As I watched and took pictures of the crowd before me, a child shroud in brown, layered and hooded in mismatched hand-me-downs caught my eye. She was shy and reserved, not making eye contact with me or anyone else there. I wiped the tears from my eye. I wiped some more. What I thought was from the wind, dust and bright sun, turned out to be tears of realization, sadness and joy. I was sobbing and it would take me years to find out why.
Those tears were for the women I saw, the women I'd met along the way, the woman I would become. That child was the spitting image of my nephew, whom I had barely known before leaving him and all of my friends and family behind for a life, up until that moment was undefined. Now, I knew why I had come and what I had to do. My mission is to bring the sadness and the joy I felt on that day and for many days to come to anyone who would listen.
After many spiritual starts and stops, I have found my ignition. I have seen my life's worth and am grateful. That work is to be instrumental in making people aware of the kind of person they can become. That the world can be opened up for inspiration and know that many of you will unfold and follow. That there is a way each of us can make the world a better place, a place that we would love to be a part of and a place safe and nurturing that we can raise our children in. And that world doesn't exist inside or outside the United States, but inside us-each of us. A safe haven, harbor, home exists within us all.
Over the years, I've made many of you aware of the San Bushman's plight, introduced the idea that women around the world are struggling for/with the same things we struggle for/with each day--the wish to bring up our children ourselves, our way, with our values and concerns. The hope to provide nutrition, neutral ground free of bias, hurt and pain, along with enough resources to nurture them so that each child can grow up to reach their full potential. And because I firmly believe that this is a message I've gotten across to all of you, I know you will not let my dream of awareness and awakening and activism die.
If you wear a piece of jewelry, display a basket, recommend some marula oil or tell others about the work of women's groups around Botswana and beyond, if you never let a day go by without being grateful for what you have, knowing there are many without, if you see for a moment that you matter and we all matter and together we can make a world of great matter. And if for each day you are on this earth you believe that each breath taken, each word spoken, each deed done brings a benefit to us all, than my efforts will not have been in vane.