Our Regional Director for the Midlands, Dr Herminder K Channa OBE JP, shares this opinion pieces she's written specifically for International Women's Day this year. With a focus on compassion, forgiveness and the celebration of women, this is a great read to celebrate #IWD2023
From Prime ministers to missionary nuns, heads of state to code breakers, writers, architects, educationalists, and mothers. Women have inspired communities, shaped societies, changed attitudes, nurtured future generations, and raised families. When I think about the diverse range of careers, vocational callings, and the call of motherhood women have answered and pursued, compassion and forgiveness drive the female approach when successful in their field.
For this piece, I will be using the following definitions; Compassion; An individual’s ability to practice kindness and a willingness to help others. Forgiveness; An individual’s ability to consciously deliberate to release negative emotions and feelings.
When I reflect upon these core values, I must be clear that they are not exclusive to women. However, DNA, biology, numerous studies, and inbuilt genetics have all confirmed a difference in how women practice and role model these values, making their expression more nurturing and caring, encapsulated by inner strength and endearing confidence.
So, why does the world, more than ever, need people to be more compassionate and forgiving? And more importantly, why are women best placed to role model and lead on these expressions?
Although the first part of my statement may seem like an obvious one to make, in a world where what connects us as humans is being forgotten, deterioration in mental health is on the increase, the delicate interconnections between humans and the environment are disrupted, it is the generation of today, the female age which we must turn to reset the balance.
As far as history tells us, different generations have had their challenges to overcome; World wars, persecution, famine, poverty, and recession, to name but a few. However, history suggests that the resolutions and approaches taken in tackling these have yet to be successful; as in the 21st century, we still face the same challenges added to the ones created above. A world lacking compassion and the ability to deliberate and process forgiveness is a significant factor in today’s events.
Our ability as a woman to nurture and care to provide a powerful alternative to the world in overcoming the challenges of our time. Our collective inner strength and confidence allow us to normalise “seeing,” “naming,” and “carrying out” compassionate acts. Once a human consciousness can be established, the possibilities are endless.
Imagine a world where the default decision-making position was deeply rooted in human consciousness. Would countries even contemplate going to war? The collective will to practice kindness would be too great. Would countries ever suffer from poverty? The collective will to help one another would be too strong. Would a child ever go hungry? The collective choice to nurture and provide would be habitual. Would we ever be so careless as to think Mother Nature’s abuse would come at no cost? The collective will to care for our environment would be a responsibility understood by all.
Before imagining a world where the majority had been nurtured to develop human consciousness, the present demands that humans forgive so they move forward. Females can consciously deliberate to release negative emotions and feelings. If the human mind could be nurtured in this, forgiveness would become an embedded response arising directly out of a human consciousness rooted in the awareness that we belong to one human family. This is a powerful combination of values that the world has begun to recognise over recent years.
Is it so hard to believe this approach could be credible? In 1945, UNESCO was created to respond to the firm belief of nations, forged by two world wars in less than a generation, that political and economic agreements are not enough to build a lasting peace. Peace must be established based on humanity’s moral and intellectual solidarity. The Preamble to the Constitution of UNESCO declares that “since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed.”
For peace to be constructed in men's minds, women's transformative ability must be embraced so they can lead the way in nurturing a generation whose “consciousness is immersed in compassion so it can consciously deliberate to release itself of negative emotions and feeling so it can forgive.” Women have been blessed with the power to create life; given the right conditions, women will bring love into their homes, calmness into their communities, and peace into the world.