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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Something to Believe In

Today is International Women's Day. As I read a Time magazine article online about "16 of the world's most rebellious women", it made me think about how believing in something so much that you'll fight for it or against opposing forces to see things through can make all the difference. While a few of these rebellious women committed atrocities (Jiang Qing of China for instance) in order to see their cause through, most of the other women did what they did not for themselves but for others who needed someone to fight for them or their cause. The example set by anyone who takes up a cause and sees it through to the end (or her end) is a noble one. It's proof that one person can make a difference when one feels passionately about something--peace, women's rights, equality, etc.--and take action or endeavor toward that change.

As a woman in America, where would I be today without Susan B. Anthony fighting for me to have the right to vote. She wasn't alive to see it come to pass, but she started the movement that lead to that occurrence. While the women featured in these 16 stories were ones who made huge waves or strides in their respective countries and went against the tide, that doesn't mean that smaller accomplishments are lesser ones. Think about Florence Nightengale and her "radical innovations in nursing care" and her statistical approach to medical care based on what she was seeing in the field (Reference). Her passion for people, analytical abilities and medical expertise were foundational to medical science and care.

What if the scale by which we are each measured was smaller still? Maybe the difference you can make won't be for a country, a people, the world or anything so "grand", but you can make a difference for one person? Or a few people? Maybe it is the difference you make as a mother, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a daughter, a care giver, a worker, a friend. All of those small differences matter to someone. I don't know where I would be if it weren't for the people in my life who have lifted me up, stood beside me, listened, advised, and loved me just as I needed in a given moment or season of life. I am sure each of you feel the same. We don't make it through life all alone. Even the smallest pieces of our lives can make a difference in the life of another. Did you smile at someone today? Did you speak kindly? Were you gracious? Any of those things could have been the one thing that someone needed. You could have saved a life. Given hope. Been the light at the end of their tunnel. You may never know what any random person needs, so always be willing to give your best.

So I leave you with this...can you be that something to believe in for someone? For a few? For many?

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