Famous feminist Gloria Steinem was invited to give a speech at Smith College. She related an important life lesson she learned during her time as a student. Steinem was studying geology and on a field trip saw a large turtle that had hauled itself out of the Connecticut river, up a couple of embankments and was now on a trajectory towards the road. Fearful for the turtle she turned it around and pushed, shoved and hauled a now very angry amphibian back to the river.

It was at this point her geology professor came by and informed Steinem that the turtle had probably spent weeks of exhausting effort getting up those embankments and now, just as it was near its nesting spot Steinem had turned it around.

The life lesson?

“I realized that this was the most important political lesson I learned, one that cautioned me about the authoritarian impulse of both left and right. Always ask the turtle.”


Source: reported in Gloria Steinem, Bits and Pieces magazine.