Today’s topic is: “February 22nd is World Thinking Day! What does it mean to you to empower girls and women?”
I was never a Girl Scout, and my daughters are not yet old enough to be interested. But, deep down, I think I always wished I had been. Not only are they the purveyors of delicious and highly addictive cookies (albeit at a phenomenal markup) but they get to wear cool uniforms and can earn badges for their accomplishments.
Early on in my An Intentional Detour adventure (more on that later), I realized that I was learning a whole bunch of new skills (auto mechanics, gardening, cooking, etc). I felt proud of having actually followed through with such a dramatic change in my lifestyle, so I decided I should earn some badges of my own. Here’s my collection so far.
*My badge for marriage has the Lily-of-the-Valley flower. My husband is of Dutch decent, and planting these flowers is one of their wedding traditions. They represent a “return of happiness” with each new blooming of the plant, encouraging the couples love and happiness to blossom too! However, since these are highly invasive, instead of planting them for our wedding, I decided to give him an original work of art with this beautiful flower instead.
I guess the next thing I need to do is sew a vest or sash or something to attach them to. I was thinking maybe a useful everyday-bag.
Others have thought that grown-ups should be able to earn merit badges too. I recently discovered a great book called You Can Do It! Handbook, which gives step-by-step tips for how to learn new things. It covers everything from public speaking to flower arranging to art appreciation to genealogy to scuba diving (so pretty much everything). There was also a successful Kickstarter campaign by One Bad Mother that gave parent’s merit badges for accomplishments ranging from “acquiring a kid” to “going out for milk, and actually coming back.”
I think it’s important for all people, not just girls and women, to feel a sense of accomplishment; to feel proud of their hard work, even if they don’t receive kudos from other people. Empower yourself! Be your own cheerleader! You’ve earned it!
If you have a skill or accomplishment that would earn you a badge, brag about it in the comments below.
~ Phoebe DeCook
(P.S. If you missed my introduction to these “Musings”, you can read from the beginning here.)