Remembering The Kindness Of Women
On International Women's Day Who Are The Women From Your Past and Your Present You'd Like To Say Thank You To On International Women's Day?
It's International Women's day – Happy International Women’s Day! I’ve been intentionally celebrating International Women's day since 1989 when I landed a job as a Women's training officer in a Women’s Unit in an inner London local authority.
I was a single Mum to my then three months old daughter Aida and I was learning so much about myself and what and how I wanted to contribute to the world.
Two women became pivotal mentors to me at the time and then gradually friends. Their names were Sharon Jennings a phenomenal woman, who’s a facilitator, lecturer and writer and Doreen Baidoo who was also of the same calibre.
It got me thinking about all the women who have touched my life in so many different ways from my primary school teacher Mrs Hinds at junior school, Mrs Higgins my brilliant Sociology lecturer at the then Westminster college in South West London and the Black careers teacher at the same college whose name I think was Rosetta who wouldn't let me off the hook about not wanting to apply for university. At the time I was seriously on the verge of losing focus and direction and her tenacity along with Mrs Higgins helped me get back on track.
There are so many women whom I would like to thank today whose names are not up there in lights. Women who helped steer me on my path. One particular woman, a stranger at the time comes to mind as someone who deeply impacted me as a young teenager. She worked front of desk in an estate agents office in Hackney. I would sometimes accompany my then boyfriend when he visited the office to make his rent payments each week back in the early eighties. Sometimes I would drop the money off for him on my way back home.
On this one day I had arrived at the office alone and before I could even hand over the money to her the receptionist spoke directly to me in a way that got my immediate attention and asked, "Why are you with him. You deserve so much better." I was shocked, as I hadn't seen that coming. She spoke to me for a while afterwards and her words hit home. The relationship was not in a good place. I was not in a good place. I knew the truth and so did she. I am deeply grateful for her courage in speaking out to that day. Her words woke me out of my slumber and I eventually turned my back and walked away from the relationship steering myself towards and into a new and better life direction.
Today why not make time in your day or sometime during this week to remember women from your past or present that on some level have touched your life even in the smallest of ways? If you could send them a message today what would you like to thank them for?
I'd like to thank my first coach Rose whom I met in 1986 when I was working as a full time Youth and Community worker. She helped me open my eyes to my potential and what was possible. The impact of our work has stayed with me all those years. Thank you Rose wherever you are in the world today.
And as we celebrate the lives of women all this week lets remember the magnitude of all women's lives around the world, across continents particularly those suffering in war zones and those battling poverty and harsh living conditions.
Take a moment a minute to breath into the magnitude of difference each of us have made to other women's lives, families partner communities, societies and nations. Breathe into how you will have and will continue to deeply impact others lives in your own sweet phenomenal way. Imagine a world without us? No, I can't either.
Happy Women's day!
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