Community Update

World Pulse Toolkits Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits are all available here.

We are especially excited to share our signature Citizen Journalism and Digital Empowerment Curriculum. Start learning today!

Out of the Embers of Fear: Aung San Suu Kyi

"Sometimes, in the things we’re called to do, there is a feeling of incompetence and fear of failing; this fear then becomes the strength for doing the work."

I quote these poignant words imparted by my Empowerment Mentor, Carol, during our last conversation.

I love to read Bible stories about mortals who were called to a mighty work; who became ever so aware of their limitation; who did the work, anyway. One of my favorites is the story of Esther, the Jewish queen to a Persian king, who in spite of her fear put her life on the line to save her people from annihilation.

I love the stories of our time, too; stories of heroes forged in the embers of oppression and injustice.

Today, the story of a hero will be read, retold, reflected upon by millions around the world. My mother shared the news with me when I walked into her room a few hours ago. After 7 years under house arrest, Aung San Suu Kyi has been released. Her fight for the people of Myanmar has been remarkable. Her courage and perseverance under fire have been extraordinary.

I cannot help but wonder when Suu Kyi learned to make fear her ally.

Faced with the devastation of her homeland, the iron grip of military dictatorship, and the separation from her family, have there been times in her life when Suu Kyi has reconsidered her role as a vanguard for democracy in Myanmar? In the midst of a bloody and seemingly unending battle, has she ever felt inept as a voice for her people? I am sure Aung San has known her share of fear and uncertainty.

But as I look at Suu Kyi, slight of frame, unassuming, I see a woman who has taken fear by the horns, stared it in the face, mounted it, given it an “about turn,” and run with it. She treads a dangerous terrain in her pursuit of freedom for Myanmar, yet, it is not fear I see in her eyes but hope, determination, and love for her people.

So, today, I celebrate Aung San Suu Kyi and I stand with the people of Myanmar to acknowledge this eruption of hope: A woman who has given herself for the freedom of her people, and who will do it again and again.

(The image of Suu Kyi was obtained from



jadefrank's picture

Aung San Suu Kyi

Today is a celebration for freedom and hope for the people of Burma... it is just the beginning, as so many more political prisoners await release. The world celebrates! Thank you for bringing the celebration to PulseWire - where we can honor this courageous woman.

In friendship and solidarity,

SLaw's picture


Yes, Jade, it is a time for celebration! It is a time, too, for hoping. They say, "hope deferred makes the heart grow weary." I say, "Hope realized makes the heart dare to hope for more and continue its fight." I pray people around the world will be bolstered by this glimmer of hope to continue to pursue justice for all.

Joyful's picture

Aung San Suu Kyi

I hope each and every women who has signed up to WorldPulse has taken sometime positive set out by Aung San Suu Kyi. Speak and you shall be heard, I for one have heard her voice for her community and the whole of Burma. A WOMAN CRYING FOR FREEDOM FOR EVERYBODY

In friendship


SLaw's picture

Cry Freedom

Joyful, thank you for your comments. How true--Aung San Suu Kyi's cry for freedom rings out not for the people of Burma, but for oppressed peoples everywhere. Let us all join the chorus!


NI NI AYE's picture

Tears and Smiles

Hi Slaw
You are highly honored to write this wonderful and strong article. Thanks million for joining us for her return. I wish I could give you a big hug in the crowd. I am my young friends were near her can at that time, We couldn't control our tears and smiles at different times or at the same time. Yes she is our greatest hero. Her kind influence on people is amazing. It was impossible to gather that much by the authorities bu their power. But thousands of people went there without any invitation. Our people were waiting for her several years and her genius sacrifice is told everywhere. I want to tell you how people admired her during her speech. She said we people must unite and give place and she want to test how we are united and they can share the place .She asked the people from the front to change the place with people from the further place. It was so incredible to see the people did it at once. You can guess her wonderful power. Many journalists said she can make their fear disappear away. I am so proud of her as our great leader and as a world remarkable noble woman. Thanks again Slaw.
I would like to offer my big thanks to Debra to pass me this wonderful article , to Jade and J.Chigiga and everyone for their cheerful comments to Rachael for her praising and the people around the world for their warm welcome.

Big Thanks


Congratulations on Very Happy Teachers Day through ten years journey!

SLaw's picture

Ni Ni Aye, your words bring

Ni Ni Aye, your words bring me to tears because I hear in your voice just how much this means to your people. I feel as if I were among you in that joyful crowd. Thanks for taking me there with your words. I am glad that hearts can be connected in spite of distance, and that there are many people around the world who are rejoicing with you. I wish you and your country freedom, justice, and eternal hope.

Thank you, dear sister.


nilima's picture


SUU kyi is the most inspiring lady i have known, i wonder how she managed to have so much patience in her life, her patience is itself a challenge to the nature of women. We all know women have so much patience to tolerate everything in life but she proved herself to be the most powerful.

I thank you from the bottom of my hurt for posting this to pulse wire, it feels great to read about her!

Amei's picture

Inspiring and affirmation for hope

This is another call for reflection on our actions. She is setting an example. Her commitment and patience is beyond words.

A great post. Slaw, my thought too. How does she manage fear? I must be the love she feels from Ni Ni Aye and the people of Burma that gives her the strengths. She knows she is not alone...

My well wishes are always with the SUU Kyi and with people of Burma who are fighting for justice and freedom.

With admiration,

Sarvina's picture

SUU Kyi is an amazing and

SUU Kyi is an amazing and wonderful lady! Celebrate for freedom and hope for the people of Burma...Thanks for writing this greatest post on PulseWire!!!



Sarvina from Cambodia
VOF 2011 Correspondent

NI NI AYE's picture

Warmer with hearts connected

Hi Slaw and my all sisters

I am so delighted to hear your friendly voice and empathy. We all are warmer with our hearts connected. I am sure you all are friend indeed of mine and people of Burma's. I love you all.

Warm Hug


Congratulations on Very Happy Teachers Day through ten years journey!

SLaw's picture

I Appreciate Your Voices!

It's great to read all the wonderful comments. It was my honor to write the article, though I do not feel the least bit qualified to speak of SUU Kyi. My desire is simply to celebrate her and express how her journey inspires my journey . . . our journeys.

I appreciate each of you joining in to share how you are inspired by the courage of a woman and the plight of a people. NI NI, you are right: "We are all warmer with our hearts connected"! Thanks for lending your beautiful voices!


SAsong's picture

Thank you

For writing a very simple and eloquent piece. I think your passion and admiration for Suu Kyi is very evident. I enjoyed reading it and reading the support from the others who may have more intimate connectios with her. As women, we can stand in solidarity and celebrate this gift back to us...a woman of courage, character, and strong convictions. She is an inspiration that hope is a strong force and sometimes it is more than enough to persevere.

Thanks you!!!

Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Letters to a Better World

Letters to a Better World

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

womenspace's picture

CAMBODIA: Ordinary Women Can Make a Difference

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative