My best role model
I start this last assignment with a heavy heart. It is ironic, yet somehow fitting that this week's assignment asks about our personal vision for the world and what we would like to accomplish as part of World Pulse's Voices of Our Future program.
My beloved grandmother passed away last night at the age of 89; she was my best role model on what it meant to be a woman and how to make changes in our community. Maggie was an artist, a teacher, a world traveller, a wonderful cook, an optimist, a feminist, an activist, a humanitarian, a great-grandmother, a mother and a wife. She taught me to speak my mind and how to live my life with joy, love and compassion. She was an amazing woman who never let any obstacles stand in her way. I would like to dedicate this assignment to Marguerite Harthill Kennedy Garrick; August 4, 1921 - October 11, 2010. Rest in peace, Maggie. I love you and miss you.
My vision for the world is one of harmony and co-existence; where people are considered more valuable than commodities and love is stronger currency than hate. The grim reality is that we are on the precipice of a new age, and the world has more war, poverty and hunger than ever before. We have entire countries who are suffering from climate change and natural disasters, which seem to get more severe every year. Nations are electing far-right and xenophobic leaders and governments, countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sudan are being ignored by the rest of the world, and powerful developed countries are in a crisis of spending and debt due to war and greed. Workers around the world are being exploited and abused in the name of profits and dividends.
Women are going to have to be the force of good if we want things to change. Reading the articles and stories from my fellow World Pulse contributors has convinced me that women have great ideas, endless energy and the will to make positive change; we need to make it happen!
I spend each day trying to learn more, to open my mind to new ideas, and progress in my understanding of others. I want to use my voice, my curiosity and my writing to ask questions, to share stories and thoughts, and to raise the profile of women globally. The experience of writing for World Pulse has given me the confidence to think that my stories and perspectives are worth sharing, and that my ideas might give strength to other women. I know that the sum of my life experiences have added up to make me a woman who is not afraid any more of asking tough questions and demanding answers. I want to be a female journalist and writer who focuses on tough issues: labour and pay equity, globalization as it affects women and children, climate change and food production, reproductive choice, gender-based violence, sexual assaults, child care and care of the elderly, justice and equality. I now have a list of people that I would like to interview; women like Dr. Samantha Nutt, Justice Louise Arbour, and Maude Barlow who are making change here in Canada and the world, and Canadian men such as Stephen Lewis, Dr. Keith Martin, and Craig Kielburger who give hope to millions. I also want to start a video documentary project to honour my grandmother's memory; interviewing elderly women and asking them about their lives, their dreams, and their hopes for the future.
How would being a World Pulse Voice of Our Future correspondent help me with my dreams? In so many ways: the training in journalism and writing, the accessibility of an online and telephone program, the mentorship and assistance of the Listeners, and the self-assurance and confidence of knowing that my voice, my opinions and my ideas were being heard. I treasure the chance to be part of this program that features such talented, brave and eloquent writers, and would like to wish each and every woman on this site the best of luck.
Thank you to World Pulse for all that you do for women and the world.