difference there would be change whether the institutional structures of society like it or not. Coming together now and waking up is the voice of our role models. We need to listen now to the wise ones. We have just been too caught up in a world that was never built for us in the first place.