September 24, 2012

Remarks from Terry Hernandez's Women of Influence Acceptance

According to Webster, INFLUENCE means power, persuasion, inspiration, affecting change.
I believe that this is the basis for all we are in this world. It's about relationships. And it's about sharing “me” and all the mysterious, odd, frustrating, delightful things that make me me.

I guess it took me 40 to 50 years to unlearn what I thought I knew about me
·          as a girl growing up, I knew how to cover up pimples, how to avoid folding the clothes or cleaning my room, how to be “cool” –
·          as a woman, I knew how to shade my long nose with blush, hide cellulite, keep my mouth shut and know my place –

how many women can you think of that, like me, knew they would never be president; knew they would never make as much money or have as much “clout” as a man; knew they would never be as thin, pretty, tall, or glamorous as they’d hope; knew how to feel guilty about choosing to raise a family instead of running a company…

I am so fortunate to do the work of Chrysalis, which is all about influence – it is about inspiring and encouraging – it’s about helping girls and women unlearn what they may know:
·          to teach girls to be themselves instead of worrying about what the media – or their peers – say they should be…
·          to teach young women to reject the notion that to be liked and accepted, they have to look and act like Britney Spears, Lady Gaga or (in my day) Madonna…
·          to help other women understand they are not objects and will not be treated as such…
·          to help girls and women celebrate their strengths rather than focusing on their weaknesses.

I’ve found in our work that the more limited the financial resources, the more abundant and creative the human resources are.

We say the work of Chrysalis is to “inspire to aspire” – it’s all about influence, and it’s been on our radar for decades. It continues to lead each of us to influence – to make change. And change is certainly not difficult if you are open to it.

So, here are my suggestions to you to continue to be a person of influence: treat people kindly, pay attention, respect others, offer assistance, ask for help, do good deeds, practice solid values, be a good friend, listen-listen-listen, volunteer in the community, and mentor the next generation.

Don’t just follow the rules.  Follow your heart.

I'm grateful to continue this important work and appreciate the passion we all share.