It is your turn and mine. We’re alive. We’re current. There are gifts and desires and abilities to be shared with the world around us.

Clara Barton performed a work of mercy during the Civil War. As a nurse, she carried clinics to the field and saved the lives of men by caring for them on sight with her sense of immediacy and urgency. As she risked her life, she brought a conscience to the United States: her country took up her banner, followed her lead. Her influence is still a powerful force worldwide.

She toured the United States, speaking to packed houses city after city. Her effort to start the Red Cross in America succeeded. With compassion and conviction, she influenced society and helped to balance it. She lived from 1821 – 1912.

Follow her example. Compassion and courage can be your legacy.

Harriet Tubman was born a slave in 1820. Her amazing vision and courage developed a secret society guiding slaves to freedom. The influence of the Underground Railroad, from her initiative and persistence, still lives. She married John Tubman, a freed slave, in 1844; and soon after made her way to Philadelphia, risking her life time after time, assisting slaves to freedom. She acted as a nurse during the Civil War as well, and a scout and spy for the Union army in South Carolina. She is credited with helping to free more than 750 slaves during a single Civil War campaign. Her sensitivity to the condition of human was powerful; yours can be as well. She was human, as you are, as I am. She was courageous and one of a kind.

Elizabeth Blackwell was a pioneer in bringing acceptance of women to the field of medicine and other professions.

Louisa May Alcott was a nurse in the Union Army during the Civil War and in 1863 published a successful book, Hospital Sketches. She later became an editor of a magazine for young girls, and published her most famous work, Little Women in 1868. Women with giftedness and initiative can take one step forward at a time.

Mary Church Terrell was a leader in the women’s suffrage movement and an effective pioneer in civil rights and equality for Black Americans. Today, work must still be done to let every person alive that God has made of one blood all nations of men . . . Acts 17:26. Mary Terrell’s vision still grows.

Helen Keller, 1880 – 1968 was deaf, mute and blind from a childhood disease. But she became an expert author and lecturer. She was not silenced by infirmity.

Who can forget Mother Theresa? Born in 1910, she devoted her life to caring for the sick and poor in Calcutta, India. These true lives have become our inspiration.

There are special gifts of compassion, wisdom and influence women do so well that we can take courage from them. We look to them as guides and their lives counsel us.

Now it is our turn to must pick up the banner, give ourselves to the service of God, husbands, families and reach out to all mankind . . . from our little corner.

God never keeps women down or ignorant or at a disadvantage. The potential in the gifts of every woman has the power to enrich . . . even influence the world. The inspiration from within is where we can now begin.

You and I desire to make a difference: let it begin with that person nearest you.

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