"Step out of line, ladies."



Alex Borstein’s acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress Emmy last night had to be one of the best and most meaningful speeches of the night.

Her speech was funny at first and then took a dramatic turn when she thanked her mother and grandmother, both of whom are Holocaust survivors.

She said: “My grandmother was in line to be shot into a pit. She asked a guard ‘What happens if I step out of line?’ and he responded, ‘I don’t have the heart to shoot you, but somebody will,’ and she stepped out of line. For that I am here and my children are here. So step out of line, ladies. Step out of line.” Her comments reminded me of a book I read years ago called “Stepping Out of Line” by Nell Merlino who created Take Our Daughters to Work Day in 1992.

In the introduction to the book, Nell writes: “You have to stop waiting for the world to change and decide that you will change it. You have to step out line and live the life you want to live, create the work you want to do, and build the personal relationships that will make you happy. You - and all women - are capable of living the exact life you want. There is only one prerequisite: you must be willing to step out of line.” As you start a new week, I would love for you to think about where you want to step out of line in your own life.

It might be refusing to be spoken to in a demeaning way any more by a partner or work colleague, it might be stepping out of line from a career that has burned you out to start your own business or a new career. It might be stepping out of line to stand up for a cause that is meaningful to you. I found it so inspiring to see photos of Greta Thunberg when she was the only student who did a climate strike compared to the millions who participated in Friday.

We can make a difference in our own lives and in the lives of others but - more often than not - it is going to take us stepping out of line. Doing or saying something different to what everyone else around is is doing or saying.

Where do you want to step out of line?!

Sally Robertson