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GUTSY WOMEN for FREEDOM

GUTSY WOMEN for FREEDOM

We all know about George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and John Hancock. They are reminders of how determined we must all be when freedom is put in harm’s way. I have always wondered about the women of the Revolution. In school all we were taught was that Betsy Ross was known for sewing the American flag. Now, that in itself is a marvelous undertaking. However, there were so many others who we need to know and honor. So I did some research and felt a swell of pride about the courage and the well…GUTSINESS for so many who risked their lives and did not hold back out of fear. Here are some of our heroines: Like Deborah Sampson cut her hair, bound her breasts and put on a uniform to fight next to the men. Like Ann Bates, a Philadelphia school teacher who changed her name and sold supplies to the British as a way to spy on them and bring information back to General Washington’s troops. Like Nancy Hart. She was known as a woman of fearless spirit and a hot temper. One amazing account of Nancy’s life was the evening that six British soldiers stopped to find a Whig leader. They demanded she cook them dinner and stacked their weapons in a corner. As the soldiers were getting a bit tipsy on wine, Nancy began to pass the muskets through an opening in the cabin wall to her daughter. When the soldiers noticed what she was doing she picked up one of the guns and warned them she would shoot, which she did. One man was killed and...
What If…?

What If…?

Dear Savvy Sylvia, I want to quit my job. I am miserable. I went into healthcare to please my parents, both physicians. So, guess what I became? Nope, not a medical doctor. I became a senior V.P. in a large medical device company. Now, what we produce is really good and helps lots of people. And my parents are OK that I did not become a doc like them. At least, I am in the helping professions. HOWEVER, I want, yes yearn to be a philosophy professor. Everyone thinks I am nuts. I make big bucks and my travel expenses are covered for lots of amazing organizational meetings. Philosophy professor, in 2015? That is the look I get. No one takes the liberal arts so seriously anymore and while I am smart, what if…I don’t get a job. What if…the students think I am a fossil? What if…I cannot live on a lower salary? Any advice? Signed What If   Dear What If, I get questions like yours by the bucket full. So many people went into their careers to please others. You are not alone. Now, to answer that big question ‘what if?’ There are lots of variables. So, here is a check list before I give a really good suggestion. On a scale of 1-10 (1 is not good, not good at all, and 10 is soaring into the stratosphere): How much support do you have with family and friends? How could you live on a salary of 30% less than now? How is your overall health? How do you handle ambiguity? How much do you need...
GUTSY Women and Attachment Parenting

GUTSY Women and Attachment Parenting

Time magazine May issue started a major brouhaha that is hopefully the beginning of a great dialogue about what it means to be a parent and what children really want and need. For me, the photo of the mother and three year old son at his mother’s breast brought up the controversy from decades ago about nursing moms. I was a “thoroughly modern Millie” who, along with most of my peers, saw nursing as a primitive, overly emotional aspect of parenting. After all, formula was easy and healthy…. or so the marketing ads told us. Now most of us realize we were duped into the economics of the baby food industry. There is enough research that indicates breastfeeding is the truest, healthiest way for infants to get both nutrition and nurturing. The big question women are asking right now about attachment parenting is when is enough, enough? What are positive boundaries and what is best for the growth and development of our young? Here are two important books to review. One is by an old friend, Joseph Chilton Pearce, who wrote this in the 1970’s and is still an important source of information “Magical Child”. The other is fresh off the press and again, food for thought; “Bringing Up Bebe” by Pamela Druckerman. My own suggestion is to consider what really matters. How much do I.Q. scores really mean? How vital is it for kids to be on varsity sports teams? What do we do when children say they are bored? Where do computers fit into our lives and their lives? Working or staying at home, the issues are...

Read, Repeat. Remember

I was busy getting our new CEO website ready with the most amazing web designer, Hilary Brooks (www.smallbizwebwhiz.com) . It will be ready next week so we’ll keep you posted. I was working on the content for CONSULTING and was looking at what we teach when we go into various companies. One thing that struck me right between the eyes is how limiting our educational system is and how we need to pick up the pieces in the workplace. Think about how you learned to THINK when you were in school. More to the point, did you learn to THINK in school? Better yet, at what age did your ability to THINK past the obvious shut down? I was always a voracious reader and still am. Yet, when it came to classes and tests, I did what all the other kids did, I learned to READ, REPEAT and REMEMBER. That’s it, the “3 R’s”. I was good at this and so I was always in the top quadrant of my classes. Yet, I ask you, is that learning? Better, is that learning to THINK? Hardly! Now I am busy relearning to read for essence. Fortunately, I do not have to take tests to pass classes now. And I really think that repetition of what we read makes us “sheeple” rather than individuals. I love to talk with the author of the non-fiction books I prefer. Now, these invisible men and women come alive for me as I challenge and ask questions and listen to the answers that go beyond the written word. Interesting, I remember more from having this...

Leadership and Proper Boundaries

Are school teachers only meant to teach children spelling, calculus, and ancient history? Or are they also meant to be role models for how to behave as youngsters grow and become the next generation of business men and women?   We put these young people in schools to prepare them for the world of work. We hope the learning in school is both for skills as well as interpersonal relationships. So, what happened last week in New Jersey is particularly upsetting.   There was an internal memo sent through the teachers union that was “meant to be a joke”. It was far from funny, far from even the bad, lowly humor of kids who like to joke about body smells and soils.   This “joke” talked about wishing for the death of the Governor because of budget cuts. I would like to hear from those of you willing to respond; have we gone too far, have we crossed too many bridges, past any sense of personal adult responsibility to watch what we say and how we express our upsets and dissatisfactions?   Governor Christie said it well, “Honest disagreements are fine. I wonder what the children of New Jersey will think when the leadership of the teachers union is praying for their governor to die?”   I wonder when we are all going to GROW UP and take real responsibility for our behavior? We are all like little kids, living in the moment without any regard for consequences. Grown-ups are able to see how our thoughts, feelings, words, and actions connect. We are able to put past actions and...

Need for Leadership

The torment for the parents of the young suicide victim, the children who are accused of causing the horrific situation, the parents of all these children, the school officials, in fact, all children, parents and teachers in the school are in this together.   Yet, as usual they end up standing at polar opposite sides of the scales of justice. This is truly no different that what goes on around the world where there is dissention and fighting. Everyone throws barbs and daggers at one another and the name of the game is BLAME. As an executive business coach and family therapist who has worked with school districts and troubled youth I beg the leadership of the school to find a way to gather the parents together and look more deeply into what is really going on. There is more, much more at the core of this issue than merely “bullying” at school. This is too simplistic an answer. The demand for “leadership” means all the adults who have a stake in the game need to become leaders. Sadly, they will be kept from the real, honest dialogue that needs to occur because the lawyers will keep the polarization going. Their interest is one sided, for their clients.   Yet, somehow, someone needs to yell “STOP” and demand a guided talking time with the parents and then with the parents and the youngsters. The first organization we all join, the family is where we learn about fairness, favoritism, bullying, caring, deceit, and betrayal. We take what we learned at home into our next organization, the school and eventually into...