by Jacquelyn Hontalas, International Vice President
It’s officially the holiday season, so what else would I write about than what I’m thankful for? But first, some history for context*…
- 1851: our beloved organization is founded by a small group of teenagers
- The gold rush was happening, Abraham Lincoln’s dad died, there were only 31 states… electricity, cameras, paperclips, Coca Cola and cars weren’t invented until ~30 years later! Read that again, please.
- 14 years later in 1865: E. Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Lucy Stone ask friends to send a petition for women’s suffrage (aka our right to vote)
- 62 years later in 1913: Women march in a suffragette parade in Washington, DC. There’s also a petition from some women of Macon, Georgia protesting the women’s suffrage amendment (interesting location, eh?)
- 68 years later in 1919: The Nineteenth Amendment passes the House and Senate and women earn the right to vote (our founders would have been ~80 years old)
- 81 years later in 1932: Susan B. Anthony’s nephew proposes an Equal Rights Amendment (its fails… as it does in over 1100 more attempts) #perseverance
- 93 years later in 1944: A bill was proposed to provide equal pay for women… this principle wouldn’t be enacted until 1963 (112 years after our founding)
- 168 years later in 2019: we’re still working on things… but we’re getting there
I use that HERstory as a baseline for giving thanks today as only we can do in this place and time… based on the actions of women and “men-friends” that came before us. There are information and people, activities and places that we have access to today, that our founders could not have even dreamed of.
Here’s a top 10 list of what I’m thankful for:
- A supportive family that always told me, and continues to tell me, that I can do whatever I set my mind to—I hope you all have one of these, but if not, your ADPi family is a great place to start—we’re 210,000 strong—leverage away!
- Mentors, sponsors and advocates in all areas of my life who give me a boost, or a kick in the pants, when I need it. Ladies, go get yourself a few of these and then really seek out and take in the feedback.
- Opportunities to travel the world… in my opinion, nothing gives you better perspective than landing in a foreign place and finding your way—we really are much more alike than different.
- Opportunities to compete individually and with a team… and to win! I’m an Enneagram 3… bring.it.on. (As an aside, I love personality tests; it’s hard to hide from yourself and you can learn so much about others.)
- An organization that encourages me to “Be the First” and gives me the freedom to decide what that means to me… queue that competition thing again, I LOVE that we were the first.
- Opportunities to use my voice for things I’m passionate about—diversity and inclusion, continuous learning, a global outlook, stewardship, and communication to name a few.
- Laughter and love and all the pretty, happy things that make the daily grind more colorful and rich. One saying that always sticks with me is “The days are long but the years are short” and I cannot think of a better way to take that to heart than to appreciate at least one thing each day.
- Opportunities to lead, learn and grow—whether at work with clients or colleagues; interacting with Grand Council or collegians; at play with my nephews or besties, I have innumerable chances to practice my leadership and learning skills and continue to shape the woman I want to be. #failfast #justtryit #workinprogress
- Fierce lady friendships—within ADPi and outside, but regardless of their origin, I feel so so fortunate to have a ring of amazing, intelligent, beautiful, strong women around me that make the world an easier place to navigate.
- The original squad… in 1851. Those young women who exhibited confidence, resilience, and vision in a time where they struggled to access things we take for granted today. We GET to do this thing called sorority with and for Eugenia and the girls. Let’s push ourselves so that our sisters in another 168 years will marvel at the things we accomplished.
Thinking with gratitude will make you feel good! So, what are you thankful for?
* For my fact-checking sisters, give me some latitude on the dates… we’re close enough for story time, you get the drift.
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