In the wake of this year’s 100 Year anniversary of International Women’s Day, we wanted to share a story of the way one woman lived her life that moved us and helped us realize what’s important (and not so important) in this life that has become so hectic, and often unfocused. We hope you enjoy the story as much as we did!
Excerpted from Arianna Huffington’s Blog: International Women’s Day: Life (and Work) Lessons Every Woman Should Learn
“…The night before she died, we were having dinner at the home of some good friends. Near the end of the evening, our host asked everyone to talk about an important experience from their lives. When my mother’s turn came, she talked about a moment that not only defined her but how she believed life should be lived. It was a moment during the Greek civil war, in the 1940s, when she was working with the Greek Red Cross and fled to the mountains with two Jewish girls.
She described the night when German soldiers arrived at their cabin and started to shoot, threatening to kill everyone if the group did not surrender the Jews the Germans suspected (rightly) they were hiding. My mother, who spoke fluent German, stood up and told them categorically that there were no Jews in their midst and to put down their guns. And then she watched the German soldiers lower their guns and walk away.
That story — which ended up being the last one she told in her life — really captured her: her indomitable spirit, her defiance of authority, her trust in life, her fearlessness.
There was a magnificence in the way she approached everything in her life. Especially her role as a mother. She brought me up to believe that there was nothing I should be afraid to try while at the same time making it clear that she would love me not one iota less if I failed.
She used to say that the goal of life is not to see what we can make of it, but what it can make of us. Well, she made of life a grand adventure — and it made of her a magnificent tour guide.”