In the Parting Thoughts section titled “The Atlanta I Know” in the March issue of South Fulton Lifestyle, I briefly wrote of the disappointment felt when as Atlantans we see yet another reality show in which adults throw tantrums that rival any toddler’s. This thought engenders the question, “What defines a real woman in Atlanta?”
I didn’t have to look far for my answer. In taking a quick inventory in my immediate group of friends and acquaintances alone, I realized I see these real Atlanta women every day. These women uplift their families and communities daily by steadily working to make the world a better place. Selflessly and consistently, these women positively impact others in their daily lives.
One friend specifically comes to mind. After years of tutoring teen moms in her spare time, she decided to focus on preparing younger children for success in a global world. A mom of three, she and her husband started a language immersion school where students as young as 2 years old are fluent in Chinese and Spanish. In fact, students from her school are some of the youngest in the state of Georgia to pass the Chinese fluency exam.
Another friend, an aspiring actress and mother of two, has started her film career at her own pace. A natural, she has attracted the attention of major talents in the film industry in Atlanta and in Hollywood. Yet, she refuses to sacrifice her morality or integrity for the allure of fame or money, if a role requires anything she is uncomfortable saying or portraying. In the budding film bastion of “Peachwood,” there is no dearth of actresses wanting the lead roles in the latest studio productions being made in our city. But, here is a real housewife unafraid to be herself and without a camera following her every move is making an immensely positive impact in the lives of her children and other children who she volunteers to teach acting lessons for free.
I am reminded of the true essence of what Atlanta’s women can accomplish in thinking of another friend who creatively discovered a method of getting her kids to learn about healthy eating. She has written a series of children’s books in which a practical guide is given to teach children how to make healthy food choices. At a time when our nation’s First Lady has championed our ability to lessen the health problems of tomorrow through the food choices of today, this friend’s books are both timely and necessary.
The examples of women positively impacting their communities and–from a microcosmic level–the world, are endless as we Atlantans think of are our own wives friends, co-workers, neighbors, mothers, sisters, aunts, nieces and cousins. Without contention in their daily interactions, and with diplomatic decorum, these women are powerful. They are the women who like the Biblical prophet Isaiah, unashamedly say, “Here am I, send me.” (Isaiah 6:8) when tackling some of the challenges currently facing our younger generation. Challenges such as obesity, physical health, lack of self-esteem, and struggles with literacy and math are not easily overcome without tangible examples of victory. As Sojourner Truth once said, “If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back and get it right side up again!” The real women of Atlanta know this and are positive examples of this truth. Thank you for being brave enough to do so.