We Just Harnessed Our Collective Power, Now Go And Harness Your Own
Are you feeling powerful today? Are you feeling inspired? Are you WOKE!? On Saturday, I marched with thousands in Atlanta to support equality and social justice. It was beyond moving. The speakers, including Representative John Lewis, urged participants to remain active after the day’s events. Real change begins in your home and communities: run for local office, join the PTA, volunteer for worthy causes. All in all, the day meant something different for everyone, but it was unifying just the same. For me, it was a chance to listen, learn, and restore my faith in humanity.
Like many of you, my entire drive home was spent listening to Lemonade and pondering how I could be a more productive member of society. How can I use my limited resources to give back and pull my fellow sisters up?
Not everyone was on board with the march though. My upbeat mood was temporarily derailed by negative non-attendees on social media. I became fixated on a word an angry keyboard warrior used to describe marchers: selfish. First, I thought about writing a lengthy Facebook rant in response to someone I didn’t know. But then I remembered anytime I respond in anger on social media it usually leads to a sleepless night in which I re-write my responses a thousand times in my head (Anyone else? No? Just me?).
But then I had another thought. Women should be more selfish. In the act of helping one another, we should also be helping ourselves, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Think about the oxygen masks on an airplane. The flight attendant always tells us to put on our own masks before assisting others. Save yourself, and then offer aid to those around you. We don’t do this to be cruel or self-absorbed. We do this to put ourselves, and those around us, in the best position to succeed. I would guess in an emergency situation this might be difficult for many women whose first instinct would be to help those next to her, even if it meant sacrificing her own air.
So what’s this have to do with money and financial literacy? EVERYTHING. I believe women need to put a higher priority on their own financial education. Women need to be proud of the money they make, and ask for more when they deserve it. Women need to become the best investors, the most confident entrepreneurs, and Oprah-rich. Money is power, and throughout history men have dominated both. If you truly want equality, then you must learn how to make each and every earned dollar work in your favor. This “selfishness” will enable us to then assist our sisters, daughters, wives, and mothers.
I do believe we’re moving in the right direction. There are genius female investors, women who are starting and running successful businesses, and a plethora of female role models living their dreams if only to inspire others to do the same. Make a resolution to educate yourself about your 401k, your taxes, your investments, your cash management. This is empowering, I promise you. When you’re a financial goddess, you’ll have the power to change the world.
The Women’s March on Washington was a harnessing of collective power. Now we need to harness our own individual power as well. Financial literacy is a good place to start.
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