I will be signing copies of Van Diemen at 17 as part of a local author fair next Saturday, March 30 at the Red Mountain Library, 635 N Power Road from 1 p.m to 4:30 pm. The fair is for the public to connect with local authors who have published works in fiction, nonfiction, thriller, mystery and romance.
The featured speaker is John Truedel, author of God's House and Privacy Wars: A Cybertech Thriller. Stop by!
Saturday, January 12, 2012
Signs of New Year Revo Resolutions
Like the trending of certain topics on Google and social networks like Facebook and twitter, I sometimes think about how the mind might be open and looking for signs everywhere that reinforce notions in a global consciousness.
This winter when I was overseas I found myself in front of the three images below, stopped short in my tracks for a second at the words, pondering their weight.
Perhaps it is just wishful thinking on my part, but I really think these three images can say so much to so many people if we just open our minds to them.
Après le pain, l'éducation est le premier besoin du people.
After bread, education is the first need of the people. Georges Jacques Danton (October 26, 1759 – April 5, 1794) was a leading figure in the early stages of the French Revolution (source: Wikipedia)
"Patriotism is not enough, I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone." Edith Louisa Cavell (4 December 1865 – 12 October 1915) was a British nurse …celebrated for saving the lives of soldiers from all sides without distinction and in helping some 200 Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium during World War I. (source: Wikipedia)
THursday, December 13, 2012
Monday, OCTOBER 15, 2012
On Having It All
I saw this interview a couple of weeks ago, and thought since a lot about what Christine Lagarde had to say in it, especially with regard to whether it was possible for women to have it all. Andrea Mitchell, the reporter, is of course referencing the relatively recent controversial article from the Atlantic Monthly by former State Department official and Princeton professor Anne Marie Slaughter who says that in current common workplace culture it is not possible. Slaughter warns that some icons of the feminist movement have said it is possible, but not at the same time, which is a fallacy that inadvertently leads women to feel like failures for not planning out their lives properly. She is mostly writing in reference to having a family and a high-powered career at the same time, however.
In the interview Ms. Lagarde does say it is possible to have it all but not at the same time, which would seem to put her in opposition to Ms. Slaughter. I find myself agreeing more with Lagarde's position, though, especially because I believe Lagarde is speaking of success and "having it all" a more universally inclusive sense.
From my perspective is impossible to have it all, at the same time, for everyone, not just women. In other words, I don’t know a single successful man who seems to have everything at the same time, either. When we exceed and focus all of our attention on one aspect of our lives, something else usually has to sit on the back burner. But success in life for me is a continuum, not an all or nothing proposition, and indeed, at certain times in our lives we are ripe for some things, and other times we aren’t. When we have a passion and commitment to one piece of our lives, we have made a choice of sacrifice for others. Balance is an elusive key to happiness (not necessarily success) that most people have trouble achieving. Still, Ms. Slaughter makes compelling points against the prominence of work over all other aspects of our lives at any given time, especially through the analysis of women who start out on the same foot as men in school, but whose numbers in top leadership positions in government and business remain in single digits, and in the quotes from the Bronnie Ware book on the The Top Five Regrets of The Dying where the author says the second most common regret by people, including all of the men she interviewed for the book, said they “wished they hadn’t worked so hard [at the expense of other things, like family involvement.]”
The ability to have it all issue aside; there are other wise things Lagarde has to say in this interview on the topic of success. Among them are:
1) Differences take us further when we can learn from each other and compromise.
2) Patience is crucial and so is managing expectations with humility.
3) A solid sense of humor, when dealing with your detractors, and machismo in particular, will take you far.
4) Success is about teamwork, practice, hard work, and acceptance of defeat and sometimes unfairness.
5) When setbacks happen, turn the page and move on.
It was also interesting for me to learn that Christine Lagarde was an exchange student in the 1970s to the U.S. from her French homeland. Mitchell asks her what it was like to travel on a Greyhound bus for two months across county at the end of her exchange and she says, “That was crazy! When I look back my mother should never have let me do it.”
I loved this breakout candor about her exchange that pops in the interview, but aside from the "craziness" she remembers, you can tell her varied cross-cultural experiences have positively informed the way she looks at the world when she says eloquently:
“Each country has its own interesting, fascinating mosaic chemistry social contract that binds its citizens together.”
It has been such an inspiration to learn more about this successful leader and former exchange student who heads the IMF.