Today, I had the opportunity to celebrate International Women’s Day in a unique way. I listened to my friend and mentor, Jill Summerhayes, speak about the many experiences she has had in her life – difficult and interesting – and how they taught her valuable life lessons. Here is what I gleaned:
- Being honest and forthright may be immediately painful but will be worth it in the end [she also added an anecdote that would lead one to believe having impeccable timing with honesty is also valued]
- If you make a mistake, and you learn something from it, most people are prepared to forgive you.
- Know that you can recover from change.
- Choosing to serve in the community is for the benefit of others; so a place may exist where they many flourish, reaching their full potential.
- If one is entrusted to care for someone – love them to death.
- Know when to let go.
- Naive optimism is brilliant as long as you are surrounded by those who are informed.
Jill also spoke of her sweet, deceased husband Stuart. He was her partner visionary; her partner in dreaming. He helped her to see the need for change and assisted her in doing something about it. Stuart was Jill’s biggest cheerleader as she brought new ideas to her community. I do believe Jill Summerhayes is onto something here.
Many times, the fight for women’s rights seems like a cause only females are standing up for. Today, the UN is acknowledging that equality for women can only come when men and women stand together.
Introduce yourself to the work of the UN as it endeavours to affect significant change for women around the world.