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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Flying in the company of great women

Yesterday I was fortunate to have lunch with Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (the eldest child of Senator Robert Kennedy and author of the book Failing America's Faithful: How Today's Churches Are Mixing God with Politics and Losing Their Way). Okay, I was in the company of other women, too, but she was there. I sat right next to her and marveled at her charm, her wit, her ability to laugh at herself, and her complete presence of herself. Her presence of herself in spite or maybe despite of her lineage. She is amazing, inspiring, and nice.

While she told stories about her famous political family, she never once acted as if she were a celebrity or that she had the right to be where she is. She told of triumphs and of failures. She spoke of her uncle Jack and the aftermath of his assassination. She also spoke at length about her father and this being the 40th anniversary of his death, what that meant to her. She was truly gracious when we told her that our prayers were with her uncle Ted. She is a real woman. A woman of substance. A woman with an agenda to do better and to do more. That lunch left me wanting to be in the company of more great women.

So, I thought about the women who I would like to have lunch with today. Just today, tomorrow might yield a very different list, except for Maya Angelou. I think I would like to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner with her several times. These women are not listed in any order, other than Maya for the reason I have already listed. Who would you like to sit next to?

Maya Angelou: Women should be tough, tender, laugh as much as possible, and live long lives. The struggle for equality continues unabated, and the woman warrior who is armed with wit and courage will be among the first to celebrate victory.

Indira Gandhi: My grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition.

Lucille Ball (quoted in The Real Story of Lucille Ball, 1954): Knowing what you can not do is more important than knowing what you can do. In fact, that's good taste.

Whoopi Goldberg: Normal is in the eye of the beholder.

Erica Jong: Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow that talent to the dark place where it leads.
(I love this one and had to include it as well) You see a lot of smart guys with dumb women, but you hardly ever see a smart woman with a dumb guy.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh: One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach. One can collect only a few, and they are more beautiful if they are few.

Joyce Meyer: (I am definitely sitting by her today. I need lessons in waiting!)I have discovered that patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.

Eleanor Roosevelt: No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

Who are the great women in your life? Who could you share a meal with today or next week? I challenge to make that call, send that email. We need to be surrounded by great women as much as possible. There is nothing wrong with flying as a flock or in a formation. It can be empowering. It can be beautiful. And after all ,there is strength in numbers. Enjoy your lunch.


Anonymous said...

Love this! Thank you and congratulations on having met such a wonderful woman. Appreciate you sharing some quotes of others.


Anonymous said...

By the way, I'm not sure I mentioned that I truly appreciate the calendar on this site. It's a reminder of and an introduction to the women who came before us and flew in spite of circumstance. We are blessed to have so much abundance in sharing with one another.


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