We at “Thanks!” are focused on how to bring a few ideals to reality. Today, I’m sharing important ones with you. Please keep these in mind as you explore when, where and how you will contribute to he American Rosie Movement™.
Soon, I will share other goals and how they are unfolding together.
Stories that connect people to one another are universal. Worldwide, every culture has stories that help its people to know who they are.
In today’s world, with negative messages that spread instantly, people are dividing into opposing groups. One result is that we are accepting negative image of our fellow humans.
Today, stories of human family are needed. Why? Because personal stories connect people to basic human needs and hopes.
I have a dream that every person, regardless of age, power, and all the other differences between us, will share stories that speak to our commonality. Let us work on sharing a few universal stories for now – we can add others as we learn to work together to continue this incredible miracle called the human race. Notice that I use the word “race” to mean our fellow humans – you, me and all the rest of us, not “race” as word that divides us because of our different physical characteristics.
The word “freedom” has puzzled me since I was a very little girl. When I missed Mother while she worked in a defense factory, when I asked why young men had to fight a war in countries I never dreamed of seeing, when I asked why I could’t have an ice cream cone, I was told that we all had to give something for freedom.
As a child and young adult, I thought that education was the way to freedom. Today as an old child – I’m 84 -, I see that formal education and books has fallen woefully short of preparing us for the very different world of today and tomorrow that no one could have imagined when I was a young adult. Today, learning is not step by step. Learning is fluid, dynamic and many disciplines affect one another as never before. The result? Often cannot tell our students exactly what they are preparing for.
How can we use our freedom to learn what to do – and what not to do – for the future? I believe the answer lies in crating things together in respect for our human family. But we must start small. And a great way to start is to learn the stories of Rosies and the American Rosie Movement – not stories of winning or loosing, but stories of pulling together do face new problems, which is what Rosies did.
Over15 years now, I have listened to stories of women who, like Mother, worked on the home front during World War II. Soon after I started working with these women, I realized they want to be called, simply, Rosies for two reasons. First, most were not riveters – they welded ships, inspected all kinds of armaments, soldered, broke codes, were typists and clerks, grew and processed food, and much more. Second, they like to be called Rosies because they want their message to be positive – rosy.
In short, Rosies I’ve known – and often cared deeply for – do not want their legacy to be only that they made armaments to help win the war. Instead, they want to be remembered for pulling together to doing highest-quality work, and doing it in a cooperative spirit. To quote Nancy Sipple, a Rosie who inspected parts for airplane engines in Cincinnati while her husband was away at war,
“We pulled together then! We can do it again. It’s our only hope!”
“We at “Thanks!” have always known we can do it. But the question has been, “Will we?”
Today, with miracles in technical break-throughs, new freedoms surround us. We have better health and longer lives, more abundant food, instant and wide communication of facts, entertainment, weather and world news, video and audio of our family member. Freedoms surround us.
But we are like children in a candy store. We grab and consume. That’s not freedom.
Freedom takes a common commitment, work, and a shared commitment to the value of the human family.
How do we use our freedoms for good? Quoting a character in a book I’ve begun:
When we use our freedom to grab what we want.
It’s like pissin’ in our plate.
It ain’t right.
Matter of fact, wrong.
So, again, the question is, “Will people use our freedom to keep freedom flowing?”
I genuinely believe “Thanks!” and our many allied are proving that people not only can and will pull together, we are pulling together. Sure, we are small – that has been on purpose so that we can prove that people, not organizations, are the center of action. Sure, the last 15 years have not been easy – it’s been lonely, frustrating, and deeply disappointing at times. However, somehow we have begun to direct our freedom toward getting people to pull together.
What evidence do we have that people are pulling together across boundaries? I’ll send you more soon, for now please accept that we have found that:
- People need five things before they will pull together. I’ll explain these soon.
- The key is not technology – it is totally necessary but not enough.
- The key is exceptional partners – individuals, for-profit and non-profit organizations, and even governments – who want to learn by participating.
- Work to complete projects that fit together into a “whole that is greater than the sum of its parts” help each of us to “own” a piece of whole.
Our job now is to grow from the strong foundation and successes we have laid down.
Check back soon for exactly how we plan to go forward with projects that the public does so that the story of the Rosie Legacy™ is shared and participated in by people like – and unlike – you.
An odd thing just happened. As I finished writing this, I heard a sentence on the Big Broadcast, a WAMU radio program from Washington on Sunday evenings. Murray Horwitz, host, was playing a version of Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, when this sentence spoke to me:
“Freedom which is greater than gadgets must be guarded still.”
by Anne Montague