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When Wangari Maathai received the Norwegian Nobel Prize in 2004, the Committee said that “Her unique forms of action have contributed to drawing attention to political oppression—nationally and internationally. She has served as inspiration for many in the fight for democratic rights and has especially encouraged women to better their situation." In one of the photographs taken at the award ceremony Wangari is radiating a joy and power that seems incredible for someone who has been knocked unconscious for protesting, thrown in jail for being outspoken, attacked for her beliefs, and vilified by her government and husband. Most photographs of her show this radiating joy that seems to light up everything around her. She is quoted as saying “All of us have a God in us, and that God is the spirit that unites all life, everything that is on this planet.” In 1976 she introduced the idea of planting trees to prevent soil erosion, and since then 30 million trees have been planted in that project.
What causes you to radiate joy and light? What does the God in you unite you with?