Good morning and happy Friday. Today is a change from the hospital diaries and back to a bit of blogging which is lovely! I do apologize that these may not be as visually appealing as normal posts but I’m having to use my phone while in hospital.
International Women’s Day (March 8) celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day always has a theme, which is a campaign worked on throughout the year and this year it is #balanceforbetter
The #balanceforbetter campaign pushes for work from the grassroots to international level to help achieve a gender balanced world.
A fantastically inspiring collection of interviews with 40 successful and empowering women, including Maya Angelou, Isabel Allende, Mary Robinson and Shami Chakrabati, exploring their challenges and achievements.
In this empowering book, 40 amazing women who have exerted an influence on others in many different ways discuss their work, their achievements, their hopes and their fears, offering women everywhere inspiration and optimism for the future through their fascinating explanations of what they have achieved. Featuring politicians, environmentalists, humanitarians, entrepreneurs, musicians, artists, actors, world leaders and Nobel Peace Prize winners, this book encourages readers to believe that they can achieve their greatest ambitions and help change the world for the better.
The book is structured around ten questions, with the 40 interviewees providing a pithy and insightful answer to each one. Topics range from influential early experiences, inspirations in life and most admired female figures to causes of anger, greatest fears, how to change the world and advice for the younger generation.
The full list of powerful women featured in the book is as follows: Isabel Allende, Christiane Amanpour, Maya Angelou, Hanan Ashrawi, Joan Baez, Benazir Bhutto, Mary Kayitesi Blewitt, Emma Bonino, Shami Chakrabarti, Jung Chang, Kate Clinton, Marie Colvin, Marion Cotillard, Severn Cullis-Suzuki, Carla Del Ponte, Judi Dench, Shirin Ebadi, Tracey Emin, Jane Fonda, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Dagmar Havlová, Swanee Hunt, Bianca Jagger, Nataša Kandić, Kathy Kelly, Martha Lane Fox, Dame Ann Leslie, Professor Wangari Maathai, Mairead Maguire, Mary McAleese, Soledad O’Brien, Sinéad O’Connor, Yoko Ono, Mariane Pearl, Kim Phuc, Paloma Picasso, Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ, Paula Rego, Louise Ridley, Mary Robinson, Jody Williams.
I read this book in three short stints as I found it so interesting! Had the time, finishing it in one day would have been very possible. I thought it was perfect to share today with you all on International Women’s Day
The women featured in this book have some amazing stories, ideas, experiences and knowledge and share it so well in this structure, with the selected questions the author chose to use. The questions didn’t come across as too literary or academic, which meant it was an interesting general read rather than feeling like you are studying something. It was good to have a section on what each women does and did, as some of the names I didn’t recognize. Seeing some of these topics from different viewpoints was an eye opener and I really enjoyed it.
I love non fiction as well as fiction and if you are a fan I would definitely give this one a try as I found it fascinating.
Link to buy on Kindle
To round off I thought I would answer a couple of the questions asked in the book myself. My answers won’t be nearly as good I’m sure, but if you give the book a read you will see how it makes you think about your views, values and ideas like it did mine.
Did your upbringing or early experiences influence the direction your life took?
Without a doubt. I don’t think anyone could claim what happens to them ‘along the way’ wouldn’t affect things at all. I think mine had a more profound impact as it’s been the heath issues I’ve faced and that’s not something I can change by moving where I live or getting a better job for example. Since being little I’ve always wanted to be in the field of caring – a vet or doctor growing up. My Uncle told me how they birthed cows age 9 and that idea went out the window. Unfortunately my poor health saw me have to leave college and studies, so things then did take an unplanned track. I’m now however, back with a more solid idea of how I want to help people, and that has come from more and more experiences which I have built up along the way.
Amazing support from my family, friends and medical team have also always had such a positive impact on my life too, which has made sure I don’t back down from a challenge and still aim high, despite my limitations at times.
What most promotes you to anger, and do you believe in forgiveness?
First – anger. So many see anger as a bad thing and I do believe being angry alot, isn’t good for your soul. However, anger is just another emotion and as long as you can express it safely and without hurting others, why is it a bad thing to admit something has angered you?
Things that anger me are when people are taken advantage of or belittled because of their nature. It took me a long time to realise it, but I was the sort of person who could very much allow this to happen. I’ve said before that I believe I’m a generally nice person. Not a word many use to describe themselves I’m sure, but I don’t mind it and I don’t find it a bad thing. However, some will use that against you, whether to make you feel down or whether they manipulate you for their own good. Discrimination in all forms angers me too – we have one shot at life and I’m not sure why people want to spend it constantly fighting and battling!
As for forgiveness, I don’t think it as something someone receives, but something someone gives. I think it’s more to do with the person who was wronged letting go of what’s happened and not letting it impact on their life, self esteem, self worth etc. They forgive to move past it. The person who needs forgiveness will have to decide whether they just accept it or whether they use it as a lesson to then improve themselves or a situation.
Hope you enjoyed reading a but of something that wasn’t about the hospital. I certainly enjoyed writing it but it will be good to get back on my computer! Maybe time to look into a laptop for me – any recommendations let me know in the comments below please!