Popular heroes, soccer players, models, singers and actors, even our teachers or our parents, they are all potential role models for us. Their life, values, personality or the way they act can inspire us to accomplish great things in life.
I have recently discovered Chiara Corbella Petrillo´s story in the book “A witness to Joy”. She was an incredible woman who embraced life and fought for what she thought was right in a society that didn´t understand her due to its different values. She is a great role model for every woman.
In our modern, digitally interlinked world, we have the opportunity to be informed about other people’s life, no matter where they live and if we know them in person or not. This digitally world reveals a society that expects us to be perfect all the time, especially related to physical appearance. That´s an undeniable fact, you just have to look at model’s bodies in magazines and at how they have been photoshoped. On instagram we see thousands of pictures of other people and especially young women compare themselves to the people they see on the app. This can either inspire or confuse us and maybe it makes us even wonder who we are.
Many of those comments are related to respect and equality in dignity and rights, and they´re very important. But there are other comments that may make us feel insecure and unsure about ourselves.
These posts inspire us to throw off the shackles that have oppressed women for centuries and to show us our independence and strength as women. A good example is Jennifer Lopez´s new video, “Ain’t your mama”.
These comments about women from different centuries make me think about the women that I have known from my early childhood on. My grandmother fought for her family and conquered difficulties and my mother has dedicated her whole life to her children. Both of them dedicated their life to their family, but nowadays we don’t respect and appreciate this role as much as we used to. But the question is, why? Apparently, we defend women’s rights with lot of effort nowadays, but especially women’s dignity still gets offended. Maternal surrogacy and the use of the body as a commercial claim are just two examples.
But leaving that aside, and focusing on the need to discover the identity of the women in this situation of confusion, I would like to point out some stories of women whose lives have changed the course of history, or at least the lives of many people, for instance Chiara’s story.
To only name a few: Hildegard of Bingen, Teresa of Lisieux, Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Calcutta…and of course, the Virgin Mary. If we were able to get into each of their stories, we would know what makes them special and discover them as a role model for our lives. Then we would be able to clear up the confusion of which we spoke earlier.
Elizabeth of Hungary changed the lives of many people due to the fact that she abandoned all her possessions and surrendered completely to the needs of others. Hildegard of Bingen was a writer, mystic, composer, doctor and a monastic leader of the twelfth century, she was considered one of the most influential women in the Middle Ages. Teresa of Lisieux was named Doctor of the Church because of her actions. Catherine of Siena influenced the lives of clergy, religious, and lay people, including the King of France, Queen of Naples, princes and others authorities. Teresa of Calcutta was able to convey a strong message of charity to the world through her simplicity and total surrender. And Mary of Nazareth changed the course of history with just a yes.
These are people who are worth to admire and we can learn so much from them. And hopefully we´ll do.