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world yin yangI am grieved by the news of another terrorist attack in Europe. I believe this is a symptom of a serious imbalance. It is a product of a culture that represses and covers its women – and so represses and dishonors all that is feminine. It is a product of a culture in which masculine is out of balance and out of control.

I have often heard speculation that, if women ran the world, there would be fewer wars, less violence, more peace. I am not interested in having women run the world – or in having men run it. I am interested in a world where men and women work together, each bringing their own strengths to the table. When there is a mix of men and women, there is a greater balance of masculine and feminine than is the case in the world at large.

We have a major imbalance in over-valuing the masculine or yang and under-valuing the feminine or yin. It is bad enough in western cultures, in which (as Fritjof Capra said in The Tao of Physics) we value competition over collaboration, knowledge over intuitive wisdom, and assertion over inclusion. It is dangerously out of balance in cultures where women must cover themselves and have few rights.

I do not believe that a culture that equally honors feminine and masculine (in men and women) would spawn the kind of violence we saw in Brussels or Paris. My commitment is redoubled – to do my small part in having people value both masculine and feminine, in themselves, in others, in our organizations and in our culture.