My mother, 82 this year please God, is hale and hearty and known to take the odd tongue-in-cheek swipe at men, suggesting we have it easier – she’d say, “Oh, if I come back, I’m coming back as a man!”
She also, when I wished her another happy Mother’s Day some years back said to me, “Oh, there’s only one Mother’s Day – and that’s nine months after Father’s Night!” Hilarious – the woman is a legend.
Happy International Women’s Day 2020 to you and yours. Today is the day to celebrate the unique and vital place women inhabit in our society. Women are the stronger sex; they’ve always known that, us mere men are only getting to know that as we grow…
Anyway, as we celebrate this day, allow me to tell you of the most unusual and intriguing week – you could not make it up – culminating in my addressing an International Women’s Day Celebration Event on Friday.
This week, I was blessed to have been asked to speak to hundreds of people in various groups in several parts of the country and from every possible socio-economic background across four of the five days, Tuesday through Friday.
started with about fifty 11 year old Traveller kids in a school in rural Ireland, where I addressed Leadership, Responsibility and Self-esteem (the antidote to bullying). From there I met with about fifteen, teenage Traveller girls and had the most intriguing conversation about life, where it started and where it might go. I spoke to them of The Ovarian Lottery, a concept I picked up in Warren Buffett’s book, The Snowball.
The Ovarian Lottery basically acknowledges the fact that the odds of you or I actually being alive at all are billions to one, numerically speaking. And points to the fact that where, when and to whom we are born is entirely beyond our control – Ovarian Lottery makes sense.
I was born me, white, in Dublin in 1963 to parents who were married, loved each other, never drank or did drugs, dad always worked outside the home, mam always worked in the home. Your situation was different. Equally so, the situation for the Travellers I met.
Next day I found myself in another two schools, very different to day one, and each world’s apart from the other.
School #1, large country town, fine new school, large school population made up of a mix which includes a very high proportion of Non- Nationals, or New Irish. Makes for a very interesting dynamic in the school – Ovarian Lottery at play again.
School #2 large city school, brand new, very privileged area, each child, through no fault of their own, nor by any influence they brought to bear, finds him or herself ferried to school in a fancy car or shepherded by watchful parents or guardians as they cycle or scoot, helmeted and protected through the leafy streets – Ovarian Lottery.
Spoke to a group of 30 or so Leaving Cert cycle students in a fee paying Private School – They were there because they were born into circumstances that allowed them be there. Warren Buffett was right methinks.
Friday got even stranger.
Morning time finds me on a Zoom Video Meeting with some of the Executive Committee of CARI – Children at Risk in Ireland – CARI is a volunteer Therapy Organization whose therapists work with children and families who have been traumatized by child sexual abuse; possibly the most heinous crime in the world. Ovarian Lottery not doing a good job here.
By lunchtime Friday I fins myself addressing 170+ women and men, who came together in early celebration of International Women’s day 2020 at the Royal Marine Hotel, Dun Laoghaire in South County Dublin.
Beautifully orgainzed by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Chamber in association with Women in Business Alliance, it was attended by the suited and booted, the great and the good from every walk of life and every background, all coming together because they could.
They could because of where they have gotten to in their lives today in 2020, regardless of the hand dealt them by the Ovarian Lottery.
All of this got me thinking about how blessed I am – blessed to be able to weave my way through all those world’s in such a condensed space of time, learning and hopefully contributing as I go.
I started several of the group chats by asking people to turn to their neighbors and say aloud, “You could be my teacher.” And that is so true. I am blessed to be able to meet the most interesting, wonderful people as I travel through life.
So, on this day, International Women’s Day 2020, may I invite you to join with me and consider for a moment how blessed you are? Consider how good your life is, in the main. I’m quite sure there’s stuff going on in your life, as there is in mine, that you’d prefer wasn’t but it is what it is, you are where you are, I am where I am.
But the great news is you are here, and I am here today – and maybe that, in itself is enough just for today.
We were born into circumstances entirely beyond our control and I hope for you it was good, but perhaps it wasn’t. But you have no control over the past; only over what you do today and tomorrow. So if life could be better in any particular way for you in future, happy days, you have the opportunity to take steps towards it.
So let’s start with gratitude – find something to be grateful for today and then allow me share three things I recommend you consider believing in to make life even better from now on.
The first is… God. Now, I’m not here to preach, but I recommend you consider the possibility of higher power, an Intelligence beyond you and me, a Source that is all powerful, all loving, all giving, all forgiving and that this Intelligence is there and willing to help – all you have to do is ask and then get out of the way – Let Go and Let God.
The second thing I recommend you consider believing in is the inherent goodness of most people. Most people are good and are willing to help but they are not mind readers so if you feel you aren’t getting the help you deserve, ask – those that ask usually receive because most people are inherently good. Of course, there are some shysters out there bu leave them in their misery and move on. Next!
The third thing I recommend you consider believing in on International Women’s Day 2020 is… YOU! Yes, You.
I recommend you consider believing a little more in you today than you did yesterday and a little more again tomorrow, and a little more the next day, rinse and repeat ad infinitum…
And I promise, if you practice gratitude daily and consider the three tips above, life will get even better day by day from now on.
Happy International Women’s Day 2020.
Thanks for thinking with me.
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FANCY A COFFEE WITH COLM in ‘real’? I have been creating free weekly content for over three years now and am very happy to have the opportunity to do so. That said, if you enjoy my work, perhaps you might consider buying me the odd coffee to help defray the hidden costs around sourcing, creating, editing, uploading and sharing? Some pretty cool rewards await those who do! Check out my PATREON page here.
MORE: Did you enjoy that? Fancy a sip of some of my recent “Coffee with Colm” Blog posts:
- EP 204: How To Survive and Thrive through Life’s Storms – click here
- Ep 203 The Story of Little Tomi Reihental, Holocaust Survivor – click here
- Ep 202 Sing along… “I closed my eyes, drew back the curtain, to see for certain, what I thought I knew…” Lessons in resilience from a West End Musical – click here.
BONUS: My infamous Man on the Train story…
- The ‘Man on the Train’ story. How my fortunes changed through a seemingly random (is there any such thing?) meeting – click here.
FREE AUDIO BOOK. If would like a complimentary copy of my book “Feeding Johnny – How to Build a Business Despite the Roadblocks” in audio, narrated by Yours Truly so you get all the nuances, feel free to grab one here.
LINKEDIN. Perhaps the thing to do right now is simply to hook up professionally on LinkedIn – if that’s of interest, click here.