It’s nearly spring! I know this when International Women’s Day rolls around each year. This year’s theme is “Balance for Better,” building a gender balanced world. As I reflect on this theme, I recall my mother’s efforts to do exactly this for more than three decades. As the Director for the Art of Living’s Women and Children’s Programs, she has overseen the growth of the programs that now offer education to 67,000 rural children – more than half of whom are girls.
My mother, Bhanumathi Narasimhan, has had a defining impact on the way I experience and interact with the world. She believes that true balance is only possible when both women and men live and work with mutual respect. For her, equality comes when we all rise together – and this has been the way she has conducted herself and brought us up respecting all life on our precious planet. This underlying respect for all life comes through in the way we craft our products at Shankara.
At Shankara, we believe that all of us are inherently beautiful – and so, our products support radiating that inner beauty in all its splendor, and caring for our skin in the most natural, authentic and effective manner possible. We also believe in walking the talk. We are proud to support education for girls as part of our efforts to create the world we want for us and our children through the Gift-A-Smile program.
While it is great to celebrate women through a dedicated International Women’s Day, every day belongs to women! The way I see it, women are the soul of human society. A society where women are honored and treated as equals is essential for humanity to be able to tackle the complex challenges ahead – from climate change to radicalism, from sustainable agriculture to jobs and livelihoods – women have solutions. In 1865, William Wallace famously wrote, “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.” Mothers influence the thought process of young minds in so many ways.
This spring, let’s welcome the flourishing of inner beauty and gender balance. Here’s to harmony!
(The Author is President, Shankara Inc. and Director, Leadership and Public Initiatives, International Association For Human Values)