Some people still speak of a "self-made man" or "self-made woman." Really?
Each one of us builds on things that have been done by so many who have gone before us. As a woman, I'm especially conscious of building on the foundation that so many strong women before me laid down, painful brick by painful brick. Women marched in the streets, being attacked, hit, spit upon and turned out of their homes by irate husbands, so that I could have the right to vote. They were jailed and force-fed for that right. Other women spoke out and marched so that I could be in the workplace and could be in the board room (and not just to take notes!). I've been able to build on all that they set in place. And those who follow me will do the same.
My ancestors (and all of ours, unless you're Native American) left family and familiar surroundings to strike out for a new land that they saw held out promise and opportunity. Because of their pluck and courage, my family and I live in America ... and I can build on their accomplishments.
So it is with all of us. We are not islands. We cannot do it all by ourselves. It not only takes a village to raise children. It takes a village to raise all of us and to support our lives.
It's humbling and inspiring to think of all those civilizations and individuals who have contributed to who and what we are today—and to what we're able to do today. Let's stop and be grateful for those infinite rhythms of life. What an amazing support system.