Standing on the shoulders of so many before us


Hundreds, may be even thousands, of books have been written on leadership. Still when one is faced with gut-wrenching challenges there is no manual to reach for. No one book on leadership exists that tells you what to do or how to face challenges. There is no book that walks you step-by-step through the process of being a popular leader while making difficult choices. The only place that you can reach into is your heart, your core values, your mental and moral DNA. At such times, there is always the temptation to take the easy way out. The easy road is so darn tempting.
Just let it go.
Move on.
Forget it.
Yet precisely at that time you must stop dead in your tracks. You must pause. And you must ask, “What would have happened to me if those before me had done the same thing?” Moved on.
Would women today enjoy the right to vote?
Would women be in the armed forces?
Would women sit on boards?
Would women be encouraged to pursue an education?
Would women be assured of a safe workplace?
Would maternity leave and family leave have been a reality?
Indeed we stand on the shoulders of so many who went before us. who struggled for us, who made sacrifices knowing fully well that they may not, will not, live to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Yet they did it. What motivated these people? Were they just made of a different fabric? Were they born with courage or did they do what they needed to do without even realizing that they were bold, courageous visionaries. Whatever it is the truth remains that we stand on the shoulders of many extraordinary human beings who went before us and cared for us and worked hard so that we can live better lives. We have an obligation to lend our shoulders so that the next generation can stand on it. It ain’t an easy road, but we must leand our shoulders so that our daughters, sisters, spouse, mothers, and friends will be treated with respect and dignity in what should be the safest of all places – universities and colleges – but unfortunately today is not always a safe or welcoming place for women.

About Dr. Gupta

Dr. Uma G. Gupta is the Founder and President of STEM.SMART, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing the pipeline of U.S students interested in STEM careers. In addition, she is the CEO of PlanetGPA, an international student recruitment services that serves as an extension to the recruitment offices of U.S. universities.

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