Today I thought I would offer a few thoughts I’ve been having on the potential of every woman. My own reflection on the topic was recently inspired by something I read from a woman who is someone I look up to as a role model. But before I share the quote from her that brought my thoughts in this direction, there are two stereotypes about women that would be good to note and are related. The first is the stereotypical housewife that has the “boring” duty of keeping the home in order, cooking and cleaning… sometimes portrayed as the weak, sweet, subservient doormat of the family. The other stereotype is the current depiction of women in our action movies – cool, beautiful, detached, insensitive and deceptive.
But these are distortions, as women are not meant to be humble without any dignity like the first stereotype, or to have dignity without humility, like the second stereotype.
This is what brings me to the quote that highlights the true, beautiful potential of every woman, and it is from the English, cloistered Carmelite Sister, Ruth Burrows, who has long been someone I have admired for capitalizing on both the humility and dignity that women are capable of. She wrote:
“A woman is meant to be all-receptivity, all-selflessness, wholly intent on giving and loving, that others may become themselves. A servant and a queen, a queen in as much as she is a servant.”
Is there not an inherent appeal, a resounding in every woman’s heart, when they hear of receiving the disclosure of others and being unconditionally loving to them to the extent that they can fully become themselves? I think this is because it touches on the God-given potential in women to live up to that dignity that requires so much hidden and selfless humility.
The words “A servant and a queen, a queen in as much as she is a servant” are certainly proven my women such as Mother Teresa, who was so humble a servant that her dignity was recognized to the extent that over 20 presidents of various countries were present at her funeral, and by the humble maiden of Nazareth who is now recognized as the Queen of Heaven. What a difference it would make in our world if women were able to realize their capacity by combining their potential for humility and dignity, bringing out the best in all those they love.