We Stand On Their Shoulders – Women’s History Month

Written in honor of Women’s History Month

We all stand on the shoulders of those who came before us and I’m in awe of the women who paved the way so I could grow up in a world where I not just believed but where I KNEW I could become anything I wanted to become.

During this Women’s History Month we honor the wonderful women (perhaps a more fitting phrase would be fierce females) who came before us from the earliest suffragettes to the first woman to travel to space, to today’s women who are talented entertainers, gifted authors, savvy CEOs, and dedicated public servants.

One woman who inspires me is Marie Curie. She is the first woman to win two Nobel prizes in two different sciences: physics and chemistry.

She is better known as Madame Curie because even though she was born in Poland in 1867, she spent her professional life in France, was married to a Frenchman, and was a naturalized French citizen.

In 1898 at the age of 31 she isolated her first chemical element and named it polonium after her native country.

In 1903, she and her husband, Pierre, won the Nobel Prize in physics for their work in radiation and radioactivity.

In 1911, she won her second Nobel Prize in chemistry for discovering radium and for developing X-Rays.

She went on to become the first woman professor at the University of Paris. That is a quite a resume!

Madame Curie encouraged everyone to have perseverance and confidence. She said: “Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.”[tweetthis]We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained ~ Madame Curie[/tweetthis]

Even though we may not have Madame Curie’s scientific brain, what she said is true: We must have confidence that we are gifted for something and that we must achieve this in our short life time because no matter how long we live, life is too short[tweetthis]No matter how long we live, life is too short. Develop your gift now. [/tweetthis]

What were you born to achieve? What is your gift to the world? What is your vision for your future?

Comedian Lily Tomlin said, “I always dreamed of being someone…I guess I should have been more specific. Can you be specific in your dreams of what you want to do with your life?

A famous person who from an early age discovered her gift and knew specifically what she wanted to be is billionaire Oprah Winfrey: Her grandmother, Hattie Mae, once said that ever since Oprah could talk, she was on stage. As a child, she played games interviewing her corncob doll and the crows on the fence of her family’s farm.

Oprah confirms what Madame Curie said. Winfrey said: “[tweetthis]There is no greater gift you can give or receive than to honor your calling~Oprah Winfrey[/tweetthis]It’s why you were born.”

She found her calling while still in high school in Tennessee when she landed a job in radio and then at the age of 19 began co-anchoring the local evening news. Her genuine ad-lib delivery got her transferred to the daytime-talk-show arena — and the rest is history. 

Winfrey became the most popular TV host in history. When she left the Oprah show, she didn’t retire or quit which she easily could have done but she moved to movies. You may know she played Annie Lee Cooper in the popular film, Selma, but did you know she also produced the movie?

From Talk show host to movie producer to her “Live the Life You Want” weekend, she keeps moving forward.

After years of success, Oprah quipped: I still have my feet on the ground, I just wear better shoes.

What she added to Madame Curie’s admonition is this: “I want us all to [tweetthis]Find your potential and summon the courage to live it`Oprah Winfrey[/tweetthis]

The next generation will stand upon Oprah’s shoulders and upon the shoulders of all the trailblazers of our generation and that includes you.

Have you discovered your gift? Do you have the courage to live it?

Comment below and tell us your journey to find your gift.


Solve the Word Puzzle

How many outstanding women do you know in this word puzzle? This not a comprehensive list of outstanding women, only some I thought you might recognize.







Answers (Listing their gifts they developed):

  • Madame Curie – Nobel Prize winner in chemistry and physics
  • Sandra Day O’Connor – first woman appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States of America
  • Rosa Parks – Civil Rights activist
  • Billie Jean King – Tennis star
  • Condoleezza Rice – Former Secretary of State for the United States of America
  • Mia Hamm – Soccer star
  • Beverly Sills – Metropolitan Opera star
  • Janet Yellon – First woman to serve as the Chair of the Federal Reserve for the United States of America
  • Carly Fiorina – Former CEO of Hewlett Packard
  • Venus and Serena Williams – Tennis stars
  • Diane Feinstein – United States Senator from California
  • Marian Anderson – Metropolitan Opera star
  • Carli Lloyd – Soccer star
  • Michelle Obama – Present First Lady of the United States of America
  • Sonya Sotomayor – United States Supreme Court Justice
  • Barbara Walters – TV personality
  • Lucille Ball – Actress – Star of I Love Lucy
  • Whitney Houston – Singer and actress
  • Jennifer Hudson – Singer and actress
  • Taylor Swift – Singer and entertainer

How many did you identify? 

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