It’s been said that Freeholder/County Commissioner Lillian G. Burry is a woman ahead of her time. And well she may be, judging by this talk she gave before the Federation of Republican Women several years ago.
What It Means To Be A Successful Woman
I want to thank the Federation for placing me among this illustrious company. When I see the accomplishments of my fellow honorees today and those of the great women who have been chosen in years past, I can only find it both humbling and challenging - inspiring me to work even harder to live up to the high standards others have set.
I also want to take a few moments to reflect on what it means to be a successful woman. In our society there are pressures for women to be just like men and there are just as many to be different. For me these challenges have always best been met by first being who I am rather than what I am and pursuing success on my own individual terms without compromising the values that make me proud to be seen as a successful woman. Women truly are different than men. We have a greater capacity for empathy and an instinct for cooperation rather than competition. Being successful means making the most of the advantages these capacities bring with them while consciously working to develop the skills successful men take for granted. It's making the most of both nature and nurture. And above all it is having a persistence of vision, finding a path in life that you want to follow and getting on it and keeping to it, whatever may come to try to turn you from it.
For me this has been a path that includes home and family and career. A private life and a public one. It has meant many long hours of work and compromises and sacrifices. It has also brought both happiness and a sense of personal and professional fulfillment. It has always been very important to me to keep all aspects of life in mind, to try to keep living a well balanced life. It has been pursuit of this life and the joys it has brought me, including the associations with many more extraordinary women who I've had the privilege and pleasure to work with over the years, that keeps me going today.
When I hear people say "The future is female." I think they're missing the perpetually present here and now. For me the present and future are both based on a strong foundation built by both men and women as equal partners, each bringing high common values, mutual respect and shared dedication. The future belongs to those who are able to transcend labels that limit and divide us. Women will lead because they are leaders as they women you honor hear today have led.
Again, I want to thank you for this honor and assure you that I will take it as inspiration to do more, do better and do it for as long as I believe I have a contribution to make. Thank you.