Years and years ago, situated
along a mountainous coast was located a sea-side fishing village. And each day the people living in the village
would go to the cliffs and watch the young men dive into the ocean. The height
that each dived from determined the status of their manhood. The
diver that climbed to the highest ledge would by tradition become the new village
One day a mother was sitting on the beach with her daughter watching
the boys and young men dive. The daughter turned to her mother and
said, “I too would like to dive!” The mother looked
down at her daughter and seeing herself in her said, “When
I was your age I too wanted to dive.” “Why, didn’t
you?” asked the daughter. “In those days girls were
not allowed! ” said the mother. “Is that what your
going to say to me?” asked the daughter. “No,”
said the mother, “if you want to learn how to dive, then you
go right ahead and do it!” “Thanks mom!” said
the daughter with great enthusiasm.
The next day the young girl woke up early and went to where the
young boys were training. She began to train with them. She noticed
that the boys would train in pairs. At first she could not understand
why, but in time she would learn the value in doing so.
the boys were reluctant to have the young girl amongst them. But in time, when
they saw how hard she worked she earned their respect and they let
her train with them. Each morning for three months she trained with
Then one day one of the boys approached the young girl and said that if
she would like they could train together. She was surprised that he
had asked her for he was the best diver in their age group. She agreed.
The training intensified after that. Many times she thought
about quitting, and to her surprise found that on many occasions so
did her partner. Each time when either one felt this way, they would talk and
work it through.
Then it was time for the young girl's first community dive. She and the other new divers
were taken partly up the mountain bluff. Some, because of the height, would become afraid and climb back down. Then it was her turn to dive. She approached the cliff’s edge, looking down, it seemed an awfully long way, but
it wasn’t. Her first reaction was to not to do it, and climb
back down. Then she saw her mom standing on the beach with the rest
of the villagers. Her mother gave her daughter a reassuring nod.
That’s all the daughter needed. She took a deep breath and
Things were never quite the same in the small fishing village after
that. Everyone would turn out to watch the young girl dive. As the
days went by and with each dive the young girl improved. One day
she found herself diving from half way up the cliff. She had surpassed
many of the boys in her age-group.
Many people were surprised that the young girl had lasted in the training program as long as she had, but she was a determined and brave young girl. She
found that the dive in itself was a small portion of the event.
The daily physical and mental training was the real challenge. The
climb to the diving perches alone was a feat in itself. Each time
she dove from a new high point she was testing her courage and her
competence. She learnt very quickly not to be hasty and rush it. A
few painful belly flops taught her to go slow and to do it right.
The ocean waves would smash hard up against the cliff walls and
occasionally someone diving would be seriously injured. One
day after a bad dive her training partner had to pull her out of
the water and up onto the beach. A month later, she had to do the
same for him.
The weeks turned into months, and the months into years, the young
girl was now a young confident and accomplished woman. One day she found herself
standing at the highest point you could dive from. It was a spectacular
view that moved her very much. “Life is good!” she thought
to herself. She gazed far down and saw that most of the village
people had turned out to watch her dive. From that height she could not see her mother, but she knew she was amongst the crowd below.
next to the young woman was her training partner. He was now the village leader. She looked at him and said,
“Well this is it, we’ve climbed as high as we can go
- Now what?” Facing her and with a twinkle in his eye
said, “Now we teach and help those that are aspiring to succeed and achieve what we have.”
The village watched in awe, normally the village leader had the
glory of the last dive, but to their surprise he dove before the
woman did. On that day they had their first woman village leader.
The young woman became the village leader because
she earned the respect and admiration of all, including the young
man that would one day marry her. Unknown to her, the day she
had risked her life and jumped into the turbulent waves to save
him, she had gone from being his diving partner to being his life-partner.
When we promote equal opportunities regardless of gender we advance society and civilization.
Some dry humour: For the longest time a rumour went around saying on the day of her leader-making dive the young man had asked her to marry him and she had tossed him head-first off the cliff. Another version was that when he got down on his knees to propose to her, he accidently slipped and fell over. The village decided to take a vote. And because there were more woman then men in the village the vote went in favour of the young woman. And the traditional new village-leader-rule was upheld.