October 11th is the first-ever International Day of the Girl Child – a day dedicated to recognizing girls’ rights and advancing their lives and access to opportunities.
In honor of this day, I encourage you to participate in your own way. Educate yourself about girls’ issues. (I highly recommend the powerful book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, written by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.) Support a nonprofit organization of your choosing. Visit the Participate tab for more ways to get involved, or search GuideStar – a directory of charities and nonprofits.
To inspire you, I’ve included a collage of pictures of girls and young women that I have met during my travels from Cambodia to South Africa.
The world is not interested in what we do for a living. What they are interested in is what we have to offer freely – hope, strength, love and the power to make a difference!
How wonderful that no one need wait a single moment to improve the world.
We must become the change we want to see in the world.
I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.
Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.
It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
-Robert F. Kennedy
Go out into the world and do good until there is too much good in the world.
-Larry H. Miller
To him who is determined it remains only to act.
We have it in our power to change the world over.
I feel that the greatest reward for doing is the opportunity to do more.
-Dr. Jonas Salk
Your thoughts, words and deeds are painting the world around you.
-Jewel Diamond Taylor
It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little – do what you can.
We can do no great things – only small things with great love.
The mind has exactly the same power as the hands: not merely to grasp the world, but to change it.
If it is to be, it is up to me.
The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.
What girls or young women have inspired you close to your home or during your travels? Please also share your ideas for making the world a better place!