Why Not Having it All is Okay

This is a sequel to my previous post “Can a Woman Ever Have it All?” in which I wrote “what matters more is not having it all, but the striving that a woman does…”

I came along this article by Anne-Marie Slaughter, Why Women Still Can’t Have It All.” An academician in the fields of politics and international affairs, a woman who once held a high-level government post (which she left in order to have more time for family and teaching), and currently President and CEO of the New America Foundation, wrote that though she believed women, as well as men, can indeed have it all, even have it all at the same time, yet she stresses

“but not today, not with the way America’s economy and society are currently structured. My experiences over the past three years have forced me to confront a number of uncomfortable facts…”

What struck me was her assertion:

“Women of my generation have clung to the feminist credo we were raised with, even as our ranks have been steadily thinned by unresolvable tensions between family and career, because we are determined not to drop the flag for the next generation. But when many members of the younger generation have stopped listening, on the grounds that glibly repeating “you can have it all” is simply airbrushing reality, it is time to talk.”

Another article, The Only Definition of Success That Matters”  likewise explains what matters most is whether you are happy! The author, Jeff Haden wrote, and I quote: “Defining success is important, but taking a clear-eyed look at the impact of your definition matters even more. As in most things, your intention is important, but the results provide the real answer.

In other words, whatever you choose to do, if it brings you happiness, you are satisfied, then you are successful in that area. He also stresses, like I do, something else has to give. You cannot have everything, for as he says, “tradeoffs are unavoidable […]  Other things are clearly more important than making money, and that’s okay.”

I most agree with him that there are more important things in life than making money (more than we actually need for ourselves and our families and the good works we do for others), and reaching for the top. These are good goals, but they should not take precedence over our time spent with family and loved ones, maintaining good health and inner balance. I again stress that instead of focusing our energies on having it all, we should strive to do our best in anything we do for the betterment of ourselves, our families, our communities. Let us strive to leave a good mark and make our world a better place each day.



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