“Nothing brings me more happiness than trying to help the most vulnerable people in society. It is a goal and an essential part of my life - a kind of destiny. Whoever is in distress can call on me. I will come running wherever they are.” - Princess Diana
Almost ten years ago, a princess died. She was a lady, a loving mother, and a philanthropist. Many believed she was an angel sent to warm the hearts of the feeble and the needy. She was an inspiration for the victims of poverty, the sick, the discriminated, and the homeless. Her name was Diana, Princess of Wales. There is a long, illustrious list of princesses in England and in other parts of the world, yet none of these royal women can surpass what Princess Diana had achieved.
What was it that brought tears to people around the world after her death in 1997? Was it her beauty? Her deeds? Or her legacy?
She left a legacy that will be remembered for a a very long time. She was included in Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People of the 20th Century because of her charity work. Diana used her influential status to campaign against the use of land mines that were scattered around the world. These mines are found in many developing countries. This cause earned her the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997. She also helped decrease the discrimination against the victims of AIDS who experience social anxiety. In fact, she was one the first high-profile celebrities to be photographed with a person infected with HIV.
As a princess, Diana was probably one of the richest, most attractive and socially powerful women in the world. Despite these attributes, she was also a victim. Diana was often the subject nasty of rumors in the tabloid scene. Paparazzis hounded her wherever she went, depriving her of privacy that is so important for people who are always in the limelight. Women in unhappy marriages identified with her because of her much-publicized divorce withPrince Charles in 1996. It was called “The End of the Love Story of the Decade”, or the end of the “Fairy Tale Marriage.”
On August 31, 1997, the world was shocked to hear the news about Princess Diana's death. Reports said that the princess' car was apparently being pursued by photographers in motorbikes when it hit a pillar inside an expressway tunnel. The car she was riding on smashed into a wall, leaving her mortally wounded along with her lover Dodi Al Fayed and driver Henry Paul. She died from the wounds she sustained during that terrible incident.
Princess Diana's death became a realization to many that people, no matter their state of being, people the world over share the same pain and grief...and that all human beings must inevitably face death. She became an inspiration to people of all walks of life. Her story was that of a wealthy and well-loved woman, a princess who also lived a life of stress and anxiety. She was able to have empathy for the poor and lowly even if she was a princess surrounded by luxury and riches. People from all walks of life could also relate to her because she too exhibited the same kind of loneliness and despair felt by ordinary human beings. Her life became a channel through which coping with anxiety became easier. Her compassion and good heart made her more beautiful in the eyes of the world.
Princess Diana is a symbol for a true woman of this century. The essence of a woman will not be measured by the beauty she possesses. Nor by the smile that she carries or the physique she displays. The true essence of a woman is her ability to share her love to others and the society she lives in. Women need not to be conformed to beauty contests or the kitchen. Much more needs to be done and the task has just begun.