March is the month dedicated to women and what they have accomplished in our country. Let’s celebrate the fact that this is the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment guaranteeing and protecting women’s constitutional right to vote. Do take time to Google more information about this accomplishment and women’s continuing struggle for equality in our country.
There are some women who wish to reinstate the National Woman Suffrage Association, which was founded in 1869 by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton and had much to do with the passage of the 19th Amendment. They were the movers and shakers of their day and some women today find them wonderful models and mentors as they currently work for just causes in our time and place.
It’s time for each of us to see what we need to do to make a difference in our world. I agree with Ganga Stone, quoted above, that “It doesn’t really matter what you do; it only matters that you do it.” I cannot help but recall young Greta Thunberg, the environmental activist from Sweden who has been going all over the world making impassioned pleas for us to clean up the environment because we are causing so many problems for ourselves and this beautiful planet on which we live. I think of the young people who organized such a huge demonstration after the shooting at Margaret Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. It’s been two years, and all their efforts seem in vain as gun control seems like an issue swept under the rug of political infighting. I think that these young folks have done us a favor and helped to raise our consciousness as a nation and that someday we and they will be ready to actually do something about the cultural changes that are needed in our nation and in our world to make a better life for all creatures on this lovely planet.
I would like to challenge the elders among us (I am one of them) to also continue to make a difference and, as Toni Morrison says, “to go out and save the world.” We may not have the physical energy of the young, but many elders still have the “right thinking” to help the young and others to realize that mistakes have been made in our generation and that now that we recognize and realize that we must help solve the problems. The women who worked for the right to vote did not achieve their objective with one speech or one rally. We may not achieve all our objectives regarding the environment or gun control or even peace in our world in one lifetime, but we can each do something to make a difference. What will you do?
Sister Mary Thill is a Sylvania Franciscan Sister. She is Patient Liaison for Mature Health Connections at Mercy Health – St. Vincent Medical Center. She can be reached at 419-251-3600.