I think about our friend Ruth Samuelson of Charlotte, North Carolina daily. Ruth left us in January after an 8 month battle with Ovarian cancer. She was only 56. Ouch.
Ruth was a living example of “being the change” and how it can positively impact ones family, community and politics. Ruth’s impact on earth is remarkable. #PoliPower.
She was a loving daughter, sister, wife, mom, grandmother, community leader and public servant. She also was a FiA we nicknamed “Poli” for her love of politics.
Ruth was funny, fit and athletic. She loved to work out outside at 5:15am with her daughter Joy (FiA Santiago) and FiAs from our female fitness group, Females in Action. Then, last spring she suddenly got diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer. By May word was out…the cancer had spread. A complete shocker to everyone who knew and loved her.
Though now gone, I feel she will always be with us in the many lessons she taught, and the good, gutsy and crazy things she did we will always remember and laugh about.
A few years ago, Ruth and I were having lunch together while discussing life, careers, family, community and of course, politics. I was at a cross roads trying to figure out where next to best focus my maverick leader type A energy. Should I stay focused on community fitness efforts or launch a new female start-up to stop the division in our politics?
When I asked Ruth for some guidance on this, she gazed at me for a thoughtful moment. You know that gaze if you knew Ruth. Then with her pirate eyes and beautiful smile, she said:
“From my experience, you can’t make others change. You have to be the change.”
I will always remember this decisive moment with Ruth. She was so calm. So matter of fact. She was also right. Force change? She sure loved ruffling us up by being the change.
As Ruth said… if you want to change others...change yourself first.
In honor of Ruth and igniting that #PoliPower, here are 3 ideas to get cha-cha-changing.
- Re-organize your busy life: The days and years fly by really fast friends. Prioritize and pursue what matters most to you. You will avoid living with regret.
- Be the calm: We are our brothers and sisters keepers right? I’ve learned life’s greatest obstacles can reveal God’s purpose for you in this area. So start today to turn your pain, anger or sadness into a mission for good. Be the inspiration, humor or kindness you need. Be the calm in someone’s storm. Be the friend in someone’s loneliness. Be the mentor in confusion. Be the light in the darkness.
- Pray it up: Ruth prayed a lot everyday and is probably still praying for us in Heaven. Let God worry about your worries. He is vast. We are small.
Thank you Ruth. We miss you.