I woke with something in my heart. Something often witnessed, experienced, or inflicted, and often ignored. I don’t want to ignore it anymore. Now is the perfect time to talk about it.
First, let me start by saying that I am just coming off the heels of having been invited to take part in an incredible mastermind for a select few New York City women in business. Most of these women—after crushing it for someone else—have started, and grown to epic levels, their own businesses. These women are exceptionally successful in their fields, pioneers of their industry, and powerful thinkers and doers. It was an honor to have been asked to take a seat at the table. To watch as we supported one another. To listen as we formulated ways to lift up one another. It was beautiful.
And it made me reflect upon the times that I have glimpsed the other side.
We all have seen it before. We have all felt it before. We have all been on the receiving end of cattiness and destruction, whether from a school bully or a woman in the workplace. Or perhaps we have been the bully in the past, and then had it done to us, and now want to change. Whichever you are, we all have seen and experienced it. We have all witnessed vile attempts by women, to thoroughly insult fellow women, their careers, their talents, and what they have gone through in her life. I have witnessed it to the extent that it has brought tears to my eyes.
I have wept for how we humans—we women—can try to destroy one another.
I have wept for the insecurity of the women who have hurled the character assassinations, and I have wept for the beautiful women whose rising profiles had become the senseless targets. I have wept for the verbal sniper, who clearly hadn’t understood that the more you feel the need to take a fellow woman down, the more you make a statement about how damaged you are to think that by taking her down, you can then stand on her to raise yourself up.
But that does not raise you up.
That points out, for all the world to see, that you trip and trample those beside you in order to claw your way to a perceived advantage. And no one wants to stand next to someone who does that.
Deep down, we want to support each other. Our inner beings want to cheer for one another. It is human nature to feel good. And spiritual philanthropy—like its monetary cousin—feels good. Contagiously. It is time to stop pointing our weapons at each other; both metaphorical and literal. It’s is time to end casualties by not-so-friendly fire. This is a call to DROP our arms. To stop hurting each other.
It is time, it is SO time, to stand with one another. To look to our neighbors through our hearts, first. To peer into their hearts before making and acting upon our wild judgements. To close our mouths and open our ears to truly hear who they are before making choices to dislike, hate, bully, hurt. Or better yet, to close our mouths and open our hearts. To truly live our love. To live in love. To live as love.
It is time to LIVE LOVE.
As I sat around that table with captains of industry, I saw them look left and look right. I took the vow that we had created to set aside at least one day a week to give a shout-out to a colleague.
I challenge you today, to give a shout-out to a fellow human. If you're a woman, give a shout-out to a fellow woman who could be perceived ‘competition.’ Break the cycle that takes us asunder in order to further our own careers, love lives, platforms. If you’re a man, compliment your fellow man on how he does something that you have been trying to do. Make the conscious choice that there is enough room for every single person to do what they want and love to do, because when it all is said and done, we all want something different. Our desires, and paths to get there, are like our fingerprints; each one unique.
Let’s choose to lift each other up. To support one another’s dreams. To show compassion. To be all in this life experience together. It is a choice. A. Conscious. Choice.
And we can choose love. In every moment. Of every day. LOVE.
Polo REO Tate was born in Lansing, Michigan, where her family has deep ties to the community. Her Great Great Grandfather was Ransom Eli Olds (R.E. Olds), a pioneer and prolific inventor most notably responsible for inventing the first internal combustion automobile—the Oldsmobile. Growing up, [...]