Category Archives: Awareness

Parenting: as small as that

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This week, Brené Brown shared with us “What Toni Morrison Taught Me About Parenting”. I warmly invite you to read it. There was a specific part, Brené quoted from a Toni Morrison’s interview, which drew my attention: “Let your face speak what’s in your heart. When they (kids) walk in the room my face says I’m glad to see them. It’s just as small as that, you see?”. These words resonated with me on many levels, as a kid, as well as a parent.

I was raised under the vigilant lenses of “not enough” of a soviet time. My school socks were not white enough, my hair was not well enough braided, my voice was not loud enough in pioneer marches … My parents got in the spirit of “not enough” and kept a faithful devotion to it at work and at home.

“Let your face speak what’s in your heart” reminded me of my grandmother. She was the only one who looked with wonder every time she saw me. Her face would light up, regardless. Mismatched socks or not. Braided hair or not. Scratched knees or not, dismissing with a smile my parents’ worry of “how would you look on the school play pic?!” Who cares 10-20-30 years later? Back then, pictures were black and white anyway.

When I became a mother, some family members would almost demand that the baby smiles at them. They probably thought babies come with a smile button on their back or that I have it on a remote control. My response was and is “she brings joy by her mere existence. She does not need to do anything special for anyone”.

I know that she knows that today, as well as she did when she was a baby. Because when I put shoes’ laces first, she does not hesitate to remind me of what’s important in parenting, with love.

 

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Thought of the week

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“History shows us we need labels to help define our place. For hundreds of years, people have categorized others as less so they could feel like more. Color, gender, class, religion, physical handicaps, sexual orientation, and pedigree are just a few ways in which one group is divided from another. For every person who stands superior, another must be inferior. But what does it say of us as a human race when we push others down for our own needs? Does it accomplish the intended goal or simply give rise to a pattern of behavior that can never be broken? What if we all stood equal in one another’s eyes and felt pride at our reflection?” from “The Storyteller’s Secret” by Sejal Badani.

Thought of the week

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The best advice from a teacher in ” The storyteller’s secret” by Sejal Badani:

“I will also advise that when they travel in their stories, they respect the people they meet and the values they hold. Their way of life is not for us to judge but our opportunity to learn. And to never forget that when you offer a hand of respect, you will in turn be welcomed.”

Integrity

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integrity (n.)

from Latin integritatem (nominative integritas) “soundness, wholeness, completeness,” figuratively “purity, correctness, blamelessness”

When you go back to the origin of words, things come sometimes into a long forgotten perspective.

What is integrity actually? How does it manifest? What kind of behaviour a person with integrity displays?

From my observations and writings by smarter people, integrity has a number of positive behavioural traits:

Humility: there is no pride, no sense of competition, no desire to prove anything or to anyone.

Kindness: a person acting with integrity will treat a CEO and a janitor with the same kindness.

Authenticity: there is no mask. Integrity has nothing to hide.

Reliability: you can always rely on people with integrity.

Honesty: integrity is open and truthful.

It’s about giving credit: integrity does not claim what is not hers.

Always on time: people with integrity respect your time and their own time.

Integrity will never offend: even under the cover of an anonymous on-line account.

Integrity is open minded and also knows when not to change its mind.

Integrity places an emphasis on emotional intelligence more than on IQ.

Integrity knows when and how to apologise. People with integrity know they are only human and keep themselves in check.

Integrity keeps its promise. People with integrity will be there for you, if they said so.

Integrity is intuitive and will not let harsh calculations have a decisive say.

Integrity will not take advantage of others vulnerabilities.

Integrity knows a hammer is not only for nails. It is also a sculpture’s  tool.

Integrity serves. It does not wait to be served.

Integrity has a great sense of humour and can LOL about itself.

Integrity results in accountability. If we act with integrity in all walks of life from parenting to interacting with colleagues and partners, the world has a change of becoming a better place.

When you think of it, when integrity is in place, harassment, discrimination, fraud, humiliation, deprivation and others stand NO chance.

 

I see you

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My father said that I do not even know from which end to hold a ladle, hinting to my cooking skills (or rather their absence, in his view).

My grandmother never said anything. She always looked at me with eyes full of admiration and faith.

Today is 8 March and a part of humanity suddenly remembers to promote, cherish, congratulate women. As if they say “I see you”.  Does it make a difference? Perhaps. For flower shops in some countries it certainly does.

“I see you” everyday, day after day, is different. It requires effort and commitment.

“I see you, my talented, brave and beautiful daughter”

“I see you, mother of six, battling for your and your kids safety and sanity”

“I see you, orphan girl, struggling to find yourself into this new world”

“I see you, policewoman, holding the hand of a troubled street kid”

“I see you, single mother, fearing for your and your kid’s future”

“I see you, cleaning lady, pushing the cart on our office floor”

“I see you, human being”

This day is to me the day of those who see and help women, girls and boys, who would otherwise remain unseen on this day, or any other day.

Like this story and so many other http://www.md.undp.org/content/moldova/en/home/stories/femeia-care-viseaz-s-poat-cumpra-case-pentru-toate-supravieuitoa.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hunters for love

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Matilda approached her long chair on the beach. A man stood by, checking his mobile. Or, rather, pretending to.

– Hm, that’s my seat, he said.

– No, she replied.

– Oh, I thought you are attracted to me and chose this chaise long, he put on a smile.

“Here we go”, she thought, “a pick up line”.

Matilda laid down on her chaise longue, a 200 page report in her hands.

He sat down on a chair nearby and launched into his scenario.

– What’s your name?

– Matilda. Yours?

– Liham. Where are you from?

– The poorest country on this continent, she said.

– Oh, I know Cristina Smth. She exports luxury goods to your country.

As if she was supposed to know all Cristinas in exports.

– There are beautiful girls there, he sticks to his lines. I traveled to O. with a friend last year. He wanted a beautiful girl.

– And not too smart, preferably. Matilda just could not help it.

– And smart too, he had to adapt his lines. But I was not looking for girls. I was in love at that time. Broke apart though recently.

“Aren’t’ we all in love!?”, Matilda thought to herself, with sarcasm.

– I live in France now, she said, to see what else he has in his arsenal of lines. I am married.

– So what?, he exclaimed and kept it faithfully to his lines: I am French. But I travelled a lot. I am open-minded. I could be your lover.

He was really in love with his learned lines, so he continued:

– I am attracted to you. Your body. I like petites. I like to dominate in bed.

– It is an illusion you have, she spoiled his lines. Again.

Confusion on his face.

– You think “petites” is by definition “obedient”. Obéissantes. It is an illusion, she repeats.

– You have brain, he looked her up and down.

“Probably my brain is all over my body”, she thought.

– A No is a “No”, she said.

Five seconds pause. His plan B had to come to rescue.

– Do you believe in God? he asked.

– You ask because of this? Matilda touched her small cross pendant with a diamond. It is a gift from my husband.

– You are smart and fast. You do in life what you like. You are married and in love…. He stood up and handed over his business card to her. Call me. In ten years, maybe.

He marched to the sea and jumped into cool water.

“Who has business cards on the beach, in beach attire only”? Matilda was amused.

Couple of minutes later, Liham met his friends on the beach and mentioned to them that he leaves for Paris in the evening. Just loud enough so that Matilda can overhear.

Next morning, there was a sign on the door: “pardon us”. It was on the door next to Matilda’s hotel room.

Before the trip, her husband playfully warned her “careful with the guys there!” : “Darling, men come there accompanied by girls twice younger. Or, if they come alone, an army of skilled huntresses is after them. I cannot compete with either.”

After her encounter on the beach she thought: “oh, there is a third breed – beach hunters for love”.