Monday, September 21, 2015

Women's lives matter

My niece, Carmen, gave me a book in 1999 that I still treasure today: Uppity Women of Ancient Times by Vicki León. I enjoyed that one so much that I bought two more books by that author: Uppity Women of Shakespearean Times and Uppity Women of Medieval Times. Although so many stories of women have been lost and never recorded, including in the Bible, this author has done an inordinate amount of research to recover several stories.

And as we know, stories are important. It's good for us to know our histories; and as women, we need both models and warnings to inspire us in our own lives. (Some people are examples to us, and others are warnings, in terms of their thoughts and actions!)

The first book profiled 200 women from ancient times, and I am fascinated to read their stories. As the author said of those ancient times, "...there were countless women who mattered.... Their deeds haven't been lost to us either; uppity women rocked as many cradles as the next gal, but they rocked a lot of boats as well. From different cultures, times, and social classes, they shared a common bond: these high-energy achievers didn't buy into what others said women should and shouldn't do."

What a good reminder. We definitely don't want to twist ourselves into pretzels to become what others expect of us. It's our own expectations we want to follow. It's all about authenticity, isn't it? We want to be and do what is right for us. We want to become our true selves. At the same time, it's delightful to have models from any time and age to inspire us as we make our way. If you're looking for models—or if you just want some delightful reading—I recommend these books.

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