Southeast Missouri State University student publication

The Long lens: Aug. 16, 2017

Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Rachael Long, author

I spent the summer interviewing some of Denverís most accomplished and successful women as part of an internship. One of those women said something to me that completely changed the way I think. Something Iíll never forget.

Sheís the CEO of her own technical engineering training company, so you can imagine the conversation I had with her was one that left me scrambling to keep up. A brainiac, yes. But her spirit of giving and compassion for others is what struck me most.

Sheís spent the last several years raising awareness about the harms of female genital cutting/mutilation, specifically in Kenya. Sheís also been an advocate for those girls, a cause that has become extremely important to her.

The words she said during our interview in June that havenít left my mind for even a moment since went something like this (and Iím paraphrasing from memory here):

ďI realized that thereís no reason I was born as a middle-class, white female in America in this time and not as a starving child in a third-world country, afraid of physical mutilation and disease. When I look at those girls, I see myself, just a little bit different.Ē

When you put that lens on your world view, when you realize that you arenít so different from your human brothers and sisters all over the world, everything changes.

Iíll never see the world the same way, thanks to the words of one woman.

Thatís what Iím looking for in every interview I conduct, in every story I write. Something that alters what I once believed. Finding that gem isnít easy, but once you have it, everything changes.