This title can have a myriad of meanings, but there is a specific one that is in my mind while writing this article. I promise to get to it, but before that, I want to tell you about a chance conversation I recently had. While relaxing over a little pampering, I began to speak with a woman I only knew from a boutique where she works, and I shop. The conversation began with pleasantries, of course, and since we don’t know each other’s families, we just shared a few cursory words about them. And then, as so often occurs, we began to peel the layers of our lives, and found areas of mutual understanding. My adrenaline began pumping when I recognized that strange feeling I get when I know this is going to be a meaningful moment in my life…and I hadn’t expected it at all!
Women are less complex than men would have us believe. We gather information and as such, we always seem to find the common denominator. More frequently than not, I think, the information that brings us together is our families. In this case, the discussion went to vacation homes, time together with the generations and the ability to watch from a distance our grown children parent, as we did so many years before.
As our conversation continued, I was told about my “new friend’s” grandson, who had finished an internship in the field in which he plans on making his career. As a college student, those internships can mean a wonderful entree for a student…do a great job and there may be a position upon graduation. But distinguishing one’s self is not always easy, and finding the positive way to be remembered can be a challenge. My friend told me to that point, the interns were asked to fill out a questionnaire or create a report about their perception of their summer. I am not saying I know all he wrote, since that wasn’t the important piece to me. But what I do know, because his grandmother, my new friend, shared it with me…”many hands make lighter work.”
These are not words that will change the direction of the sun each day; nor will the alignment of the stars move differently in the sky. But those words were spoken to that young man over and over as he grew up with his grandmother, and she shared that with me. In fact, she said that each summer, when the family was together, each of the many tasks that needed to be done were usually preceded by that reminder from her. “Many hands make lighter work!”
Although my toes were dangling in warm water, I had chills to think that what we say, what we do, what we model actually does have impact, and that, in fact, our children and grandchildren are watching, listening and yes, modeling. This young man gave what sounded to me to be the most perfect response to his questionnaire about what the summer meant to him. He didn’t have to learn something new in order to remember something in his memory file, and he used it appropriately to explain his philosophy about team work.
As proud as I felt about this young man I am unlikely to meet, I was so very indebted to my new friend. She reminded me that my own grand dolls are watching, learning and modeling from not only their parents, but their grandparents, as well. The cycle goes round and round, and there will come a beautiful day when, hopefully, they will act positively from what they have learned from us, just like our young intern this summer. I hope they will have learned from me a generosity of spirit, the importance of dependability and my never ending devotion, so they will model the same for those they love. And I hope to have given them some precepts that will come in handy as they venture into their brave new world.
Once again, a chance conversation with another woman gave me so much perspective and reminded me that we have more in common than what separates us. Thank you, Gigi, for being so inspirational and for showing us just how relevant we are!