Friday, March 29, 2013

Courage and Conviction

Today's is Jaynee's birthday.  Happy Birthday, Sister/Friend!

When I asked her which women in history she admired the most, she answered "My Gram, because she lived through so much."  Alas, there are no pictures of Gram to share...

But the courage and conviction with which Gram lived show up in other women.  Jaynee offered Joan of Arc as one example.

Born a peasant, Joan followed the direction of visions she received from saints to lead the French into battle against the English.  Little specific details of her life are known, as documents from the 1400s are rare and open to interpretation of the modern reader.  But Joan's courage and conviction are at the heart of her mythology.

In a similar respect, Jaynee also admires Rosa Parks.
Parks is another heavily mythologized woman.  Much of the focus is placed on her refusal to give up her seat on the bus, while acknowledgement of her extended leadership in the Civil Rights movement is neglected.  (More information can be found here:  The Story Behind the Bus.)  Parks could have let the racism and sexism that she experienced as a black woman diminish her.  Instead, she made herself an example of strength.

Me?  I'm inspired by Jaynee.  She's led an amazing and complicated life so far.  Without courage and conviction, she would have never survived the many challenges she has faced.  She is a true example of a strong woman, committed to building a better life for herself and others.

I am so blessed to have her in my life.

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