So many women have changed this world for the better, and it’s with a grand celebration that we commemorate International Women’s Day this March 8th!
These women are warriors who have fought a long, hard battle to be able to speak up for themselves and others and to position themselves as experts and equals in this world. The Equality Rights Movement allowed somany doors to open for women, and we’re so thankful they did!
It’s so important to be reminded of what women in history have accomplished and how, because of them and more, it enables all of us more in this world! The way I see it, an equal world, means an enabled world.
Below are three women who have empowered others, left their mark in this world, and who have made a significant impact on the lives of others.
Women Help Show the World Compassion and Make a Difference
When women were granted the ability and permission to be equal in the world, many women took this opportunity to show incredible compassion and kindness to other people!
One very honorable mention that has demonstratedinsurmountable kindness for this world is the woman commonly called a saint – Mother Teresa. At the very early age of 12 years old, she committed her life to serve the Lord through her services in helping the poor, sick, especially children, outcast, abandoned, refugees, formerly prostituted, diseased, lepers, people with AIDS, the elderly and so many more!
She ran soup kitchens and programs where she taught children from off the street and helped the community in any way she could! All of these services were at no charge!
In servicing others, she spread the beautiful Word of God and furthered His kingdom as her life’s purpose.
She did ALL of this without discriminating against a single person! She trusted God fiercely and in His plan for her life, despite the many struggles she encountered while caring for the sick and needy.
Because of compassion, outcasts, and different people were given a chance to be included and loved!
When we think of royalty, we often think of crowns and high stature. The late Princess Diana certainly fit this profile; she, however, defined the word royalty in a completely different manner.
Aside from being one of the first royals to break protocol as well as speak her mind passionately, unlike other royals, she helped many people that others would turn a blind eye to or treat differently in more than 100different causes.
Princess Diana used her power and high position to help several sick and hungry people, including children. She banned landmines to prevent deaths and injury to innocent people, and she raised awareness about mental health.
More than that, though, she was an incredible advocate for those who suffered things that no one else talked about or that people treated differently.
For example, she stood up for those who had leprosy and HIV/AIDS when no one else would! She would make a stand by sitting on their beds against other people’s comments and warnings – she even shook leper’s hands and touched their sores. She went to battle for those who couldn’t fight for themselves, personally visiting many patients and treating them like REAL people when others wouldn’t.
Her boldness changed so many things! She was a benevolent icon and one that the world will never forget!
Furthermore, equality for women changed so much in history, including movements that changed the world!
The African Americans suffered so much discrimination years ago, and when Rosa Parks took a stand for them and herself, she changed the world!
Rosa was an African American civil rights activist who didn’t typically break the rules, until one day when she did…
She sparked the life-changing movement, The Montgomery Bus Boycott, which in turn led to approved racial segregation laws. This all started in 1955 when, on a city bus, Rosa was commanded to move from her seat and let a white passenger sit there instead, as was the law back then. She stood her ground and resisted the command and didn’t budge – which even led to her arrest.
She broke the law for hercommunity, and her bravery got E.D. Nixon’s attention, a longtime civil rights leader, who posted her bail. The next day, Rosa, along with Martin Luther King Jr and E.D. Nixon, purposely sat in white people’s seats on a bus – in the front! This action encouraged the African American community to follow suit in taking a stand against the white population.
Knowing that the bus system relied heavily on black passengers for their business, Martin Luther King Jr. asked every African American to stop taking the bus and any other means of transportation. This happened at the same time as the trial for Rosa, and many African American commuters refused public transportation in protest to her trial.
Rosa’s actions caused the Bus Boycott, which lasted 381 days, despite many atrocious actions and events that resulted from it. In June 1956, all the efforts, sweat, blood, and tears resulted in victory when the district court approved racial segregation laws!
While a lot of the African American community unfortunately suffered and even were killed for this movement, the Montgomery Bus Boycott movement launched as one of the most prominent and most prevalent mass movements that African Americans ever faced in history! All because of the brave Rosa Parks, who decided to take a stand and change history!
When equality for women became legal, women were able to show the world that disabilities were, in fact, ABILITIES.
Another woman who impacted history significantly is the former First Lady of California, Maria Shriver. She believed in supporting people who lived with intellectual disABILITIES and advocating for women with Alzheimer’s.
Advocating for so many different people who lived with such disABILITIES, she continued her mother’s work by becoming a co-founder of the International Board of Special Olympics. She changed how the world saw those with disABILITIES!
The Special Olympics allows people with different disABILITIES to receive training, participate in sports, and activities that were part of the Olympic competitions.
In addition to this, Maria has hired a lot of people who have intellectual disABILITIES with her First Lady privileges, allowing disabled people to be able to do their part in the world and make a difference as well!
She also supports people who live with intellectual disABILITIES by raising millions for them with her bike ride program, Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle.
Maria also has a passion for helping women who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. She founded The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement – a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness regarding women’s considerable risk for Alzheimer’s, and she educates the world on lifestyle changes that were necessary to really protect the health of the brain.
She continues to raise awareness by holding campaigns and events every year in which she raises millions of dollars, which are donated to research for women’s Alzheimers. She wants the world to really understand the horrible disease, how to prevent it, possibly cure it, and how to support those who live with it.
Maria’s passion is to give special people the ability to feel truly special and included – both physical and intellectual – and in doing so, she changed so much for those who suffer or live with disABILITIES.
In my new anthology, Dust to Salvation, and my children’s book, Anthony’s Way, I AM ME!, I share more about my own story and experience with a child with special needs and how it has impacted my life.
So many different women have changed the world and impacted it significantly! It is truly amazing how much of an effect women have had on this world and continue to do so.
Consider Greta Thunberg, whose passion for saving the planet led to her bravely speaking out assertively with confidence about what is killing the Earth and what to do about it – all at the early age of 17.
Another important modern woman to consider who is continues to change the world is Oprah Winfrey. She has helped many people with selfless gifts and gave them hope with the actions she did in her heart-warming show. People admire and feel uplifted by Oprah.
She changed America by courageously and vulnerably sharing her story of being molested as a child, which then encouraged and prompted other women to do the same – which helped free them emotionally. She was there for others in a way like no other talk show host ever has!
And that’s just a handful of incredible women who have made history and continue to make a difference in the world!
You see, God has chosen to work with many different women in this world, and in doing so, the world has been shown hope, love, inclusion, and so much more!
God created us all equally and unique in our own way. He has shown the world that women have a lotto offer to be the change that needed to happen in the world! He allowed them to be the change the world never expected!
The change isn’t over – women have more to give to the world in ways that we haven’t even considered yet!
Share in the comments below: Who is ONE woman you admire because of how they changed the world and why?
The Christmas season is here, and it’s a special time of year – time of year many look forward to!
It’s a time to gather with family and friends to celebrate the Christmas season while feasting on scrumptious foods, drinks and giving and receiving gifts!
While this can be a joyous occasion, this season can be especially hard on a lot of different people. Some people struggle if they have lost loved ones, are sick and can’t make the festivities, are going through relationship or marital difficulties or changes, don’t get along with their family, and many other reasons involving heartache. The heartache that is felt deeply around an otherwise joyous occasion as a reminder of what they had.
Whatever the reason, this happy occasion can cause some hearts to hurt more than they do regularly because the reminder of joy and gathering is very imminent during the Christmas season.
The Christmas season is a reason to spread joy and kindness to one another. Below are 5 essential traditions to add to your holiday season to help everyone feel the gift of kindness that surrounds us all this holiday season!
Give Back to Others with Kindness
The Christmas season is all about giving and sharing love, so it seems only fitting that giving and sharing love to others would be a paramount tradition to add to your holiday season!
Helping to spread the joy to others during the Christmas season doesn’t need to be elaborate, expensive, or complicated! Set up a Christmas advent calendar where you spend 31 days before Christmas by giving back to others with kindness! Some ideas can include:
Sponsoring a Family in Need
There are many less fortunate families out there who are not financially able to celebrate Christmas, let alone enjoy everyday life, and who face dangers of poverty and sickness.
Choosing to sponsor a family in need is an incredibly kind way of letting someone know that you are there for them and are committed to helping them! Imagine the change you can be in their lives by gifting them the opportunity to be helped and loved by a stranger!
Volunteering at a Soup Kitchen
Another way to give back in kindness to others during the Christmas season is to volunteer at a soup kitchen. This way, you’re able to help prep, cook and serve a healthy, hot cooked Christmas meal to those in need, and also be a friendly face to wish them a “Merry Christmas”!
Many suffering people in shelters don’t have the luxury of eating a home-cooked meal with their loved ones or even themselves, so this is where those of us whocan give back, should!
When your children are old enough, suggest this idea to them as well, to help them learn more about those who need help and how to help!
Paying off Someone’s Layaway or Debt
Give the gift of giving by paying off someone’s layaway account they may have in a retail store, or another kind of debt that they may be in! This act can make someone incredibly happy and can help relieve a lot of stress for them! Do it for a loved one, or better yet – someone you don’t know!
If you have the financial opportunity to purchase a gift for a loved one or a stranger, consider this option as well, because sometimes, not needing to pay off debt is a more thoughtful gift than a physical present!
Gifting a Child or Senior from the Angel Tree
Another loving way to give back in kindness during the Christmas season is to participate in the Angel Tree for children or seniors.
This act of giving back is done by removing one or more Angel gift tags from a Christmas tree that provides the “Angel Tree” program and purchasing gifts for the selected child or senior that match their gender and need category written in the tag.
This act of kindness can really help the following:
A child who is struggling without their parent (or parents) during this time of year
An underprivileged child
A child or family that is hurting or struggling
Someone who is lonely and heartbroken
There are innumerous and creative ways to give back to others with kindness this Christmas season, and you can find out and participate in many more with our Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar, just click on ‘Download’ to save the image AND join us on our Facebook Page to join in on the fun!
This tradition goes back many years and is still a favorite among many people! Caroling isn’t about giving monetary value or help to someone, but instead about spreading joy and the meaning of Christmas through beautiful, joyful song that becomes pleasantly contagious upon hearing it!
There’s something so magical about hearing people sing Christmas carols and feeling that true spirit of Christmas well up in our hearts in a shared celebration!
Gather some friends, family, church members, youth groups, and anyone else who wants to join and go out caroling some night in your city or at a local senior’s home, etc. Watch people’s faces light up as you joyously sing Christmas songs – who knows; they may even join you!
Participate in the Seven Fishes Feast
There’s another fascinating tradition you can add to your Christmas list to do, and that’s to participate in La Viglia dei Natale. Enjoy eating seven different kinds of fish dishes with your family, while commemorating the birth of Jesus – the meaning for Christmas.
What an incredible way to share the love with others in celebration of Christmas!
Set up a Cookie Exchange
Gathering with loved ones while eating delicious food is par for the course when it comes to celebrating Christmas, so why not consider adding a tradition of a cookie exchange? Tell a bunch of people that you’re hosting a cookie exchange in your home and tell them they need to bring a dozen cookies or baking of their choice (handmade is always best!), and everyone swaps their baking goodies with each other.
Exchanging cookies is a fun way to get new recipes, share your delectable recipes, socialize and share in the Christmas season!
Christmas Meals and Gift Giving with Family
Another tradition to add to your Christmas “To Do” list is to spend time with your children and family – intentionally.
Make an effort to bake Christmas cookies, put up the Christmas tree together without fussing and complaining, and to cook a Christmas Day breakfast, lunch, or supper (or all three!). Last but not least, enjoy the moment of giving gifts to your children or loved ones and watch as their faces light up with excitement and joy!
This tradition doesn’t mean you need to spend a lot on anyone, but rather, give them intentional gifts – gifts you know they will love – not what you want them to love! Tell your children the focus should be on the gathering and giving the most and less on the gift receiving. Teach your children through this friendly gathering the true meaning of Christmas. This tradition will help your children get into the true Christmas spirit!
Choose and Spread Joy with Kindness this Christmas
There are so many traditions around Christmas time, so it’s essential to choose the ones that will spread joy and the meaning of Christmas to other people!
While sharing and giving love at Christmas time is valuable and thoughtful in sharing the joy and the true spirit of Christmas, consider doing things that give back to others in kindness all year round as well!
The spirit of Christmas will linger in your heart, soul, and mind whenever you give back to others in kindness and with intention, so make sure to follow your Christmas tradition list and go out and have a safe, enjoyable and joyful Christmas season!
Share in the comments below: What is ONE tradition you can do this Christmas that will lend kindness to others?