Live, Move, Be

human sartre de beauvoir moi

Today, I am so inspired, encouraged and strengthened by these beautiful people. Howie and Lysander and a dozen more from DGFUMC are being present to other beautiful people in another city. They are being that being that is also becoming because they live and move and have their being in God. And as they become, they immediately give themselves to others – who, in turn, give themselves back – each being and becoming more of themselves, more like God. This, an exquisite dance that is, well, human.

Who knew wielding a power tool could be so profound?

License to Commune – Day Thirty-One

vine connectedToday I spent time at the DMV to renew my driver’s license. Since I’m turning a certain age soon (in nine days, but who’s counting) they find it necessary to check my vision. Also, there is a new process in place that requires my information and photo be processed through a centralized system. To do this, I am issued a temporary printout of a provisional license until the card is sent in 2-3 weeks. This made me wonder about the history of the driver’s license and what this new change means.

So, Chicago (of course!) and New York City were the first (in 1899) to require a test of driver’s competency before granting permission to drive a motorized vehicle. Missouri and Massachusetts were first 1903) to require a license, but MO did not actually call for an exam to acquire one. Pennsylvania was first to insist the driver be at least 18 years old in 1909, and Connecticut gave permission for those who are 16 or older in 1921. But some states did not include a photo of the driver until well into the 1980s in response to activism by Mother’s Against Drunk Driving, and underage drinking.

It wasn’t until 2005 that the Department of Homeland Security instituted the Real ID Act to set a national standard all states must follow for issuing secure driver’s licenses. Since the US has no national ID card, a Federal guideline is understandable. At the same time, driver’s license protocol is within the purview of each state. Whereas the 2004 Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act supported state-federal cooperation to implement the more uniform, secure protocol, Real ID circumvents state input. I certainly appreciate more secure identification, and the newer enhanced versions can be used in lieu of a passport when driving across a border country.

More people travel and work across multiple states, so a connected database is convenient. It does presage another step away from independent state governing, a large piece of the identity of the United States. But is that a bad thing? Centralized databases that encompass more of our lives and liberties do impinge on privacy. At the same time, while we are gravitating away from the mythological ideal of a 1950s era nuclear family, we are becoming still more connected to more people across a broader space—global space. When there are clever computer wizards with extra time on their hands hacking into government and financial systems across this global space, I am glad for some added security and greater recourse when said clever hackers attempt to obtain my documentation.

My daughter lives in a country that has no real traffic laws. She is also getting around on a motorcycle in this crazy land with no traffic laws. In crowded cities. With slender, winding roads. And frequent torrential rainfalls. I know—I rode on the back of her boyfriend’s motorcycle in this crazy traffic, on twisting roads, during a torrential rainfall! I appreciate uniform traffic laws!

As far as privacy is concerned, I wonder how much one might reasonably expect and still have access to convenient, high-tech, deftly connected services. I am absolutely not saying the government or corporations or whomever should have carte blanche access to my personal information. There is sufficient tech to securely mask my identity from necessary information. At the same time (beginning to feel a bit like Tevye’s many hands, ‘on the other hand’) it seems we are often more concerned with privacy than with the implications of how connected we actually are.

No matter how hard I might try to be alone, block others off from access to me, my existence impacts others—and others impact my life. The question is, do I want that influence to be formative or disfiguring? Today’s Ignatius meditation is from John 15:1-8, about how dwelling in the vine makes the branches produce good fruit. And all of the branches are connected to the vine. If mine is malnourished, it will affect a neighboring branch. The key principle here is ‘dwelling.’ To dwell is to live and linger, nourish and nurture, and protect. It implies relating to those with whom I dwell and impacts the confidence with which I enter this great big world—that is, the fruit I produce. Be mindful with me: How do I impact those with whom I am connected? What is beautiful about those connections?

Flavor Fusions and Angels – Day Thirty

entertain angels

The year before I was born (1966, if you haven’t been keeping up) McDonald’s started using frozen french fries. The first credit card in Great Britain, the Barclaycard, was also introduced that year. Mississippi repealed Prohibition – its last holdout, Simon and Garfunkel released ‘Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme;’ the first law requiring ingredients listings on packaged food is passed, and Quaker instant oatmeal is introduced that year. In 1967, Wisconsin legalizes yellow margarine, the Wholesome Meat Act is passed, and ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner’ (staring Sidney Poitier) premieres.

Dominos, Hardee’s, Taco Bell, Arby’s, Blimpie, Subway, Chick-fil-A, Long John Silver’s, and Wendy’s all open in the 1960s. And, well, Happiness is a place called Shakey’s! Shakey’s, probably one of my favorite childhood restaurants—I loved watching the cooks throwing around pizza dough and slinging scoops of sauce over the pies – and the balloon chef? anyone remember those? Incidentally, the Andy Warhol directed film, ‘The Nude Restaurant,’ was also released in 1967. I hope no one remembers that!

The trend is self-evident—fast, cheap food, with little variety. All-American meant beef patties, hotdogs, and pizza. And fast food drew the family out making it that much easier to dismiss the communal meal each evening at home. The first part (introducing cheap, preservative-laden, toxic food) signed the death warrant for the people of the superpower. The second fueled a symptom of the illusion that hasn’t really existed in this country—not in the sense politicians often portray this ideal—save (possibly) a couple of decades mid-20th century. But that’s for another blog.

Despite a recent scuffle over the reluctance to receive the displaced, the principle on which our constitution rests is that of welcome. The statue of liberty – a gift in support of abolition and freedom, and a beacon for the dispossessed – invites all peoples to augment, enhance the community. The best evidence for this is the types and range of food available to dwellers in this fair land. Now I can order salmon with citrus salsa verde and jicama cilantro slaw; or, mojo chicken, tomatillo & avocado salsa with pickled red onion tacos! And if you must get a burger, make it one with pineapple, Benton’s bacon, lettuce, cilantro and Sriracha; or with granny smith apple, muenster and chipotle aioli!

My sons are benefiting from this flavor fusion, too. At Howie’s instigation, the three of them are learning to cook meals that use a variety of ingredients and cooking techniques. The new combinations and compositions work so well that one night they fought over the remaining brussels sprouts. Brussels sprouts! Holidays’ growing up my mother was always inviting people to join us for the big meal. It was usually a family whose relatives lived in another state, or was from a different country, or not comfortable in their own home. They always introduced new traditions or foods, some of which I still use.

We need food to survive. Our bodies require the nutrients. Our souls require the ritual, the pleasure of fragrance and flavor igniting the senses, the motivation to gather and linger together. Our culture thrives on the practice of amalgamating herb and spice, oil and game, potions passed down through generations. How much we learn of our heritage through a simple meal. I’ve dined in Hong Kong and London, Turkey and Ireland, Indonesia and Oklahoma, and enjoyed Korean food in Seoul, and Singapore, and Palatine, IL. But the most amazing food I think I’ve had is where they experiment with ingredients and techniques from different cultures.

The gift acquired by inviting a visitor is invaluable. Not only do I see the face of God in a new light, I might learn the means to make Brussels sprouts even enjoyable! It is also a good opportunity for mindfulness practice: allow the flavor to linger in the mouth and discern distinct flavors, provoke old memories, make new memories. And, I just might find I’m entertaining angels.

Just Like You, Nothing Like You – Day Twenty-Nine

like no one else

One of the first personality inventories I took sorts people into groups represented by one of four animals (lion, beaver, golden retriever, otter) developed by Smalley and Trent in the 1980s. I never liked taking these inventories mostly because the questions could be answered differently depending on the day, or two answers were equally true. The animal incarnation proved this when my responses graphed a line nearly straight across. Also, I resist being placed in a box.My dyslexic-processing brain confronts categories of any kind, and to place billions of beautifully unique persons in 1 of 4 categories is anathema to me.

Still, our culture insists. There’s the assessment based on the Greek humors – Sanguine, Choleric, Melancholy, Phlegmatic – developed by Graeco-Arabic medicine, c. 400BCE. And the most widely used by businesses and university-entrance constabularies, Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory first published in 1944, based on Jungian categories of personality traits. And the MMPI, the TIPI, the Keirsey, and the DISC. The one that holds some promise for meaningful insight in my professional opinion, though, is the Enneagram. Its origins are in dispute, but likely set with Oscar Ichazo in the 1950s. It is the most nuanced test, inviting the numinous that plays a very real role in how we express who we are.

By far the most enjoyable types of personality sorters are funneled through Buzzfeed and other social media channels. My daughters will often send me one along with their results, at once laughing at the absurdity of its validity and giving a nod to a modicum of the same. Apparently, I’m Hermione Granger, my Disney princess alter ego is Rapunzel?, and my Norse god counterpart is Odin. I took that last one three times, adjusting my fence-top answers, and it always returned Odin. Grr. I’m Thor! I. am. Thor. Ok, I suppose “wise” and “leader” are characteristics I hope describe me. And I do have a little issue with being in control. But that hammer.

The real concern I have with personality sorters is two-fold. One, it often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy or cop-out default (well, I am choleric, after all, I’m just stating the truth), and two, human beings are organic, living, changeable creatures impacted by one another, circumstances, brain chemistry, the weather . . . . Sure, I have some overarching tendencies that are characteristic of my behavior. We are habitual beings, too (and there are good, psycho-socio- and neurological reasons for this). Crucially, each carries a specific genetic piece of God’s character, unique. And because we are human and made in the image of this same God, we will recognize God in each other—and, in a similar way, I will recognize myself in you.

The point is, perhaps I have the expertise to see that you process your thoughts out loud and might be categorized as “extroverted.” By understanding this I can then discern that when you are talking about a solution, it is not your final draft. But to call you “a thinker” or “lion” or “phlegmatic” or Loki, well, I will miss all of the other beautiful bits about you that are not in the “S” category, or whatever. I can blow you off because I am not comfortable with introverts, or read your stand up comedy for “socializer” and misunderstand your need for alone time.

Sometimes these inventories are fun for validating the aspects that are true about me, and can help begin to understand someone else a bit better. But there is a gaggle of studies that show how “personality” traits change over time. Indeed, brain chemistry and hormone distribution changes at many stages of development. Mindfulness practice is shown to augment these changes in productive ways, as well. The most salient of these is that it helps me see you for who you are without my junk getting in the way. When I am present with you, mindful of your being, your personhood, I can see you more—and love you better—because to be known is to be loved and to be loved is to be known! And my prayer is that at (nearly) 50 I might have such a disposition of presence as this. So, my goal today (or tomorrow—it’s a bit late now): be with someone and notice 5 distinct things about her that I love, traits that he does that I would like to develop. Will you join me? Because, I am just like you. And, I am unique.


Ordinary Time – Day Twenty-Five

ordinary time

The first time I ever cursed out loud I was about ten or eleven. I was hurt so badly by a friend, all I could think to do was use a phrase I heard others use—it contained nearly every curse word I knew. On the walk back home I repeated it over and again as a sort of incantation to purge the muck from my friend’s betrayal that almost threatened to choke me. By the time I returned home I felt even worse and I never repeated the phrase again.

The poet Marie Howe describes the force of poetry as like a counter spell to the mean girls’ curses and disparaging discourse. It is a way to use language to speak truth, but in a way that redeems the muck and discouragement that intrudes on our day. And it makes that reality accessible to others because it is human, it is lived experience, and my experience is not unique. Not really. There are millions of other women turning 50 this year. There are still more who struggle with purpose and identity and the exasperation that comes from feeling ineffectual, blundering through the day always feeling like I’m only keeping up. Hello everyone!

Howe routinely refers to Ordinary Time, the weeks that are not between the Holy days of the church. And while we currently reside in the 4th week of Easter, ordinary time teaches us to be present, to notice in the now, and be with it. So today I employ an exercise I’ve led others in, but always need reminding to do. This, with an added instruction from Marie Howe: notice 10 things today and describe them—not with metaphor, rather, see things as they are.

Ten Things On My Trip to the Pharmacy

A wasp dips and skitters back and forth under the eave overhanging my front porch.

A pleasant breeze, slightly warm but with a hint of chill, almost, but not quite comfortable.

Lining the street are trees just turned to leaf, each a faintly different hue—50 shades of green?

A car closes in on my rear, does my speedometer really display under the speed limit?

The branches on the side of a large tree bounce and sway, circular, as the wind swirls amid the bunches.

My eyes blur, a drop or two escape and slip down my cheek. I only just did my makeup. Well, good thing I have no appointments today.

Orange cones cluster around a large truck—in the very center of the intersection through which I must turn.

A car stops further back making space for my wide turn—my coffee sloshes close to the edge of my cup.

The church on the corner displays at the parking lot’s entrance a tall, thin, purple flag with the word “Welcome” in white—it posts next to a poll that last week displayed a sign with the words, “Church parking only. Violators will be towed. Strictly enforced.”

The clouds have made space for the sun’s rays making all the newly green places brighter, almost yellow. My spirit is brighter now, and if it were a color it would be this bright green.

Howe observes, “language is almost all we have left of action in the modern world.” With a majority of our discourse occurring in the stratosphere, noses to a smartphone, what we do is often not as morally substantial as what we say. I find this heartening. It is a powerful reminder the weight or influence my words might carry. Still, when all I really have right now is language, the words that flood my heart and convictions, it reassures me to think they might amend the worldview of another, if even a little.

So, what are ten things you notice today?

Ever-Present Wonder – Day Twenty

be present bali

Yesterday my sister-in-law, Kristi, posted a note that described being outside under the night’s sky noticing the starry expanse, recognizing a constellation here, a cluster there. She was present, and knew it, and savored the timeless moments. Another sister-in-law, Rachel, shared a picture of her sweet Avery while taking a hike in Colorado’s hills, bird watching and sharing in each other’s presence, present to the beauty around them. I had two reactions: 1) they are powerful examples and reminder to notice – take time and notice; and 2) I am so jealous of their nearness to such landscape they get to enjoy being present to – I miss Colorado!

nx-dad-mts crop

When we were young, my father would often take our family up into the mountains for a drive after church, just to get out of town a bit, take in the loveliness of landscape. Sometimes, also, we camped with other families; other times hiked around a lake. As I got older I would go up with friends to hike, or fish, or retreat. One time my brother and I just took off and stayed in a friend’s condo for the weekend, to enjoy the peace . . . and watch Monty Python movies. The mountains were a refuge for me – a giant, expansive panorama, sometimes terrifying the gradient, always reminding me of the grandness of creation. But I never felt alone, even when there was no one close by. Indeed, it is exactly there – where there are no distractions of schedule or responsibilities – that I know the presence of God most keen. There I am sure of the reality of this More-Than, this Beyond-All, this Ever-Present Love.

And I miss it. Chicago weather is different from Denver’s. But really, it is that my illness often makes it more difficult to weather (so to speak) the climate here. And I too easily forget that enjoying beauty, being present in a space that does not distract, is healing. So I am grateful to my sisters-in-law (and my niece!) for reminding me to just make that time and space. How much I need to be reminded of this even though it is the substance of everything I preach and teach! I suspect we all need to be reminded to make space for presence-being, since our culture is so wired in every sense of the word!

So as I notice that today is especially lovely – 60° and sunny – I breathe, and notice and am present. Will you join me?

Breathe in the fragrance of budding branches.

Breathe out the toxic stress from the past week.

Breathe in the air perfumed by newly blossomed flowers.

Breathe out and notice the worries being carried away

            by the breeze

Act Human – Day Sixteen

Human kind and present

On May 2, 1967, the Black Panthers entered the California State Capitol building, guns at their sides. Theirs was a demonstration, advocacy for their right to defend themselves against racism in policing. They wanted to police their neighborhoods by being present (carrying guns in compliance with CA law), observe arrests and other law enforcement activities. Huey Newton, the Black Panthers’ leader, actually included a law book with his rifle to remind officers of their civilian rights.

This group of people were not encouraging violence. Rather, they meant to be informed eyes, accountability for what history proved to be race-motivated, and excessively punitive action on African-American communities. They were not afraid to assert their rights and encourage others to do the same. Indeed, the Panthers alerted journalists to their plans, so when they entered the CA Capitol building, journalists followed to record the proceedings.

I am absolutely in favor of gun control. The Black Panthers’ strategy in this instance is not one I would promote. At the same time, what they were about was precisely what all humankind ought to be about: that better personhood characterized by kindness, generosity, caring for those who need care, sharing with one who has none of that which I own two. It began as a wholesale resistance against white culture, but shifted to a more class critique of society. Still, the reaction of authorities remained extreme.

In January 1969, the first Panther’s Free Breakfast for School Children Program is initiated at St. Augustine’s Church in Oakland. By the end of the year, the Panthers set up kitchens in cities across the nation, feeding over 10,000 children every day before they went to school. In Chicago, Fred Hampton, leads five different breakfast programs on the West Side, helps create a free medical center, and initiates a door to door program of health services which test for sickle cell anemia, and encourage blood drives for the Cook County Hospital. A few months later, police enter his apartment and shoot him in the head as he sleeps.

I only knew of the Black Panthers as a militant and violent group. Nothing was included in my education to explain what they were ultimately about. And there certainly was no outline of the reasons behind why they assembled in the first place. It is important to recall history—especially since it often seems it is repeated while I remain naïve of past efforts to make things right.

So, today, I have a little more information on a movement that frightened a lot of people yet also did an enormous amount of good. I have little physical energy to start or promote programs that do goodness, rightness. I can write and research and try to get others thinking about and motivated to love mercy and to do righteousness in this world. I am at a loss as to how I can get this damn blog to a larger audience, though—the audience that needs encouragement to continue in their efforts, or motivated to begin something they are passionate about. Do you need that? Can I help you? How might I help? Be human. Be kind. Be present. Together.

Knowing With Awe – Day Ten

Responsibility to Awe path

Fifty years ago, NASA scheduled the first crewed mission of the US Apollo program. It would not take place as a launch rehearsal tragically ended with a cabin fire that killed all three crew members—Virgil Grissom, Edward White II, and Roger Chaffee. The name Apollo 1 was retired and commemorated by NASA on April 24, 1967. Fifty years on, the Cassini Saturn spacecraft, a joint effort by NASA, ESA and the Italian space agency, has gone farther than any probe. Launched October 1997, it is making its final dive between Saturn and its rings today. The excitement surrounding the data that the Cassini will relay is illustrated in today’s googledoodle.

Two days ago Peggy Whitson broke the record for the longest time in space. She is also the first woman to command the International Space Station. Twice. Whitson holds the record for most cumulative time spent spacewalking by a woman (eight) and 5th for all-time spacewalking. Humankind has always been curious, and the stars a particular focus of our gaze. At once expansive and seemingly in reach, songs are spun, poems crafted and proposals made under the canopy of twinkling lights.

There is something about the awe-inspiring that makes us want to know more. But as with anything that is worthy of such wonderment there is risk – to approach it is dangerous. In recent history, though, information and technology has advance to such a degree that the data itself drives the curious, leaving awe at the door. This is why I love the poetry of Astrophysicist Rebecca Elson whose collection of writings communicates to much in its title, A Responsibility to Awe.

As human beings we have a responsibility to notice, to learn and grow and understand—and to reflect on all that we discover. What matter if I understand all mysteries and all knowledge? It is noisy, a clanging of discordant cymbals, an obnoxious gong (1Cor13)—if I do not look upon it with reverence, acknowledging that the mysteries are not my doing. And this is Love—to see and notice and come to know, to be present with the object of my wonderment.

So as I reflect on all that the science of astrophysics has learned over the course of fifty years, I ponder another poem by Elson, and invite you to ponder with me in awe and wonder, knowing the unknow(n)-able and the not yet:

Carnal Knowledge

Having picked the final datum

From the universe

And Fixed in in its column,

Named the causes of infinity,

Performed the calculus

Of the imaginary i, it seems

The body aches

To come too,

To the light,

Transmit the grace of gravity,

Express in its own algebra

The symmetries of awe and fear,

The shudder up the spine,

The knowing passing like a cool wind

That leaves the nape hairs leaping.

Language as Sacrament – Day Nine

Generosity of Language

When I was in primary school grammar instruction was compulsory, precise and rigorous. Understand the categories and rules and I could receive an ‘A.’ While I was an exemplary student, I am also mildly dyslexic—I just didn’t know it then. Categorization is excruciating for one with a dyslexic processing brain. And word order? Oy gevalt! And the torture of enduring a teacher reading to the class an example of the gross misuse of pronouns—and recognizing it as my own! So imagine my dismay when I recently learned that it is now acceptable to use the word ‘their’ to indicate male or female in the singular!

Indeed, many so-called grammar rules have changed over the course of my (nearly) 50 years. Not only the rules, but word meanings shift and new words are coined and words that were once strictly nouns are verbed. At 50 years, Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style is revisited with contempt for the harm it has done (and continues to do). The ache I face as I witness the agony my children endure while reconciling their dyslexic processing with great intelligence and attending creative genius. How can I tell them they need to apply the rules so they can receive an adequate grade, but it is essentially meaningless—while promoting respect for those entrusted with their education?

Sacred Listening max and sam

Language is meant to communicate, and something I read somewhere (please forgive the errant reference) if the message is successfully communicated, language has served its purpose—the grammar is in effect, correct. But language also serves an even greater purpose. Pádraig ó tuama, the community leader of Corrymeela, Northern Ireland’s oldest peace and reconciliation organization, expresses it so eloquently:

“Language needs courtesy to guide it, and an inclusion and a generosity that goes beyond precision and becomes something much more akin to sacrament, something much more akin to how is it you can be attentive to the implications of language for those in the room who may have suffered.”

Is this how we see language employed these days? Twitter and Snapchat, among other myriad means of communication, oblige brevity and are disbursed in a flash—more often than not, without any real thought behind the ostensible message.

Language can wound and exclude. It is important to fully grasp the power of language. In order to keep from such wounding or exclusion, ó tuma advocates a “generosity of listening.” It is an orientation to the text. Namely, that which is in the text is recognized as sacred because it arises from the text of somebody’s life. And to be generous with anything, time is essential. It is being present, mindful of the other, listening for the divine – with inclusion and courtesy, generous.

As I write, I pray that no one is counting my grammar errors. I also pray to be honored today by opportunities to practice generosity of listening. I pray this for you, as well, and welcome your reflections on your experience of the sacrament of language!

The Politics of Pink – Day Eight

feminism quote korean food

The most popular Christmas present in 1967 was Battleship. It had actually been around as a pencil and paper game since 1930s until Milton Bradley released it as a board game in 1967. And while there were unmistakable elements that marked many toys as intended for a specific gender (e.g., dolls and kitchen sets for girls, GI Joe and die cast cars for boys), the color of these objects were not so obvious (i.e., pink for everything-girl) and still more toys were available that were merely intended for any kid to enjoy (Wham-O, Lite-Brite, jacks, marbles, and kazoos).

sam of the jungle

When my girls were young, we enjoyed watching Dora the Explorer. They learned a little Spanish and loved the quests Dora led them on, and she did so with a sense that anyone is able to go on such a quest. So when I went in search of a Dora-themed toy one Christmas and could only find a Dora dressed as a princess all in pink, I was flummoxed. And not just Dora—everything in that isle was pink! I hate pink.

Ok, hate is a strong word. Pink is not flattering on me and is not a color with which I choose to decorate. Regardless, when did this symbolic reversal of progress toward equality take place? Sure, there is increased attention to providing encouragement and support for girls to pursue STEM tracks in school, and Hollywood is attempting to provide strong female heroes that do not overstate the female form. But, why must there be two sets of play-station controls, one pink and pastels, the other primary colors?! I hate pastels.

Why this rant? My 16-year-old son was just assigned to debate the question, Is Feminism still necessary in today’s society? This after just reading an article that bemoaned assertions that the role of men is become irrelevant. Of course, no one is irrelevant. All people are necessary for any society to exist, and for humanity to relate in all its fullness all members are indispensible. The problem is when members’ roles are assigned according to one of two categories, crushing the impulse of one or overlooking the gifts of another. And these assumptions are deeply ingrained, and I believe begin, in part, with the color and type of toy a parent presents to a child.

With the push to embrace all ethnicities and to refrain from prejudice, it seems we still have this compulsion to assign others to categories (intellectual, athletic, silly, feminine, aggressive . . .) without taking time to get to know a person. Critical thinking demands too much of our time. We are on tweet-time in preference to contemplative, present-time. And the injury perpetrated is incalculable.

The so-called second wave of feminism occurred in the 1960s, the years around my birth. Both the first and second waves arose out of the recognition of inequality of the sexes. Perception of the movements—as is often the case when liberty is denied to a discrete people group—became warped, misunderstood. And the debate continues. My husband is a feminist. He is also a masculist—that is, one who advocates the right to, as a man, express feelings and nurture his children and consider leadership a quality of gifting, not that of gender (in the family, church, work-place, playground), to be emancipated from the expectation to dominate or control a group or decision.

Mary Wollstonecraft’s observation in 1792 was still relevant in 1967 and remains important in 2017. Until every person is seen for who he or she is and considered on that basis—not any arbitrary, irrelevant category—yes, Lysander, feminism is still necessary in today’s society. I suspect he will present a persuasive debate.

More on gender and leadership in my book: Leading Together: Mindfulness and the Gender Neutral Zone []