I know International Women’s Day was last Saturday. I, like many women, was busy doing day-to-day stuff all weekend so I am just posting this now. Nevertheless, I think it’s important to recognize those who inspire us, and it doesn’t need to be a special day to do that. There are men who have inspired me too, but this time I’ll stick to women. Here are my top 5:
1. Mary Poppins
Corny, you say? She was one of the first strong women I remember, and she had plenty of good advice worth taking.
2. Mother Teresa
I encountered Mother Teresa as a youth, and I have to admit her devout commitment to poverty and her faith were daunting to say the least. I was doubting of the chances for the success of this philosophy, being a cynical teenager. But her grand gestures were ideas that I understood much better as I got older.
3. Katherine Hepburn
I have been a movie buff all my life, growing up with parents in the film and TV business. I particularly enjoy the classics – Lauren Bacall was my favourite “bombshell” role model. I admired her for being able to survive and even thrive in a high-pressure world at such a young age. One of her mentors became one of mine – Katherine Hepburn was strong and beautiful, and she made no apologies for either. She was a movie star at a time when the studios, and the audiences, had strong opinions about how women should be. She showed everyone she could be herself – breaking some of their rules – and still be a success.
4. Julie Andrews
I know, you’re going to say I already included her – well, I did like her as Mary Poppins, but I heard her speak later in life and was struck by how she overcame the challenges of celebrity as a young woman, and then not being able to sing after her vocal chords were damaged in an operation. She persevered even when she had to adapt her goals. Her books for children that she writes with her daughter are wonderful; I recommend them as beautiful gifts for any young people you know.
5. Anne Frank
I think she was the first female author I read. She was about the same age as me when she wrote what I read. I loved writing, and I loved her optimism. I didn’t love finding out what happened to her after she left her diary behind, but it didn’t make me give up on humanity; it made me remember what she said…
Anne Frank also inspired me to keep reading, and to keep writing. When I was a bit older, my Mom gave me Ayn Rand’s books, and I’ll leave you with some of her quotes to ponder as I close this post. She made me think, and prove my passions; she taught me what being true to myself really meant.
My wish for any reader of this post is that you share your passion and inspiration… you never know who it may touch.