This month, decide to feature a lady from the dance circle & since Relm is currently aspire to be a ballerina, decided to feature Misty Copeland.
She is the first African American principal dancer with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre (ABT). Born in Kansas City, and raised in San Pedro, California, Misty Copeland did not begin studying ballet until the relatively late age of 13.
It has to be her love of ballet that despite in great pain, she performed the Firebird beautifully. She would learn later that her left shin suffered six fractures and required corrective surgery but through perseverance & passion, she overcame these obstacles & still danced on today.
Ballerinas train up to 8 hours a day, 6 days a week & why am I not surprised? Like every profession, only through training, practice, perseverance & drive for perfection can one even hope to be good at their trade.
So what do one learn? While one may not have an early headstart, one can still be an ace on their trade, just from sheer passion, perseverance & love for it.
So the month of June, I have decided to feature the Icelandic women & Vigdís Finnbogadóttir as I visit the beautiful country of Iceland & wanted to feature the country’s inspiring women as well.
During the International Women’s Year in 1975 Icelandic women attracted great attention when they organized a general strike to show how important women’s undervalued work was. 90 per cent of the Icelandic women went on strike. And this is the start where the country’s politics start to change & that’s when Vigdís Finnbogadóttir comes in.
Vigdís Finnbogadóttir was the world’s first democratically directly elected female president. She holds true to her post & took an active role as environmental activist and fought for Icelandic language and culture, acting as a cultural ambassador in promoting the country. She had as her motto: ‘Never let the women down’ and worked specifically to promote girls’ education.
What I am in awe of is really how during the 1975 these Icelandic women decided to band together & show that they contribute just as much as men do. We are talking about 42 years ago where gender equality is not a norm (actually even today, it is still not a norm).
So yes.. women can do what they set out to do .. that is if they WANT to do it at all.
My month of May feature of inspiring woman is Maya Angelou. An poet, writer & civil rights activist. She is super popular.. so if need know more – just wiki/google – so much information about her.
image via wikimedia commons
Her poems are famous & so are her books. But for me what really makes me take an interest in her was when she shared her mother’s advice – “Ask for what you want,and be prepared to pay for what you get “
And why it strikes me so ? Because – it is one thing we ALWAYS forget when want something. We ask, demand, work hard & give our all to get what we want but sometimes we forget to be prepared for what we will get.
It is like
At 6, you can’t wait to go to school but you are not prepared with the home work for the next 10 years.
At 12, you can’t wait to be taller but you are not prepared with the chaotic hormonal change
At 21, you can’t wait to start work & put your college knowledge to work but you are not prepared that what you learn are only used < 5 % cause nothing matters more than diligence & persistence.
At 28, you can’t wait to live with your absolute love but you are not really (or ever will be) prepared for the other 50% of the weird habits
At 35, you can’t wait to have the baby out of your womb (cos 9 whole months of 100% attachment can really get to you) but you are not really prepared for the 300% commitment to the child for the rest of your life.
I am a fan of the volleyball game, maybe it’s because I played the game when I was in school although only for just 3 years. And obviously, I followed the volleyball in the Olympics. And Rio 2016 Olympics final was a superb game. Both opposing teams were just as good but I guess this is where strategy & advice by the coach make that additional edge. So this month, I am going to feature about Lang Ping from China.
Picture from alchetron.com
Her accolades in volleyball are widely known – an Olympic champion player during the 1980s but really what make her even more famous was the fact that she became the first person, male or female, to have won gold at the Olympics both as a player and as a coach. Yes the first person not just first female.
Of course what I found particularly inspiring about her is the fact that she remain true to her love for the game regardless the fact that she is a China national & coaching the USA volleyball in the 2008 Olympics to beat the China team in the preliminaries despite public criticism (some call her traitor).
We don’t see many female athletics (champions/professionals) get really successful in coaching, maybe because females tend to take on the priority role of raising the family (which I might add is one of the most demanding role that has no expiry of contract whatsoever & no off days!) . I would think she made it this far is because of her staying true to the love of her game (thus professional) regardless of her nationality. She ventured out of the comfort zone (she was famous in China & would have been a national coach anyway) to the US in search for her own personal development. While chasing after her own career growth, she also raised a child! So I am intrigued.
So yes, anything is possible – if you stay true to your abilities & continually learn / improve , sometimes even question the status quo (which seems very good) to test how far you can go to be even better.
This month’s feature for inspiring women is Dr. Vandana Shiva. Although not of the first to speak out against genetic engineering & pest control in agriculture, her efforts in promoting her believes are widely known.
picture from parabereforum.com
She believes & actively promotes biodiversity (as nature intended) in agriculture is what will increase productivity, nutrition & farmer’s income.If one reads about how farmers get ‘trapped‘ into greed cycle of some corporations, one can’t help be disgusted by how sick human beings can be sometimes.
Most importantly she decides to actively promote this cause is the fact that she sees first hand how the hardworking farmers are so poor & believes that the root of the problem was how the ‘educated’ exploited not just the farmers but also the Earth by introducing unsustainable practices to the uneducated farmers.
Something for young girls to ponder about. The food that we eat everyday – planted, cultivated & grown by farmers – something that we take for granted but absolutely can’t live without – can you make a difference to their lives as they have contributed to yours everyday like what Dr. Vandana is doing?
She is very famous of course. I do not think I need to even give a summary about her history at all or even need to find a picture of her to be posted here.
But why I am featuring her as my ‘inspiring’ female of the month is just because I would like you (Relm) to know that one can still be sarcastic yet funny but nice all at the same time.
How do one even get to deliver message that is not just honest & sarcastic but also funny without being offending? I often wonder is it because she is just born as such or she has managed to attain this ‘skill’ through some personal ‘enlightenment’?
Anyway, something for me to ponder about
This month under my ‘inspiring women’ category, I would like to feature Margaret Hamilton. She was one of the software programmer for the success of Apollo Spacecraft landing on the moon. To read more about her – just wiki it. Or read this Margaret Hamilton (scientist) .
She wasn’t supposed to invent the modern concept of software and land men on the moon. BUT she DID! How cool is that!
Picture source from the wikipedia.
One should not be afraid to say ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I don’t understand,’ or to ask ‘dumb’ questions, since no question is a dumb question. To continue even when things appear to be impossible, even when the so called experts say it is impossible; to stand alone or to be different; and not to be afraid to be wrong or to make and admit mistakes, for only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.
– Margaret Hamilton
When I was younger, I was afraid to fail. Afraid to tell teacher that I don’t get what she is teaching in that additional maths or in the physics class. I wished I had the courage to ask stupid questions like “WHY are we learning this” or “HOW can this be applied”? . I am sure it would have got me interested in the subject to learn it with gusto.
So here you are – Relm, the wonders of science, maths, physics & logic can help one land a spacecraft ! And that’s being done by a women in the 1960s!!