Monday, July 7

Are You a World Changer?

This was first posted in January 2008.

The former prime minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto, was assassinated last month allegedly by Islamists for her conviction that secular democracy was the only answer for her troubled country.

She was considered an ally of the United States and many had put their faith in her for bringing democratic stability to Pakistan. As NPR wrote, we also like her because, "The Harvard and Oxford-educated Bhutto had become an icon in the West, which found it hard to resist the allure of the charismatic female leader of an otherwise male-dominated Islamic nation."

For as many supporters as Bhutto had you'll find double the number of people who doubt her place in history. William Dalrymple from the International Herald Tribune wrote that she was,

"a natural autocrat who did little for human rights, a calculating politician who was complicit in Pakistan's becoming the region's principal jihadi paymaster while she also ramped up an insurgency in Kashmir that has brought two nuclear powers to the brink of war."

Dalrymple definitely provides a different picture, and now with her death, we may never know whether she was truly one of the "good guys" or not.

However, what still intrigues me about this woman, and mother of three, is that she knowingly put her life in jeopardy every day because she believed a secular, democratic Pakistan was the best choice for the future of Pakistan. She was a visionary who was determined to change her nation and ultimately alter the course of the world. Bhutto was a world changer.

In the United States today, we don't know what it means to live in oppression. As women, we can't comprehend a life where we are merely a possession or a piece of property that is owned by our father or husband. And as mothers, we've never experienced a time when are children were not afforded every opportunity to follow their own dreams, even something as common as marrying for love.

Our country was founded by world changers; men and women who believed in ideals that required the same passion and commitment as Benazir Bhutto. They fought and suffered and many paid the ultimate price with their lives for the very freedoms we have come to expect and take for granted.

In my prior post I closed with the question, 'What does Benazir Bhutto have in common with Politics for Moms'? The answer is actually another question: What do you believe in so passionately that you are willing to give your life for?

Now that doesn't mean you have to believe in say, literacy, so passionately you are willing to take a bullet for it. But maybe it means getting involved in your local soup kitchen, stuffing envelopes for your candidate of choice or becoming a mentor to the kid down the street.

I believe moms are born world changers. Even when we're sleep deprived and up to our armpits with dirty dishes, we still believe in the ideals of this country and we want those ideals to be around for generations to come.

Isn't that why you're visiting this blog? With your vote you want to make a difference? You want to have a voice. You want to be a world changer!


Anonymous said...

Unrelated to good post about Bhutto, but I'm curious to know people's thoughts on identity-based politics. For example, for the Huckabee supporters here, do you find yourself more inclined to vote for him because of his identification as an Evangelical Christian or would you feel the same about him if he were of a different faith? Assuming his identification is a factor, do you encourage other voters who might share an identify with another candidate, based on gender, race, religion, or whatever, to likewise vote on that basis? I'm sure everyone can find other reasons to vote for particular candidates, but it seems like identity is a significant factor behind several of the candidates' support. I'm just curious to hear people's thoughts on the issue and whether identity politics is viewed as a good, bad, or neutral political dynamic. In the interest of full disclosure, I'm a registered democrat, white male (non-mom), leaning toward Obama.

The Gang's All Here! said...

Great post! I still don't know if I view her as the good guys vs the bad guys. But I do view her as a woman who left her stamp on the world around her. That makes me admire her passion and her process even if I can't find it consistent with my own politics to admire her methodology or alliances. Further, I admire that she was able to raise three kids in the midst of it all. That tells me there was very thoughtful and intentional planning for "who" she wanted to become. Otherwise, she could have easily stayed within the rigid parameters that her culture set for her as a woman and a mother.

Yes, I am a world-changer, even if it's molding and forming the heart and passion and mind of my four (someday 5) citizens. That's what makes me hang in there in the hard times and what makes me come back to sites like this and others time and again. I'm building up their arsenal and equipping them for the future of America. One snotty nose at a time :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you Natalie for doing this! I will be sending your site to lots of my friends. Love you!

Laura said...

about the identity based politics- i hear what you are saying, anonymous. I'm an evangelical christian and you guessed it, I'm leaning toward the huck-a-burger! I do like that he is a serious christian. Then i took a closer look at him because i don't want to just vote on basis of faith-identity... i actually love him on the issues- i like the idea of a fairtax, he is very pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, for helping the poor (effectivly), pro-iraq victory, and from what i can see i like where he stands enviromentaly... i have a couple of reservations about him- like is he going to be a softy in harsh controversy (foreign or domestic)?.
anyways, all i'm saying is YES, i was attracted to him because of christianity, but i stayed attracted because i like him best on the issues.


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