COURAGE TO BE FIRST
Of all of the great women of American history, Harriet Tubman will always be a personal favorite of mine. She was courageous and clever, and at only 5’ tall, pretty darn brave. She is the heroine of our COURAGEOUS-themed box, and within it we share the value of bravery like Harriet’s in a way that is relevant to our girls today..
We tend to see Tubman as a singular figure, doing all this work herself. But what I find remarkable about her is that she not only had the courage to dedicate her life to the dangerous work of freeing slaves, but also the bravery to be the first woman who led an armed expedition. She wasn’t the only one working to free slaves, but she was the first to organize the Union Army to go toe-to-toe with slave owners
She was first, but many followed.
I’m writing this post on International Women’s Day. The hashtag for this celebration is a call for all women and girls to #beboldforchange. With that in mind, what do I think courageous Harriet Tubman would do to #beboldforchange in 2017?
I think she’d be inclusive. Harriet worked hard her whole life to help free slaves and champion humanitarian efforts. She was a supporter of women’s suffrage who worked with male abolitionists and the Union Army to further her cause. Today, I think she’d want to let women and girls know of their deep value and potential, and she’d encourage us all to take a stand for our beliefs. But she’d also engage in conversation with those that don’t agree. She’d treat all free people with respect.
Am I that inclusive?
She’d be humble. To bring about change, you often have to put others first. Harriet risked her life time and time again to free more than 1,000 slaves in the process. She spoke out, but never sought money or accolades. Without seeking glory for herself, she acted on her deep belief that all men, women, boys and girls should be free. She did amazing things with her grit and passion, but her humility played a vital role in her achievements.
Can I be brave enough to be that humble?
She’d be unafraid. I’ll confess: I tend to be a people-pleaser. I get really nervous when I have to confront issues. I can summon boldness when I see injustice served to the girls at school, yet I can be scared to speak out for myself. Harriet had courage in the face of fear, but she also was less afraid to do what is right.
To #beboldforchange I know deep down Harriet would want me to deal with my fear and let it go.
So, for Harriet and for women everywhere, I will be bold for change. I’ll extend a hand to a woman or girl going through a hard time. And I’ll be bold to speak out for all girls.
Good luck channeling your inner Harriet Tubman. I’m so thankful she had the courage to be first so I can follow her lead just like those Union soldiers and slaves she led to freedom. And, ladies, always remember you have the power and courage to be someone’s North Star – just like her.