“It takes a village” is an African proverb that means an entire community of people must devote time and righteous care to constructively invest in the development of children in order for them to grow in a safe and healthy environment. The members of the “village” accomplish this through imparting wise instruction, demonstrating unconditional love, as well as providing spiritual, physical, emotional, mental, educational, and financial support.
This inspirational journal, Collective Voices from the Village, uses the same concept to inculcate empowering and transformative lessons shared by successful women who wish to make a positive difference in the lives of young women.
The noteworthy women who contributed to this journal are from all walks of life. Even though there is diversity of titles, remember that having a title doesn’t mean that you don’t need support from your village. On the other hand, not having a special title doesn't mean that you can't offer words of wisdom. We can all learn from one another. Yes, we can learn from you even though you are younger than your elders. In some cases, you may have had life experiences that we have not had.
In this book, you will find biblical scriptures, affirmations, and quotes that have helped to improve the lives of numerous women I have been blessed to know in my lifetime. The scriptures were quoted from the Bible, however, the affirmations and quotes may or may not be original. The women submitted affirmations and quotes that warmed their hearts in some special way and wanted to share them with you.
One of God’s greatest blessings is having people in our lives who nurture us and help us blossom into better human beings. It’s amazing how our Heavenly Father will open our eyes to things that are right in front of us. We just need to focus on Him, trust, believe, obey, and pray and allow Him to lead the way.
I decided to write this book after years of reflecting on how blessed I felt to have had good women in my life who inspired me and my daughter in a very special way. I am grateful that their words have encouraged us to stay strong and focused on the right things. These women, who oftentimes go unnoticed, are part of a village that can motivate young women to be the best they can be!
While they are not necessarily popular or famous, they are rich with empowering lessons about how to navigate through life with character and integrity. They are full of wisdom, however, oftentimes they don’t even realize the impact they have on the lives around them. These dynamic women have experienced good and bad times, and they have had their ups and downs, but “still they rise” above it all because they have character, and faith in God.
Many of them, like me, got their strength and learned resilience with the nurturing assistance of other women. Just like the African proverb says, "it truly takes a village to raise a child". In fact, it was a community of women that helped them overcome many trials and tribulations in their lives. These spiritual teachers were wives, mothers, professionals, business owners, leaders, trailblazers, etc., but they all shared a story of triumph which helped new generations of women make it through.
When you reflect and meditate on wisdom, you will be successful despite any challenge you face. However, wisdom is like a gift—you must receive it. Therefore, whether it is a biblical scripture, an affirmation, or a quote, what ultimately determines the impact is your acceptance.
Now it is time for us—the women quoted in this book, to become your village and pass on to you the indelible, important lessons that we have learned. Throughout this book, I will share my own “words of wisdom”. These are the things that have immeasurably helped me to rise above adversity and remain strong to realize my dreams and goals. They have also aided me in helping thousands of people, particularly the students whom I served as an educator, counselor, mentor, and professor.
I have intentionally made this journal interactive to help you reflect on your learning and progress. There is plenty of space available for any writing occasion. Writing out your thoughts can be a powerful and therapeutic activity to build self-awareness and direction. It allows you to constructively release what is inside of you, thus potentially helping you make good decisions.
Keep in mind that personal growth is a lifelong process which requires you to regularly assess your thoughts, make corrections if necessary, and most importantly, take full ownership of your life. Never forget that you might not be able to control what happens to you, but you have the power to control how you respond. Let the wisdom in this journal help you assess where you are and guide you to where you strive to be.
Furthermore, remember that your voice matters so freely write from your heart as you answer the guided questions and/or respond to the life lessons shared in this book. The insight by the amazing women who are speaking to you will prove useful and become like valuable steppingstones to your personal, academic, and professional achievement. Know that “village keepers” love you and are praying for you—they are now your spiritual cheerleaders who want you to become and do your BEST! I would like to encourage you to teach whatever you learn from this experience to others. Become a vital member of the VILLAGE and empower future generations of girls who come after you.
Finally, do not let anything take your voice away. You are a priceless, unique gift from God. Whether you realize it you have been blessed, so make the most of it. Learn to let your voice be heard. You are somebody and your voice matters.
Much love to you on your journey of life!
Dr. Trudi A. Williams (Dr.T.)
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About the Book
The information about the book is not available as of this time.