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Category: Global Sisterhood

Combined Strength from Unique Perspectives

February 27, 2023

(Lead photo credit Balaji Srinivasan via Pexels)

A children’s story is told of an elephant and a monkey who are friends but one day start to argue about who is better: the elephant insists it is better to be strong, and the monkey insists it is better to be agile. They turn to the wise old owl for judgment. The owl tells them that when they bring him fruit from a tree that is across the river, he will tell them which is better. The friends set off for the tree, but the monkey finds that he cannot cross the river on his own. The elephant lets the monkey ride across. At the tree, the elephant cannot reach the fruit high up in the tree’s branches. The monkey easily climbs the tree and collects the fruit. When they return to the owl, the owl asks them which of them brought the fruit, and the friends tell of how they had to work together to get it. The owl points out to them that neither is better than the other, they just have different strengths and weaknesses.

Some of us may be like the monkey and elephant, comparing our strengths and thinking we’re better than others we know, but as women, it is more likely that we feel we are lacking in ability or that we don’t have much to contribute. Whether the comparisons we make are on either end of the spectrum, or we happen to be in a golden spot of being content with ourselves and our abilities, the truth remains that we need each other. We all have different strengths and weaknesses, and when we work together, we can accomplish so much more than we could on our own.

This is why Big Ocean Women has the tenet, “We work in partnership with our global sisters to create generative solutions.” We know that as we work together we can do so much more than we could on our own. Each individual with her unique perspective and innate worth has something valuable to contribute, and that is amplified and magnified when individuals collaborate and cooperate. 

Frans Johansson, author of The Medici Effect, explains that working together with people from different backgrounds is powerful in ways many might not consider. He said, “Most people think success comes from surrounding yourself with others that are like you…But true success and breakthrough innovation involves discomfort. Discomfort pushes you to grow. This is where difference of experience, opinion, and perspective come in. Diversity is a well-documented pathway to unlocking new opportunities, overcoming new challenges, and gaining new insights.”

Being involved with Big Ocean Women has increased my awareness, helped me grow in understanding, and being part of something bigger than myself has helped me learn more about what is really important in life. I am thankful for the opportunities I have had to meet with women from all over the world as we have participated in the UN Commission on the Status of Women. Some of the inspiring women we have met there have become WAVE leaders, and other valuable partnerships have been made with organizations who share our values. Together, our voices are stronger. The messages of our tenets that we share have helped women see that they are capable of being the agents of change for the better. One woman, one home, one WAVE, one community at a time – we are changing the future.