Sunday, April 3, 2011

Foreign Policy and a Whole Lot of Villages

A few weeks ago Mr. Q forwarded me an article on on Hillary Clinton and how she is trying to remake foreign policy. He thought it might be something I could work into a post for Wabisabi Mama and I think he was right. I've never been super-involved in politics, though I certainly have my opinions on how things should be done. But I do have strong feelings about community involvement and activism and I think understanding politics and foreign policy is an area I could improve in. Here was the context on the article referenced:
Can Clinton Remake US Foreign Policy?
Smart power means focusing on a package of national security challenges that don't fit easily into classic foreign policy boxes -- like women's empowerment, human trafficking, poverty, disease, internet freedom and climate change. These challenges, Clinton has argued, will do more to shape the 21st century than conflicts between states. To meet them, Clinton has adopted an ideology she espoused in her book "It Takes a Village," in which she argues it takes all aspects of society to raise a child. As secretary she argues that civil societies, and women in particular, have an important role to play in solving modern challenges and expanding economic and political opportunity for ordinary people.
I haven't always been a fan of Secretary Clinton, but I'm intrigued by her assertion that "women in particular have an important role to play in solving modern challenges and expanding economic and political opportunity for ordinary people." This isn't really new information to us mamas, is it? Isn't part of the reason why some of us chose (and love) parenthood is because we intuitively understand that we can make a great impact here at home, on the micro level, which will then ripple outwards to affect the entire world? In fact, if more men and women felt empowered to truly center their lives on their families instead of allowing most of their energy to be drained by their extractive (often unfulfilling) careers, wouldn't we have a lot less crime, poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy and political upheaval? Okay, maybe I have no right to make such claims, but let's talk about it...

In some ways there has been a shift back towards the home, hasn't there? A new appreciation for the domestic arts, child-rearing, homesteading...a trend that I think should be encouraged and embraced. Perhaps as we focus inward and heal and strengthen our families it really will result in better neighborhoods, better schools, better communities and better relationships between states.

But I'm really interested in how you're working in your own "villages" to make promote social change. How do you find the courage to speak up? How are you contributing to your communities? In these troubling times, what are you doing to make a difference?


Ye Stewart Clan said...

I write letters. I don't do it often but there are times when I just read or see something that I feel needs a response. Usually they don't matter to anyone but myself. And really I think it just makes me more of a loud mouth and wanna-be-know-it-all-intellectual and not someone that actual does any real good! So probably the most effective thing I am doing at this point in my life is trying to be a good wife and mother.

Two said...

MamaQ, I think this is brother T's project (as in my brother T)!