Inspirational….I wonder who?

At an #IWD event this morning, there were a stack of harps and all the people attending were asked IMG_20180308_113019054_HDR.jpgto take turns at playing the harp and tell the others about one woman who inspired them…..
It was a novel idea and the musician who brought about 10 harps to the event was very brave to let a bunch of novices play these gorgeous instruments!!
It was a mixed group, with the Mayor of the city, councillers, senior bank managers and local business owners, people from the local community houses, libraries and a community leader who had spearheaded the local domestic violence support group after finding herself in a violent relationship and not having someone to turn to for help.

As we all took our turns at playing the harps and talking about the women who inspired us, I was fascinated by what people were saying.

Many of the men named their mothers, talking about the long hours they put into work, then came home and looked after the family as well. Some of the men spoke about how their mothers had left difficult marriages and then worked hard to raise families and  were involved in the local community and church groups, giving much time and effort.
One man spoke very movingly about his sister, who battled a serious injury, then put herself through university, set up a business, only to have it totally destroyed by the vicious bushfire a few years ago. Not giving up, she has rallied herself and started all over again.

Interestingly, when the women spoke, only a few named their mothers…..some named a teacher, who had believed in them. One woman spoke of a friend, who had inspired and egged her on to leave a job she hated and try something totally new. Two of the women, said they had female managers who were role models and mentors.

A few named Rosie Batty, one named Michelle Obama, another one named Oprah Winfrey and finally one woman said Margaret Thatcher.

Only 3 women named their mothers as someone who inspired them…….only 3, compared to about 11 men!
It made me wonder why- why was it that women were not inspired by their mothers? Are we different mothers to our sons, compared to our daughters?
Is it that daughters, don’t find what their mothers do inspiring enough? Or are we not giving our daughters the same kind of support, belief and encouragement that we give the boys?

I really would love to know what people think out there!

As for me, when my turn came…..I spoke about a dear friend who has tremendously inspired me….She was in a terrible accident many years ago and of the 4 or 5 people who were involved in the crash, she was the one who was most injured and endured pain, surgery, rehab and still has impact from the incident close to 2 decades ago…..

BUT, she very objectively came to terms with the accident, stating that of all the people involved, she was possibly the best person to be so impacted…as everyone else was crucial in their own right to their families! I was speechless when she spoke about this with me over 8 or 9 years ago and even now on days that I feel sorry for myself, I find myself thinking about this and pulling myself up!

Raising a toast to her and many other women in my life who have inspired me….including my Amma – who has instilled in me and my brother, to never attach importance to things, but focus on relationships. Build a bank balance of people!

And that has been my mantra for life!


Look me in the eye….

Look me in the eye…..tell me I matter
Look me in the eye…..tell me you feel
Look me in the eye…..and don’t look away

I have seen them all, eyes that laugh, eyes that smile, eyes that light up, eyes that speak and eyes that keep it quiet.

I have seen them all, eyes that hold back the pain, eyes that hide the fear, eyes that cry….without a tear falling out. Eyes that look up and hope someone else sees the truth.

Not one, not two but nearly all of us would have seen the distress in the eyes of another and looked away. Sometimes it is because we don’t know what to say, how to ask if they need help or even what to do if they come out and ask for help. We are conditioned from a young age, not to interfere with other people’s issues or get involved. This is the only way we can explain how so many young people have suffered years of abuse and how so many women have endured years of physical and emotional trauma at the hands of their partners. Surely someone would have noticed?

So many people I have worked with over the years have said that they hoped someone would see their distress and offer to help- simply because they did not have the courage to ASK for support. But for many no such support was forthcoming.

Those who came out of violent relationships early, often say it is because a third party came forward and helped them “see” what was really happening and helped them come out.

If you see something in the eyes of another person that doesn’t look right, just ask “are you okay” and then, when they say yes…..ask “are you REALLY okay”

It could mean the difference between life and death for someone….literally.