When I think of people who have inspired and influenced me, my own mom (pictured above with me and my daughter) always comes to my mind first and foremost. She’s not famous, she isn’t rich, and unless you’re in my family or one of her many friends, there’s no reason you would ever have heard of her. But that’s true of so many of the women who helped shape this country, and this world we live in. You all know the names Gloria Steinem and Rosa Parks, but there’s no way we can know every single name of every single woman who fought for equal rights for women, or for civil rights for people of every color. Yet those everyday women, living everyday lives, are just as important in the world as the household names.
My mom raised me and my little sister with very little money, but with an endless supply of love. Because of my mom and her faith in me, I’ve always thought of myself as beautiful, and talented, and bright. She’s my number one fan in the world, and that is the rock at the heart of my being.
Yes, of course she drives me crazy sometime! (She is after all, a mom!) But as a woman, and a role model, she showed my by example how to BE a mom, how to see beauty in the world, and how to treat other people with empathy and compassion. Like her, I am a bookaholic, a doodler, and a dreamer; like her I believe in the equality of all human beings — black, white, gay, male or female. She’s my inspiration — and I can only hope that one day my own daughter feels the same about me.