As we prepare for the 2013-14 Women of Spirit & Action Awards on November 5, DWN Communications Team Member Clarissa Fidler chose to reflect on what it means to be a woman of spirit and action in modern times.
Don’t think you have anything in common with a French Catholic saint who lived during the 17th century? Look again. St. Louise de Marillac was a wife, mother, nurse, social worker, teacher and community organizer. Louise lived centuries before us in a time and place far removed from today’s fast-paced, rapidly changing world. And yet, the qualities Louise possessed and roles she filled are all relevant to today’s modern woman.
Who is a modern-day Louise?
A modern-day Louise possesses a spirit of service. She looks outside herself for opportunities to influence others for good. Service comes in many sizes and forms. Those of you who participated in last month’s American Heart Association Heart Walk gave of your time and means to support the greater good. Small daily acts of kindness, such as holding the door for a mom with a stroller and unruly three-year-old or calling a friend to see how he or she is doing, all demonstrate Louise’s spirit of service.
A modern-day Louise shows true concern and compassion for her associates. She is careful not to pass judgment on others and seeks to be in tune with the needs of those around her. A modern-day Louise takes the time to connect with a new coworker or neighbor by inviting her to lunch or out to coffee. Her commitment to personalism is demonstrated through her daily interactions. Giving a sincere thank you to the bus driver or volunteering to take on a new responsibility at work to help out a coworker are both examples of compassionate personalism.
A modern-day Louise gets things done. She bravely charges forward to complete her many tasks in arenas ranging from the home to the workplace to the community. Some days getting something done may be as simple as getting the kids to school and yourself to work on time. Other days this may be successfully executing a project or event that has required months of preparation and teamwork. No matter the obstacles, a modern-day Louise perseveres until the job is finished.
Nominate a modern-day Louise
DePaul Women’s Network encourages all faculty, staff and students to honor a modern-day Louise. Nominations for the 2013-14 Women of Spirit and Action Awards will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Tuesday, October 22. Click here for details on how to nominate your modern-day Louise, and register now to attend the awards ceremony.
Clarissa Fidler is a member of DWN’s Communications team and is a department assistant for the Department of Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse at DePaul University.