This week I had the joy of speaking with a prospective client in the
Gulf Standard Time Zone, a half a world away. In preparation for the call, I did a little
research about this country, their culture, business etiquette and more. I wanted to be respectful in every way that I
could and not offend the person with whom I would be speaking.
During our Skype call, I was fascinated with their command of the English
language and knowledge of western culture.
I later learned that years ago, they obtained their master’s degree here
in the U.S. What really touched me the
most was when they described the area in which they now live. They mentioned that there were Hindu temples,
Islamic temples, Jewish synagogues and Christian Churches in their enclave. They described their culture as one in which
everybody gets along. While people in
their culture disagree with each other, they have found a way to be respectful and
tolerant of other’s beliefs and they don’t struggle with religious or political
I had to admit I felt a little sad. At one time in my life I would have had said
the same about our culture in general. I
am reminded of a favorite quote from either Frank Outlaw or Mahatma Gandhi, “Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your
actions, they become habits. Watch your
habits, they become your character. Watch your character, it becomes your
When we speak hate, we engage in hateful actions
which become habits. We become
hateful. I don’t know about you, but I
sure don’t want a destiny filled with hate.
On the other hand, if we exercise intentionality in
our words and actions and seek first to understand. We may become curious and inquisitive. We may become known as someone who does not
judge others immediately based on actions but strive to understand their intentions. And our legacy may be one of tolerance,
understanding and love.
We don’t get a repeat on our life. Choose wisely!
My heart is heavy as I’ve learned that bullying was at the root
of the violent fight that claimed the life of a 5th grader in a
South Carolina school. The victim’s
mother, as I understand, complained that her daughter was being bullied for
more than a year, and now her daughter “has her angel wings” as she stated on Facebook.
I am on a quest to spread the word about the dangers of bullying. My book, Right of Passage is a reminder that bullying has no place in any child’s (or adult’s) rite of passage. I’m not really into self-promotion – any of you that know me at all, know that’s not my style. However, I am begging any of you that have children who have been bullied at school, share my name and contact information with school principals, superintendents, school board members, PTO leaders. If you know of companies that condone bullying, please share my contact information with their leaders. Bullying is not acceptable, it’s not appropriate in a civilized society. Bullying can have a devastating impact on victims and upstanders. How many more school shootings, suicides and acts of violence in schools and work settings will we endure?
In the past month, all the technology in my office and my
home changed. In theory, it should have been a smooth transition, but it wasn’t. However, through the process I tried to
remain curious. Technology is changing
and I don’t want to become a dinosaur who refuses to learn new things. What I learned in a short month was a great
deal about 2G and 5G networks, interference and more. I even purchased a new router, satellites and
installed them and paired them on my own with the help of an app that I downloaded
by scanning a box. Because of my desire to
learn and not be held hostage due to technology, I was able to use wonderment
and interest (curiosity) to tackle something that was otherwise frustrating me –
technology not working properly.
I was having a discussion with someone recently who was making
comments about Millennials. “They just
don’t put in the hours like we do”. I’ve
been doing research on generations for more than 15 years, so I have an unfair
advantage. I’m curious. Here’s a thought for those who find themselves
in this same camp, or perhaps have made judgements about others (political,
religious, just to name a few). Sit down and have a conversation. Ask questions, be interested and inquisitive.
You don’t have to come across as nosy and intrusive. While you may have grown up hearing the
phrase ‘curiosity killed the cat’, I believe closed-mindedness killed the cat