I came across a fantastic website recently, and I thoroughly recommend that you visit it. In fact, it is a subsection of the magazine Marie Claire’s website, and it is entitled ‘Inspirational Women‘. The introduction on the site says it all: “There’s no doubt about it – the women of the world are truly inspirational. Read their stories, and other reports here, in our Inspirational Women section. And who knows? Maybe one day you’ll be profiled here, too. Because we know better than anyone that you’re more than just a pretty face.” Stories of women who have achieved, a focus on action and substance than appearance, and an exhortation to girls and women to be inspired … what is there not to like in this!
The site is the American online home of Marie Claire, and so it will not be surprising that many of the women profiled are based in the States, although there is an international element too. Including the archives, well over 50 women are profiled, and what I found remarkable when browsing these profiles was how upbeat, refreshing and – yes – inspiring the stories are. From the well-known (the actress Calista Flockhart, for instance, who focuses now on leading a campaign to end violence against women) to ordinary women with extraordinary tales to tell (for example, Katie Miller, a 27 year old autistic artist from Maryland), the stories are rich in detail, and draw the reader into their lives. Fascinating stuff!
I believe – and say this frequently to the students at school – that we can learn so much from the lives of other people. We have to look beyond the celebrity glitz and glamour which surround us in the media, none of which is more than merely a brief and insubstantial snapshot of a moment in time, and look out for insights into people’s lives which reveal the depth of their passion and purpose. When we read inspiring stories – and the London 2012 Olympics have given us many more of them – we remember that we are not alone in this world, and that we are connected with a shared and common sense that we can, together, make a positive difference, in our own unique ways.
Be inspired today.