My father used to give this advice to my sister and me as we were preparing to go out on a date.

“Turn.  Let me see you,” he would say approvingly. “You look beautiful.”

Then he would add the words he always said before we went out–words that every daughter needs a father to say: “Now remember, before you go into the dance, pause a moment at the doorway, lift your head, and tell yourself, ‘I am the most beautiful girl at the ball.’ And only then go in.”

He was teaching us confidence.

And concerning our shyness at “working” a large party: “Stop thinking about yourself.  Everyone is more afraid than you.  It’s your responsibility to put someone else at ease.”

~ Sophie Burnham, For Writers Only

~ ~ ~

I understand there was an election yesterday.  Yes, I followed it.  Yes, I voted.  And now I’m finished talking about it.

Except for this.  I read this morning that this is a record-breaking year for women winning political races.  They are smashing barriers and making history.  Mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, women: Leaders.

My mom and I exchanged a few morning texts over this tremendous outcome, of women leading in droves.

Then she said, “Know what else I love so much? I raised a daughter who uses the voice God gave her.”

I said, “Thank you for teaching me how.”

And she said, “You’re welcome.  Now go run your own race well.”

~ ~ ~

Love the person in front of you today.

Make them feel at ease.

Run your own race well.

Choose love, not fear.

It’s your responsibility.

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