The balance score card to measures a society is graded by how its leaders set policy for caring; for children, the sick, the elderly, and the poor.
If I were asked to grade our country I’m saddened to say the marks would not get us into Harvard.
What is missing? For me it boils down to the relationship aspect of how we care for each other. Remember the name of Hilary Clinton’s book “It Takes a Village”? Intuitively we know that to be true, yet we are such a judging and blaming culture that we forget the basic tenants of caring.
Every woman knows that our young need tender love and care. Yet, why are so many kids created with lack of thinking about the outcome of unprotected sexual activity and then put into poorly thought through day care centers?
Why does our healthcare system often resemble factories right out of an early twentieth century production line with practitioners seemingly standing at a conveyor belt shouting out “Next”?
The thought of aging in this society is harrowing. So many end up in nursing homes like some I have visited, where old people are strapped in sitting positions in their chairs, often drugged to stay quiet, waiting for the grim reaper to come get them.
And, we look away while the poor remain in inner city areas, often living lives of quiet desperation. Choices are limited; one option is to buy or sell drugs either to be numb to life or get the money to get out. Sadly, personal histories are often replicated from generation to generation.
Take a minute and think about what you have been taught about caring. Who taught you about the importance of considering the needs and welfare of others along with your own? How has this carried into your community, your school years, and your work environment?
At work there are often articles sent around about the information society of today requiring high quality human capital. Human capital is the ability to be concerned about relationships, to use emotional intelligence to solve complex problems with elegance.
This all reverts back to the concept of caring. In the past, the job description of caring and care giving was posted in the realm of “women’s work”.
I wonder if caring and care giving were put high on the list of leadership attributes, taught in business schools as skills vital to success in the economic world, made a propriety, I wonder if we would begin to see our societal mandates for raising the young, caring for the sick, tending the elderly, and aiding the poor in a new light?
It may well be women leaders who take this area and raise it to a level of national concern that will get high priority national attention. After all, we are hard wired for caring! Let’s use what is deeply embedded in our minds and emotions to our advantage and start by making our work environments more compassionate. Then we have a strong model as we tackle helping the young, the sick, the old, and the poor. Full circle, it’s women in leadership who can drive this critical agenda. It’s about you, it’s about me, and it’s about time!!!