Celebrate The Hero In Each Of Us, That Voice That Is Brave Enough To Say “Enough” And “No More”
Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.
– Rikki Rogers
Life in a Jar . . . a play written by school children in Kansas. Tells the story of Irena Sendlerowa who saved around 2,500 Jewish babies from Nazi death camps. Saying that what she did was nothing special, she said “I was brought up to believe that a person must be rescued when drowning, regardless of religion and nationality. The term hero irritates me greatly. The opposite is true. I continue to have pangs of conscience that I did so little.” She was captured by the Gestapo and beaten, breaking and crushing her legs and feet, and then driven away to be executed. One the way, she was rescued. She was never able to walk without crutches afterwards. I think that most of us wonder if we would have had the strength and courage to do what Irena did. Risk our lives for children that we didn’t know. To survive that kind of beating. To have the attitude of thinking that we could have done more than rescue 2,500 children. She is a special kind of hero.
The women whom I love and admire for their strength and grace did not get that way because shit worked out. They got that way because shit went wrong, and they handled it. They handled it in a thousand different ways on a thousand different days, but they handled it. Those women are my superheroes.
– Elizabeth Gilbert
As brave as Irena was, think for a moment of being the mother who had to decide if she could give up her child. What guarantee was there that this would in fact save their child? Where did such inner strength come from? Most of the parents who gave up their children did not survive the war, and lost their lives in the death camps. Put yourself in that place for just a moment, could you have given your child to Irena? Their story is told in the PBS program, “Irena Sandler: In the Name of Their Mothers”.
Life is very interesting. In the end, some of your greatest pains become your greatest strengths.
– Drew Barrymore
Harriet Tubman is another amazing woman. Born a slave, she ran away leaving her husband and children to escape slavery. Walking almost 90 miles to Philadelphia with no map, directions or help. She returned to the South at least 19 times and lead her family and hundreds of other slaves to freedom via the Underground Railroad. She was very intuitive and had dreams that would tell her when to leave the road, or that a particular way was not safe. A movie about her life was made, called “A Woman Called Moses”. She is an inspiration again, for standing up for what is right with bravery and courageous action. After rescuing her family, the fact that she went back again and again, with a large bounty on her head for over 10 years makes her a monument to courage and determination. She was also involved in helping women get the vote, working with Susan B Anthony.
Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.
– Christian D. Larson
We could write story after story about amazing people who showed tremendous resilience and courage. Who dug down deep within themselves to find their inner strength to live through trials and tribulations. Who fought through the inner and outer darkness of their lives. In fact, all of us have such stories within our own lives. We may think that what we have done in our lives doesn’t compare to the stories we have heard, the ones that we have labeled as heroes. I am sure that if you were to talk with Malala Yousufzai, she would insist that what she did standing up in defiance to those who wanted to prevent her being educated, was nothing notable. We are all Irena’s, and Harriet’s, and Malala’s.
Every woman had infinite potential to achieve anything she wants. She just needs to stop underestimating herself and discover her true inner strength. She will find within her an unlimited capacity to achieve.
– Aarti Khurana
Maya Angelou is another courageous woman, my hero. Her writing and her wisdom are so inspiring. One of my favorite quotes of hers, “I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it”. We all face in our lives numerous times that test us. Things happen that can shatter us, that can pierce our souls. But nothing that happens can reduce us to something less that we are.
A strong woman knows she has strength enough for the journey, but a woman of strength knows it is in the journey where she will become strong.
Like the water in a lake. Something can cause large ripples that disturb our peace, that shatters our emotions. The cause of the disturbance, like a large rock, might sink to the bottom of our lake, our souls. It might forever change us, but it does not reduce us. We still have the power to return to our inner and outer peace. To continue to learn, grow, and transform our lives. To be curious as to what else is possible in our lives. To be an intelligent, courageous, loving woman who teaches others by being her best possible self.
You are a woman of strength, courage and dignity; one who values herself and fights for what she believes in. A woman who won’t give up on her dreams regardless of how many obstacles stand in her way. If that doesn’t make you beautiful and magnificent, I don’t know what does.