Empower Ourselves, Empower the World!

Can you tell that we are thinking BIG from this title?  Indeed we are.

Kyra said it beautifully in the previous post that we were both searching for something else, and have found something very exciting and meaningful in this project of ours.   For me (and I suspect us), the act of moving our visions and ideas forward itself has been transformative.

I’m not going to lie.  As a working mother of an active toddler (he has already made one visit to the ER, and is starting to do frightening back flips into the ball pit in the soft playroom!) married to a medical professional whose time is scarce, it’s easy to fall into a rut.   It’s easy to forget you.   I suspect the feeling is not unique to me.

This venture has helped bring me back.  I am finally giving myself permission to truly unleash my potential.  Don’t’ get me wrong, I’m busier than ever.  But this experience, the means alone, even with its valleys and peaks so far, have been empowering.   The ends – our book  🙂  – will just be the yummy icing on top.

And that’s the thing.  I’m realizing that empowerment is not something that you can do unto others.  It’s something that you must do to yourself, for yourself, and in that doing, you empower those around you and beyond.   If that’s what I want for my little gymnast in life (and it is), I know that I must teach by example.

But this understanding is not going to stop us from trying to pay some of what we receive forward, and give back to others.  Given our strong sense of social responsibility, this was a required, non-negotiable piece.   Yet how to do it, and make it meaningful and sustainable was the question.  Though valuable, we didn’t just want to do % of the profits or sales model.

We have decided that since we are focused on kids, we want to give back to kids here and in the country we are writing about.  In the case of our first book, that means India. Specifically, we would like to give seed money to social change projects led by children in India.   In the U.S., we know that Head Start programs are taking blows from budget cuts, so we would love to find ways to share our books and resources with children here that may lack access.

See, we got it all figured out.  Heh Heh. Not quite.

We know WHAT we want to do.  Now, we have to figure out HOW to make that happen and find a balance between giving enough to make an impact and not going out of business on our first run.  Those pesky details. You will see upcoming posts about us navigating the social side of this journey.

In the meantime, if you have ideas, suggestions, musings (we love those too) on projects we should look into, or approaches we should take, please drop us a line or comment!  Or do you have a story about your journey to empower yourself and give yourself permission? 

We would love to hear from you! We love inspiration.

Until next time, keep on thinking and dreaming big too!  Let’s do this!

-Mal

Malini Sekhar

10 Comments

  1. Hey Malini, it’s Tina’s sister. (This is the address I use online for professional privacy.) It’s great to see this blog and I am eager to see what happens with your project! I often lament at the dearth of children’s books that feature Indians, Indian Americans, etc. You know what I notice? Whenever there IS a kid’s book with Indian characters, it’s highly exoticized and ABOUT being Indian. Know what I mean? Like there is a sari and Hindu ceremonies central to the story. I think it would be great to have a kids ABC book or counting book that features Indian/Indian-American kids without being super explicit about it. Like a book about the first day of school, and the kid happens to be Indian American. Or a story about rhyming, and the characters are Indian. See what I’m saying? Anyway, good luck!!! I’ll keep visiting the site. 🙂

    • Hi there and thanks so much for your comment and checking our blog out! I completely agree with you are saying. It would be nice to see the characters in children’s books reflect the incredible diversity of this country. We came at this from a slightly different angle in the sense that despite being Indian American and having my parents around him, I was really moved by the fact that the little one had learned to say the words “India” and “Namaste” from this board book I had found. It made me realize that despite having benefited from a connection to my culture, it is not a given that my son will feel that connection. He is one-step removed from where I was. I thought that parents of our generation, as well as other parents interested in this may benefit from resources like what we are hoping to create to expose their kids to a culture they are connected to in some way or simply interested in. You make a great point about exoticizing and a narrower focus on religion, and we do hope to go beyond that in this project. We look forward to getting more thoughtful comments like this. Thanks again

  2. AWESOME!! I can’t wait. I am in the application process for a production program. I am glad you’re pursuing what you’ve had on your mind for a very very long time!

    I’ll keep checking in.

    Best wishesKyra and Malini!
    Anjali

  3. Fantastic! Kudos to Malini and Kyra for initiating a unique and novel effort at the appropriate time. As I understand you are working to come up with a new series of books with a distinctive theme for children in the age group of 0-3 yrs. How will this be different from all the existing books for children of this age group? What stands out in your books that is distinct from the existing books?
    Wish you all success and I look forward to your future postings.

    • Thanks and great question! Well, initially, both Kyra and I were on the lookout for board books for our children (ages 0-3) that were related to India specifically. One of my friends had one book which I also purchased for my son but when I went to find more, I had great difficulty. Kyra had the same problem. Taking a broader view, we found there is a scarcity of board books produced in the U.S. that apply multicultural lenses for this age group. And yet, we believe this age group indeed has an incredible capacity to absorb the information.

  4. Malini, great idea! I have already enjoyed reading your blog posts and look forward to reading the final product or products:) Best wishes throughout your journey…Thara

    • Thanks so much Thara. We are thrilled that you will join us on this journey and look forward to sharing a final product with you in the future.

  5. Empowering the world by empowering ourselves sounds very practical and at the same time very powerful! You both are to a good start and wish you all the very best!

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