Monday, July 16, 2007
International Peace Conference
Well, I had quite a week. Jon's sister is the Executive Director of Nobel Women's Initiative, a collective of all the living female Nobel Peace Prize winners. www.nobelwomensinitiative.org
Of the 100 winners, only 12 have been women. Of those 12, 7 are still living and one is under house arrest in Burma. This week, three of the 7 came to Dallas to speak of peace. I was lucky to not only meet all three but get to spend considerable amounts of time with them one on one. It was an experience I won't ever forget.
There were many things that were interesting about meeting three of the most accomplished women in the world. First, what made me most excited was how down to earth each of them was. I know that everyone says that that they are just "human like the rest of us". But I have to admit, I was extremely nervous meeting them. I mean, what would I have to say? Let's see. Anyone read People this week? No? Well, I'm out.
These women were so funny and so amazing. One of my favorite conversations that I had with Jody Williams was which of the chores in the house we both liked/disliked. Now, that's a subject I have lots of knowledge on!
The unfortunate part of the conference occured early on. Betty Williams won for her work in Northern Ireland back in '76. She gave a great and very emotional speech about how much work she was doing to help refugee children. She has this amazing plan to create a City of Peace for refugee children. Not a pie in the sky city but an actual one. They have already had the land donated to them by the Italian government.
Anyway, during the Q&A portion, Betty was asked how it would be that Americans can get back in the good graces of the world. She said, "Impeach Bush". Everyone applauded. Then she made the comment, "man, he is so bad, I could kill that guy." Of course, the next day, front section, page 2 of the Dallas Morning News, "Nobel Peace Laureate wants to Kill the President". ugh. No mention at all of her Peace City or anything else. Day 2, it was on the front page of the paper. I was so angry. I mean, yes, she should have known better being in such a conservative town like Dallas and saying things like that where the media was present. It was just so frustrating. Never mind the irony in the title of the article.
Overall, it was a great conference. During Jody's speech, she made a call to action to stop talking about things and do something. It really made me think about what I can do here locally. While I am unable to run for anything, maybe I can support someone who is. I'll write my congressman more. He really needs some work. I'll fight Fidelity more to have them remove their money from the Chinese government who is supporting the crisis in Darfur.
It is so important, as a parent, to show your children that it is OK to get involved. While I'm often not sure of the example we set for our kids in other ways, Jon and I always take our children to vote. My daughter is 9 months old and has voted with me three times.
So, my thought today, whatever your politics, what are you doing? Whatever you talk about doing, don't be afraid, just do it. Think about where women would be if those brave ladies did not fight for our right to vote. To quote Yoda, "Do or do not, there is no try."