Lindsay Davis

International Women’s Day - March 21st, 2016

“Today is about women. Its about empowering women, and I would be remiss not to recognize another woman who has had a significant influence on me and been a great inspiration. Her name was Esther, and her story is told in the old testament of the Bible. She was a woman I relate to on a number of levels, but primarily because she finds her self in a position of influence, and significance. She was taken into the royal harem, and eventually she was appointed as the Emperor’s wife, and he put a royal crown on her head. The emperor’s prime minster, Hamen, plotted against Esther and convinced the Emperor to kill all of her people. When Esther heard this, she made the decision to go and see the king, and beg for people to be saved. Esther pled for her people, and in the end, they were all saved. Esther changed the course of history because she was willing to stand up and be counted. We need more women that will stand and fight for what they believe is virtuous.

And as for me…I want to be like Esther. For as long as I can remember I’ve been dissatisfied with the way the world works. I was diagnosed with a potentially fatal heart condition when I was 17 years old and at the time had a completely different blue print for my life than the one I’ve built. My diagnoses awoke a sense of compassion for other young people who were walking through their lives with this deadly heart condition I had. Those who were oblivious to the idea they could die at any moment without proper treatment. 1 million children in the US have heart conditions that could possibly be fatal. I found something alarmingly wrong with the fact I was given this second chance at life, but what about all of those children? What about their lives?

I’ve made it my mission to spread awareness for sudden cardiac arrest and the signs and symptoms associated with its occurrence. I’ve been working to pass legislation in Ohio that will save the lives of student athletes with undiagnosed heart conditions and I hope to expand its jurisdiction worldwide someday. If there’s something in the world you don’t see as fair and just, you must be the change you wish to see. Go to legislators, go to community leaders, be active, and be a voice. We are an integral part of the community, everyone here is. I encourage you to get your voice out there.

Our voices matter. Each and everyone. The basis of our humanity is self-esteem and dignity and this must be our fight together– to open our eyes to the things that matter and restore the aspirations that have been shattered. Study after study shows the value and sadly undervaluing of gender equality in commerce, politics, peace building, the list is infinite. But we have to do more than help people see the logic with their minds. Its about making them feel it in their bones, viscerally, emotionally, this is what changes us, this makes us act. You can’t unwatch great films, you can’t unread incredible books, you can’t unsee ground breaking art. They change you forever.  We need to push for a new normal, society of gender equality– a great movement of social change that can’t be ignored.

Esther’s life has been an inspiration for mine. Like her, we as women need to be engaged and active in our communities. We must resolve to be remarkable women who stand up and speak out. We must stand up and speak up as bold empowered women to make our stand for the helpless. We must not say “I can’t do this as because I am a woman” We must instead say “I am a woman therefore I CAN do this””

— Lindsay Davis