Positive Magnets Like Mankiller and Marlo

Mankiller text image

Mankiller text image

I admire Marlo Thomas for several reasons.

Of That Girl fame, Thomas is an award-winning actress.  She’s also a philanthropist who has successfully spearheaded fundraising efforts for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital over the years.  I most admire Thomas, however, for the many contributions that she has made as an activist in the women’s rights movement.

In 1973, she helped found the Ms. Foundation for Women, the first women’s fund in the U.S.  Since then, Thomas hasn’t let her support of women waver.   Thomas continues to advocate for women, lending her time and voice to the cause.  For example, you can check out her author content contributions at wowOwow.com or MarloThomas.com.

Back in 2002, Thomas compiled a New York Times Bestseller titled, “The Right Words at the Right Time,” that contains insightful words of advice from Thomas as well as 112 of her personal friends, many of whom are famous individuals in the entertainment and political realms.  Women contributors to the book include Doris Kearns Goodwin, Andrea Jung, Arianna Huffington, Toni Morrison, Dr. Sally Ride, Diane Sawyer, Amy Tan, Gloria Steinem, Maya Lin, The Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and many more.

I own the book and enjoy perusing the contributors’ words of wisdom from time to time.  This morning, I opened the book to the page that I had last marked and visited.  The page contains the words of the late Wilma Mankiller.

Have you ever heard of Wilma Mankiller?  Mankiller (you can’t ignore the irony of her last name) was the first female Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation and was a recipient of the United States Presidential Medal of Freedom.  During her lifetime, Mankiller also battled systemic non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

In her statements within Thomas’ book, Mankiller shared how maintaining positivity and positive thoughts enabled her triumphs over challenges and suggested that a positive mind is necessary for leadership.  Mankiller wrote:

“When I am asked about the important characteristics of leadership, being of good, positive mind is at the top of my list.  If a leader can focus on the meritorious characteristics of other people and try to play to their strengths, as well as find value in even the most difficult situation, she can inspire hope and faith in others and motivate them to move forward.  Few people of good will are inspired to follow negative, pessimistic people.  People with clear minds are like magnets.”

Being an optimist, I agree with Mankiller’s suggestion about embracing positivity in life.  What about you?

Do you think that people with positive, clear minds are like magnets?  If so, who are the positive magnets, female or male, who inspire and attract you?

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