A collection of brief biographies of 25 men and women who refused to conform to the societal beliefs and expectations of their time and, by stepping out and away from the crowd,they changed their world and ours as well.
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Kids Can Do It
Imagine this: For centuries everyone has believed that the sun and all the planets revolve around the earth. But by studying the old books and observing the heavens, you have concluded that the earth and all the other planets revolve around the sun. Your theory is so radical that you are hesitant to tell others about it. Your name is Nicolaus Copernicus. Although at first your beliefs are denounced and ridiculed, your observations are eventually proved correct. In time, you come to be called the founding father of modern astronomy.
Or imagine this: It's the early 19th century and women have few legal rights. Married women can't own property, their wages belong to their husbands, and they don't even have the right of guardianship over their children. You know the laws are unfair, but as a young woman yourself, what can you do? Your name is Elizabeth Cady Stanton. You spend your life fighting for women's rights, and later many give you credit for being the architect and founder of the Women's Rights Movement.
Nicolaus Copernicus and Elizabeth Cady Stanton are just two of the twenty-five extraordinary men and women whom you will have a chance to meet in this inspiring book that explores and celebrates people who had the courage to follow their own convictions, even when everyone around them said they were wrong. They were people of vision who saw life from a new perspective and were willing to question conventional wisdom. And their revolutionary breakthroughs changed and shaped the course of history.
Author Sandra McLeod Humphrey invites you to have the courage to stand alone too, hold on to your dreams, and follow your heart wherever it may lead. Like the twenty-five pioneers who lived before you, you too may someday make a difference.
A Final Thought
You have just read about some extraordinary men and women who made unique contributions which changed and shaped the course of history. They were not afraid to take a risk even when it meant standing alone, and by stepping out and away from the crowd, they changed their world.
You have seen that one individual can indeed make a difference!
My hope is that their lives will inspire you to believe in yourself and to soar to new heights of your own.
Although all these people stood alone--at least against the beliefs and expectations of their particular society--I should note that in another sense, no one ever really stands alone. All our lives intertwine to some degree.
Although Copernicus argued against the commonly held Ptolemaic view of the universe, he still relied heavily on Ptolemy's work. Galileo “stood on the shoulders” of Copernicus, both Copernicus and Galileo influenced Newton, and Newton influenced Einstein. Thoreau influenced Gandhi, and Gandhi's
influence was felt by Rosa Parks and the entire Civil Rights Movement in this country. And so on and so on.
We all need role models, so let us choose our role models carefully. And hopefully we, in turn, may become role models for those who follow us.
I want to leave you with a few suggestions to consider which may influence how you live your life:
Live your own life as only you can live it.
Do what you love and love what you do.
Discover your passion and have the courage to follow your heart.
Remember, you, too, can make a difference!
MAY YOU ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR HEART
AND NEVER GIVE UP YOUR DREAM!
Role Models for Our Kids
"Seldom, if ever, do kids have a vision without a role model. Sandra McLeod Humphrey's book They Stood Alone! provides kids everywhere with extraordinary people who had beliefs and convictions and stood by them to make an enormous difference. These stories will galvanize youngsters to action!" --Gene Bedley, 1986 National Educator of the Year
A Book of Hope!
"This is a book of hope... that is driven by intrinsic motivation, a desire to give rather than take from the world, and a deep belief in the difference that one person can make when an ability, an idea, or a goal is taken to its highest level." --Donald Draayer, PHD, former superintendent of Minnetonka Schools, 24 years, and 1990 National Superintendent of the Year
Building Moral Intelligence
"I highly recommend this inspiring book. It should be in the hands of every parent, teacher, and child advocate who cares about our children's moral futures!" --Michele Borba, EDD, author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions and Building Moral Intelligence: The Seven Essential Virtues That Teach Kids to Do the Right Thing
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