Nevertheless She Persisted
"Nevertheless, She Persisted" became a meme instantly and was etched into our history and culture. I use the quote here not necessarily for it's political emphasis but more to emphasize the personal aspect of persistence. But then again, the personal is political. The government does make decisions that impact a women's economic stability as well as many other issues including her health and safety. Therefore, we can't separate the personal from the political. But, that is a topic for another blog. For this discussion, my focus is to emphasize how women persist everyday to create a better world for the girls and women in their lives.
After the event that created this quote, I realized I was so drawn to it because I felt it spoke to so many experiences in my life. Experiences where I was trying to create something, whether it involved a choice about my career, relationships, or education, there were those who would tell me how I couldn't be or do what I wanted. They would tell me things like, It would be too hard, the odds were slim, or that's not the way it's done.
I learned from my mother and other women in my life, that the things people would say about my life, was only from their perspective. Their opinion was based on who they were, not on who I was. What was more important is that I had also learned, from those amazing women, that if there was something I really wanted to be or do, if I set my mind to it, believed I could have it, and focused on the positive aspects of my life, what I wanted would come to be. When I look back at how I handled the negativity of others, I describe it as, "Nevertheless, I persisted." I persisted, and the things I wanted to be and do have manifested, they happened! Thanks to my amazing mother and the wonderful women who set that example for me. They had all faced opposition, and persisted.
Women are an excellent example of persistence. Women have been dealing with opposition for centuries. Yet we persist. We persist for the good of our families, friends, communities, country, and our planet.
Over the decades and centuries, women who came before us pushed back the barriers and persisted so those who came after them would have a better life. A life of equality and freedom. Because of those women today we have the right to work, the right to vote, the right to have a credit card, the right to own property, the right to invest money, the right to be educated in whatever field we choose. Did you know at one time women were thought to be too emotional to be educated? No lie!
Because they persisted we have the right to make our own decisions about our health, to hold a government position, and the right to pay the same as men for any service. We have the right to be safe. Because women persisted in the years past, today we have a better life. Today, many women are doing the same, persisting in the face of opposition to create a better life for the women of today, for those coming up, and for the women who are yet to come.
Women's persistence is evident in our everyday lives as well. Recently I had the pleasure of attending a bridal shower. There were many touching moments in this ritual of women gathering to celebrate a bride to be. One of those moments was the recognition, and appreciation for all the women attending and how each one of them had made such a positive impact on the life of the bride. The appreciation and gratitude for the women in the room was beautiful and so poignant. The women in the room had all impacted the bride at various stages of her life. It was a demonstration of how women continue to love, support and nurture those around them. The moments reminded me how women, by their example, and their love, help so many girls on their path to being a women. It's not only a mother, or grandmother, who makes a difference, it's the neighbor, a friend's mother, a counselor, a teacher, or a women they work for.
We know the resistance they will face, we know the attributes they will need to persist and succeed in making their dreams come true. We set the example, we share the wisdom, the know how, and the encouragement to believe in themselves.
Women's persistence has set the example of love, compassion, confidence, faith and courage. We teach and model those behaviors in all our roles. Whether we are at home parenting children, or out in the work force, everyone has something to give and to pass on.
We are powerful and most of us don't even realize it. When we teach, uplift, and love girls and women, we have a tremendous impact on their life experience. When we support and share our wisdom, we help raise the bar and move the next generation forward.
Women are a shinning example of what the power of thought can do. In the face of negativity, of opposition, and inequality, women believed in what felt right to them and they did not quit. Women believed in themselves and their ability to create a better life.
To quote Sir Issac Newton, "We stand on the shoulders of giants." So, thank you to my mother, grandmothers, great aunts, sister, sister twin, friends, teachers, colleagues, artists, scholars and activists, all who have loved, nurtured and regardless of the opposition, the inequality, you persisted! Because of you, I and all women today lead a better life.
With my work I hope to help women move forward, learn to love themselves for the amazing individuals they are and understand the power they have within themselves to create the life they want . . . . regardless of what anyone has to say. I hope you will feel empowered and when opposition comes your way, you will say, "Nevertheless, I persist!"