08 Apr Celebrating the life of Margaret Thatcher.
Today I was saddened to learn of the death of Margaret Thatcher, past Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Growing up, she was the first women that I ever heard of that held such a prominent high-ranking political position. Yes, I know that Queen Elizabeth also holds a very prominent high-ranking political position. However, the difference is that Margaret Thatcher won her position through an election, not birth right. That to me is such an amazing accomplishment.
One of my favorite quotes from Margaret Thatcher was published in 1987:
“I think we have gone through a period when too many children and people have been given to understand “I have a problem, it is the Government’s job to cope with it!” or “I have a problem, I will go and get a grant to cope with it!” “I am homeless, the Government must house me!” and so they are casting their problems on society and who is society? There is no such thing! There are individual men and women and there are families and no government can do anything except through people and people look to themselves first. It is our duty to look after ourselves and then also to help look after our neighbor and life is a reciprocal business and people have got the entitlements too much in mind without the obligations.” ~Margaret Thatcher 1987, Women’s Own Magazine
Now in no way am I trying to start a controversy or debate with that quote. I just love what that quote means to me and that it reminds me of my up bringing with my grandmother. She always said ” God helps those that help themselves”. I was never just given anything growing up just because I wanted it. My grandparents owned a flower shop and if I wanted something I had to work for it. It is a lesson I now do my best to instill in my children.
Throughout her political career, Margaret Thatcher was also a mother. She gave birth to twins in 1953. She raised her children while leading a nation. She was the first and only to date female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. During her tenure she raised total personal wealth by 80% and women’s pay rose dramatically to the highest level on record and stayed there. She was such a champion of women’s rights and family. Looking at her legacy just makes me beam with pride about being a women.
On the flip side of that pride is a tinge of sadness. Here I live in the best country in the world. A country that people die traveling to. A country that so many people around the world long to live. A country that holds so much promise and possibilities but yet we have never had a female president. Looking around in the political and business arena however, I see many strong, capable women who are now leading companies. Many companies, who in the past would have never thought to have a women sit at the head of and lead. This gives me hope and optimism for the future of my daughters. Margaret Thatcher has left behind a wonderful legacy for her family, children, country and all women. My hope is that we remember her legacy and continue to strive for equality for women, so that one day our daughter will have their own Margaret Thatcher to look up to and say “Mommy I want to be just like her when I grow up!”