Thursday, April 4, 2013

Girl Rising

I was born into a family that believes in empowering women.

My mom is an independent spirit. From her I got my determination to prove any disbelievers wrong. If you want to get either of us to do something, simply tell us it can't be done.

My father is a lover of education. I still remember driving in the car as an 8 or 9 year old and having him make me promise that I would go to college, or get some kind of training, so that my future would be full of opportunity.

Together they taught me that as a girl I could not only do as much as my male counterparts, but that I could do even more. They taught me to be a woman of strength, courage and kindness. One who stands up to the chauvinists she encounters, and defends herself as well as others. A woman who does not let fools tell her that she can not be or do what she desires, because she is a woman.

I am grateful to have been raised in such a family.

Tonight I had the privilege of watching Girl Rising, a documentary telling the story of 9 girls from 9 countries. This movie showcases the power of education, and the strength of women.

As I sat in awe of these 9 girls I remembered the last lecture I received from Professor Valerie Hudson. She mentioned that she believed that when we were all in heaven, before coming to this earth, our Heavenly Father sat us all down to warn us about the things we would face during our time here. Some would suffer starvation, others AIDS, poverty, broken homes, or fear.

Then there was us. Me, and you. To us he said we would witness all these tragedies from the comfort of our homes, where we would always have enough to eat, and the support of good parents. However, he cautioned us, because of the situation we were to be in we had a great responsibility to take our privilege and use it to help those less fortunate. In fact, we even raised our hand and promised that we would do so.

Now, this is not doctrine, but it's something that has stuck with me over the years. And tonight, as I cried over Amina's strength I had the distinct impression that I did in fact make that promise.

I told my father I would use my gifts to bless his other children. I would use my education, the strength my parents gave me, and my innate desire to help to do just that-

to help.

I may not yet have a job after I graduate, or even know where I will be six moths from now, but there is one thing I do know-that my life is to be spent helping others. 

It is what I was made to do.


Jordan said...

I have chills so bad reading this. You are incredible! I can't wait to see all the good you are going to do and feel so blessed to have seen some of it in person here. Love you!!

Shane said...

Wow Nicole, you've grown up to be the woman I always knew you could be! I'm so very proud of you and am eternally grateful to be your father. Go out and make the world a better place and love/serve all you come in contact with. I love you!

robyne said...

I am so proud of you! You will do great things in your life as you follow your heart and stay close to the Lord!