At some point in my first year or two of college, I went to listen to a guest speaker on campus. I couldn’t tell you what the lecture was specifically about, who the speaker was, or why I even attended it (other than it probably was extra credit in some course); but I can tell you one thing the speaker said. It has resonated with me all of these years…
“Education is the best way to liberate a woman.”
As a woman, I am proud, strong, ambitious, passionate, assertive, tenacious, enduring, energetic, persistent, relentless, strong-willed, and stubborn. I fight for what I believe in, at most times to even a fault. I am strong in my convictions and am proud of what I have overcome. As a twenty-some, self-sufficient, college graduate, American woman, I believe that my education has liberated me and as long as I continue educating myself, I will continue to be liberated.
Through education (and I’m not talking about just in a classroom), a woman grows, something awakens deep in her soul. From the woman whose sole role is taking care of her family and village in a third world country to a woman who is a CEO of a tech firm living in a super powered nation; education can and will unite them.
The woman in the village will use her education and apply it to her everyday life. She will find ways to provide more food with less resources for her children. She will find ways to provide fresh water to her family. Her education will liberate her from a life filled with starvation and disease.
The CEO who runs a large tech firm will use her education to erase distance and bring families closer together by changing their perception of what distance really is. She will find ways to improve our lives and how we communicate to each other. She will develop new systems and new technology that will change the way we see our world.
When you liberate a woman, you also liberate a community. A liberated woman will use her education and her freedom to liberate her family and community. Liberated women care about the well being of those around her and will continue to fight to lift up the people around her.
I don’t have any children, but one day when I do, I pray I’ll have a daughter. I want to teach her the value of education. Not just the education you get in a classroom and not one provided by the public education system, but one she seeks herself. I pray she surrounds herself with people completely different than her. People who look, feel, believe, think, see, interpret, respond, and act differently than her. I want her to grow up thriving off of diversity and everything it has to offer. I pray she reads… everything, anything, different things. I want her to grow up always seeking more knowledge and more ideas. I pray she pursues anything her heart desires. I want her to grow up knowing life isn’t a race, but if she follows her heart it will be the best journey. These endless experiences will educate her in ways a classroom cannot. These experiences will educate her and will liberate her.
What I pray for her, I pray for you.