A lot of women have inspired me throughout my life. I have looked to different women at different stages in my life for inspiration, all of whom have excelled in their lives and respective careers.
Growing up, the woman that I look up to and inspire me the most was Oprah Winfrey. Because I wished, dreamt and saw myself and parents in her TV show every time I watch it. Christine Amanpour took her place shortly after I went into A levels because she was always used as the epitome of exceptional journalism used in our lecture theatres.
Even though I have often admired and respected hard-working women who have refused to succumb to the reality of their lives by trying their best to change it and make a difference. This is perhaps the first time in my life I'm admitting to being inspired by this woman. Although I have known her my entire life, much more than I have known all the other women, I have never considered her to be an inspiration until now.
This woman does not in any way compare to any of the outstanding women I have ever drawn inspiration from, she is the complete opposite. This woman has no formal education neither does she have even a percentage of the privilege and opportunities these other women have. Never having had the opportunity of an education, she decided to pursue Arabic and Islamic literacy at the age of 70, old, frail and tired but still determined to add value to herself no matter how little.
This woman, even though old, frail and tired is still regal and a delight for the eyes to behold. Tall and well-built she has a voice like the chirping of the birds at dawn and skin that glows like the early morning sun. Her smile even though sometimes forced adds beauty to her face by highlighting her cheekbones, slim nose, full lips and well-formed white teeth accentuating her warm beautiful demeanour endearing people to her even at first encounters.
Even though not educated much less have a career, but she is so smart and gifted. She was intelligent enough to self-tough herself so many skills set. Skills she used in making some little income to support herself and children intermittently, from time to time. She dedicated her entire life to the service of others, never giving herself even the tiniest percentage of it. She is the typical example of someone who always gave from an empty cup.
She dedicated her entire life to raising her children, and those of and to the man she married as a child bride and his many other wives. She was everyone’s 'go-to' for help, support, counseling, love, and care. And she was always the last person everyone would go to when they have hit the jackpot.
Even though I loved her, I prayed and wished to be nothing like her; she loved everyone but herself. She was kind to everyone but herself, she sacrificed herself for everyone but herself.
Now that I am much older, and wiser, I have come to not only understand but appreciate and treasure the love and affection she gave and the sacrifices she made. I have come to realize that her selflessness, which she carried effortlessly was her purpose and the love she willingly gave everyone, was a calling. I have come to realize that it is this same purpose as hers, that gave me mine.
The purpose of not only making judicious use of the privilege I had of education and the opportunities open to me but to also ensure I do not lose the love, kindness, and compassion I have inherited from her no matter what life and humans throw at me. I have only just realized that even though she may not have had a career or profession, but she has supported many to have one. She may not have had a happy life, but she has been instrumental to many others having one. She may not have had a happy marriage, but she has enabled many other women to have one. She may not have any material possession, but she has a lot of immaterial ones. She is rich beyond measures, in priceless and immaterial value which is only derivable from the positive impact on the lives of many. That woman is my mom, whose power and great influence everyone underestimated and overlooked; herself inclusive. It is from her and her life, that I learned the power of kindness and the need for compassion. Even though she does not know it yet, but she taught me the power of purpose; living a life that is true to you even if you do not understand it. My mother lived a life of service to others without giving any attention to herself or needs; the inspiration I have derived from her life is to not only give myself to others, but to also love myself.