Grit and Grace

Grit and Grace.

That is the answer offered by Meryl Streep to the question: what does it take to be the first female anything?

The words that universalize her message beyond the American context are these:

Capacity of mind, fullness of heart, and a burning passion for their cause.

Streep’s words are a crystallized description of Anandi’s personalty and offer a new way to think/talk about Anandi’s place in the larger struggle for women’s empowerment.

The dictionary meaning of grit is: courage and resolve, strength of character.

As for grace,  it is a little more complex. The Merriam-Webster dictionary has as many as eight different definitions. I think that the way the word is used here, it is a combination of two of those definitions along with a third one that is typically used as a phrase:

  • a controlled, polite and pleasant way of behaving
  • being considerate and thoughtful
  • “grace under fire” – remaining steadfast and sticking to one’s path regardless of challenges and hurdles.

I am tempted to change the name of my book to this:

 Grit and Grace
What it took to become the first Indian female physician


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