This Mother's Day had me thinking about life lessons from our mothers. Yes, we are constantly growing and learning as we parent our children. But part of what we offer has been inherited. If I had to pick one lesson that my mother really impressed upon me, it would be the power of my voice and individuality.
My mother grew up in a loving family, but one that had specific gender expectations. As a woman, her parents gave her two options for college study and a career. Neither option appealed to my mother.
She later married and went back to school to study what she loved and fan her intellectual pursuit. She also gave birth to two daughters for whom she envisioned more opportunity.
She and my father sacrificed so that my sister and I could attend schools that fanned our own curiosities. They raised us to believe that we could do anything because of our identity as children of God, independent of our gender.
It's sometimes easy to take the power of our voice for granted in this country. This is unfortunate because there is certainly more work to be done. My mother experienced health issues when she worked in a job she neither chose nor loved. Sadly, there are women in other countries who can't even go to school to begin with. Young champions like Malala are just that.
While we can't rectify every injustice, we can be thankful for every step that has been done for our benefit from those who went before us. And we can add to their legacy as we raise our own children by honoring their unique voices - and giving them wings.