Embedded in an ethic of thriving at BRAVE we believe in the importance of
Moral Courage — doing what is right even when there is a personal cost and
Moral Care — a morality built upon reciprocal relationships vs. rights and rules.
Her research at the time suggested that many women never moved beyond stage 2.
Mindset 1: Focus is on what I need and want, and what is right for me.
This is in some ways the simplest but most selfish place to live. No moral courage or care is needed. There may be reasons why people get trapped here though. When we don’t believe anyone else will look out for us we can believe that narrative that we are on our own. This is a survival narrative, not a thriving narrative, and it comes at a cost to us, and others.
Mindset 2: Focus is on what you need and want, and what is right for you.
This is the most socially acceptable stage and it understandable that many girls and women get stuck here. If mindset one is the place of selfishness, mindset two is the place of people pleasing — an artificial and costly substitute for mature morality that is reinforced by what we, as well meaning adults, reward and communicate. It also comes at a cost, robbing girls of the ability to articulate their true needs and, at it’s worst, cheapens concern for others to a pathway for validation.
Mindset 3: Focus is on what we need and want, and what is right for all of us.
This is the least common, and most powerful stage. This is the place of morality rooted in relationship, of seeking to understand another’s perspective while honoring our own, of using our voice for what matters and making space for others to do the same. This is the place of both compassion and boundaries, the place that celebrates the gifts and responsibilities of community, and treats both with great care.
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The true measure of any society [or community] can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.” We would add, “and trains its youth how to create environments in which everyone can thrive.”
How can we assist young women on their journey towards moral development?
 Adapted from the work of Carol Gilligan, Eva Skoe and others