Defying Gravity: A Celebration of Late-Blooming Women

Clerisy Press
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Every day, regular women are accomplishing extraordinary things later in life. Prill Boyle gathered the encouraging stories of twelve daring and determined women who accomplished incredible things at an age when most people are beginning to wind down.
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Publisher
Clerisy Press
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Published on
Nov 15, 2012
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9781578604227
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Women's Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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#1 National Bestseller

From two of our most fiercely moral voices, a passionate call to arms against our era’s most pervasive human rights violation: the oppression of women and girls in the developing world.

With Pulitzer Prize winners Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn as our guides, we undertake an odyssey through Africa and Asia to meet the extraordinary women struggling there, among them a Cambodian teenager sold into sex slavery and an Ethiopian woman who suffered devastating injuries in childbirth. Drawing on the breadth of their combined reporting experience, Kristof and WuDunn depict our world with anger, sadness, clarity, and, ultimately, hope.

They show how a little help can transform the lives of women and girls abroad. That Cambodian girl eventually escaped from her brothel and, with assistance from an aid group, built a thriving retail business that supports her family. The Ethiopian woman had her injuries repaired and in time became a surgeon. A Zimbabwean mother of five, counseled to return to school, earned her doctorate and became an expert on AIDS.

Through these stories, Kristof and WuDunn help us see that the key to economic progress lies in unleashing women’s potential. They make clear how so many people have helped to do just that, and how we can each do our part. Throughout much of the world, the greatest unexploited economic resource is the female half of the population. Countries such as China have prospered precisely because they emancipated women and brought them into the formal economy. Unleashing that process globally is not only the right thing to do; it’s also the best strategy for fighting poverty.

Deeply felt, pragmatic, and inspirational, Half the Sky is essential reading for every global citizen.
“I am most grateful for two things: that I was born in North Korea, and that I escaped from North Korea.”

Yeonmi Park has told the harrowing story of her escape from North Korea as a child many times, but never before has she revealed the most intimate and devastating details of the repressive society she was raised in and the enormous price she paid to escape.

Park’s family was loving and close-knit, but life in North Korea was brutal, practically medieval. Park would regularly go without food and was made to believe that, Kim Jong Il, the country’s dictator, could read her mind. After her father was imprisoned and tortured by the regime for trading on the black-market, a risk he took in order to provide for his wife and two young daughters, Yeonmi and her family were branded as criminals and forced to the cruel margins of North Korean society. With thirteen-year-old Park suffering from a botched appendectomy and weighing a mere sixty pounds, she and her mother were smuggled across the border into China.

I wasn’t dreaming of freedom when I escaped from North Korea. I didn’t even know what it meant to be free. All I knew was that if my family stayed behind, we would probably die—from starvation, from disease, from the inhuman conditions of a prison labor camp. The hunger had become unbearable; I was willing to risk my life for the promise of a bowl of rice. But there was more to our journey than our own survival. My mother and I were searching for my older sister, Eunmi, who had left for China a few days earlier and had not been heard from since.

Park knew the journey would be difficult, but could not have imagined the extent of the hardship to come. Those years in China cost Park her childhood, and nearly her life.  By the time she and her mother made their way to South Korea two years later, her father was dead and her sister was still missing. Before now, only her mother knew what really happened between the time they crossed the Yalu river into China and when they followed the stars through the frigid Gobi Desert to freedom. As she writes, “I convinced myself that a lot of what I had experienced never happened. I taught myself to forget the rest.”

In In Order to Live, Park shines a light not just into the darkest corners of life in North Korea, describing the deprivation and deception she endured and which millions of North Korean people continue to endure to this day, but also onto her own most painful and difficult memories. She tells with bravery and dignity for the first time the story of how she and her mother were betrayed and sold into sexual slavery in China and forced to suffer terrible psychological and physical hardship before they finally made their way to Seoul, South Korea—and to freedom.

Still in her early twenties, Yeonmi Park has lived through experiences that few people of any age will ever know—and most people would never recover from. Park confronts her past with a startling resilience, refusing to be defeated or defined by the circumstances of her former life in North Korea and China. In spite of everything, she has never stopped being proud of where she is from, and never stopped striving for a better life. Indeed, today she is a human rights activist working determinedly to bring attention to the oppression taking place in her home country.

Park’s testimony is rare, edifying, and terribly important, and the story she tells in In Order to Live is heartbreaking and unimaginable, but never without hope. Her voice is riveting and dignified. This is the human spirit at its most indomitable.
Early in this century, most empirically oriented psychologists believed that all motivation was based in the physiology of a set of non-nervous system tissue needs. The theories of that era reflected this belief and used it in an attempt to explain an increasing number of phenomena. It was not until the 1950s that it became irrefutably clear that much of human motivation is based not in these drives, but rather in a set of innate psychological needs. Their physiological basis is less understood; and as concepts, these needs lend themselves more easily to psycho logical than to physiological theorizing. The convergence of evidence from a variety of scholarly efforts suggests that there are three such needs: self-determination, competence, and interpersonal relatedness. This book is primarily about self-determination and competence (with particular emphasis on the former), and about the processes and structures that relate to these needs. The need for interpersonal relat edness, while no less important, remains to be explored, and the findings from those explorations will need to be integrated with the present theory to develop a broad, organismic theory of human motivation. Thus far, we have articulated self-determination theory, which is offered as a working theory-a theory in the making. To stimulate the research that will allow it to evolve further, we have stated self-determination theory in the form of minitheories that relate to more circumscribed domains, and we have developed paradigms for testing predictions from the various minitheories.
Cybernetics (loosely translated from the Greek): “a helmsman who steers his ship to port.” Psycho-Cybernetics is a term coined by Dr. Maxwell Maltz, which means, “steering your mind to a productive, useful goal so you can reach the greatest port in the world, peace of mind.”

Since its first publication in 1960, Maltz’s landmark bestseller has inspired and enhanced the lives of more than 30 million readers. In this updated edition, with a new introduction and editorial commentary by Matt Furey, president of the Psycho-Cybernetics Foundation, the original text has been annotated and amplified to make Maltz’s message even more relevant for the contemporary reader.

“Before the mind can work efficiently, we must develop our perception of the outcomes we expect to reach. Maxwell Maltz calls this Psycho-Cybernetics; when the mind has a defined target it can focus and direct and refocus and redirect until it reaches its intended goal.” —Tony Robbins (from Unlimited Power)

Maltz was the first researcher and author to explain how the self-image (a term he popularized) has complete control over an individual’s ability to achieve (or fail to achieve) any goal. And he developed techniques for improving and managing self-image—visualization, mental rehearsal, relaxation—which have informed and inspired countless motivational gurus, sports psychologists, and self-help practitioners for more than fifty years.

The teachings of Psycho-Cybernetics are timeless because they are based on solid science and provide a prescription for thinking and acting that lead to quantifiable results.
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