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By Davina Britt

I love being a woman. Even with all the challenges we face: hormones, menstrual cycles, pregnancy, menopause, patriarchy…I still wouldn’t change it. Specifically, I love being a Black woman. There is something magical and powerful about being a Black woman. We can communicate with just a look. We’ve proven we can run a household, our own business or a Fortune 500 Company. We bring life into the world and are sometimes solely responsible for raising that life. We lead movements, start necessary conversations and are the moral compasses for the world (ahem…Black women took a stand by not voting for Trump or Roy Moore). But even with all the #Blackgirlmagic surrounding me there are still some things about being a woman that really grind my gears.

Women are the queens of multi-tasking and sometimes with all those balls in the air, we drop one and another sister will pick it up for us. Speaking for myself, I am grateful when another woman helps me when I fall short. That is the definition of being sisterly in my opinion. But what women don’t need to do is announce to the world that you helped someone out. That makes me question your motives. Did you help me because you felt it was the right thing to do or did you do it so you can rub it in my face later or for likes on social media?

I learned boasting about good deeds was a no-no when I was a little girl. My family was friends with another family that also had a young daughter the same age as me and her and I became friends. The father had lost his job and the family was going through hard times. My mother and I were cleaning out my closet and my mom thought it would be a good idea to give my friend some of my clothes that I was not wearing. My mom wrapped them up nicely and told me the next time we go over to visit give the clothes to my friend and tell her it was a gift and that’s what I did. It was no big deal to me but the reaction that I received from my friend and her family made me feel real good. They were so grateful. My friend and I went back to her room so she could try the clothes on and play.

Later in the month my mom and I happened to be out and I saw my friend and her mom and she was wearing some of the clothes I had given her. As soon as they were in earshot I said, “Hey I remember that outfit, look mom she is wearing the clothes I gave her!” The smile my friend had when she saw me instantly vanished. I didn’t understand what happened but I was old enough to sense I did something wrong. My mom just smiled and changed the subject but as soon as we got in the car she taught me a valuable lesson. “Whenever you help someone out, you should do it because you want to be nice, and it’s the right thing to do. It’s OK to feel good for helping someone but it’s not OK to remind that person that you helped them and you definitely don’t go around broadcasting to others what you did. Do you understand?” I understood exactly what I did wrong and from that moment forward whenever I did something nice for someone, I kept it to myself. I was fortunate enough to learn that lesson as a child, but being an adult I can see many of us have not received the same instruction.

Social media gives us an international audience to share our good deeds which, in theory, can be good and motivate others to do the same — but not at the expense of our fellow sister’s dignity. If you see that your sisters crown is crooked and you straighten it, good. That’s what you were supposed to do. It’s called being sisterly. There is no need to remind her every time you see her or because it fits your agenda. There certainly is no need to tell others and you should not expect anything in return. What you did was between you and her and trust the universe will reward you for your good deed.

Being a woman is tough and that crown gets real heavy and is bound to need adjusting. Be sisterly, fix your sister’s crown without letting everyone know it was crooked in the first place. Treat them with the same respect and dignity you would want someone to treat you if the roles were reversed. You’ll be a better person for it and the universe will reward you justly.

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