Monday, January 08, 2007

What you can do with a life...

It is in each of us to create magic.

It is so easy to forget that and to feel small. To let ourselves believe that solutions to problems are beyond our control or are for someone smarter or richer to solve. Lately, I have been aware of just how much difference one life can make. How possible it is for a small person (like me) to affect change and to help others. We can all make a difference.

I have been reading about some amazing people that are making major impacts on the world. People like Dr. Jeffery Sachs who is attempting to end extreme poverty (within 20 years no less) through his Millennium Villages, Wangari Maathai who is planting trees and protecting the environment in her native Kenya and Oprah with her school in South Africa soon to be replicated throughout the continent.

There is much that I hope to accomplish in the coming year and beyond. It is an aggressive plan I admit and it would be easy to think that it is beyond me. To let myself assume it would require someone smarter and with more resources and/or experience. However, I am not going to give into that kind of thinking. I know I can manage it; I can achieve these goals and see them soar.

Whenever I feel small I think about the amazing women that have blazed trails and moved mountains ahead of me. Women that came from small places, leading normal lives some overcoming under-privileged circumstances and/or adversity. Women whose lives rose to great heights to the benefit of us all. Women that create magic!

If you are interested you can read about a few of my inspirations:

Eleanor Roosevelt, I could go on for days listing many things she did! She was a humanitarian, diplomat, social reformer, and author. She worked on behalf of youth, blacks, the poor, women, and the United Nations. She was an active member of the women's suffrage movement. She persuaded FDR to create the National Youth Administration (NYA), which provided financial aid to students and job training to young men and women. Her concern for disadvantaged black Americans, prompted her to work closely with organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

She became a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly, specializing in humanitarian, social, and cultural issues. In 1948, she drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which affirmed life, liberty, and equality internationally for all people regardless of race, creed or color. It states that everyone has equal protection under the law and freedom of thought, conscience, speech, religion, and peaceful assembly. That all people can choose their employment; have the right to decent working conditions, protection against unemployment, and to form unions. All people have the right to participate in the governing of their nations.

Wangari Maathai won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her work protecting the environment, planting trees and providing jobs. She began her campaign in 1977 with a resistant government. She said, “Protecting the global environment is directly related to securing peace”. She now works from within the government by winning a seat in Kenya’s Parliament.
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Oprah, she is just pure magic! She highlights and discusses important issues and is extremely generous. The school she recently opened in South Africa for girls is an amazing act!

Madonna, for breaking down barriers, tackling social taboos, and making it ok for women to be sexual. Her recent work in Malawi is wondrous. Oh, and for providing dance music for the tribe in my kitchen!

7 Comments:

Blogger Romina Bacci said...

What a great post...
xoxo

9:38 PM  
Blogger liz elayne said...

this drive within you...this willingness to educate, teach, share...it flows over in this post.

i am so moved when you share this core of who you are. i often think about the conversation we had back in october after i saw bono on oprah. the conviction in your voice as you talked about your plans for africa.

as i read your words, i know: you will move mountains too.

10:54 PM  
Blogger Bohemian Girl said...

you always inspire me, Letha. you have since i've known you in elementary school. you always help me to believe that little me can make positive change for our world. you have such a gift and i am so glad to see you voicing your gift here.

yes, yes, yes to this all.

it makes me feel like climbing to a mountain to roar or helping those less fortunate all around the world. being a missionary has always been an ache within. someday i would love to see my little family do something like this.

i adore you!

xoxox

11:37 PM  
Blogger Colorsonmymind said...

I think Nancy Pelosi and Hillary-despite specific politics are going to help forge a sense of unity among women. How they have broken barriers in politics amazes me.

I am woman hear me roar!

5:18 AM  
Anonymous ceanandjen said...

Letha, this is such an awesome reminder of the large impact that individual woman (and people in general) can have on the world....written so beautifully. Thank you for sharing both your insight, as well as a bit of history that is too often forgotten.

You are an amazing woman!

xoxo

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Sarah e. Smith said...

You have such a postive outlook on forging through with your plans to make a difference in this world. Your art already has for many people, including myself...your vision is honest, powerful, feminine and strong...i see big things for you on the horizon. Happy New Year...you are an amazingly talented woman and will go far.

11:09 PM  
Blogger Ali la Loca said...

Good for you for drinking in the inspiration, and for wanting to do something that has an impact yourself.

I have a book to recommend to you that I think will be very interesting reading. It is called "White Man's Burden" and is by NYU economist William Easterly.

The book talks about people like Dr. Jeffrey Sachs and multiple others before him, idealistic and optimistic people truly trying to make a difference in the developing world...however it analyzes why, in many people's opinions, these efforts have not been successful and are not actually sustainable the way they are being implemented.

It's a complex question, but I think one can only begin to formulate opinions and grasp for understanding after seeing a bit of both sides.

Good luck!

5:47 AM  

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