Mama exhorted her children at every opportunity to ‘jump at the sun.’ We might not land on the sun, but at least we would get off the ground. — Zora Neale Hurston
On this International Women’s Day, I want to recognize the woman in my life who gave me the courage to shine. My mom. The woman who gave me everlasting support and encouragement no matter how old I was. Because even when I became an adult, I was still her baby. And while this goddess no longer walks the Earth, I want her to know how grateful I am for everything she did to make a better life for her six children and for her dedication to making the world a better place. There was not one day when she didn’t remind us “to jump at the sun” and find a way to help others.
Millions of more women around the globe deserve a special shout-out today and every day. For example, women like the historian Heather Cox Richardson who is kicking a** on Facebook with her daily insights on politics. Or leaders like Stacey Abrams, who unapologetically fights back against the patriarchy and who continues to shine a light on the “coordinated attack on voting rights.”
Of course, Women’s Day wouldn’t be complete without mentioning two other inspiring women: Dolly Parton and Katharine Hayhoe.
Apart from being one of the greatest living singer-songwriters on the planet, Dolly Parton has dedicated her life to giving back. From her Imagination Library that gives books to kids from zero to five, to her financial contribution that helped create a vaccine against Covid-19, she has shown the world what one can do with a lot of love and gratitude.
Katharine Hayhoe — and if you don’t know her work, you’re missing out — a scientist passionate about the climate, has spent decades educating millions of people, especially the evangelical community, on why you can believe in God and climate change. She is hands down one of the most compelling speakers you’ll ever listen to on why we’ve got to take care of Mother Earth.
So on this International Women’s Day, I ask you this: How are YOU planning on taking care of the mom we all share, Mother Earth? I mean, what are you REALLY going to do day in and day out to ensure that future generations inhabit a livable planet?
Here my challenge to you: Every time you post to Facebook, Tweet, go on Instagram — and I mean, every single time — find a cause to support. Do you care about voting rights? Then find an organization and help them out. Do you care about the climate? Then walk outside and pick up litter. Do you want to figure out how to help the homeless? Then donate food and clothing to a shelter.
Now, close your eyes and imagine a world where gratitude and empathy lead the way and build that compelling future I always write about with such enthusiasm. Don’t let the right-wing crazies win. People like Marjorie Taylor Greene don’t represent most women (or even humans), and we can’t let her abusive behavior and bad energy dampen our spirits. There are way more women in the world who are positive role models, and we need to spend more time raising them up and amplifying their work.
Martin Luther King said it best: “The end we seek is a society at peace with itself and a society that can live with its conscience.”
Just do something. Now.