by Kerry Smith, founder of Granny OWL
I have been asked several times over the last few years to name a woman who inspires me. They wanted me to name a historical person who I admire, seek to emulate, or whose character traits I would like to develop. I found it interesting that I never could come up with one person.
For me, it is more the idea, or concept of women who have overcome adversity. Women who have made choices that may have been unpopular, but because they had a dream, or a passion, they chose to step out of the box others tried to put them in. Rather than trying to put names to specific people, I found it easier to identify the actions they took and the results from said actions.
I think of the missionary women who, against all odds, and in some of the most extreme adversities, chose to live their lives in hostile environments because they were so very passionate about sharing their beliefs with the unsaved souls they lived amongst.
I think of the women who, at young ages, dressed and acted like men to be able to serve in their military to fight for the causes they believed so fiercely in. Women who chose to march in public to overcome the oppression that society had put on them, classifying them as second class citizens.
I could go on and on but I think you get the picture.
What is the one thing I see in common with all of these examples? Women who believed in themselves as being able to make a difference in the world in which they lived. Women who had such a passion and desire to live out their purpose that they were willing to lay down their lives for others. Women who knew they had a calling other than what society was dictating.
These are the types of women who inspire me. Today, it is the women who decide to start their own businesses because they see a need and believe they can fill it. Women who, after years of living one way, realize that they have another purpose and are brave enough to take the steps to explore ways in which to fulfill that purpose.
Women who don’t settle for what others think their lives should be like. Women who are strong enough in their beliefs and confidence to stand up for themselves, make their voices heard.
Women who are willing to give all the love and compassion they have been gifted with. Women who are also willing to practice self care, who understand that in order to be able to give and serve, they must be filled up themselves.
I’m not saying we all have to live as missionaries, suffragettes, or Joan of Arcs. I am saying that those are the types of women, historically and currently, who inspire me. I know there are seasons, and circumstances change during a lifetime.
For me, I absolutely loved being a mom to my 5 kids during those years. Once they passed into adulthood, though, I had to rethink my purpose in life. It is never too late to find your new purpose, develop a hidden passion, or discover new hobbies.
My desire is to live my life so that when I am gone, my legacy will live on for generations. I may not have an impact on thousands, or entire civilizations, but I do strive to have a positive impact on those whom I come into contact with.
If the small contributions I make to my world can cause positive changes to this and future generations, then my mission will be accomplished.
I hope this inspires you to take a look at your life, to think about who has had an impact on you, and how you might in turn become someone who influences others for the better. Let’s make this world a better place, one person, one act at a time. Who’s with me?