Wangari Matthai – An unbowed hummingbird

Wangari Maathai’s autobiography is titled ‘Unbowed’.  In one word, it captures the essence of her spirit.

My entry today (the last about Wangari for now) contains two quotations and one video which, I think, provide a good summary of her life.

… humanity needs to rethink peace and security an work toward cultures of peace by governing itself more democratically, respecting the rule of law and human rights, deliberately and consciously promoting justice and equity, and managing resources more responsibly and accountably – not only for the present but also for the future generations.

(Unbowed, 294)

Trees have been an essential part of my life and have provided me with many lessons.  trees are living symbols of peace and hope.  A tree has roots in the soil yet reaches to the sky.  It tells us that in order to aspire we need to be grounded, and that no matter how high we go it is from our roots that we draw sustenance.  It is a reminder to all of us who have had success that we cannot forget where we came from.  It signifies that no matter how powerful we become in government or how many awards we receive, our power an strength and our ability to reach our goals depend on the people, those whose works remains unseen, who are the soil out of which we grow, the shoulders on which we stand.

(Unbowed, 293)


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