Dear Gloria Steinem,
I wanted to thank you for fighting for equal pay for women in the work place. I also appreciate that I have a choice in whether I want to pursue career full-time, family full-time, or a combo of both. I believe you have marked our society and the way it looks at women. I think that we women should stick together and encourage each other in life. I admire your passion and willingness to fight for what you believe in. I do not necessarily agree with all your views (abortion being a huge one), but I do have to recognize that you leveraged your life, your career, your reputation to fight for the things you believe in. I respect that.
I recently saw you on Oprah. You were being honored for all you have done for women. You said something that I strongly disagree with, and I had to respond. You said:
"Gratitude never radicalized anyone."
I know the context of this was Oprah asking you if you feel frustrated that young girls in this society do not know how far women have come. But, these words that you choose to speak are so contrary to what I believe.
You see, Ms. Steinem, I believe that gratitude is one of the biggest forces of revolution there is. I look at our society and I see a place that is pillaged by discontent, by greed, by a lack of gratefulness. I see a world that is hurting and broken and very, very poor. I see that most people walk through their days with a sense of entitlement, and maybe even a bit of anger because they want more. You may think that the most powerful form of revolution is anger - indignation - frustration with the status quo. I am led to believe that the most powerful revolution is one in our souls.
I have seen in recent events in my own life that my choice to walk in gratitude is transforming my life. It is RADICALLY changing my days, my thoughts, my heart. You are wrong. Gratitude has radicalized me.
I pray that my heart would burn for social justice. I pray that our culture would hurt for those who are hurting, and take a stand when it comes to social justice. That we would live radically. I truly believe that if we begin to notice and want WHAT WE HAVE, we will want to fight for others to have that as well. We will not be consumed by our quest for more, but to share the good.
So, today, I choose to be thankful. To revolutionize my world with gratitude. To foster that in my children. I hope that others will join me in this.
Ali blogs at Leaning In and Mama Manifesto, is a wife and mom of two, and asks that you join in the revolution of gratitude. Thanksgiving is her favorite holiday. You can also read Part 2 of her Revolution of Gratitude.