There is one door that changed my life. It is very heavy and soundproof and leads to the Sydney Opera House orchestra pit. For 10 years of my life I was the principal horn for the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, and I walked through that door countless times. Sometimes it was to perform a relatively simple piece such as an operetta by Gilbert and Sullivan.
At other times, it was a Richard Strauss opera or, on this particular occasion, Handel’s Julius Caesar with a notoriously difficult aria for principal horn. Nerves are something I had struggled with throughout my career, but had successfully managed to control to this point. However, this opening night represented a far greater challenge technically, musically and personally than I had ever faced before.y, CEO Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia (Australia)
I remember standing behind this door, with the critics, conductor, orchestra, singers and 1500-strong audience on the other side. My heart was beating faster than I could keep up with. I knew I had a choice; I could walk through the door or away from it, and either way I would make the papers the next day.
International Musician & Business Owner
I’m not sure where I found the strength to open the door, but the only thing I remember from that night is my hand pulling the handle. I actually don’t remember the performance.
I do remember walking out the door and quietly shedding some ‘I did it’ tears on the stairs.
I didn’t know it at the time, but it was the first of many significant doors in my life, and that moment taught me to love opening doors. The ones that seem insignificant, the ones that we walk through every single day without thinking about them, but also those big, heavy, soundproof doors that take muscle to open.
I’m Thankful for doors that lead to new adventures, experiences and opportunities.
Protection, Education, and Safety
I am Thankful that I was born in a prosperous and peaceful country to a loving and supportive family. I was protected, educated and safe. I do not experience the daily economic struggle, inequality, discrimination and violence experienced by millions of women around the world. I received a good education; have adequate healthcare and reproductive health choices; career choices; freedom of speech, rights and protection.
I have met so many bright and gifted women and girls throughout my career who do not have these protections and choices. One stands out for me. She was eight years old and working on a busy street with her four-year-old sister selling postcards to tourists. She talked with me in fluent English. She then spoke to a colleague in Japanese and another colleague in German, before informing us that French was actually her best language. She was funny and intelligent with a sparkling wit.
She was also illiterate and had never been to school. She had picked up her languages from talking to people like us. In a different country, she would have access to formal education and supported to thrive. In her own country, she was another girl living in grinding and dire poverty.
Millions of women and girls still have no access to education or healthcare; few or no options for decent work and income generation; no protection from violence and few choices. The difference between their lives and mine is where they were born.
People and organizations all over the world are fighting for gender equality and women’s empowerment so that all women and girls can live the life they choose. But so much more needs to be done. The Thankful Foundation is one of the groups working on this desperately urgent issue and I am Thankful for that.
Thankful is a global movement that reveals all the good in our world, through small, everyday Thankful Moments. Through the Thankful Foundation, we can increase positivity and inspire individuals and organisations to strengthen our communities by creating Thankful Moments for those less fortunate.
So please donate today and make Thankful the most positive and mindful movement on earth.