Today is International Women’s Day, “a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.”

I’ve been blessed with strong women throughout my life, starting with my mother and my grandmother.

My grandmother raised 9 children including her eldest daughter, my mother.

Gram was a doer, active in her church and not only ready to serve anyone who needed help, that’s how she filled her days.

She welcomed everyone through her door and routinely fed people from the neighborhood in her tiny kitchen. There was always someone, often several someones, feasting at her table when my siblings and I walked over to her house for dinner, as we did most days after school.

My grandmother didn’t have much money, but she was the richest person I’ve ever known.

My mother, her first-born, helped Gram raise Mom’s eight younger siblings, eventually having six children of her own (me being the 5th).

Like my grandmother, my mother was (and still is) in perpetual motion between sleep-shifts, and like my grandmother, my mom devoted much of her time and energy to helping whoever she could, whenever she could, and wherever she could.

I never had to worry about “do as I say, not as I do” with these two. Their lives and everyday acts directly inspired and instilled their values into me — if I ever had a dilemma I solved it easily by asking, “what would my mother, or grandmother do”?

They never let sexism, lack of equal pay, or “the patriarchy” hold them back from doing what was right.

I believe the best and only way to ensure that our children become the kind of adults we want them to be is to live so we are powerful examples of how to live.

It worked for my grandmother and my mother.

It took me 35 years to find a woman who lived up to them.

My wife Dr. Karla, Phd is more formally educated than I am and does tremendous work in the Education field. She also continues to inspire me to do what’s right, regardless of how it might inconvenience me (I’m pretty stubborn).

I’ve always surrounded myself with strong women and I’ve been a better man for it; I’m thankful to all of them.

So, Happy International Women’s Day!

By the way, if you meet any men, or are one of them, who have a problem with women in power, tell them what I always do,

Only Weak Men Fear Strong Women.