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International Women’s Day 2016: Celebrating the “Normal” Women Who Influenced Us

By Margaret Manning March 08, 2016 Mindset

When we think about International Women’s Day, our thoughts usual go to famous women throughout history. Perhaps we think about the achievements of scientists like Marie Curie (1867-1934) or Jane Goodall (1934), who challenged stereotypes, while making the world a better place.

Or, maybe we remember women like Rosalie Edge (1877–1962) or Alice Paul (1885–1977), who fought for women’s rights. Perhaps we even think about more modern examples of women who are changing the world, like Malala Yousafzai.

Now, I’m all for celebrating the lives of these amazing women. Each and every one of them deserves our respect and admiration. But, how often do we think about the “normal” women who have made a difference in our lives? How often do we remember to celebrate the women who make the world a better place, one small step at a time, without global recognition and praise?

Today, as we celebrate the lives of the amazing women who have changed the world – the ones whose names everyone remembers – I’d like to take a few minutes to recognize the women that have made a difference in our own lives.

There are so many women that I could add to this list, but, I’ll limit myself to two. Then, I’d love to invite you to say a few words about the women that have influenced you in the comments at the end of this article.

The first woman that I would like to recognize is my mom. She died just as I was reaching adulthood, but, I will always remember the lessons that she taught me.

My mom taught me the value of simplicity and hard work. She also demonstrated resilience and courage. She lived through the bombing in London and later had the courage to move her family to Canada to start a new life. Oh… and I also learned that, if I was going to learn to cook, I was on my own! She will always be a part of me.

The second woman that influenced me was Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, with whom I had the pleasure of working when I was a young woman. Working with Elisabeth, as she helped people through the process of dying, helped me to get a perspective on life. It also lead me to write my first book, in 1984, called Hospice Alternative: Living with Dying. Elisabeth was also an influence on my children, helping my older son to become the person that he is today. I am very grateful to her!

There are dozens more women that I could mention, but, I think I’ll leave it at those two. Now, I’d love to hear about the women who have influenced your life. As we celebrate International Women’s Day 2016, let’s tell some stories about the women that matter to us.

Which women have had the biggest influence on your life? Are there any women who are changing the world in their own silent way that you want to recognize? Please join the conversation and “like” and share this article to keep the discussion going!

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The Author

Margaret Manning is the founder of Sixty and Me. She is an entrepreneur, author and speaker. Margaret is passionate about building dynamic and engaged communities that improve lives and change perceptions. Margaret can be contacted at

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