Too busy to change the world? Together we can do it anyway!

“Feel the fear but do it anyway” is a maxim in the business world.  In the world of change making I would say: “We are too busy to save the world, but we come together and do it anyway!”

This week I have been on the outskirts of planning a birth pool sit in (Aquabirths supply the pool!) supporting Agnes Gereb the Hungarian midwife imprisoned for supporting women to have a homebirth.  I have also been involved in and attended a women’s empowerment event set up by Bradford District Women’s Forum (this blog is a reflection taken from the short speech I made there).

Who are we when we as women, come together to do these things?  We are networks of overcommitted women who are too busy to change the world but come together because we are going to do it anyway.  We are Mums with small babies, women with full time jobs and businesses, women with family issues, health issues, relationship issues but we come together because we don’t want that to be the end of what we do, we want to make the world better.

With Bradford District Women’s Forum we come together as a network of networks – as women from contrasting sectors of the community – the council, local Radio, the police, the health service, the voluntary sector, business, asylum seekers, community centres and more.  We come together because on our own we cannot make the changes we want to see.  For instance I want to see every woman have a good birth and get the care and support she needs and deserves around the birthing time.  But I know I cannot do it alone, and that  I need to work within the context of the wider needs and demands of women in Bradford.  So we gather together as a group of women with different backgrounds and agendas but with a passion for making Bradford a better place for women to live.

So then, women of the world unite: on our own we can change little and we are too busy to do anything else, but coming together we can make change happen.

I am really touched that a group of mothers are going to so much effort to support a midwfe in Hungary who is supporting women who like them chose to have a homebirth.  Here we see an international dimension to women coming together across cultures and other divides.

This is big and inspiring stuff, and hold on to it because it is not always like that! At this moment I always think of Jeremy Hardy who said the rallying cry of the left wing activist was: “ ‘I thought you were bringing the leaflets!’ ‘No, I thought you were bringing the leaflets’ ”  We are busy and overcommitted and despite that we manage to pull of some really good things. For instance, the women of Bradford came together as the racist EDL march came upon us – to form Women for Peace.  It brought women together across cultures and faiths, age and class, it was dynamic, visible creative and colourful.  My bright green ribbon still flutters on our front gate as it does all over Bradford even now.  We are proud of what we pulled off, making it clear that Bradford was a city of peace, diversity and tolerance.

On the other hand we are overcommitted and busy women so at other times it really is a case of Everybody thought that Somebody would do it because Anybody could, but Nobody did.  And I cringe at the number of times this has been the case – the Bradford District Women’s Forum’s AGM, being just one example!  Even the most successful actions tend to have a bit of this to them – because we are all doing it in our spare time – and we don’t have any! So carry on Airedale Mums you are doing a fantastic job!

 

Finally, earlier this year my sons who were both learning to write, and gaining enthusiasm and confidence in the skill, hit on the phrase “Mum is Mad” as it needs the minimum of letters for the maximum impact! It was everywhere, on every piece of paper (Mum is mad), doors, walls, wipeboards in the office, the fly leaves of books etc etc. Mum is Mad.  I said “Fabulous! :Love it! Mum is M.A.D. “Marvellous and Dynamic!”

Marvellous and Dynamic!  Turning an insult into an accolade, turning a barrier into a stepping stone, we are determined, passionate, overcommitted, dynamic, creative, tired, busy, enthusiastic.  We are Marvellous and Dynamic and although we are too busy to change the world, we come together and do it any way.

 

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