Claire Martin

Inspiration – by Claire

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Photo courtesy: UNBC

It’s funny where you find inspiration.

Because I just found it, this past week, in Prince George.

Let me back up.

We all know that for many of us, the past two weeks, since the evening of November 8, 2016, have been a time of much hand-wringing, some self-recrimination, and a lot of “what-went-wrong” discussions. I know because I have taken part in all of that (and more!).

I have felt beaten for over two weeks now. And there has been little in the news to make me feel any better.

So what happened in Prince George to salve my soul?

I was invited some months ago to be a guest speaker at the annual University of Northern BC’s event Inspiring Women Among Us. This two-week event has been created to memorialize and recognize the Dec. 6th Montreal Massacre, when 14 women were killed at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal

This event offers a wide variety of public events that celebrate women’s contributions to Canadian and global societies and discuss ways society can support our female colleagues, friends and family members.

The 2016 inaugural theme, ‘Women, Media & Masks’, speaks to particular and persistent gender-related challenges related to imagery and ideas originating in and / or popularized via the media around gender. It also recognizes that men and women often employ masks of sorts to better conform to gender-related expectations and norms, or to otherwise survive in society.

I was actually going to back out of the event – I felt that there was little I could say or do that would be particularly inspiring.

But I decided to go, and I’m so glad that I did.

Sometimes inspiration comes from great words, great deeds or even great people. But sometimes inspiration sneaks up on you; simply by taking part in something that is bigger than the fear and frustration that sits in front of your face.

I was inspired by the students and staff that came out to take part in this event, and who had me engaged in meaningful dialogue after the event, and who still see a future worth fighting for.

Thank you Prince George.. you are my inspiration!

Claire

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