“It’s women’s history month and my last article focused on writing significant women back into history. Wanting to keep in step with this theme, I asked myself about my own position in, or my ability to affect, our history. I asked myself about yours. ?As a person, I am an agent of change.””
It’s women’s history month and my last article focused on writing significant women back into history. Wanting to keep in step with this theme, I asked myself about my own position in, or my ability to affect, our history. I asked myself about yours.
?As a person, I am an agent of change. I am capable of making a difference. And, I am a woman.
So if I am all of these things, and I believe it is important to write women back into our history, what will be my role? Will I do the writing or be the one written? What about you?
And exactly what does one have to do, or have to change, to be considered important enough to be written about? Lead movements? Go to jail for the cause? Picket or protest in Washington?
Is affecting even just a single person’s life enough to be considered historically important? Certainly it is enough to make some kind of difference. This may not be significant in a put it in the textbooks and/or receive national recognition kind of way, but it’s important in that person’s story, that person’s history. Yes?
What if we put our individual efforts into social justice or political movements, causes and/or organizations? Can’t we be proud of our participation even if on this small scale? It takes several individuals to make up the propelling motion of a movement, right? Participation in this way will mean we did something for the betterment of others, for today and tomorrow, even if we didn’t do it single-handedly, even if our individual names don’t get written down.
All of this calls into question how we define history. It makes us consider what kinds of changes we value as significant to history-making. Are the small individual impacts more or less important than radical changes and affects? Do we have to be single, individual, great people to be considered historically significant? Or can we function as a part to a whole? To be written into history, does our actual name and life have to be printed somewhere, or can simply saying we were a part of something, knowing it to be true, allow us to feel we have accomplished just as much? And what of ambition, determination and will versus destiny? Maybe some of us are born destined for greatness. Maybe we just have to want it badly enough, work hard enough, and follow the examples that came before us.
When I talk of greatness I’m not saying I want to change the world or make history for the fame or glory. I’m talking about how we make a difference in others lives, either on a small scale or a grand one. I could specify this to women’s lives since this series focuses on women, but that leaves out too many groups of people and too many causes that deserve an extra voice, extra support to help them fight for justice and equality. ? ?Greatness, change, history, it doesn’t have to be widely recognizable, it just has to matter to the person/people or the cause you’re fighting for.
?There’s a poster hanging in my office with a tall woman, disproportionate in size to her surroundings, making long strides and focusing straight ahead. The caption reads, I am in the world to change the world.
?Am I? Will I ever? What am I doing to contribute? What will I change? How? ? ?And I ask, what about you? ?