"Victim Culture" Doesn't Create a Sustainable Society

“Victim Culture” Doesn’t Create a Sustainable Society

Recipetips

“Victim Culture” Doesn’t Create a Sustainable Society

By Katrina Schwartz

What happens when someone inevitably gets caught up in a conflict? Sadly, we see this happen repeatedly. However, in a new report, the World Economic Forum advocates that we encourage and empower young women to ask, “Is there a way for my actions to contribute more to the welfare of the people with whom I am interacting, instead of creating damage to them?”

Many of our daily actions impact the people around us. Whether we like it or not, we all decide on and affect products, services, investments, policies, and the trajectory of human affairs. There is no upside if the shared goals of our society aren’t met.

There is a truth to the adage, “Some people have all the luck,” while others have all the potential. As advocates for future generations, we shouldn’t be surprised when more of us may be powerful if we simply think of those with potential in the first place, and stop focusing on the outcomes of another’s successes.

It’s not that we are imagining things. The data is in: the best nations thrive when their women thrive. Imagine how markets would behave if nearly all of the citizens invested in women’s and girls’ education. Or if the financial markets were more gender-inclusive, with more women on corporate boards, in front of investors, and in decision-making roles. The ensuing benefits and benefits to investors would be significant. The costs to society would be lower.

The incredible work of activists and community leaders around the world is aimed at tipping this trend. We’ve seen organizations like ParityCounts, Girl Up, and I Will Lead transform lives and empower young women for their countries. These types of organizations are doing amazing work to inspire our girls and create a more inclusive society. However, change is slow. A better question is: What are we doing to spark positive change in the lives of our girls?

I will lead by example. By developing equal, intersectional models for leadership and setting examples of who women can be and be-all, I will help to foster a more inclusive society in which young women can thrive. This is why I’ve devoted my life to training girls to be leaders. I’m a high school social worker in Japan’s Shizuoka Prefecture. I’m on track to become a teacher and give more of the opportunities I have been given and available to me as a small girl to girls across Japan and the world. In my community, my gender has not deterred me or limited the opportunities available to me. Instead, it has served as a badge of honor.

As leaders who are working for girls in their community and around the world, we owe it to ourselves and to our girls to be intentional about how we move girls to power—and what happens if they fail? If anything, exposing our young girls to conflict and seeing the other side of the coin should instill in them a greater belief in themselves as women and catalyze an enthusiasm to strive for peace and improve people’s lives.

Attending leadership training and attending conferences (I know, I could take notes) can help girls hear other perspectives, develop a collaborative mindset, and broaden their experiences. Participating in a pro-bono community building effort and giving back to the community can be transformative.

We owe it to our girls to do the best we can, and take deliberate steps every day to move them to power and empower them to dream big. In doing so, we will also catalyze society for the better.

(What makes a girl empowered? Watch here.)

Please watch for more inspiring stories on Recipetips from Katie Waller, executive director of Girl Up, and Yuka Shimizu, manager of girls’ events and leadership development for ParityCounts. These stories serve as a reminder that young women need smart strategies and sound strategies, like this initiative, to ensure that they are prepared to play a role in solving our most pressing problems.

This story was originally published on www.recipetips.com. Copyright (c) 2018.

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