Dec 17, 2015 An On The Road State of Mind
I recently heard Gloria Steinem speak here in San Francisco as she launched a new book entitled My Life on the Road. The intimate setting combined with Ms. Steinem’s openness and candor allowed for me, as an audience member, to feel like I was part of the conversation. One of the first things that comes to mind when meeting the 81 year old is how does she maintain her energy and spirit?
When people ask me why I still have hope and energy after all these years, I always say: Because I travel. Taking to the road—by which I mean letting the road take you—changed who I thought I was. The road is messy in the way that real life is messy. It leads us out of denial and into reality, out of theory and into practice, out of caution and into action, out of statistics and into stories—in short, out of our heads and into our hearts. – Gloria Steinem
Steinem had an itinerant childhood. When she was a young girl, her father would pack the family in the car every fall and drive across country searching for adventure…and trying to make a living! The seeds were planted: Gloria realized that growing up didn’t have to mean settling down. And so began a lifetime of travel, one of activism and leadership, and one of listening to people whose voices and ideas would inspire change and revolution.
My Life on the Road is the moving, funny, and profound story of Gloria’s growth and also the growth of a revolutionary movement for equality—and the story of how surprising encounters on the road shaped both. From her first experience of social activism among women in India to her work as a journalist in the 1960s; from the whirlwind of political campaigns to the founding of Ms. magazine; from the historic 1977 National Women’s Conference to her travels through Indian Country – a lifetime spent on the road allowed Gloria to listen and connect deeply with people, to understand that context is everything, and to become part of a movement that would change the world.
In prose that is revealing and rich, Gloria reminds us that living in an open, observant, and “on the road” state of mind can make a difference in how we learn, what we do, and how we understand each other.
This On the Road state of mind is at the core of much of the learnings that happen during conferences, offsite meetings and events, allowing for deeper understanding and connections with colleagues, customers and friends.