I was reading this article about how half of viking warriors seem to have been women, and came across this quote. "It’s been so difficult for people to envision women’s historical contributions as solely getting married and dying in childbirth."
Read that again.
Note that the only worth in your life is obviously your contribution to the world and to history. You, as a woman, are only a wife and mother? That's it? What a let-down to society! What a loss for history. You didn't make a contribution to the world, just sat at home, stuck in your women's world. Heck, that's just about as worthless as it gets.
Okay, forgive my sarcasm. But as I pondered this outrageous statement I realized it all stems from the pressure our culture inundates us with to be the top dog, if you will. We have little respect for the second-fiddles, those who work behind the scenes. Even movie directors get way less press and fame than their actors and actresses. Why? Because they played the visible roles. They were the VIPs.
It isn't always true, but oftentimes the unseen workers are responsible for making the stars and heroes great. Think of the slaves rowing the warships in ancient times. They didn't get a speck of the glory -- but it couldn't have been done without them. A singer is just a guy with a guitar on YouTube without his producer, band, agent, sound-mixer and marketers.
Look, I totally understand why everyone wants to be the visible one who gets all the glory. That's human nature. But why does our culture have to add to the pressure by making us feel like we're not making anything of ourselves if we are the back-up singers for the American Idol, the rowers in the belly of the conquerors ship, the lunch cooks for the cast of the blockbuster.
I'm all for the supporters. The ones who aren't applauded or hailed as heroes. And the very crux of all of those backstage workers is a wife and mother. I'd be so bold as to say she may make even more of a change than those champions. Because most all of the men who made such a difference in the world were reared by loving mothers and supported by strong wives. Who gets credit in the history books? The men. Who worked year after year, 24/7, to support and care for these world-changers? The women.
I'm never going to be somebody big. I'm not going to be a movie star, or the next Mother Theresa, or even ever perform on Broadway. I'll probably never have my books published. I doubt I will make any kind of mark on the history books. But that doesn't make me worthless. You hear that, World? Stop telling me that by being a stay-at-home mom I'm wasting my life and not making a contribution. I'm making the most important contribution I can possibly make by investing into the lives of my husband, children and family.
I'm not saying that women can't be visible world-changers. That's great! It's just that most of them will be invisible world-changers, and I think that is just as great. I only hope that our culture will learn to respect the hundreds of women throughout the ages whose hard work earns just as much applause as their husband's and sons' does.