Awareness, Gratitude, and Human Rights

While the news are buzzing with Angelina Jolie's op-ed in the New York Times, I'm reminded of a few things:

1. I'm grateful for free speech

Although I do not agree with the many negative comments this article has received, everyone is free to speak their mind.

2. I'm grateful for available health care

Yes, there are better systems than in the US, but there are certainly many that work even more poorly.

3. I'm grateful for the times we live in

My mother's generation would probably not have been able to openly discuss the feelings and worries that are part of this medical journey.

Gender Equality and Women's rights
Gender Equality and Women's rights
Maternal Health
Maternal Health

I'm also reminded that Angelina's story is only a conversation re-starter.

Nicholas Kristof and his wife Sheryl WuDunn have been drawing attention to women's and human rights issues around the world for a long time.

Their book is called Half The Sky and you can find them online at

The UN has identified eight Millennium Development goals, and women's health and equality feature prominently.

Awareness is the first step to everything.

Awareness also comes in many different ways and waves. We can only change what we can think about, talk about, and feel into. We have to be open to it.

I'm grateful that we're having the conversation, and for the opportunity to choose among different avenues to take care of ourselves and our loved ones.

Image by Guian Bolisay, Flickr, Creative Commons License