Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Power of Words, The Promise of Peace

CHICKS ROCK! is happy to have Kristina back as a guest blogger this week:

Kristina Leonardi is the founder of The Women’s Mosaic. She is a career/life path consultant, speaker, seminar leader and expert in the areas of women, diversity and personal growth.

When I was in high school my dream was to work for the United Nations – I excelled at foreign languages and loved learning about other cultures. I studied International Relations and worked extensively with the international student population of my university. I met people from around the globe and was fascinated by the ways we choose to speak, clothe and govern ourselves, the music we develop and myriad of ways we prepare food, how varied the physical geography we inhabit... But under the diversity, it was clear to me that we enjoy the same basic wants, needs and wishes for ourselves and those we love.

I knew I wanted to do work that took advantage of my passion for and understanding of this concept. The UN, in theory, seemed to be the place for me, but the reality was quite different, and so I ended up forming The Women’s Mosaic instead. However, I do live near the UN’s missions and delegates, have been invited to numerous events over the years, and am thrilled to be part of it in my own way.

Every September during the General Assembly, my neighborhood goes into lock-down and this year was no different, except for one extraordinary event. In a speech given by President Obama, the United States, for the first time in decades, actually expressed its commitment to the institution at its core: its ideals and what it represents. The vision of the UN is what we must aspire to and it cannot succeed without everyone's participation, especially a country as powerful as the U.S. I could not have been more proud that day and felt a sigh of relief that things were finally back on the right track.

They were "only words," but they caused a cosmic shift in the perception of who we are and what the UN is capable of. Words are powerful. They are the bridge between thought and action. They are a vital part of any great movement and are often transforming in and of themselves. For these and many more of his words, there is no doubt in my mind that President Obama deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. Words manifest change, internally and externally. And both kinds have value, as they are inexorably intertwined.

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