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  • One morning, 18 years ago,

  • I stepped out of a New York City subway on a beautiful day in September.

  • The sun was warm and bright, the sky was a clear, perfect blue.

  • I had my six-month-old son in one of those front-facing baby carriers,

  • you know, so he could see everything.

  • And when I turned right on Sixth Avenue,

  • what he saw

  • was the World Trade Center on fire.

  • As soon as I realized that this was an attack,

  • the first thing I did, without even really thinking about it,

  • was to take my baby and turn him around in that carrier.

  • I didn't want him to see what was going on.

  • And I just remember feeling so grateful that he was still young enough

  • that I didn't have to tell him that someone had done this on purpose.

  • 9/11 was like crossing a border,

  • a hostile border into dangerous, uncharted territory.

  • The world was suddenly in this terrifying new place,

  • and I was in this place as a new mother.

  • I remember my thoughts kind of ping-ponging around

  • from, "How am I ever going to protect this baby?"

  • to, "How am I ever going to get some sleep?"

  • Well, my son turned 18 this year,

  • along with millions of other people who were babies on 9/11.

  • And in that time,

  • we have all crossed into this hostile, uncharted territory

  • of climate breakdown,

  • of endless wars,

  • of economic meltdowns,

  • of deep political divisions,

  • of the many crises around the world that I don't need to list off,

  • because they are blaring at you every single day from your news feed.

  • But there is something I've learned in these 18 years of parenting

  • and in my years leading a global women's rights organization.

  • There is a way to face these big crises in the world

  • without feeling overwhelmed and despairing.

  • It's simple, and it's powerful.

  • It's to think like a mother.

  • Now, to be clear, you don't have to be a woman

  • or a parent to do this.

  • Thinking like a mother is a lens that's available to everybody.

  • The poet Alexis De Veaux writes,

  • "Motherhood is not simply the organic process of giving birth.

  • It's an understanding of the needs of the world."

  • Now, it's easy to focus on all of the obstacles

  • to making this the world we want:

  • greed, inequality, violence.

  • Yes, there is all of that.

  • But there's also the option to plant a seed, a different seed,

  • and cultivate what you want to see grow,

  • even in the midst of crisis.

  • Majid from Iraq understands this.

  • He is a housepainter by trade

  • and someone who believes deeply in equal rights for women.

  • When ISIS invaded northern Iraq where he lives,

  • he worked with a local women's organization

  • to help build an underground railroad,

  • an escape network for women's rights activists

  • and LGBTIQ folks who were targeted with assassination.

  • And when I asked Majid why he risked his own life

  • to bring people to safety,

  • he said to me,

  • "If we want a brighter future,

  • we have to build it now in the dark times

  • so that one day we can live in the light."

  • That's what social justice work is, and that's what mothers do.

  • We act in the present with an idea of the future

  • that we want to bring about.

  • All of the best ideas seem impossible at first.

  • But just in my lifetime,

  • we've seen the end of apartheid,

  • the affirmation that women's rights are human rights,

  • marriage equality,

  • the fall of dictators who ruled for decades

  • and so much more.

  • All of these things seemed impossible

  • until people took action to make them happen,

  • and then, like, almost right away,

  • they seemed inevitable.

  • When I was growing up,

  • whether we were stuck in traffic or dealing with a family tragedy,

  • my mother would say,

  • "Something good is going to happen, we just don't know what it is yet."

  • Now, I will admit that my brothers and I make fun of her for this,

  • but people ask me all the time

  • how I deal with the suffering that I see in my work

  • in refugee camps and disaster zones,

  • and I think of my mom and that seed of possibility

  • that she planted in me.

  • Because, when you believe that something good is coming

  • and you're part of making it happen,

  • you start to be able to see beyond the suffering

  • to how things could be.

  • Today, there is a new set of necessary ideas

  • that seem impossible but one day will feel inevitable:

  • that we could end violence against women,

  • make war a thing of the past,

  • learn to live in balance with nature before it's too late

  • and make sure that everybody has what they need to thrive.

  • Of course, being able to picture a future like this is not the same thing

  • as knowing what to do to make it come about,

  • but thinking like a mother can help with that, too.

  • A few years ago,

  • East Africa was gripped by a famine,

  • and women I know from Somalia

  • walked for days carrying their hungry children

  • in search of food and water.

  • A quarter of a million people died,

  • and half of them were babies and toddlers.

  • And while this catastrophe unfolded,

  • too much of the world looked away.

  • But a group of women farmers in Sudan,

  • including Fatima Ahmed -- that's her holding the corn --

  • heard about what was happening.

  • And they pooled together the extra money that they had from their harvest

  • and asked me to send it to those Somali mothers.

  • Now, these farmers could have decided that they didn't have the power to act.

  • They were barely getting by themselves,

  • some of them.

  • They lived without electricity, without furniture.

  • But they overrode that.

  • They did what mothers do:

  • they saw themselves as the solution and they took action.

  • You do it all the time if you have kids.

  • You make major decisions about their health care,

  • their education, their emotional well-being,

  • even if you're not a doctor or a teacher or a therapist.

  • You recognize what your child needs

  • and you step up to provide it the best you can.

  • Thinking like a mother means seeing the whole world

  • through the eyes of those who are responsible

  • for its most vulnerable people.

  • And we're not used to thinking of subsistence farmers as philanthropists,

  • but those women were practicing the root meaning of philanthropy:

  • love for humanity.

  • What's at the core of thinking like a mother shouldn't be a surprise:

  • it's love.

  • Because, love is more than just an emotion.

  • It's a capacity, a verb,

  • an endlessly renewable resource --

  • and not just in our private lives.

  • We recognize hate in the public sphere.

  • Right? Hate speech, hate crimes.

  • But not love.

  • What is love in the public sphere?

  • Well, Cornel West, who is not a mother but thinks like one,

  • says it best:

  • "Justice is what love looks like in public."

  • And when we remember that every policy is an expression of social values,

  • love stands out as that superstar value,

  • the one best able to account for the most vulnerable among us.

  • And when we position love as a kind of leading edge

  • in policy making,

  • we get new answers to fundamental social questions,

  • like, "What's the economy for?"

  • "What is our commitment to those in the path of the hurricane?"

  • "How do we greet those arriving to our borders?"

  • When you think like a mother,

  • you prioritize the needs of the many,

  • not the whims of the few.

  • When you think like a mother,

  • you don't build a seawall around beachfront property,

  • because that would divert floodwaters

  • to communities that are still exposed.

  • When you think like a mother,

  • you don't try to prosecute someone

  • for leaving water for people crossing the desert.

  • Because, you know --

  • (Applause)

  • Because you know that migration,

  • just like mothering,

  • is an act of hope.

  • Now, not every mother thinks like a mother.

  • When presented with a choice, some of us have made the wrong one,

  • hiding behind weapons or barbed wire or privilege

  • to deny the rest of the world,

  • thinking they can see their way to safety in some kind of armed lifeboat

  • fueled by racism and xenophobia.

  • Not every mother is a role model,

  • but all of us have a choice.

  • Are we going to jump on that armed lifeboat

  • or work together to build a mother ship that can carry everyone?

  • You know how to build that mother ship,

  • how to repair the world and ease the suffering.

  • Think like a mother.

  • Thinking like a mother is a tool we can all use

  • to build the world we want.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

One morning, 18 years ago,

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不確実な時代には、母親のように考えよう|Yifat Susskind(イファット・サスキンド (In uncertain times, think like a mother | Yifat Susskind)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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