My name, Kellie, means “Warrior Princess,” which is apt because I’ve been a fighter my whole life. I’ve fought against authority, against containment, against ignorance, against hate, against those I think are wrong. I guess I took my cue from all the fighting my formal education was based upon – names, dates, and places of our history – which is to say the history of war.
I know too many dates like 1066, December 7, 1944 and September 11, 2001. Names like Genghis Khan and Vlad the Impaler or battles like Iwo Jima, and Wounded Knee Massacre. It’s all just so horrid what gets lodged in our brains. I don’t like having it there.
What if I pivoted 180 degrees and created a new language, a new framework for understanding the world? What if we all did? What if we stopped fighting against poverty, racism, or to be first in line? What if we stopped declaring war on terror or childhood hunger or especially, each other?
Imagine if we started standing ‘for’ our values and became advocates for peace, for food security, for equality instead.
Starting now I’m changing my mind, literally. I’m changing my vocabulary and my perspective. I am for justice and liberation and the rights of all humans to live out the highest expression of the lives we’re given.
So, let’s celebrate today, August 26, and not just because today is my birthday. (Although if you raise a glass in my direction, I’ll certainly revel with you). Let’s celebrate those Americans who gave this day true meaning – women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott. Lydia Taft and Ernestine Rose. Susan B. Anthony and Lucy Burns. They fought for what they knew was right, for what they believed in.
Because on this day, in 1920, women gained the right to vote in the United States. And that was something worth fighting for.