Not so long ago my friends and I were gathered as girls are known to do. The topic of discussion was one you may be familiar with, the PHD syndrome. For those who may not be aware of this condition, give me a moment to break it down to you. The PHD syndrome, commonly known as PUSH HER DOWN syndrome commonly occurs in women and often exhibits cancer like symptoms. Simply put, it is a weakness usually evident in women which brings about tendencies to discourage fellow women who succeed, be it in business, relationships or life in general. We tend to highlight each other’s weaknesses more frequently than we highlight our strengths as women. We gossip about each other’s failures more frequently than we celebrate one another’s achievements. Were we raised to constantly compete with one another?  To see no value and substance in other women? Were we raised to gossip?

I don’t think so. If I look at my childhood experience in the village, PHD didn’t exist. As young girls we didn’t allow it to find root in our hearts. We fought it so hard by embracing each other’s weaknesses. If one girl by the river found difficulty in filling her bucket with water, it became a mission for all five or six girls present to ensure hers was just as full as all the others. If the task of raising the pail to her head was too much, we laid down our pails to make sure hers was firmly placed on her head. No girl was left in shame or feeling inadequate – we were equals. We celebrated  our achievements, we assisted one another to  overcome our challenges. We played, we were innocent. There was no drama – no competition. I was once that little girl that looked out for my fellow sister. A little girl who didn’t see my fellow sister as a threat but instead drew inspiration from her ability to carry her pail on head with graceful balance. I want to go back to that place where I looked up to my sisters, where we played silly games and laughed together….drama free. Travelling back in time may be wishful thinking but we can certainly strip down the walls age has built and return to being the little girls who make no reservations. I believe we can start supporting one another as women of this continent, I believe we can fight this disease. The question is: Do you believe we can live PHD free?


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