Created: 05/30/2013 5:58 PM WNYT.com
By: Benita Zahn
I had the good fortune,on May 30, to MC the 22nd annual Women of Excellence awards luncheon sponsored by the Albany-Colonie Chamber of Commerce.
The seven women who were recognized come from various walks of life - very different careers - a nurse turned women's health center administrator, a banking exec, the program director for the Center for Disability services ---
Despite their differences all these women have known adversity. One of the woman spoke of her very volatile childhood and how she and an older brother stood up to their bullying father to protect younger siblings. Her passion, encouraging all of us to stand up and be counted left me breathless.
How often do we do that, stand up and be counted? I suspect most of us choose to fly below the radar, hoping not to be noticed. But it was her standing tall that's stood her well as an adult and why she was recognized.
Another one of the women was a single mom with two children and had to turn to welfare to survive. Now, she's a successful bank executive. Had it not been due to her strength to reach out for help, had it not been for others who reached out to her, believed in her - who knows what might have happened.
Then there was the story from the manager of a health care provider who also dances. At a competition her partner, a pro dancer, reminded her to breathe -- which she reminded all of us to do. Breathe - it opens room for others to come in .. it opens you to new ideas.
And their stories reminded me of a quote I recently read from the author The beauty of empowering others is that your own power is not diminished in the process. - Barbara Colorose -
"The beauty of empowering others is that your own power is not diminished in the process"