So Long Status Quo- What I learned from Women who changed the world
By Susy Flory
Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko
When I got this book in the mail, I actually pulled it out to look and started reading it right away. It was one of the books that i have read in the last couple months that was so inspiring that it really sticks in your head. I read this book and realized once again that people who have done great things in the past, were not always perfect people, with perfect circumstances, wonderful health. They were just normal people like you and me.
In this book, Susy talks about women, from all walks in life, that had an impact on our world today. They are not all Christian women, but women who had a big impact.
I was inspired by reading this book as it has practical applications that were inspiring for me as a mom and a woman. I have read books on how to change the world or your life, but the things were overwhelming as my daily life is filled with schoolwork, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and sword fights. My thoughts are more concerned about whether I will get sleep tonight or not, than wondering how we are going to fight global hunger. This book though, I felt gave practical ways that even us, as busy moms, can impact the world as we are still being moms. The homeless man with the sign, go buy a hot meal at a local fast food place and go give it to him. Make baggies to keep in your car with a comb, brush…etc to give..
There are simple things to do!
Anyhow, check out this book! if you look at the post below you can read the first chapter. But also, I hope you enjoy this interview with the author. It would be a great book to go through with your children as a homeschool project, or as a book club with other homeschool moms or just pick it up to read for yourself!
You will not regret it….- Martha
INTERVIEW WITH SUSY FLORY
(This was the Word Document sent along with the latest post
Author of So Long Status Quo: What I Learned From Women Who Changed the
April 22, 2009
(Permission granted to reprint/reproduce this interview in part or in
Q. You describe your middle class suburban life as safe, boring, and
predictable—like staying curled up in a comfortable couch. That sounds
pretty good! Why were you so dissatisfied with your life?
A. I loved my comfy couch, and my safe life, for a long time. But at some
point it became like a trap, like a safe warm cocoon that I couldn’t break
out of. Do you remember when you were a kid and you longed for summer
vacation? During those long hot days of school just before break you dream
about summer and can’t wait for school to be over so you can sleep in, play
with friends, relax, and enjoy yourself. Then summer comes, and it’s
wonderful, and you get to do those things you were dreaming about, but after
a while it goes on too long. You get bored, and there isn’t much of a
routine or purpose to your days, and all of a sudden you can’t wait for
school to start again. Do you remember that feeling? That was my
safe-on-the-couch life. I yearned for something more.
Q. So what became the "something more"?
A. First, I studied a group of amazing women who changed the world, like
Mother Teresa, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Mary Magdalene. I immersed myself in
their lives and tried to get to know them better. Who were they? What were
their lives like? Why prompted them to step out and make a difference in the
world? Then, for each woman, I created a little adventure in order to follow
in her footsteps and live out one of her ideals or values. So for Rosie the
Riveter, I went into a metal shop and learned how to weld. For Eleanor
Roosevelt, I traveled to Cuba on a secret humanitarian mission to work with
children. For Mother Teresa, I went on a fast. Now that one was hard!
Q. The book’s title, So Long Status Quo, sounds familiar. Where did it come
A. It’s from the chorus of a Nichole Nordeman song called "Brave," about
letting go of your fear and stepping out in faith. I love this line: "I
think I’m letting go…" Faith is about letting go of your plan, and trying to
live out God’s plan. And His is better!
Q. So Long Status Quo highlights nine amazing women who changed the world.
Of those nine, who is your favorite?
A. My absolute favorite was Harriet Tubman. She had so many obstacles to
overcome. She was born into slavery. She was illiterate. She suffered a
brain injury when she was young that caused her to go into a coma. She had
slave catchers after her. She had no money. She worked all alone. Yet, she
accomplished unbelievable things. She never quit. Even after she had been a
conductor on the Underground Railroad – she led 300 slaves to safety, to
freedom, without losing one – after that she became an army scout, a spy,
and an army nurse during the civil war. She was unpaid, just a volunteer.
When she was an army nurse she was the first line of care and would care for
the soldiers lying on the battlefield. They were just lying there, suffering
and in pain. She took care of them with her own money, her own supplies, and
no one to really help her. She was doing it on her own. And, at night, when
she would go back to her room, she would bake 50 pies; she would make
homemade gingerbread and homemade root beer from actual roots she got out in
Q. She would cook and bake at night after she’d been working all day?
A. Not only that, but the next day she’d hire ex-slaves to go out and sell
the food and drink in the camps. Then she would use that money to buy
supplies for the soldiers. So, I was just amazed by how resourceful she was
and how she didn’t give up when she didn’t have the things that she needed
to take care of these guys. Even when she was an old lady, she started a
retirement home for former slaves. So I just like her. I like that she
didn’t quit; I like her resourcefulness. I like that she didn’t make excuses
and I like that she used her own hands to help in whatever way she could,
even when she wasn’t paid, even when she wasn’t welcome. I think she’s
probably just about the most amazing woman I’ve ever read about in my entire
Q. What are some of the lasting impacts of writing the book and venturing
on your journeys or adventures to change the world? How is your daily life
A. I think I am measuring my actions, the things I do everyday, in light
of eternity. There are some things I have to do to make ends meet, pay the
bills, that don’t necessarily have eternal value. But, I am measuring my
life, I’m measuring my actions, I ‘m measuring the choices I make in light
of eternity and with a goal of lasting value.
Q. In the book you talk about the particular project where you sold jewelry
for fresh water. You took an inventory of the things you owned and were
surprised by all that you have. Now, have you found the clutter level
climbing back up? Are you more proactive about reducing your purchases or
consumption of goods?
A. After I wrote that chapter I went through my closet. And it’s not that
I’m a huge shopper, but when I did count my shirts and my underwear and my
shoes, it really showed me that I had way more than I thought I had, and,
definitely way more than I needed. So I did give away a bunch of stuff. I
think we can accumulate things sometimes for emotional reasons, almost like
overeating. So my closet is on a diet!
Q. Because your book is focused on women, do you think it could be
considered feminist or sexist?
A. To me "sexist" is when you elevate one sex and denigrate or put down the
other, and that is not what So Long Status Quo is about. Amazing men have
been written about extensively all through history, but women have not, and
this book whetted my appetite for women’s history. I’m really trying to
focus on a subject – women’s history – that has not been given the time and
energy and passion and interest I think that it deserves.
I think a good example from So Long Status Quo is Perpetua, a Roman martyr,
an educated and amazing woman who wrote her own story, who showed true
heroism facing death in an arena – and no one knows about her!
Q. If you had to choose some powerful women currently impacting our world
in a positive way, who might they be?
A. Catherine Rohr was a very successful stockbroker in NYC. Something
happened; she felt a call on her life. She sold everything she had, and
along with her husband, rented a U-Haul truck and moved to Texas. She
started a business-training program in the Texas prisons called The Prison
Entrepreneurship Program, and it’s been going for about ten years. She went
behind bars and taught business classes to these guys who were the lowest of
the low in society. She’s had tremendous success and has given these guys a
chance for a new life.
Another one is Wendy Kopp. She came right out of college, an Ivy League
school, and founded a non-profit called "Teach for America". She recruits
the best and the brightest students across the country to go into inner city
schools and teach for a year or two, before they start their careers. A lot
of them end of staying in those inner city schools because they love the
kids, they love the challenge and find it very rewarding. Wendy is
brilliant; she could’ve made a million dollars, but instead she started a
non-profit and built it from the ground up. Wendy Kopp is a woman changing
Q. What would you say to someone who is reluctant to climb out of their
comfortable couch to try to make a difference in the world? Sometimes people
feel like they already serve at their church, or give donations. Isn’t that
A. That’s exactly where I was, before I started this journey. I don’t want
to be judgmental, at all, but since I was part of that mindset, I think it’s
quite widespread in the American church. We have this inner feeling that if
we can give money, then that should be enough. But, there’s something very
special, something you cannot reproduce by watching about in movies or
reading about in book, about going and interacting with people, and serving
them however you can. It’s life changing. It just doesn’t happen when you
write a check or put something in the offering plate. It’s happens when you
go get your hands dirty and you love people – and they love you back.
Q. So you experience their humanity, or their struggle?
A. Absolutely. You go to serve others, and to bless them, and, of course,
you’re the one who is blessed a thousand times more than you ever gave. It’s
from the connection with others and the joy that comes from the opportunity
to make a difference in someone’s life. There’s just no substitute for it.
Q. To really be there…
A. Yeah, and that’s what I see with Jesus’ life. He was in the market
place, he was down at the well, in the fields with people … He was down in
the dust and grime of everyday life talking to people, helping people,
healing people. And I think Jesus is our example. We should do the same.
Q. In your book, each chapter ends with suggestions for readers to try a
little adventure on their own. Where should a beginning volunteer start?
A. I think a lot of times when you’re doing volunteer work or you’re
trying to make a difference you look at what other people have done. But, I
think that’s the wrong place to start. I think that you have to start in
your own community, with the needs that are in front of you. Use whatever
resources or gifts or talents you personally have. So if you love to knit,
knit for others. If you love to create scrapbooks, if you love to cook, if
you love to spend time with people, if you love to take care of children,
serve others. Start with yourself and what you like to do, and then find
someone who needs what you like to do.
Q. Would So Long Status Quo work for book clubs or women’s groups?
We just created a Reader’s Guide for small groups or book clubs—any kind of
group that wants to work through the book together. It’s free and you can
download it at http://www.susyflory.com. I’ve also started a blog that highlights
women changing the world, both past and present.
Q. How can we become women who change the world?
A. By starting in our own backyards. And if God wants it to turn into
something larger, that’s up to Him. I think if we do what we can, with the
tools God has given us and the resources that we have, then who knows what
can happen? Mother Teresa put it this way: "We ourselves feel that what we
are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because
of that missing drop." Don’t be the missing drop.