I was lying in bed the other night reflecting on my day when out of the blue my husband asked me “So, why do you love Marie Curie?” startled out of my pre sleep coziness, I began rambling about her accomplishments and the difficulties she faced during her life, her love and partnership with Pierre, ect. Ect ect. As I was listening to myself, I realized I did not fully answer his question. So, I stopped speaking for a moment and repeated the question to myself. Why do you love Marie Curie? Taking a breath to center my thoughts, I said… “I love Madame Marie Curie for her ability to see the wonderful potential science and her dogged determination, despite what it cost her, to stay singularly focused on her life’s work even though in the end, it killed her. She was fearless in her pursuit of knowledge and determined to share that knowledge with the world.
I also love the fact that she was not a one-dimensional scientific brain locked away in her laboratory callously ignoring the outside world. Marie had love in her life and a deep devotion to her husband who was also her scientific partner and, her to her two daughters. She was academically, socially, and politically active, and believed her gifts as a scientist were meant to improve herself and by extension, make the world a better place.
Her pursuit of scientific knowledge was a joy to Marie and a great boon for humanity.
But perhaps what I love most about Marie is her tenacious approach to her work despite the obstacles she faced… being a woman of science in a male dominated field, the physical toll her research demanded, the pressures of proving herself a legitimate scientist in her own right after her husband tragically died and, the harsh and unfounded criticism of many of her male contemporaries.
She knew her work was important; she knew she could do it and, she knew she had a scientific responsibility to see it through.
Madame Marie Curie is the Bright Lighter I look to when I need more stick- to-itiveness when working to achieve what I want most out of life.