November 26, 2018
by Ginger Garner
CPS’ Caring Economics Leadership program was a turning point for me not just in my career, but in my life. My radar for recognizing injustice – as a woman, mother, therapist, and small business owner, and also as someone who overcame poverty – has always been finely tuned. My entire career, and life, has been spent caretaking, often at my own expense, and it instilled in me an empathic urgency strong work ethic to help those who suffer at the hands of that injustice.
When Ann Crittenden’s landmark books, The Price of Motherhood and If You Can Raise Kids, You Can Manage Anything, landed in my hands – they put a voice to the unsettling feeling in my stomach that I had always had as a women trying to exist in a male-dominated world. That is when I learned about Dr. Riane Eisler’s work, her books, The Real Wealth of Nations and The Chalice and the Blade, and her theory, Caring Economics, which became a game changer for me.
These discoveries transpired just after the birth of my third son, almost 7 years ago now. What I learned shaped my already lean trajectory and mission for reshaping and transforming healthcare. I went on to author 2 book chapters and my first medical textbook, Medical Therapeutic Yoga, of which Dr. Eisler’s work was a cornerstone theme.
After working on the front lines of education and healthcare for 25 years, it is easy to see how dominator-culture has stunted our creative and innovative potential as a society. I have lectured across the world and also via my book chapters and textbook, on how Dr. Eisler’s Caring Economics Theory offers a solid, proven well researched path to end violence against women and create societies that value caregiving and the feminine qualities that raise up and nurture generations.
This past year I decided to add State Senator to the means by which, through caregiving and service to the public, I can continue to translate Caring Economy principles into policy.
Though my race came up short, I will not quit. I will not be silent – as a mother of three, educator, doctor of physical therapy, wife, daughter, granddaughter, activist, aide worker and volunteer, and hopefully one day as an elected official – until we have achieved life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all citizens, regardless of gender, socioeconomic status, race, or creed. I am dedicated to participation in civil discourse and productive, community-building and caregiving-supporting rhetoric in the difficult realm of politics because we must safeguard and improve our democracy so it can thrive, not just survive.
“Consider what critical role you could have in influencing policy that would support and solidify the value of caregiving and of nonviolent action in your community”.
I would encourage any other Caring Economics Leaders and Partners to consider what critical role they could have in influencing policy that would support and solidify the value of caregiving and of nonviolent action in their community. Whether running for the local school board or commissioner seat, or serving on a Town committee, never underestimate the power of a few dedicated people to change the world. As Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
Ginger Garner, DPT, ATC/L, PYT
“Medical Therapeutic Yoga makes a unique contribution to effective interprofessional partnerships in healthcare. Replete with exceptional expertise, understanding, and care, it provides a detailed biopsychosocial model for using yoga in both preventive and rehabilitative healthcare. I applaud and highly recommend this important book.” — Riane Eisler
Access a free book excerpt here: https://gingergarner.com/publications/