Daily Archives: October 22, 2009

My Sister Helps Me Tear Down Walls I Didn’t Know I Had Built–Tribute Blog

Miriam and I started Live Unchained in the hopes of bringing women from different parts of the world closer to each other. Of course, appreciating women of African descent, starts at home. I am writing this blog for my sister, Ciara Arnise Calbert, one of the most brilliant and beautiful women that I know.

One of my favorite quotes from Hill Harper’s, Letters to a Young Brother, is “You can’t pick your family, but you can pick your friends. So pick friends who you wish were your family.” It just so happens that one of my best friends, was reading that book at the same time that I was. She is like family to me so I always refer to Ciara as my sister.

I can be really demanding, critical and just, in general, hard on myself. When it comes to school and Live Unchained, sometimes I think that I could and should be doing things quicker and better. But, I can say to myself, if God thinks I deserve to have someone as wonderful as Ciara in my life, I must be doing something right. Ciara leads by example. As Pearl Cleage said, “she taught me how to fly by flying.” She helps me be the woman I want to be, the woman I feel I ought to be to realize all my goals for Live Unchained…

Here is just one example of how wonderful she is…I had just gotten back from Madrid, Spain. Because, my bank hadn’t received some checks by the time that I thought they would have and because I hadn’t budgeted my money right, I returned to the United States broke and anxious. Who likes to ask their parents for money in situations like this? I called Ciara. After I explained the situation, she didn’t judge or suggest someone else that I should talk to about it or even give me “tough love.” She trusted that I would learn what I needed to learn from the situation without her having to lecture me. She paid for my shuttle, gave me a ride to the airport the next day and even gave me money for breakfast. After apologizing and thanking her profusely all she said was, “I’m just honored to have the opportunity to help.” By the way, she said this in a “don’t be ridiculous!” tone. Now, that’s a good friend… Continue reading