Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Leavening in the Bread: March Edition

First of all, OBOB was a resounding success. The team got creamed.

If these two seem contradictory then perhaps I should explain. Jedi Knight learned a lot about competition and himself in the process. He better understands now the pros and cons to competing . . . and to sitting on the sidelines. But the real success of the day was achieved before we even left the house. I was finishing getting ready; JK was pacing my bedroom. I could tell he was very worked up. I turned from my bathroom mirror to suggest that we pray together, only to find my dear boy on his knees, head bowed and hands clasped. 

Did you think to pray?

Why, yes. Yes he did, as a matter of fact. When a boy can master private victories then the public ones will surely come one day.

I read a wonderful article the other day about the director of LDS Charities leading a discussion at the UN about women's rights. The new director, Sharon Eubank, spoke with passion, feeling and love about things that really matter. The work she is doing is remarkable and important. 

In prefacing LDS Charities' place at the table during this conference, a woman out of Texas A & M said this:

"When women are subordinated, research has shown that nations are poorer, less healthy, hungrier, overpopulated, have higher child mortality and are more bellicose. Educating and empowering women is the single most effective means of attacking most social problems facing the nations of the world today. Nations cannot thrive when men dominate women, as we show in our recent book, 'Sex and World Peace.
"Furthermore, the Church is known for its willingness to partner with other aid organizations having long-standing interests and capabilities, which engenders a real multiplier effect in terms of efficacy," Hudson said. "The Church also has a network of stakes around the globe whose capabilities can be added to the material assistance the church is able to provide from centralized depots. All in all, the LDS Church is becoming known as an experienced, dependable and organized 'white hat' in humanitarian aid circles, and this is reflected in its participation … at the United Nations."

At the conference, Sister (Ms?) Eubank pointed out that violence against women didn't just have to be physical, it could also be inherent in the structure of the society. She said,  "If women don't have access to health care because the roads are too dangerous, if they are turned away from care because they are too poor or too disabled, if there is no equipment to save their newborn, if no one believes girls need wheelchairs — they are bullied by a societal structure that is so much bigger and meaner than they have power to fight."

In her remarks, she shared stories of our earliest female LDS doctors, trained in medicine at a time when women were not allowed in these professions. Sister Eubank shared stories of our women breaking glass ceilings while quietly doing the same herself. She is the first woman to hold this position in the Church.

I know, I know, my "leavening in the bread" isn't about women or feminism or any of that. It is about one person's power to make a great difference. But I can't help but find the stories of these women incredibly empowering. I also know that while Sister Eubank might be the current public face of LDS Charities, the real work is done by thousands, tens of thousands, of nameless angels consecrating their time, talent and energy to the work of the Lord. I am becoming more convinced that the world isn't changed by vast majorities agreeing . . . I think it is changed when ONE chooses to love.

1 comment:

Melanie said...

I didn't know the history of LDS Charities and that in sprang, in part, from the Relief Society. I think it's really great that the executive director is a woman.