History always talks about successful people. Ordinary people like you and I often hear about them in books and movies and begin to feel inspired. However, the masses have carved their place in this challenging world. The only difference is, their stories are usually untold.
My mother used to say, “The real lessons in life come from failures, not from success.” After all, there’s only so much success can truly teach you. Coming from the strongest woman I’ve ever known, I took these words to heart.
When my father abruptly passed away, he left my mother and her four children unprepared and defenseless. She, however, took it upon herself to stand tall as a guiding post for her family.
There was another lady who stood as a strong pillar in my life. It was my grandmother. Though she never went to school, she had a penchant for reading almost anything and everything she could get her hands on. Including the torn pieces of newspapers that the shopkeeper gives us wrapping the items we buy from the shop.
Coming from a patriarchal society that constantly tells you to “be a man,” some of the most influential role models in my life were women. My mother, Grand Mother, the woman I would marry, and even my fellow toastmasters and mentors.
When I joined toastmasters and delivered my Ice Breaker speech nearly eight years ago, my very first evaluator was a bold, strong woman. I’d hoped to make a good first impression, but she decided otherwise.
In her evaluation, she sarcastically claimed that my speech was devoid of any expressions on my face, closely resembling the newsreader in a TV Channel. Though she got roaring laughter from the audience and the best evaluator trophy on that day, I was devastated.
I skipped the next meeting. In fact, I’d decided to quit ‘toast-masters’. But someone who would become a strong pillar of support called my phone for the very first time. She was the outgoing President of my club.
She said my Ice Breaker speech script, while unpolished, had several humorous elements. Her encouragement helped me decide to return and prove her right; I became either winner or runner up, five times in a row at the Division Level Toastmasters- Humorous Contest.
These stories are only a few among many that I’ve come to be grateful for. In a society that celebrates (sometimes toxic) masculinity, we need to raise a glass to the strong women in our lives. Women who overcome adversities and challenges nearly every day and build us up to overcome our very own.
Did God create Eve from the flesh and ribs of Adam, a man? No. Of course, it was eve who created Adam.