The interview with Bryony (Her Edit, First Edition) on what makes a good role model for girls today got me thinking. At this stage in life, I find myself looking for inspiration rather than role models. So who are the legendary women that can inspire us and what can they teach us about how we can live our lives?
I am inspired by the women that found their own place in societies that did not always value independence, strength or determination in a woman. The legendary women I have been thinking of seem to fall into clear groups:
The warrior women such as Boudicca, Queen of the Iceni. Brave and with the strength of spirit to inspire an army of men to fight the Romans. She teaches us that even when the odds are stacked against us it does not mean we should stop fighting.
The pioneers such as Marie Curie, using her education to benefit others, and dedicated to her science despite the extreme personal cost to her health. Marie Curie worked and studied for years before making the breakthroughs that changed millions of people’s lives, showing that perseverance in the face of set-backs can still overcome.
The political activists such as Aung San Suu Kyi, fighting a brutal dictatorship in the cause of democracy and reminding us that being strong does not have to mean being fierce. Aung San Suu Kyi shows us how deep conviction combined with quiet determination can win through, gaining support from others, and eventually changing minds that for many years seemed unchangeable.
You may not agree with my choice of legendary women, and this is a personal and of necessity extremely limited list, but what interests me is what they have in common. What unites these very different women, from very different times, is a belief in something bigger than themselves. Something worth fighting for. If we can find our own personal greater belief, it will give us the strength to lead, to learn and to achieve things we otherwise might have thought impossible.
So, who inspires you?