My final post on “Women Who Inspire Me” reaches beyond my immediate world to honor several women whom I look up to for obvious yet very awe-inspiring reasons:
* Mother Teresa, the face of kindness, empathy, selflessness and outreach to all mankind. Talk about a life well-lived! I have used many of her quotes in my writings, both to myself and to others.
* Doris Kearns Goodwin, an amazing author of several of the best biographical histories I’ve ever read. A Pulitzer prize-winning author, she is able to bring history to life in a way that few writers have been able to achieve.
* Martha Graham, the “mother” of modern dance. In my “dancin’ days”, I had the pleasure of taking a master class with her in New York, and I consider her to be the defining force in dance and movement in the Twentieth Century . . . bold, beautiful and completely focused on her work.
* Meryl Streep, who is not only (in my opinion) the best actress of our times, but who also seems to be a “normal”, down-to-earth person in spite of her fame and fortune. I loved it that after she won the Best Actress Oscar this year, she made a donation to a scholarship fund in honor of Viola Davis, the actress in “The Help” who was her main contender for this award.
* Hillary Clinton – Though not of my usual political persuasion, she has distinguished herself as a smart, strategic leader in so many ways, not the least of which is the excellent job she is doing as Secretary of State . . . in a world gone crazy.
* Patricia Neal seemed fated to have each triumph in her life accompanied by tragedy, including paralyzing strokes at the age of 39. Not only did she recover, but she devoted the remainder of her life to helping others through the founding and support of the world-leading Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center in her hometown of Knoxville.
In this 30th anniversary year at Ackermann PR, I am grateful for the ability to reflect on those who have inspired me and eager to see how new generations of women will inspire us all.
The women I have featured in this series come from many different backgrounds and fields of influence. Some are world famous; some are known best in their local communities. Each shares a set of common traits: they believe deeply in serving others to the best of their talents and they live each moment as an example of their best potential whether they know anyone is watching or not.
What fun it has been reaching into my past and present, and pulling out these 30 amazing women who have all inspired me in their special ways and taught me important life lessons. I look forward to additional “inspirational angels” joining their ranks over the coming years!