This is a question I asked myself recently after having read a number of articles and interviews in which people have spoken about figures they admire.
It got me thinking. Who is there out in the world that I look at and can honestly say ‘I admire that person … they inspire me to be better.’
But is there even one single person that embodies those qualities that I look to.
For me, the facets of a person that I admire are not related to the physical, so not, for instance, the thinnest, prettiest or most athletic. Fame and celebrity in of themselves are not sources of admiration or inspiration for me. It’s that intangible quality that some people carry about them, the way some people conduct themselves or what it is that they stand for that catches my attention.
I should also say that, as a woman, it is to other women that I look to for inspiration. Sorry guys … no hard feelings.
And remember, this is purely a personal expression. Sources of inspiration and admiration can come from all spheres of society and walks of life and can be important to someone for any number of varying reasons. No persons’ opinion on who affects them is more legitimate than another’s.
As I started thinking and pondering over women who I admire there was one figure who, for me, stood out for numerous reasons, but there are several in particular that, in today’s world, seem more important than ever. That woman is Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She has many great qualities but it is those of truth, being just, standing up for what is right and most prominently fighting for women’s equality that are most appealing. To me she is accomplished yet humble, honest and forthright, open but firm in her ideals and principled with a deep sense of integrity. Qualities that are built and grow over a lifetime. A truly admirable women.
The next name I have included I think you may have heard of at least once or twice before – Michelle Obama.
There are many elements of Michelle that I would like to embody. Her height for one thing and yes I know that is a physical thing but I say this from a 5 foot 2 inch perspective. But in all seriousness it is her intelligence, sharp mind and ability to communicate to all different types of people that I greatly admire. She gives voice to her powerful intellect with clarity and in terms that are understandable and relatable. And she does this with absolute conviction and integrity (that word is coming up a lot) that is a breath of fresh air and provides an example for all women of all ages the world over.
Now before I continue I have to say that I am not a very outgoing person any stretch of the imagination. I would in fact class myself an introvert (networking is a nightmare concept to me) and I am cautious by nature so I always admire those who are the opposite – women who seem to radiate confidence and embrace life with exuberance and a joyful spirit.
Esther Kim is one of these people. A traveller, foodie adventurer and a general all round nice human (among other things), I love following her exploits via her blog Eskimoves and IG account because she does things with such a sense of genuine fun, quirky humour and a positive desire to live life that I can’t help but smile and feel uplifted. It’s the honest, healthy and fearless manner in which Esther embraces these experiences that has me forgetting my cynicism for a short while to contemplate having adventures of my own. I really admire her ‘go forth and enjoy’ attitude. She is very much a positive presence in the social media landscape in whose digital company I enjoy spending time.
SPOILER: She is based in New York so that’s a bonus as I get a brief peek into a city that is a dream destination of mine.
PS. I want to eat what she eats! The pasta!
But really, for me, there can be no discussion about women who engender admiration without highlighting, and giving credit to, that huge group who live their daily lives unrecorded and, in many instances, unheralded. They live in every town, city and country in the world. They come from all strata of society. They have many different names and many different faces. Those women that silently keep their communities and families functioning. Those women who struggle, fight and keep moving forward despite everything. Those women whose exploits may never be written in the history books but for whom their legacy is the foundation of much that has past and a vast swath of what is yet to come.
It is these women, along with Ruth, Michelle and Esther, that I admire and who inspire me.
(Image Credit: Owner Ruth and Michelle Unknown / Owner Esther Kim)