What motivates change?
Change all starts with a thought, but to go even further, it requires action and a strong will. If we try hard enough, it is something that can alter our lives forever. We all have something that we want to change, and in order for it to happen, we have to BE the change. Gandhi once said,
“We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.”
170 years ago, that is exactly what five women did.
This week marks the 170th anniversary of the Seneca Falls Convention, the first women’s rights convention held in the United States.
On July 19th and 20th,1848, five women organized this convention to shed a light on the unfair treatment of women during this time. These women were Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Mary McClintock, Martha Coffin Wright, and Jane Hunt. Not only did they advocate for women, but they advocated for all- each being actively involved in the abolitionist movement.
At the Seneca Falls Convention, 300 men and women attended and discussed a list of grievances, or what they called the “Declaration of Sentiments”. This led to a list of 11 resolutions with the purpose of inspiring other women to fight for their rights as U.S. citizens. The most notable one on the list was the ninth resolution, which fought for women having the right to vote. While it wasn’t until 72 years later that some women finally received this right through the Nineteenth Amendment, the amount of significance that this event has had on the lives of Americans and women around the world is tremendous. These women took action toward a change that they wanted to see. They used their voices to create one for those who didn’t have a voice.
170 years later, there is still a long way to go, but women are closer to equality than ever before. The women at the Seneca Falls Convention and other leaders fighting for equality created a ripple effect on the future of America, and has empowered many to go on to be a part of something much bigger than themselves.
Written by: Kaitlin MacKinnon
- History.com Staff. “Seneca Falls Convention.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 2017, www.history.com/topics/seneca-falls-convention.
- “A Quote by Mahatma Gandhi.” Goodreads, Goodreads, www.goodreads.com/quotes/760902-we-but-mirror-the-world-all-the-tendencies-present-in.