Anaya Lee Willabus is New York’s youngest author. She wrote her first book, The Day Mohan Found His Confidence, when she was 8 years old. A poet and a visionary, Anaya, now 15, is the author of four published books. Anaya lives in Mill Basin and is the founder of a non-profit, The Stalwarts Youth Corporation, which promotes literacy to children.
March is Women’s History Month. Throughout time, we have learned about outstanding women leaders who have paved the way and have made unparallel contributions to our society.
It is also habit for us to compare ourselves to others since it is somewhat of a benchmark on how we have progressed with personal or professional achievements. While this might not be a bad practice, it takes away from the leaders who are closer than we think. I am referring to our everyday leaders like our mothers, grandmothers, teachers, coaches and so on.
Many of the women we read about, especially women of color, were faced with a lot of adversities but what is admirable to me is their commitment and passion for a particular cause.
While I do enjoy reading about great women leaders of the past like Shirley Chisholm, Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt and Indira Ghandi, I look at my mom and wonder if she knows how much I admire her and if she knows that she is a great leader!
I often wonder how she manages so many things at the same time. She juggles taking care of us, our home and her small business while still making time for her community activism initiatives.
The truth is we sometimes take for granted the people closest to us since they are always seemingly there, but it is also imperative to let them know how important they are.
I cannot think of a more deserving and special woman to recognize this Women’s History Month other than my mom. After all, parents and adults in general do not always realize that we are watching and mirroring what we see. From work ethics to dress code, we watch and learn from you! I am thankful that the women leaders who influence my life are reachable, credible, teachable and lovable. The women leaders in my life take the time to work on building the best version of me and I am thankful.
Also, some of us focus our attention on what is popular and not on what is impacting us directly. Therefore, we have to take it upon ourselves to make a conscious decision to rationalize a situation before adapting bad practices or habits. Let us seek women leaders who have proven track records of success and honesty behind their names to emulate!
May you use this month as a time of reflection and evaluation of your life. It is my hope that you are motivated and feel empowered to mentor someone or seek mentorship to find your path to success! Remember, in life there will always be challenges but sitting still will never get you the results of success you seek. Therefore, continue to persevere.
I would like to share a quote by a great woman leader:
“A woman is like a teabag, you never know how strong she is until she is in hot water!” – Eleanor Roosevelt
I salute my mom and all of the other women leaders. May you continue to soar to greatness!