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. On 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.
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 her 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”.
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
You 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. You may think that what you have done in your life doesn’t compare to the stories you have heard, the ones that you 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.
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 can happen that can shatter you, that can pierce your soul. But nothing that happens can reduce you to something less that you 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” – Unknown
Like the water in a lake. Something can cause large ripples that disturb your peace, that shatters your emotions. The cause of the disturbance, like a large rock, might sink to the bottom of your lake, your soul. It might forever change you, but it does not reduce you.
You still have the power to return to your inner and outer peace. To continue to learn, grow, and transform your life. To be curious as to what else is possible in your life. To be an intelligent, courageous, loving woman who teaches others by being her best possible self.
- What are your dreams, visions, your life purpose?
- Are you on track to bring them into reality and complete them?
- Have you allowed distractions to sidetrack you?
- Are you unclear on what your life purpose is or how to bring it into reality?