International Women’s Day is upon us again. I see the hashtag du jour is #ADayWithoutWomen, referring to a gender-based strike to show the world what happens when women bow out of work for a day.
They don’t get paid, for one thing. Those of us who don’t work on salary already knew that. To each her own, though. I’ll leave the day-without-women adherents in peace.
There’s another observance going on today, or rather a feast: the feast of St. John of God – “the Waif,” as he is described in one account of his life. He spent the last few years of his life in unstinting service to the destitute, for the love of God. My Laudate app (I do love certain bits of modern technology) advised me this morning of something the saint said:
“Labour without stopping; do all the good work you can while you still have the time.”
Those words startled me, coming as they did after I’d had my morning helping of Twitter and its hashtags. St. John might have been speaking to me. Put the phone down. Stop trying to be clever. There’s work to do.
I know some women nearby who are doing good work today, and who without ill will are paying no attention to recommendations that they put everything down for the day.
A friend of mine is caring for her children, including a baby and a foster child. Don’t tell those kids it’s a day without women.
A neighbor of mine is sitting in the legislature at this moment, prepared to vote on numerous measures including some life-issue legislation. The session is expected to extend into this evening and then resume tomorrow morning. Opponents of the life-issue bills would be delighted if my neighbor would participate in a day without women. Ain’t happening, though.
I’ll be meeting a doctor later today, but not for a medical problem. She’s new in town, and I want to welcome her. With the help of a Catholic hospital, she’s going to lead an OB/GYN practice dedicated to NaPro Technology: wholly pro-life, not just abortion-free. Hers will be the first practice of its kind in my area. I’m glad she’s not taking a day off.
Do good work while you still have the time. On this Women’s Day, these women are showing how it’s done. I need the examples, and I’m grateful for them.