Changing the World…One Woman At A Time

Looking back, I guess I should have realized, with favorite books like A Proud Taste Of Scarlet And Miniver and the complete Nancy Drew series that I had my mission in life.  This may sound silly today, but as a little girl, I dreamed of winning Miss USA or Miss Universe.  Now before you go making your assumptions about my mom putting me in some sort of Toddlers and Tiaras thing let me assure you nothing could be further from the truth.  But as a girl, I was fascinated by the outfits, the poise, the beauty and the talent.  For me, though, I always picked my winners from the interview portion.

Why am I talking about this?  Because I was thinking…if I ever got up there and I was asked my question I know what I’d want it to be.  “If you could pick one cause that you feel passionately about in this world that you’d like to try to fix and that you think could have a lasting impact on the world around you what would it be?”  My answer:  Self Esteem in women.

My favorite female historical character is Eleanor of Aquitaine.  She isn’t very well known, but she is considered to be the grandmother of Europe.  Almost every monarchy in Europe have blood ties to her line.  She was the first queen to be married to two kings.  The king of France & the king of England.  She was smart, tough and feisty.  In fact, after her second husband, Henry II cheated on her she was able to get her sons to turn on him, wage war…and he almost lost his land!  My kind of woman.  Here is a clip from The Lion In Winter where she and Henry, her husband are talking.  By this time he’d locked her away in a distant castle where he felt she could do no more damage…

Perfect casting done…with Katharine Hepburn playing her role.  She was the mother of Richard the Lionheart and King John.  Most people have heard of them.  She intrigued me by being so strong and powerful and sure of herself in an age where women were regarded as nothing more than chattel!

Times have changed these days.  We have women’s lib!  We can vote.  We can own land.  We can do so much…and yet women of today seem to struggle every day with the person they see in the mirror.  Too many women gain their self worth from if they’re married…then who they’ve married.  Sometimes it’s the job they hold.  Or whether or not they have children.  Women stay in bad relationships because they’re afraid they deserve nothing better.  Or that they won’t be able to make it on their own.  But what message does this send their children?

Women are strong!  Powerful!  They give birth to children.  They make homes.  They enstill values in their children.  They’re tough, but they can temper that with understanding and compassion.  They show their strength every day in what they’re willing to do or to sacrifice for their children!  But somehow, it rarely translates to being willing to do the same for themselves!

Over the years I’ve developed friendships…and in my own little way, I’ve tried to be a friend.  I’ve listened.  I’ve encouraged people to go for their dreams.  To explore their talents.  To believe in themselves.  I’ve helped a couple friends learn to fight for themselves and to stand on their own two feet….and I’ve prayed that they’ve passed that newfound passion for life to their daughters.  I figure if I can help just one person…and they help one more…maybe we’ll have that chance!

Yeah, people blame magazines and skinny supermodels for women’s poor self image.  But I think it goes deeper than that!  I also think that if we can’t find a way to love ourselves enough to be willing to fight for ourselves, to stand up for ourselves…the cycle will continue to repeat itself.  What can you do to empower someone?  What issue in this world would you love to find a way to fix or to change?  How would you go about it?  Who do you look up to?  Who is your favorite historical character and why?

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12 thoughts on “Changing the World…One Woman At A Time

  1. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches. says:

    Great blog and tons of fodder for thought. If I could change just one thing in the entire world – it would be that we treat each other with dignity and respect. We’d still have our differences of opinions – but we wouldn’t fight wars, no one would go hungry, and American farmers would be recognized for the worth they provide. The person I’ve always looked up to the most has been my father. Although he’s gone now, I attempt to live by his life lesson: Help someone else every day, Learn something new every day, and Honor thy Lord every day. A historical figure I honor is Gen. Patton for he was not afraid of politicians and allowed his men to fight the war and then come home.

    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      I agree. Treating each other with dignity and respect should definitely not be too much to ask. It sounds like your dad was quite a man. I feel very much the same way about my mom (most of the time…LOL! What can I say, mother/daughter relationships are complicated). Patton was definitely a very interesting man. I actually think there are a lot of very interesting military men…then again, it’s probably why they’ve been promoted into their roles. People want to follow them. They demand loyalty, not through words, but through action.

  2. Mae Clair says:

    I agree with so much of what Sheri said, Kitt. Respect for each other would result in wonderful trickle-down changes that would, in turn, splinter into so many facets of life.

    My parents would be the two people I’ve looked up to in life. I will always be grateful for the ethical values they instilled in me, many of which weren’t popular when they were children.

    As for people I admire from histor,y there are so many, but I’ll pick two at the top of the list: Abraham Linoln and Robert F. Kennedy. Both tried to bring the nation together when it was torn apart, both believed in a better future for our country and ALL of its people, and both paid the ultimate price with their lives.

    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      You know, I think back to when my dad was younger…which wasn’t THAT long ago. He’d won a college scholarship for music. Granted it was a partial one, but still! To understand a bit better, I should probably also say that he was raised in Flint, Michigan…which was a big GM factory town. When he came home and told my grandpa about his scholarship he was told that college was a waste. My grandfather was unwilling to help him with the rest of what he’d need. He gave my father an ultimatum. Either work in the factory or join the military. Those were his options. Times sure have changed. (The comment you made about your parents instilling values that weren’t popular made me think of other decisions parents made back in the day).

      I’ve always admired Abraham Lincoln. During a time where this country could very well have completely fallen to pieces, he held a core of steel that managed to bring us all back together. Sometimes the right decisions aren’t the popular ones, that’s for sure.

  3. Phil Lanoue says:

    You asked…”What issue in this world would you love to find a way to fix or to change?”
    I would love to be able to stop anyone from hurting, abusing, or mistreating an animal.
    Sadly, I see far too many news stories where helpless animals have suffered needlessly.
    Not a good thing at all.

    How to fix it? Parents teaching their children respect for living things.
    Later on in life people tend to love what they know.
    If you were never taught to appreciate and respect nature how can you care about it?

  4. Jennifer says:

    I am so with you on “it goes deeper than that.” I don’t really have any answers, it’s just something I feel, intuitively. When I think of strength of character, I think about actions, not words. What people actually DO, not what they just SAY they do.

    • Kitt Crescendo says:

      I couldn’t agree more. I can’t remember who said the quote, but I always loved “You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips.” People pay attention. More often it’s what we don’t say that makes the biggest statements about who we are and what we believe. Thanks for swinging by!

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