So I recently attended a leadership training program for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse(CALD) young women. All that means is that the programme was for young women from none Anglo-Saxon backgrounds. It was a lovely three-day programme and I have to say I learnt a lot. Part of what was talked about was those people we look up to…mentors. mentors can be anyone, even Musicians like Nicki Minaj, unfortunately. Mentors need not even know they are mentors. Okay, so this isn’t just a post on mentors, it’s going to be about a woman I found so inspirational. She passed away this week and unfortunately she never even knew that a little girl was watching her.
This woman, lost her husband years ago and raised beautiful children, one of whom I have the privilege of calling my friend. I remember that she went to University and studied but if you asked me what it is she studied I wouldn’t be able to tell you. I remember seeing her in our small town, Chingola, at thirteen and thinking, “If she could raise three children on her own, I can definitely raise one.”
More than her achievements, there was something about the way she carried herself that made me think, “I want to be like that”. She had a confidence about her; something about her demanded respect but not with arrogance, self-exaltation or pride, but with humility, confidence and grace. She was soft-spoken and kind and I can never say I knew her well, but those were the impressions I got from watching her as well as the few times I spoke to her.
I believe the greatest legacy she left, has been passed on in the children she loved and raised; children who carry themselves with confidence and respect for both themselves and others. She lived her life for God and I’m sure I’m not the only one she affected aside from her family. I have been a beneficiary of her son’s wise words, I’ve benefitted greatly from his strength, generosity and caring heart, his friendship and zeal for God.
Remember that you never know who is watching. You never know what encouragement someone can get from seeing you rise and live life to the full. Walk in integrity, because the best mentors, sometimes never even know they lead someone.