Friday, October 26, 2012

Half the Sky

I'm watching a powerful movie that speaks to my heart and inspires reflection.  It's called Half the Sky.  This documentary is based on the book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.  Through story telling, it sheds light on issues of sex trafficking, education for girls, genital mutilation and rape in countries all over the world.  It's shocking and difficult to imagine living through the challenges that these girls face.

My initial reaction is to get on a plane and volunteer for one of these incredible organizations.  I also know that I can make a difference here at home in my daily life.  As a teacher, it makes me want to further empower the girls in my class.  Perhaps a lunch book club with stories of women leaders.  My students are in an important position with so many advantages to make positive change in the world, but first we need to build their confidence, ease their anxiety and tap into the power inside of them.  I can see the nervousness on their faces as they look up to me for approval.  My role is to teach content, but I know that I can help them find strength on the inside.

I want to live through example.  I am the product of a strong education for women.  This movie makes me extremely grateful for all of the opportunities I've had in my life.  It also makes me wonder, "Am I doing everything I can to make the most of this gift?  Am I contributing to my community?  If not, what's holding me back?"  I have no excuses.

Here are 3 small things I can recommit to right now:
1. Speak positively about myself and other women.  No gossip.
2. Be nice to my mom even when I'm feeling impatient or grumpy.
3. Take care of myself and be thankful so that I can be of service to others.

When you educate a girl, she tends to take better care of her herself and her kids, create a business, get married later and invest in her community.  When you educate a girl, you educate a village.  To care about a girl, is an enormously powerful thing.  Girls education is transformative.

Please watch this movie or read the book.  Join the conversation that impacts everyone.

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