It is not easy to be a young woman in our modern world. Our culture glorifies images of females who have been strategically modified via computers to reflect "the ideal". We all are assaulted constantly by images of women who have flawless skin, skinny arms, flat stomachs, shiny perfect hair and white, perfect smiles. When we turn on the tv or scan the internet, we hear endlessly about women "sellebrites" as I like to call them. They have sold their morals for fame and fortune. Many have achieved stratospheric monetary success by appearing in porn videos, or living the public partying lifestyle that is spread all over the tabloids and internet.
Women of substance are rarely touted or talked about. So I created this list of gifts that I hope to pass along to my three daughters. They are gifts that will help them to live a fulfilling and passionate life. They are truly what is important to me and hopefully to other women across the globe. See if you agree with my gift list this year:
1. Healthy Body Image: I want my daughters to love their bodies as they are. Contrary to popular media, there is beauty to be found in a woman who loves herself. Beauty from within is where it is at. There is beauty in all of us, and those who are kind and loving and genuinely interested in other people possess the most powerful beauty secret of all. Beauty is not found in a zero size jean, or under the knife at a plastic surgeon's office.
2. Global Awareness: The world is an exciting and wonderful place. I want my daughters to have a passion for the world we live in and the knowledge of places and people outside their own little world. I want them to realize that being global citizens means not only traveling to other places, but caring about what is happening globally and educating themselves about what we all can do to preserve our planet and connect with our brothers and sisters in far away places who may need our attention.
3. Passion for Learning: Curiosity is a gift that keeps us young. I want all three of my daughters to be life long learners. Whether in a classroom or in the real world, my wish for them is that they never stop learning and experiencing new things.
4. Strong Self Concept: This gift will protect my daughters from being involved in relationships filled with abuse or emotional drama. A woman who loves herself simply cannot be tied to an abusive lover. She would never stand for it. She recognizes that she is worth more and does not tie her value to a relationship that disrespects her.
5. Faith: I pray that my three daughters will have a fulfilling, spiritual life. I feel that this gift allows them to navigate the ups and downs of their years with an anchor of faith. Believing that there is more to life than our material world, and acknowledging with a grateful heart that our lives are precious gifts adds a depth to our existence that defies explanation. Thinking about concepts such as grace and humility and lives of service, put our everyday activities into focus and hopefully make us better people during our time on earth. We can believe that we are the center of our universe, but I hope that my daughters choose to believe that they are part of a universe created by a loving and just Creator, and acknowledge that although we don't have all the answers, a life of faith creates a depth of experience that is not found in the secular world.