Winning Isn’t The Only Choice

Sometimes winning seems like the only important thing we strive to achieve. Then a moment presents itself to do something different, to make a difference, to reach out to someone else. It’s a choice that has its own rewards.

 

Advocate for Freedom, Equality & Justice

Michaëlle Jean

Michaëlle Jean has had a variety of interesting roles in her life. Compassionate and caring, she has always used them to support her advocacy for freedom, equality, and justice.

The year 1968 was a dangerous and frightening time to live in Haiti. Dictator François Duvalier was jailing and torturing anyone who spoke out against his brutal government.

Many victims and their families tried to escape, and a lucky few made it to Canada. That’s how a little girl named Michaëlle Jean wound up in the small Quebec town of Thetford Mines.

She grew into a beautiful, well-educated woman who could speak half a dozen languages. Although Jean now enjoyed a peaceful, prosperous life, she never forgot the suffering she had seen—her father tortured, poor people oppressed, women and children brutalized.

So Michaëlle Jean worked at a women’s shelter and with new immigrants to Canada, helping others improve their lives. She began a successful career as a radio/TV broadcaster and filmmaker, and used her position there to shine a light on injustice and suffering around the world.

As she worked to build a network of women’s shelters across Canada and write about the hardships of immigrant women, Jean used her remarkable brain, but led with her heart. She became known for her sympathy for anyone fighting on the side of freedom and equality.

Then, in 2005, her reputation for caring and compassion led to an amazing opportunity; a chance to make an even bigger difference in the world. It came in the form of an invitation from the Government of Canada, asking if Michaëlle Jean—the former immigrant girl from Haiti—would like to be the next governor general!

As the Queen’s official representative in Canada, she met world leaders, hosted important conferences, and traveled the globe as a spokesperson for the nation.

But most importantly, in this position Jean was able to lead and inspire others to follow her example. As governor general, she dedicated herself to breaking down barriers —between French and English, black and white, rich and poor, east and west, north and south.

After her term as governor general came to an end, Michaëlle Jean was chosen by the United Nations to be a special envoy for her homeland of Haiti, giving her a fresh opportunity to help tackle the challenges in that troubled country.

She continues to lead with her heart, lending her voice and energy to care for the underprivileged, and helping to make the world a better, more caring place.

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This is an excerpt from the book Inspiration to Live Your MAGIC!™, 75 Inspiring Biographies by Larry Anderson. It is available as a print book from Amazon.com and as a Kindle e-book.

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