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If I really give it a thought, there is not a single woman I have met in my life who hasn’t inspired me in some way or the other. Some have shown me the importance of patience; others have shown me the value of unconditional loving. Some have shown me that nothing is impossible if you just keep trying; and others have shown me the power of faith. I am inspired by most women (mothers or not) for their ability to live life with gumption and grit, but these 5 women have recently made a strong impact on me and I look up to the virtues they embody in order to transform my own life. I hope that by reading a brief of their stories, you would get inspired too. The cherry on the cake is that they are all mothers, leading the way for a super-charged next generation. So here are my #Momspirations-
#1 Michelle Obama – A wonderfully poised woman, who shouldered the responsibility of being a role model for her country, along with her husband. She was extremely vocal about her thoughts on empowering young girls and encouraged them to study and achieve their dreams. She also worked tirelessly to improve the quality of school meals being served across the country and kid’s meals being served at famous restaurant chains. She was a champion of fighting the epidemic of obesity in America and showed people, by her example, how beneficial healthy living could be. She is a fitness and style icon and along with her husband, raised two daughters who were inspirations in their own right. Both have a good head on their shoulders and didn’t shy away from working at small stores and restaurants to earn their pocket money. They truly took the baton from their parents in terms of embodying integrity, grit and hard work to achieve success on their own merit. In addition to her amazing parenting skills, it was obvious from their body language that the Former President and his First Lady were very much a couple in love. She was always by his side and he was always full of praise for her. Certainly, they both must have worked very hard on a good relationship. Michelle Obama is truly a woman who wore many hats with élan.
#2 Deepa Malik – She brought great laurels to her country by becoming the first woman to win a medal at Paralympics in 2016. She is paralyzed from the waist down, despite which, she has set records in biking and swimming. Her disability has been a part of her life since childhood; yet, one look at her, and you can feel her almost contagious zest for life and her belief in her capabilities. She fought against her detractors and naysayers to overcome all the hurdles in her journey. She is also a mother of two young daughters who take all their inspiration from their mother.
It is also only fair to talk about Mary Kom when we talk of Indian sports women. Her story of becoming a world-class boxing champion after her twin pregnancy is an inspiration for mothers around the world to not think of motherhood as an excuse to bury their dreams.
#3 Sheryl Sandburg – The very gritty COO of Facebook faced a big blow when she suddenly lost her husband to heart attack two years ago. Loss and adversity are part and parcel of every one’s life and there are certainly many people we can see even around us who show spectacular courage and strength to overcome their loss. However, Sheryl took advantage of her position as an influencer and wrote extensively about how she took charge of her life after her husband’s passing. She has written a book called Option B that gives strength to people to look forward to a bright tomorrow for their own sake and for the sake of their loved ones (Sheryl too has two children). She has been among the top 50 most powerful women in business for the last decade and she continues to inspire women across the world to lean in to support each other at home and work. A true fighter!
#4 Lingu Bai – She is another inspirational woman working tirelessly in the field of organic farming in India. She is a fair-trade cotton farmer and a successful poultry farmer in the state of Telangana. She has encouraged her entire family to contribute to her organic farming endeavor and in her free time, she enjoys taking care of her grand children. For me, Lingu Bai, and many other rural women in farming, represent the collective strength of age-old wisdom, patience and toil while helping nourish their environment and fellow human beings with their labor of love.
# That mother who tries her best – This figure is not any one person, but the countless women who love and nurture their surroundings and make a difference wherever they are. It is that mother who brings her children to day care where they stay all day till she gets back from work, only to have more work awaiting her at home. It is that mother who decides to dedicate her entire life to raising her children, taking them tirelessly from one art class to the other, hoping to discover her children’s hidden potential in time. It is the mother who, despite never having gone to school herself, tells her children not to join her at work and attend school daily. She knows that her sacrifices today will help build a brighter future for her children. We all have some traces of her in us.
Inspired much? Happy Mother’s Day, ladies!