Women’s rights activist Yifat Susskind was out on a stroll with her six-month-old son that morning, when the World Trade Centre was attacked. And her instinctive reaction was to turn the carrier away so her son would not have to see something so horrific. In her TED talk, she says the event changed the world, because it was like “crossing a hostile border into dangerous, uncharted territory”.
Susskind says while she was a new mother back then, and had her own apprehensions about raising her son and keeping him safe, she learnt over the years that “there is a way to face these big crises in the world, without feeling overwhelmed”. “It is to think like a mother. You don’t have to be a woman or a parent to do this. Thinking like a mother is a lens that is available to everybody,” she says.
“Mothers act in the present with an idea of the future that we want to bring about. All of the best ideas seem impossible at first. But, just in my lifetime, we’ve seen the end of apartheid, the affirmation that women’s rights are human rights, marriage equality, the fall of dictators who ruled for decades, and so much more. All of these things seemed impossible until people took action to make them happen. And then, almost right away, things seemed inevitable,” she says in the video.
“When you think like a mother, you don’t try to prosecute someone for leaving water for people crossing the desert, because you know migration, just like mothering, is an act of hope… Not every mother is a role model, but all of us have a choice… Thinking like a mother is a tool we can all use to build the world we want…” Susskind says in conclusion.
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