When she was running for public office, Margaret Thatcher heard a lot of people scoff because she had been a housewife and mother for many years. She was thought incapable of running a country…she countered her critics with this very famous quote. What I love about it is that she didn’t get defensive, angry or even belittle the people criticizing her. She simply employed logic and common sense. If you can run a home, and understand ALL that it entails, then you have the capacity to run a country. Bravo!
How often do we plug people into a box because of what they have done, where they lived, their skin color or last name? When in reality we know very little about their experience or expertise. We summarize and assume because our own thought limitations cannot imagine beyond what we see or think. The problem isn’t them, the problem is us and the way we think.
Imagine if a milkshake machine salesman had listened to what people told him he didn’t know, there would be no McDonald’s or a franchising method of doing business. What if a doodler listened when people told him he was nothing, there would be no Disney anything, and what a dull world THAT would be. And what if a woman in England let people pigeon hole her as a housewife there would never have been a realignment of British politics in the 20th century.
We all come from somewhere and have experiences that moved us forward. Being able to leverage our past lessons to make our future better is the foundation for true leaders and innovators. Having the insight to SEE the value and expertise that alternative paths or lifestyles provide is a stroke of genius and inspiration more organizations and groups could use. I’m sure if we let the housewives of America loose on our national budget it could get balanced luckily split, especially if there we growing teenagers involved! NEVER underestimate people because you cannot see beyond what you experienced. What a drab world this would be.