Memorable Speeches in History
Over the holidays I read about a new tradition in connecting with our world and the Universe. The article suggested that you open the book that you are currently reading to a random page, and see what lessons you could learn . . .
Before I read this article, I had borrowed a book from my Mother titled “Women at the Podium, Memorable Speeches in History”, written by S. Michele Nix. It’s a compilation of great speeches by some of the most powerful women in history including Queen Elizabeth I, Margaret Thatcher, Princess Diana, Elizabeth Dole, Barbara Bush, Helen Keller and Emma Goldman (just to name a few).
So, on New Years Day, I sat down on the sofa, closed my eyes, and accordioned the pages. Out of 65 speeches, the woman, the speech, and the topic that I randomly chose, could not have been more poignant or relevant in today’s world.
Introducing Jeannette Rankin, 1880-1973. While many of you know who Jeannette is, this is the first time that many of you have ever heard of her, she—was—amazing. Jeannette Pickering Rankin was an American politician and women's rights advocate, and the first woman to hold federal office in the United States. She was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Montana in 1916, and 1940 and, remains the only woman elected to Congress by Montana.
Here is an excerpt from a speech she delivered to Congress on January 10th, 1918. Her thoughts and beliefs are as relevant today, as when she spoke them nearly 101 years ago.
Jeannette Rankin Urges a “Small Measure of Democracy for Women”
“Mr. Speaker, we are facing today a question of political evolution. International circumstances have forced this question to an issue. Our Country is in a state of war; the nation has had a terrible shock. The result has been a sudden change in our national consciousness. The things we have been taking for granted for years are suddenly assuming a new significance for us . . .”
While the war Ms. Rankin refers to is different than the war of hate and fear we face today, her message of putting human need and equality for everyone, before profit is the same. As the Colorado Congress reconvenes; as vibrant, young, new politicians take their seats across our Country, it is my hope, that we as a society can come together for our Country, for one another and for our world.
Dan Millman, Author and Gymnastics World Champion said it best “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
Will you join me in making 2019, the year of living from our hearts?
Shelly St John