A few months ago, I highlighted three amazing books written by women that I thought contributed to empowerment awareness. Three weeks ago, I found and read another one written by Nikki Haley entitled “With All Due Respect.“ Ms. Haley is the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and a former Governor of South Carolina. For me, her story isn’t so much about advancing political perspective as it is about advancing the female perspective and empowering women.
I loved her directness, her patriotism, and, selfishly, her Southern Strength. She was straightforward in the most stressful and important situations, such as when she was disagreeing with the President or was trying to govern her state in the wake of the Charleston church murders. That doesn’t sound easy to me. I love how she loves America as the daughter of Indian American immigrants thought of as “too dark to be white and too light to be black.“ Her Southern strength takes me back to my own roots and how strong women ruled all the world I knew without anyone suspecting that power so profound could come from a warm smile and a softly stated, “bless your heart.“
Following are a few nuggets from her book that resonated with me:
- When you’ve had a refugee woman tell you about watching soldiers throw her baby into a fire, it’s hard to get too exercised about what party someone belongs to.
- People have always labeled me with a word that is somehow only negative when it is applied to women: ambitious. You can call me ambitious. I will just consider myself a badass.
- Girls and women can do anything if we let them and if we teach them. And they can be anything if they are respected. And if they are heard.
- We don’t need a different America. All of us need to show less entitlement and more gratitude for the universal principles that have made our nation great and will make it greater in the future.
- I am much more than a woman or an Indian American or a first generation immigrant or a military spouse or a politician or a conservative or a mom, wife, and daughter.
- When I embrace a new challenge instead of avoiding it, I am always amazed at how much stronger and confident I become.
- Not just because I believe in freedom and human dignity, but because I have seen what life is like when they are absent. I have seen things that I cannot un-see.