On a Saturday evening, as I was waiting for my friend, I noticed a jolly trio – a French grandmother with two boys. “Mamie, mamie!”, spinning around her with joy and a blissful ignorance of the world around them. She was their world. They were her world.
Their chatter was incessant, questions followed by affirmations, without any need for answers. They had the confidence of someone who is loved, cherished and treated on an equal footing. I knew why, the moment she kneeled down.
She appeared so well-grounded. Being well-grounded is the greatest gift a parent and grand-parent can make to a child. Something tells me these two boys will turn into well-grounded adults and one day they will kneel down to talk to their kids.
Kids only mirror and give what they receive.
When I was little, year 2000 seemed stellar years away. And now I say “Hello 2020!”
As I finish this year in my kitchen with crème patissière under my nails, I choose a moment of solitude to write down a few thanks to the passing year.
Thank you 2019,
for my new motherhood experiences. It is a 3D of past, present and future. Kids are unattainable teachers. We just have to open our hearts.
for a magic encounter with a new painter – Conny Famm from Sweden at his “Nordic Grace” exhibition. His “State of soul” is divine.
for my privileged and intimate friendships, which are untouched by distance. You know who are.
for my great professional relationships, which evolved into friendships. You know who you are.
for a new and growing sorority of spirits, regardless of our genders and age. We know who we are.
for many brilliant books I read this year.
for “Angel” by MyiaGi, my song of the year.
for a few small traditions I helped create, which continue to benefit those who need it most.
for my Grandmother’s traditions I sacredly follow on our special family occasions. It is my way to keep her in our hearts. Some of them fill our stomachs just fine, which she also loved doing for us, just like this cheese pie.
for the patience of my hubby when he fights his unspoken “You bought again so many!?, as he knows that I will support all forms of women’s entrepreneurship.
for new wisdoms I discovered and share with my daugthers. Here is a selection of my favourites:
- The story you tell yourself is by far more important than the story other people tell you.
- There is no truth in suffering.
- Patience is a virtue few have, and those who have it gain it all.
- What others say or do is about them. If you internalise it, you make it about you.
- There are two basic emotions: fear and faith. The choice is yours.
- Your behaviours demonstrate your values. Choose what you show to the world.
- Age does not register with those who are busy with good deeds.
- People who say that they will do it and then actually do it are rare. Be one of rare ones.
Thank you, 2019! Hello and welcome, 2020!
for showing me how different yet similar we are in living our values. We tend to use our differences to put a distance between ourselves. Sometimes, still, we learn to accept our differences as ways to complement and build each other.
In cultures where the value of big words overshadows their meaning, small gestures come to rescue to mean the world.
In places where the mind must absolutely know the exact number or budget, the storyteller will give meaning to both big and small numbers.
In cultures, which knew command and control, a creative mind will find a new way to give birth to chocolate molecules.
Preferences to do things behind the scene will meet the preacher of transparency with “just try it in the open, even if you fail, and you’ll see that it does not hurt”.
A disastrous service will end-up on a positive note, as it was met with kindness and acceptance of the fact that a waiter is also a human and who knows what she has to deal with outside her work.
Our knowledge of cultures will try to attribute the above behaviours to humans from certain countries and/or nationalities. Please do not do that. Attitudes and behaviours have no passports and do not stay confined within borders.
Next time you are in an environment your brain stereotypes about (which is normal, as the brain thinks in categories), just ask it to take a break and inhale the diversity in all its splendor. And if you absolutely must, call me naive. I do not mind.
“I am naive” Molecules Chocolate made in Lithuania, by Domantas Uzpali.
Bucharest, Catedrala Neamului/Nation’s Cathedral, seen from Marriott Hotel.
Riga, flags and church.
“I am naive” Molecules Chocolate made in Lithuania, by Domantas Uzpali.
Pamela B. Paresky PhD writes in her article “Meet the teen who discovered the secret of social capital” in Psychology Today: “As a rule, we don’t teach children to tend, defend, and befriend those without social status — to spend social capital on targets of derision and exclusion.» https://www.psychologytoday.com. This deserves reflection and action, for the good of all concerned.
I saw this happening in my high school, then latter in life at my child’s kindergarten. Many do see, not many act. The choice between social capital, which can be replenished, and the dignity and life of the other should be straightforward. Moreover, kindness and warmheartedness are not energies spent. They are energy fuels.
Kids at any age only mirror the parents and adults in their lives. Let us fuel kindness and courage to not be afraid to spend well our social capital. And then it will not be even necessary to ask children to do so. It will become a natural flow of social captal to serve humanity.
for my dearest people who make me feel at home, regardless of the time which passed since our last encounter. You know who you are.
for my first eight-pairs-of-hands-baking experience with orphan girls in the care of Diaconia and a chance to share with them a baking atmosphere I had with my grandmother.
for my daughter’s enthusiasm and support: “Mom, you were such a pro, juggling the parallel teams at baking!”.
for Diaconia’s wonderful team of people whose dedication I admire from the bottom of my heart. Check them out at http://www.diaconia.md.
for allowing young musicians to express themselves under the street lights in Stefan cel Mare park:
for the betterment if your zoo. We can be critical of many things we saw there, yet we choose to appreciate how much it evolved since its establishment 40 years ago
for my school, which celebrated 50 year recently. It was a moment of joy to retrace my steps to and from the school, with my daughter this time around.
for a great number of professionals I met and who do the best they can and aspire to do better, regardless of the circumstances. You know who you are.
and, last but not least, for your splendid autumn colours which stand to remind us of the unique beauty of nature this time of the year.
– We challenge you. No girl will dare to cross this ravine!, shouted my classmate.
The ravine was in deep forest. A fallen tree served as a “bridge”. Of all the 10 year old girls it had to be me the one to respond to the challenge. The whereabouts of adults accompanying us is blank in my memory.
I started crossing it. I still remember the depth of the ravine when I looked half way through. Someone shouted “Do not look down!”. It was the my classmate. Or perhaps my guarding angel. I managed to cross it and return, in one piece. Except couple of my curly hairs taken by the subtle air current between trees.
As my child embarks into the age of stretching limits and testing boundaries I want her to do it because she wants it and not because someone challenges her. I also want her to understand what it means to challenge others. Does it help her and the other kid grow and become a better human?
I want to believe that all parents explain to their kids what it means to challenge and be challenged and that the final choice if theirs. I also trust that we, as adults, show this by our actions and through our words. Because kids give what they receive.