I spent most of the weekend reading this book – and I’d happily recommend it. I think what I loved most about it is finding out that Gloria Steinem is no extraordinary person – or at least not more so than any other human being. And yet she has achieved a hell of a lot (and is still adding to that…).
She was afraid of speaking in public. Imagine that. She’s had a bit of a messy childhood, a complicated family. Her life has not been a career as such, no planned, strategic route to fame. She happened upon work that needed doing, and did it. Work she loved. And learned while doing it. And never stopped. She didn’t start out knowing it all. Not even close. She relied on others for a lot of the answers and ways forward. She did very little of her work alone – she’s about community, cooperation, organising people to get together to come up with solutions to their own problems. She’s pretty amazing at believing in people knowing what they need, and not telling them.
It gives me hope, this book.
It’s okay to not be ready, to not have it all thought through, to carry around your own trouble while trying to make things better for others/everyone. None of this is easy. None of it was clear when she started out.
Trust your gut. Do what you love doing. Follow what you’re passionate about. It’s all of that. And deal with all the stuff life throws at you – trouble and opportunities and lots of opposition… And most of all people. Friendships. Community.
She’s just telling some of her story, really. It’s no how-to book and no account of heroic achievements and struggles. Despite all the politics and abortion pro/con debates it’s an enjoyable and relaxed read somehow. And I feel I’ve learned without having noticed knowledge being imparted while I was reading. Which is probably the best kind of learning.
Just read it already…