Thursday, June 23, 2005

Daughters in Transit

My wife recently handed me a copy of an article that Stacy Schiff wrote about young women finding a place in this world. She used Jo March of "Little Women" as an example both of how to be a success in life as well as of how to get lost on your way to it. In short, it takes hard work and shrewd planning for professional women to find success and fulfillment in today's hectic world. The working world isn't the same challenge for them as it is for their male counterparts. It's harder and takes careful personal management to best. I have a daughter who is just finding her way in to this world of professionalism. She has not yet "arrived" and has had her share of struggles along the way. I would like to offer some advice both to her and to all in her situation.

My dear daughter, I know you to be a highly intelligent and highly motivated young women with designs on having both a successful career and a successful family life some day. Both are within the grasp of your abilities and talents, but neither will come easily without conscious effort on your part to be smart about your personal choices. Okay, so what does that mean, right?! Well, I have one area of concern in which I would caution you to be watchful: your close personal relationships, particularly those with members of the opposite sex and most particularly that one which will eventually lead to your choice of a life partner. In her article Stacy Schiff quotes statistics among female executives that strongly suggest a woman's partner has much to do with her success. Choose wisely, grasshopper. Wisely, in this case, is someone who is your intellectual equal, someone who can and does think on the same level as you do. If you look for a partner among those whose thought patterns and world view are not as developed as your's, you will eventually find someone who will expect you to fit into a mold much smaller than that for which you were made and for which you aspire. Think of it as a foot race in which you can either choose to have a head wind or a tail wind. The head wind could easily cost you the race, but a tail wind will add to your already ample ability and propel you to the win. I want the world for you, my daughter and that world is there. Secure your thinking in the wisdom that will get it for you.

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