(ThySistas.com) True sisterhood cannot be forced but in an intentional community it is required. An intentional community is a planned residential community designed from the start to have a high degree of social cohesion and teamwork. The members of an intentional community typically hold a common social, political, religious, or spiritual vision and often follow an alternative lifestyle. It has to be developed with interest, patience, reciprocity and over time. Not every woman will be your best friend, nor should she be invited to be in your inner circle, but every woman is deserving of your respect and support when you are able to provide it.
Being your sister’s keeper should be a reflex in your community. You have to purposely place women around you to lift you up. It should be based on how you would want to be treated if you were
Be Loving– When building an intentional community, love has to be present. Being a bitch to another woman violates the black woman code. Be kind and loving to one another. Also what you put out will come back to you tenfold.
Pass it Along– You need grace. You need support. You need encouragement. So why won’t you give it to another woman who is younger, new at the job, trying to make her way in the world? Treat other women as you WANT to be treated NOT as you MAY HAVE been treated by other bad women on your way up the professional or life ladder.
Communicate-Talk, do not text. Talk, do not email. Talk, do not gossip. Talk, do not tell your inner circle what she did wrong or how they should avoid her. Go to the woman you have an issue with and talk it out. Stop with the petty school girl antics and talk. And most importantly, stop “going off” on other women and erupting. You do irreparable damage to trust, and to the sisterhood. If one on one talking does not work, or is not advisable in the situation, the Bible says (for you church girls) that you can take a witness, a mediator, someone who can help you two work it out. But give her a chance to be heard and to hear you. Communicate what you need woman to woman. Stop trashing other women and black balling them. It is not cool. And it violates the woman code of life.
Be empathetic– Empathy is the single most important skill any leader must have. Your ability to relate, forgive, understand, discuss, share, and engage other women will absolutely impact how successful you are in life, as a leader, and as a member of the sisterhood of women. Period. There are no exceptions to this rule. If you cannot find it in your heart to act like a human being before you act like a supervisor, boss, executive, colleague, or friend than you have failed at leadership 101.
Say what you mean, Mean what you say– Don’t be a hypocrite. Do not place yourself above other women just because you have a title, status, or stuff. But by chance and God’s grace any of us tomorrow could lose all we have: our homes, our families, our good jobs, our health and our wealth. The next generation of women is watching those of us who are over 35. Reality TV is teaching younger women and some of our peers that being nasty mean girls is the way to succeed in life. It is not. We have a responsibility to set an example of what it means to be a “sister” and to actually “keep” your sister even when we disagree. You cannot live by do what I say, but not what I do. It will not work with this generation of savvy, sophisticated women. They see you. The question is do you see you. There is a Code. It’s time we lived up to it starting now.
We want to hear from you. What does your intentional community look like?
Staff Writer; Amber Ogden
One may also view more of her work over at; AmberOgden.com.