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Friday, October 27, 2006

Enhancing the World Around Us

Moon Glow originally uploaded by Heaven's Gate.
In Making The World A Better Place I described Mannington Mill's Stand On A Better World Awards Program. Well, the results for the 2006 program are in, and I feel truly humbled reading about the accomplishments of these marvelous women.

The press release states: "From an 81-year-old retired lawyer saving destitute children in Nepal to a 20-year-old college student fighting to eliminate second-hand smoke in her community, the recipients of the 2006 “Stand On A Better World” Awards are a true inspiration to women everywhere who strive to make a difference in people’s lives. "

Read the descriptions of these womens' lives. They reacted to a defining moment in their lives: an injustice, a personal challenge, a gap in the system, an opportunity to makes things better.... And, in reacting they took action and came up with solutions that helped so many others in the process, truly enhancing the world around us:
  • Olga Murray – Sausalito, Calif. Founded the Nepalese Youth Opportunity Foundation which benefits the lives of impoverished Nepalese children by providing life’s basic necessities
  • Dana Dakin – Wilmot, N.H. Founded WomensTrust, a grassroots non-profit that helps poor women and their families in Ghana, West Africa
  • Ritu Primlani – Berkeley, Calif. Launched Thimmakka Certified Green Restaurants helping first-generation ethnic business entrepreneurs to provide a “green-certified” way for restaurants to do business.
  • The finalists: Jenny Bowen – Berkeley, Calif. , Jill Sheffield – New York, N.Y. , Amy Jaffe Barzach – West Hartford, Conn. , Debora Sponsel-Jolley – Albuquerque, N.M. , Meghan Pasricha – Hockessin, Del. Each has created a solution equally powerful and beautiful.
It's amazing to witness women's 'other-mindedness' or group focus in action, engaging community, creating epidemics of enthusiastic support for causes, helping others, and nurturing children -our global future- and others in need across the globe.

I love the adage that inspires Dana Dakin: "life comes in thirds: the first third you learn, the second you earn and the final third you return". It certainly seems to apply to many of these women, who have finished raising their own children, retired from careers and jobs to follow a new passion: changing the world for the better, one child, or person, or project at a time.

At the same time, the finalists represent women in the 'earn' stage [Amy Jaffe Barzach, Debora Sponsel-Jolley] and in the 'learn' stage [Ritu Primlani and Meghan Pasricha]. They aren't waiting to 'return'; they're doing it now! This bodes well for the complex world we live in!

These women and so many others all around us - our Mothers, Sisters, Friends, Daughters and Teachers - constantly nurture us and support us and encourage us and provide us with safety and love and education and inspiration. They have, more often than not, been unsung heroines in our lives and now we can take a moment to honor them.

And, by the way, these women, in addition to being our Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, Friends and Teachers, are also our customers. So how do we show them the appreciation they are due for enhancing the world around us every day?

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