Why would any man or woman not be enamored by an attractive image of sisterhood? Not only because the young women are good-looking, but also because of the social dynamic that their circle represents.
- The sister circle is a picture of beautiful connectedness in a world where disconnect generates pictures of humanity at its ugliest.
- It is a picture that makes parents hopeful and grateful for groups of levelheaded young women to which their daughters can belong.
- It is a picture in which young women celebrate themselves and their camaraderie, showcasing the positives of self-worth.
- It is a picture of young women empowering each other.
First, each woman empowers herself, then reaches out for association with like-minded friends. Together, they establish a group image which highlights the following six supportive habits (among others).
How Young Women Support and Empower Each Other
- They Respect Womanhood
- They Value Male Friends
- They Share Their Strengths
- They Appreciate Youth
- They Love Their Sisters
- They Predict Their Futures
1. They Respect Womanhood
"Nature says to a woman: 'Be beautiful if you can, wise if you want to, but be respected, that is essential.'" —Pierre Beaumarchais
Young women build respect for themselves when they respect the institution of womanhood. They recognize their self-worth and accept all other women as valuable. They replace the myths that threaten womanhood. For example:
- They believe that genius, not gossip, brings women together.
- They look to the power of their merits, not to the presence of males, to make their gathering enjoyable.
- They walk confidently because they know they are beautiful, not because they want someone to tell them so.
They are definitely proud to be women, and they know the importance of strengthening the pride of the sisterhood. They are intentional about creating an atmosphere in which other woman can find assistance, advice and empowerment to grow and help build respectable womanhood.
2. They Value Male Friends
"You don’t have to be anti-man to be pro-woman." —Jane Galvin Lewis
Friendships between males and females provide the opportunity to practice relationship skills. They may come with possible threats to the equilibrium or with potential to boost the sense of dignity. Young women learn to let their conduct reflect the value they place on themselves.
The key to happy, healthy male-female relationships is mutual respect. Women look at each other to see what that looks like within a relationship.
- Does she allow verbal abuse and humiliation or does he speak kindly and respectfully to her?
- Do they seem to enjoy each other’s company, or does one hide from the other?
Purposeful young women value friendships with males because however they turn out, the wise women get wiser. They have lessons to learn and lessons to teach. If the respect outlives the friendship, they have set standards that other women can adopt.
3. They Share Their Strengths
"For what is done or learned by one class of women becomes, by virtue of their common womanhood, the property of all women." —Elizabeth Blackwell
In the sisterhood circle, giving is as important as receiving; if there is nothing to give, there is nothing to receive. All the young women have strengths to share, and they do so happily and confidently. Some are gifted with keen insight, ready humor, organizational skills, good taste in fashion or decorating. Whatever their talents are, they take pleasure in developing them for their personal benefit, and for their contribution to the circle.
Building personal strengths requires that they make use of learning opportunities and spend money on the necessary tools for their trade. The more expert they become, the greater quality of service they can offer. They become models of progress and preparedness. They empower by example.
4. They Appreciate Youth
"The kind of young woman who can be a terrific torchbearer has high standards all the time, not just in her prom dress, but every, ordinary day." —Margaret D. Nadauld
Being young compares to the thrill of having money to spend, making imaginary purchases while window shopping, and returning home with the money still unspent.
The sister circle gives undecided young women the opportunity to window shop together before they buy into important decisions concerning religion, politics, career and relationships. They share their passion for life and achievements; and although each individual is obligated to make her own decision, girlfriends support each other with reminders to:
- Decide according to one’s God-given purpose;
- Tune out distractions and remain on course;
- Persevere no matter the temptations to give up;
- Be cautious about decisions that cannot be undone.
They appreciate the reality that spending time together is easier while they are young than it will be when personal responsibilities increase. Empowerment then may be by remote.
5. They Love Their Sisters
Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, “She doesn’t have what it takes.” They will say, “Women don’t have what it takes."
Women, who love being women, are capable of seeing the graces of true womanhood in one another. In the event that they encounter betrayal by a sister, they know that betrayal does not define womanhood because they know themselves.
Young women who learn to love and trust each other form friendships which will support them through adulthood, especially when they need sisters' perspective. So they express their love to one another by:
- looking after each other’s interests;
- admiring and applauding the strengths they see;
- building strength where they see weakness;
- commending worthy effort whether the performer is present or absent;
- creating opportunities to help each other shine.
“The beauty of empowering others is that your own power is not diminished in the process,” says Barbara Colorose. Similarly, no sister loses love in the process of loving others; she becomes more loveable.
6. They Predict Their Futures
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." —Eleanor Roosevelt
Based on the potential that they see in each other, girlfriends take pleasure in predicting futures. The person who comments “You’d make a good movie producer,” is registering a vote of confidence, for friends empower friends to obtain the highest achievement possible.
They predict futures, but commit to supporting whatever futures the friends eventually choose. They want the entire circle to get to the top; not only because they feel proud when women excel, but also because they share the joy of each friend who tastes success and satisfaction.
There is seldom a clear path to the future, so divine guidance and intervention are necessities. Young women who engage in the habit of meditation and prayer empower their friends with hope and confidence for the future when they share their faith in a God who controls destiny.
© 2015 Dora Weithers