In Celebration of Womanhood!!!!!!
March the 8th is International Women's Day. Today is the day for celebrating women of every country; for recognising progress made in fighting for decent health care, the right to an education, to be heard as individuals, equality politically, and basic human rights. Let us also remember all those women down through history who have fought for what they were passionate about- those in the Suffragette Movement, Rosa Parks, and Mary Wollstonecraft to name a few.
But it is not just those women who fought for other women who need to be remembered. One woman who went above and beyond for her fellow man is Mary Seacole- known for her commitment to nursing during the Crimean war (1853-56). Her story is one of determination and hope, and the total refusal to ever give up on herself, or others. As a child I was often told “There's no such word as Can't'!” Mary Seacole lived her life this way.
Born in Jamaica in 1805, Mary was a nurse, having learnt about nursing and Creol medicine from her mother. She continued to educate herself throughout her life, and travelled extensively. By the time she was in her 50s, and with her husband having passed away, Mary's mind turned to the soldiers fighting in the Crimean War.
In 1854 she travelled to England, in the hope of being allowed to support Florence Nightingale's efforts in the Crimea, where poor medical facilities were widely acknowledged. She was refused; very possibly due to her mixed race parentage. Unperturbed, Mary decided to use her own finances to get to the Crimea, and help those so desperately in need. Once there, she founded the 'British Hotel'- where soldiers were well looked after on the road to recovery. She also faced live fire when going to the aid of soldiers on the battle field, her tenacity later earning her medals for bravery.
After the war, she returned to England destitute. The English people expressed their gratitude for Mary by holding benefits for her, and afterwards she had enough money to live comfortably, and even wrote her memoirs- ' The Wonderful Adventures of Mary Seacole in Many Lands.' She died in 1881.
Mary not only conquered prejudice, doggedly pursuing her goals with determination and spirit, she was able to leave the world a better place, having touched many lives. This continues to this day, with The Mary Seacole Centre for Nursing Practice being set up in 1998 in Middlesex, UK- over 100 years after her death.
Every time I think about this story, her courage, persistence, and love for others blows me away.
So how does your own positive personality effect your life, and those you come into contact with?
Words and actions can cause a rippling effect- like vibrations on water which fan out further and further; on to our family and friends, local community, and beyond. I truly believe that for each and every one of us who choose to live in this way, we can have a HUGE effect- creating and nurturing the atmosphere of positivity, optimism, and CHANGE towards being happier people, resulting in a content and more connected society, and eventually, a better world in which to live.