A Solemn Oath for a Girl
On my honor, I will try:
To serve God and my country,
To help people at all times,
And to live by the Girl Scout Law
I remember reciting this pledge to kick off each Girl Scout meeting many years ago when I was learning to cook, sew, and provide childcare all in an attempt to earn those badges for my sash. I hadn’t thought about those scouting years in decades, but tucked inside a goodie bag I received at a networking event last month was a Girl Scout bookmark that really got me thinking. Right at the top of the bookmark, I read “DNA of a G.I.R.L.: She’s a go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader!”
Hmm… that’s interesting. And empowering. And inspiring. But the bookmark didn’t stop there. It described in detail what it means to be a G.I.R.L. It said:
- Has an imagination that knows no limits.
- Seeks new adventures and experiences.
- Listens to opinions and feelings different from her own.
- Takes action on issues dear to her heart.
- Handles conflict with compassion and clear communication.
- Falls down and gets back up.
- Runs for leadership positions.
- Builds team spirit and brings people together.
- Takes pride in her abilities and successes.
- Speaks up for herself and others.
- Sees new solutions to problems.
- Works hard to bring positive change to the world.
- Sets goals and sticks to them.
After reading these descriptors, I thought about how powerful they are. I also thought about who I am at this point in my life. My scouting years are long gone. Have I learned how to be a G.I.R.L. as described here?
A Girl with It All
It’s no secret that the dream of having it all isn’t all that easy to accomplish. It’s tough to put ourselves out there only to be knocked down by others who push us to the side. But are they really pushing us, or are we allowing the slightest breeze to knock us down?
What I see in all of these descriptors is a person who is tenacious and resilient, a person with exceptional initiative, work ethic, and communication skills. I see someone who speaks in an assertive manner when managing conflict. She doesn’t allow naysayers to bring her down when her solution doesn’t work perfectly; she simply implements Solution 2.0. She sets her goals and tunes in to obstacles that might get in her way. She prepares for those obstacles rather than be tempted to give up when they block the path to goal achievement.
In these descriptors, I see Sheryl Sandberg and Oprah and J.K. Rowling. I see Marianne Williamson, Mother Teresa, Arianna Huffington, and Michelle Obama. I also see so many strong, successful, assertive women I’ve had the great privilege of knowing.
Am I That Girl?
The million-dollar question, though, is, do I see myself in these descriptors? I wasn’t mindful of what being a Girl Scout was doing for the future me all those years ago, and I can’t say I went from being a scout to a teen and young adult with all of these descriptors in place. I can say, however, that the bumps and bruises I’ve endured along the way have made me more of the G.I.R.L. described on my bookmark.
“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” — Maya Angelou
I’m not perfect in living out these descriptors every day without fail, but I am at a place in life where I live them out more consciously. And the magnificent part of life is that as I become more of a real G.I.R.L., I am empowered to help others through my words and actions do the very same thing.
How about you? Is your own G.I.R.L. present each and every day, and if so, are you giving some of her away with each interaction you have? Others are so blessed when you do!