I haven’t been able to write while I helped my mother during her declining health. At her funeral some family members noted that she was a woman ahead of her times – she was very independent and went after what she wanted. My mother pursued a nursing career and didn’t marry until later in life. She loved to travel and even as a young woman in the 1940’s ventured out across the country.
Because of my parents I did not grow up with the stereotypes. Neither of my parents believed that a woman’s sole role was to marry and have children. In my father’s family all the women back to his grandmother went to college. He was adamant that life was unpredictable so women cannot rely on a man to always be there to support them. Women should have the education and/or skills to support themselves.
My mother loved to travel and I am grateful to my parents for continuing to give us some crazy adventures. We were always on the road somewhere for my birthday and I celebrated my birthday in some unique places. In 1967 we drove up the old dirt ALCAN highway to Alaska. I remember swinging on a swing in a campground along the Yukon River surrounded by mountains thinking it was a pretty cool place to be. That year my sister, brother and I were late for the first day of school. When asked why were late we all reported that we just got back from Alaska. My mother immediately got a phone call from the principal for us reporting such a far-fetched story!
Traveling opened up our perspectives. We met and talked to people from all over. We met people with lots of money who traveled in luxury and others who moved from town-to-town following work. We knew that people in New Jersey had different lives from people in Wyoming and Georgia. We learned how the railroads built the country, truckers now kept things moving and that one of the best Chinese food restaurants was north of Peace River Alberta Canada.
Every year my parents also attended the annual convention of the International Platform Association. Here we got to meet politicians, government and business leaders, authors, celebrities and a vast array of eccentric personalities. Again, access to more diverse perspectives.
I want to thank my parents for giving me the gift of different perspectives. Even though I can’t possibly live through all of these different perspectives, my awareness of them gives me humility and respect for others. I don’t ever presume I have all the answers or even the best solution. I know that is not consistent with the high level of confidence one is supposed to portray in business but then this is not the first time I disagreed with popular opinion.
Let me know your thoughts – leave a comment
If you want to subscribe to my articles contact me