These women I work with, these students.
I spent the afternoon learning about a student project; it’s a semester-long collaborative of students dedicated to understanding sexual assault at the individual, interpersonal, and cultural levels. They essentially taught themselves about the shortcomings of the legal, medical, and social support mechanisms that exist to process survivors and perpetrators of sexual assault. They taught themselves about the dynamics of gender and power that inform sexual communication. They designed (from scratch, as far as I can tell) a deeply compelling educational activity about communication and consent. They built – this is the best part – they built the beginnings of a community committed to changing the culture around sexual assault.
I was tempted not to go, you know. It’s cold and rainy today and I kind of wanted to stay at home, drinking tea and watching Netflix. But I dragged my ass the soggy mile to campus, and my paltry effort was rewarded with just about the most inspiring 105 minutes I’ve ever experienced.
These women. These brilliant, passionate young women. They’re going to change the world, you know. They’re going to lead the revolution. And what a gift it is to be a part of their lives during this transformative moment, when they’re discovering who they are and what power they possess.
I have these moments periodically. I have these moments when I am brought to my knees by the beauty of their minds and hearts. And in the next moment, I’m awash with pride that somehow I’ve managed to become a person who has something to offer these remarkable, glorious young women. How fabulous am I, that all the… all the EVERYTHING of my life has accumulated to create a kind of wisdom that can help these astonishing people become the leaders they’re destined to be?
You know what love is? Love is feeling humble and proud at the same time.