Respectfully Aggressive

Earlier in the week I had the opportunity to speak to three hundred young girls, between the ages of twelve and seventeen, about the importance of being a light in the world.

After my remarks I was approached by a lovely older woman. She proceeded to tell me that she had worked for the FBI and had traveled around the world for her job. She had worked closely with the military over the years, and had been given opportunities to visit places like Afghanistan and Iraq. She. Was. Fascinating. top it all off, she had blue hair!

She said something interesting to me about women (especially younger women) and their need to take a stand against opposition and adversity. She said they "need to be respectfully aggressive."

Respectfully aggressive.

I admit I thought about that phrase for the better part of the evening. I wanted to wrap my brain around it and understand it's significance and how it applied to me. As one who feels it absolutely essential to raise good and strong women in today's society, I wanted to pick it apart for the benefit of my daughters. What on earth does it mean to be "respectfully aggressive?"

I think it means we strive for and embrace a powerful duality. Strong and kind. Thoughtful and assertive. Powerful and humble. Unapologetic and forgiving. (And knowing when to apologize, then having the courage and sincerity to do it.) It means that, as women, we stand immovably strong in our convictions while unconditionally loving those who differ from us. It means being passionate--about a cause, an idea, a talent, a movement--while being compassionate to our fellow beings. We can be stubborn, but teachable; gentle and unbreakable. It means we fight for what's right, we fight for what we want, we fight for all that is good while being the good.

(So basically it's what it means to be a woman!)

And hey, if we have to kick some butt and take some names while "doing all the things," at least we can do so with a smile, right?!

And blue hair.


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