The Editor’s Letter – September
‘Do not judge a woman by where she stands, but rather, how she reached there.’
With the buzz and glamour of international fashion weeks, and the advent of the final quarter approaching, I felt Status was an apt theme for September.
In today’s world, we often equate success with status. In contrast to admiring people’s journey, character or the challenges they may have overcome, we gravitate to those we deem as worthy of our time and attention because of what they’ve achieved or the influence they have.
What is status?
She is well connected.
She is influential.
She is successful.
She is wealthy.
She has the perfect relationship.
She is beautiful.
She is doing well.
She has it together.
Status is an objective thing to do with our standing in society or at least how people perceive our position.
Recently, I’ve been challenged in my own life. Thinking that post school I was over the shallowness of judging people by outward measures, I noticed how from small to big things, my perception of people started to influence how much time I was giving them and I knew it was time for a reality check. Even if we don’t like to admit it, as humans, our nature is often to treat people differently based on how well we rank them in regards to some of the above statements.
The preoccupation with status
With the rise of social media – the pre-occupation to notify people of where we are, what we’re doing and achieving, is a modern day obsession. I started to ask the question, ‘Why am I so pre-occupied with people’s perception of me?’ I wondered if it’s simply the excitement of wanting to share the joy in my life or whether it’s the desire to justify to others that I’m making progress – often I think it’s a fine line between the two.
The example of Jesus
As I gain a deeper understanding of the Christian faith and what it means to truly know and love Jesus Christ, I’m overwhelmed by His example of grace and sacrifice and particularly how His life flipped our modern day definition of status and influence on its head.
The person of Jesus – so strong, yet humble, so loving and sacrificial, amazes me. Particularly when it comes to what’s under the surface – our identity and our character – there’s so much I admire and believe we can learn from Him.
“In your relationships with one another, have the same mind-set as Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.”
Challenging the status quo
“The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one else has ever been before.”
I feel so blessed by so many of the inspirational people I’ve come across through MAGNIFY. Many are everyday, ordinary people faithfully pursuing their work (under the radar) and some are better known who’ve diligently applied their talents to their passion and through that achieved great success and influence. What I notice about both these two groups is that they’re actually not pre-occupied with positioning themselves or how others perceives them, rather they’re passionate and focused and stay true to themselves.
People and society’s idea about everything changes all the time. It’s exhausting trying to be relevant, desiring to be accepted in a constantly fluctuating environment. Ultimately, I’ve also realised that people will come to respect you if you’re true to who you are.
My encouragement to us this month; is to be women who are confident in who we are, who treat people with respect no matter who they are or what they’ve achieved and who challenge the status quo by spending more time developing our character and pursuing our passions than worrying about what others think.
With love always,
Ruth Yimika Awogbade xx