Inspiration for August 31st: Princess Diana

“Everyone of us needs to show how much we care for each other and, in the process, care for ourselves.” – Princess Diana

It’s hard to believe that it was 15 years ago today when Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed were killed in a car accident in Paris. Being a kid of the 70s and 80’s, this tragedy is the one from  our generation that we all known exactly where we were when it happened. I was at my roommates birthday party in Los Angeles. In drag. Honestly. Oh yes, on the day the People’s Princess died, your’s truly was decked out in a Farrah wig, a silver glitter mini dress and platform boots. I even lip synched to Sheena Easton’s classic “Strut.” And strut I did. But back to Diana.

It was a strange occasion to find out that such a beloved icon had died so tragically. All of us crazy club kids in various states of dress or undress (there was topless rollerskaters in our living room that evening if I’m not mistaken) drinking like fish and trying to make sense of this horrible piece of news. Diana had recently emerged a single and liberated woman after her divorce from Prince Charles. Her work with HIV and AIDS patients is legendary as are her daring  visits to Angola to help ban land mines. Helping others, instead of the family she married into was becoming her legacy before her life was cut short.

And it’s this legacy that inspires me on this hot and steamy Friday of Labor Day weekend. As I go through my day, Diana is a good reminder of thinking about what I can do to help others and make the lives of those around a little more enjoyable. I can’t exactly diffuse land mines in a 3rd world country today. But I can hold the door open for someone or be extra kind to the person behind the counter or call somebody I know who is having a hard time. Not only does it make the planet  a nicer place but, as Diana noted, it’s a great way of caring for myself too.