Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Champions Who Walked Among Us - Article 10- The Grandmother

Four months and two days had already passed as she entered into the world. The year was 1898, and on the third day of the month of May, she let out the first cry highlighting her existence.  Unknowing to her parents, the cry she expelled would ring throughout her entire life and cause her to stand up and fight, no matter the cost to those people and things she cherished the most.

Times were difficult for her race.  Growing up among a family of ten people, this young girl knew what it meant to cower in your bedroom, while unknown people, without faces, attacked your home late in the midnight hours. She knew the meaning of having prejudices and judgmental opinions follow you wherever you went. Her race, identified as a people with peculiar ways and traditions, had incurred  the jealousy of many nations, since ancient times, and were caused to wander throughout the world, no home, no country, no place to dock and stay––treated with toleration, since they had been driven from their own homeland.

The year, 1906, saw her and her family fleeing the only country she had ever known, hoping to escape the brutal mob attacks upon their lives. Her father had already departed the land, leaving them behind, to find a place to escape the poverty surrounding them.  He looked for the country, which would offer more opportunities for his children to develop and grow. Since they were born in a country where the climate was rather chilly, he sought an area in the United States, which would be similar to their climate conditions in their homeland. The young girl was eight years old at the time of her departure and had not seen her father for three years.
  • What would you have done when you were terrorized because of what you were?
  • How would you have felt sleeping with one eye opened and one eye closed if you were a child, not yet eight years of age?
  • Where would you have gone if you knew you were unwanted?
Her father had chosen Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a new life began for the little girl.  However, the ostracism did not stop, even though they were in the land where dreams come true, the land of the free. Enrolled in school, she excelled and became the class valedictorian.  But, what revealed itself as a joyous occasion for her became a nightmare for her parents.  Not overjoyed at her intellectual success they made plans for her to become a seamstress and to marry a much older man who would be able to keep her in her proper place.
  • How would you have reacted to the plans of those who were responsible for you?
  • Would you have acquiescently accepted their fate for your life?
  • Would you, at the age of fourteen, have had the guts to slip away in the midnight hours and run unknowingly in the direction of your destiny?
Arriving at her sister's home, she found an ally––someone who understood her, someone who would be the mediator and would assist her to take the step towards her destiny.  It was here in Denver, Colorado, at the age of fourteen, that the young teenager who was not yet married, not yet a mother herself, would receive the information she needed to rise, and The Grandmother was born.

In her sister's home, she became acquainted with the different splitter groups that argued for a homeland for their people.  Here, she would learn of the difficulties concerning their acceptance in a society that was not sure if they wanted them or not; here, she would find others who were tired of being victims; here, she would find people who no longer were willing to sit back and be tolerated, because of the birth heritage they received, without having any say-so in the matter.

The Grandmother lived only one year at her sister's, but that was enough to lay the foundation for her future.  One year later, the reconciliation between her and her parents caused her to return to them, with the stipulation she could finish high school and go to college.  She had used her tenacity and patience to her advantage, and these same quality traits­­–– tenacity and perseverance–– would become two of most valuable assets throughout her entire lifetime.

To be or not to be is not a question of compromise. Either you be or you don't be![1]

It was the year of 1917, the United States had entered World War I, and this young lady had found the man she wanted to marry, under the condition, he promised to move them to the little piece of dirt surrounded by alien forces in Palestine.  The man said yes, and The Grandmother took the second giant step toward her destiny.
  • Little did she know how much she would have to offer on the altar of sacrifice;
  • Little did she know her plans of living a life as a mother and wife would take a subordinate role in her destiny;
  • Little did she know she would travel the world being the one of the most recognized politicians in a man's world.
This woman was the first to command the respect of an entire Army as Commander-In-Chief. She was The  Grandmother.

Thrown into politics, she did whatever was necessary to get the job done.  Decisive, she made decisions that were unfavorable to others. She took her position, and she did not waver.

I can honestly say that I was never affected by the question of the success of an undertaking. If I felt it was the right thing to do, I was for it regardless of the possible outcome.[2]

Whether women are better than men I cannot say - but I can say they are certainly no worse.[3]

You'll never find a better sparring partner than adversity.[4] 

See The Grandmother, whose heart's desire was to be a good wife and mother, juggle her responsibility;
See her as she recognizes her spouse would not take the same high road she had taken;
See her as she struggles to do the right thing by her children;
See her as the pain in her soul burns through her breast, because she cannot deny the call––the call to follow her destiny.

The year was 1974.  The Grandmother stepped back from public life. Although she had been ill for some time, it had been her desire to stand up and be counted that  kept her moving on.  As she stepped down in 1974 from her political office of Prime Minister, the woman, who was called The Grandmother was weary and tired.

Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.[5]

Four years later, The Grandmother awoke.  She probably looked with her inner eyes at the events, which were affecting her beloved country, as she took an inspection of all she had accomplished on her journey.
  • Had she not fulfilled her desire to move to Palestine? Yes!
  • Had she not been one of the original signers of the Israeli Proclamation of Independence? Yes!
  • Had she not been the first ambassador to Russia for her newly established Country? Yes!
  • Had she not kept her political party together and became the first woman Prime minister? Yes!
  • Had she not struggled against a disease that slowed her down and crippled her ability to participate in certain events? Yes!
  • Had she tried to raise her children with the consciousness of how crucial it was to fight for something, which was bigger than your own desires? Yes!
  • Had she not hid her tears as she walked the lonely road of her destiny? Yes!
AThe Grandmother looked back, she smiled and letting out a sigh, she could hear the clock ticking.
I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.

December 8, 1978, the alarm went off, and The Grandmother stood up to Walk On.

It was time to take her flight ––her journey was over.  With a deep sigh of satisfaction, The Grandmother Walked On!
She Walked On, People, She Walked On!
Golda Meir, The Grandmother, who came into the world as Goldie Mabovitz in Kiev, Ukraine, Walked On! 
Walk On all you female torchbearers Walk On!
The way is sometimes steep,
The hills are sometimes rugged,
But Walk On! I say, Walk On!

01 Walk On – Song by Kellie Coffey – permission requested.

Pat Garcia


Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Champions Who Walked Among Us- Artlcle 9 - The Conqueror

The year 1868, the month, September, and the newborn infant had chosen the twenty-second day of the month to make her entry into the world. Coming from a strict Methodist background, she was the second girl among ten children to be born in her family.  No one was no shouting, or clapping the father on the back upon her arrival. Although autumn showed itself at its finest, her birth herald out nothing special, nothing significant. She was female.

As she lay in her mother's arms, her father foresaw, neither perceived what the future held for her.  After all, females were an unclassified species with very little to offer–– except childbearing.
So, the infant grew into a young woman. She attended school. Smart, inquisitive, and bright, some thought her too bright, and they shook their heads behind her back, as they showed pity for her species. She was female.

No rack can torture me,
My soul at liberty;
Behind this mortal bone
There knits a bolder one.[1]

1884, the young woman graduated from high school. She dreamed to become a doctor.  However, this was 1884. How could a woman master medicine, if she were female and not one hundred percent human?  Besides, medical schools did not accept women.[2] Everyone knew the female skull housed a brain with extremely small capacity.
  • What do you do when you are caught in a trap of ignorance?
  • How do you respond to people who have already limited your capacity to evolve into your own life purpose?
  • Where do you get the mental strength to stand up as your spirit is being beaten raggedly by external factors you cannot control?
Oh, the young woman. What must it have cost her to turn her back on her dream, and accept the only opportunity opened to her?  An ocean lay between the doctor title she wanted and desired, and the opportunity offered.
  • The purpose of a woman's life is just the same as the purpose of a man's life; that she makes the best possible contribution to her generation[3].
You cannot prick with saw
Nor pierce with scimitar.
Two bodies therefore be.
Bind one, the other fly.[4]

Idealistic thinking from a woman gone mad or from a woman whose wisdom and discernment had opened her eyes to see the light.  On earth, in this day and time, we can only guess at the answer to the question.  Intriguing thought the woman, the same species charged to take care of the female had been bewitched by alcohol, and this woman's heart ached at the devastation she saw in the families surrounding her. She saw women suffering in her area.  She heard the beaten down cries of a species, which was trodden down by the ignorance of men. Women helplessly delivered in the hands of a demon so powerful they could only cry out and mourn, while being beaten by men whom it had under its spell.

There were no women's houses in those days––women had no wealth, no property, no rights. They were female.

1886, the two years training at the Ottawa Normal School was completed, and she turned to public teaching––the job, which would lead her to the purpose designed just for her, and the Conqueror was born.
  • Here, she would become involved with the WCTU, Women's Christian Temperance Union,
  • Here, she would discover her charisma to persuade people to listen and support her cause,
  • Here, she would find the man that was not threaten by her intelligence and was willing to support her in her endeavours.
Her involvement in teaching would lead her down,
  • A path,
  • The path,
  • Her path,
As she prepared to make a mighty entrance into the world.

After her marriage, the Conqueror and her husband desired to go back to their roots.  Six years of knowledge and acquired expertise had been gained in the North Dakota region, and she and her husband joined million of settlers, who headed from the western states Northward to homestead on excellent farming land in the Southern Alberta region, which was still a part of the Northwest Passage.  It was time now to put what she had learned into practice––time to turn theory into reality, time to test the strength of what she believed, time to rise up and walk.
1917, World War 1 was at its height, and the United States of America had just entered the war. The western world was hoping for an end to the brutality that had begun with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian-Hungarian Empire.  It was also election time in the Province of Alberta and the Conqueror stood up for the challenge.  But she was female.

Who would have thought a new unknown agrarian party would win the seat?

Who would have thought,
  • The woman who ran against the favored candidate,
  • The woman who challenged the alcohol and cigarette producers,
  • The woman who wanted to see a ban on cigarettes asserting they caused damage to people's health,
  • The woman who fought for women to own property,
  • The woman who would later become a part of  "The Famous Five,"
  • The woman who struggled to help women who had been deserted and were penniless,
Who would have thought she would have won? She was female.

The eagle of his nest
No easier divest
And gain the sky
Thank mayest thou,[5]

See the woman as she challenged the morals, the principles, the ethics, and the laws of her society.  See her as she joined with four other women and stood up against an injustice, which had broken many women's spirits or destituted them to poverty.  See the woman as she declared,

I am a woman, and I am a person!

The Conqueror received her seat in the congress, but it was not easy. Among her fellow constituents who were the same mind as she, she was accepted immediately. For the others, it would take time, even years, before her accomplishments were acknowledged, and she would be elected posthumously into the Senate of her country.
It was 1927, and the wheels of progress concerning women in her country were turning slowly.  Women were pressed on every side.
  • What do you do when the oven get hotter?
  • Do you sit back and glory on what you have done?
  • Or do you stand up and fight until every right and privilege has been achieved, until every door has been opened?
The Conqueror refused to rest. Instead, she threw herself wholeheartedly into a pact, which would change her country forever––The Famous Five was born.  Five women struggled and united together for two years to win their cause, and in 1929, women were finally acknowledged as human beings,  as persons, who could also take a seat in a political office, who could also inherit one third of their husband's property upon their husband's death.

Except thyself may be
Thine enemy;
Captivity is consciousness,
So's liberty.[6]

July 10, 1931, a summer's day in that great country. As the Conqueror got up, she looked back and rejoiced over sixty-three years of life. She checked off her checklist in her mind,
  1. Reached out to others – yes,  taught school and educated women,
  2. Changed Society – yes, was the first woman to take a seat in a Canadian Parliament under British rule,
  3. Set a Standard – yes, joined together with four other women and settle the humanity of women in my country,
  4. Maintained Principles and Beliefs – yes, still think alcohol and cigarettes are hazardous to the health of all human beings.
Breathing a large sigh of relief, she said to herself, it is finished. It's time to go home.

Can't you see her, people? The Conqueror had fought and won. The Conqueror was preparing to take her flight. She had heard the whistle blow, and The Conqueror Walked On!

Louise Crummy MckinneyThe Conqueror,  Walked On! She spread her wings like an eagle, and she took her flight.

She Walked On, People, She Walked On!

The woman who helped insure the humanity of women in the history of Canada laid down her mantel and Walked On!

Walk On all you weary women who are weighed down by a burden, Walk On!

Walk On, I say, Walk On!

Pat Garcia

[1] No Rack Can Torture Me, Emily Dickinson, THE MENTOR BOOK OF MAJOR AMERICAN POETS, Edited by Oscar Williams and Edwin Honig. 1962
[2] Louise Mckinney, Elections Canada's Electoral Insight Magazine, Co Editor, Wayne Brown.
[3] Governor General's Awards in Commemoration of the Persons Case, The "Famous Five" and the Persons Case,
[4] No Rack Can Torture Me, Emily Dickinson, THE MENTOR BOOK OF MAJOR AMERICAN POETS, Edited by Oscar Williams and Edwin Honig. 1962
[5] No Rack Can Torture Me, Emily Dickinson, THE MENTOR BOOK OF MAJOR AMERICAN POETS, Edited by Oscar Williams and Edwin Honig. 1962
[6] No Rack Can Torture Me, Emily Dickinson, THE MENTOR BOOK OF MAJOR AMERICAN POETS, Edited by Oscar Williams and Edwin Honig. 1962