[Yes, I know that Google Doodle celebrated Women's Day yesterday, but it really is on March 8th.]
Last year I celebrated Women's Day for the first time in my life. It's not a holiday we celebrate in America, which I think is a shame, because it's a way to celebrate the goodness of all women in our lives--mothers, sisters, aunts, cousins, friends--and the strength that women bring to the world.
I obviously have a lot to say on the subject of women and our strength, the potential we have to do good in the world, and the importance of using our voices . . . so much to say that it would be silly to put it all in one blog post. But this I do want to say today:
I believe their is power and strength in womanhood. I believe this even when opposing forces--from both men and, sometimes, women--tell me otherwise. Women are strong. We are strong and we are diversified, and there is strength in that diversity. We are strong because there is inherent strength in being women. We show strength when we give and when we love and choose to live deliberately. We are strong because we want to make a difference in the world; to make our corner of the world more refined, just, and beautiful . . . better than how we found it.
I will teach my girls that they are strong. That they are beautiful and powerful and good. I will teach them where true confidence and grace come from. I will teach them to love being a woman--and I will teach them to form strong, good, healthy relationships with men and boys. This is not a competition between men and women. We need unity. Because although both men and women are strong individually, we are stronger and better together. And I will teach my boys that a "strong woman" is not an oxymoron. I will teach them to seek out strong, confident, kind women and introduce them to heroines in life and in literature so that they know it is normal and good to have a strong woman for a classmate, a friend, a wife.
I believe all women are beautiful. That we are strong. And that we have voices to use and songs to sing.
So, to all of the women in my life who have been examples of strength, beauty, and grace to me . . . thank you. And to all the men in my life who have encouraged me to be a strong woman and to live my dreams, thank you for that, too.
Happy Women's Day!