Just One Millionth of an Inch

To become a feminist was a difficult decision for me. I made the decision in nineteen seventy-three out of necessity.
It was difficult because I did not like women, I never have, for numerous very good reasons.

Nineteen seventy-three was the year of my divorce.
Don’t let anyone ever tell you that divorce is easy.
At that time it was however, better than marriage.
Still, I did not like women and my dislike grew. This dislike began with my mother.

We are programmed for change, often thought of as the hardest of life’s tasks.
We hear it all the time: “People don’t change. They can’t, change is too difficult.”
And then you will hear: “The older you are the more difficult it is to change.”
In summary it is to be believed that: “I am a feminist who doesn’t like women and who cannot change.”

This is all wrong. Anyone can change, anyone can shape-shift.
We only need willingness, the willingness to change.
But let me say that it is harder at sixty-five to change than it was at twenty-seven, really, truly.
Willingness is the key – which means that it is also the key to happiness.

Be willing to move over just one millionth of an inch.
Be willing to see life from a different place. Change your focus just one millionth of an inch.
One millionth of an inch to the right or left or up or down, change your view just one millionth of an inch from the place in which you are accustomed to viewing.

Today I see women differently. Today started nine days ago. I have long known that “women hold up half the sky.”
I just didn’t want to hold it up with them. But old ladies are different.
Old ladies can wear purple with confidence.
Old women actually do “hold up half the sky.” Whereas too many young women are crushed as “half the sky” weighs them down.
Today wearing purple I too can say that I hold up half the sky.
I have been welcomed into the sisterhood of women at last.

© Liz Rice-Sosne September 2012

Shared on OpenLinkNight at dVerse Poet’s Pub with gratitude.

This poem is dedicated to Sherry, Jeannie, Jamie, Becca, Sherrill, Brian and Karen. They are steadfast, loyal, constant, good poets and important to me. Oh, Sherrill may or may not be a poet. She is a friend from Facebook.

14 thoughts on “Just One Millionth of an Inch

    • Hi Ravenblack. It is doable and personal change (for me) is what brings about personal happiness. I don’t know why being wrong is thought of as such a terrible thing (well, in western culture). I have long viewed it as an opportunity to learn. Hey, thanks friend!

  1. “just one millionth of an inch” seems like such a small change…such a small movement…but you’re right if one is not willing “one millionth of an inch” might as well be ‘one million inches.

    • Thanks RMP … actually I made it sound easier than it is. I put out there: OK, I need to make a change, I know that I need to change. What do you want me to do? Once you do that (or say that) you are establishing that you wish to change. Therefore for me, I was already to be willing to change, because I had asked for it. Make sense?

  2. I so love this, Sister-Woman – one millionth of an inch……..that’s all it takes. If each human being tried it, Peace would Be. Yes, your are SO welcome in the Sisterhood, shape-shifter, raven, wolf-woman. In fact, you are NECESSARY!!!!!!! And thank you for the comment – you MADE my DAY! (which has been a long one!)

  3. smiles….i love your story…and sadly too many lay crushed under half the sky…and one millionth of an inch is all it takes…seeing new perspeoctives is a an amazing gift as well…and a discipline….love it…smiles…

  4. I like this Liz because it teaches us an important lesson. Part of the human condition is having the ability to adapt to change. We do it for survival. When what we do, or think, no longer works for us we find alternatives. And I think what you say is key to change. We don’t have to turn ourselves completely inside out. “One millionth of an inch” can make all the difference on how we live our lives. A toast–here’s to you my friend–you’re loaded with integrity and a fire for living with your best self. xoxox

    • Thanks Jeannie … willingness is actually easier than we might think. One can be willing but not have clue what to do … “that” makes change seem impossible. But I wanted real change in my life. Thus I asked for it. I immediately received answers (well in about 3-4 days). With those answers in mind and because I wanted them I was tickled pink to change. At that point all I had to do was be willing to see things in a different light and voila. Thanks friend.

  5. Bravo, Liz!

    Not too much of a seque: “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide” is on PBS 10/1 and 10/2 and is based on the wonderful book by the same name by: Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. I’m hoping it will be on the website as well as TV since I don’t have the later. Anyway, it’s one you might really like.

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