In business, families, faith-based organizations and communities I’ve continuously witnessed the power of these words:
Together WE STAND. Divided WE FALL.
Prior to moving to Saudi Arabia, my focus on divisive current events was growing. …As was my determination to find ways to bring people together to find solutions.
So I began sharing this dream with others:
Chery went above and beyond for us and our students. Her presentation captivated our students and teachers. (While sharing personal experiences and current information about life in Saudi Arabia, she emphasized critical life skills. Which motivated them to consider the limits of their comfort zones, think critically, solve problems and recognize the humanity of others.) Chery is a pleasure to work with and a great facilitator. I give her my highest endorsement.
We’re in the midst of waiting. Months and months of waiting…
- In September – We knew we were moving back across the ocean to the land we call home
- In October – The move was stopped and from morning to night and from day to day, what we were doing and when we were doing it changed, as things changed within the company
- In early November – we were moving again and it looked impossible not to be home for Christmas
- Then week after week and weekend after weekend – through Thanksgiving, and Christmas, our Anniversary and New Years we would do what we could do and then wait – on the company, the movers, the government and Harley Davidson
- 11 days ago – all of our household things were loaded into a container for overseas shipment
- 7 days ago – our motorcycle was crated and taken to our container
- It’s almost mid-January and we’re still waiting – for paperwork to clear so we can leave
The emotional roller coaster has been intense:
On November 15th, twenty-eight women from a variety of races, nations and religions gathered together for a Conversation Safari. The plan was to dive into divisive current events and the fears that drive our emotions, our behaviors and our results.
Our topic had been planned for months based on several private conversations:
- I’d had with a Muslim neighbor
- And several different conversations I’d had with ladies that will always have a better tan than I do
In each of those private conversations we shared fears, we felt each other’s pain, and considered new perspectives.
(The date of our event had been chosen because of some scheduling conflicts, not because of a master strategy. But when November 9th rolled around and the election results from the U.S. hit the airwaves – fear in across the world and in the expat sandbox grew. Our topic could not have been more perfectly timed.)
- One of the women I had met with during the summer shared what was happening at the University that her son attends in the U.S.
- Other neighbors were posting deep concern for their safety in the world
- While other friends in the U.S. were sharing deep concerns about racism and bigotry
It has been said that if you’re not learning, you’re not growing, and if you’re not growing you’re dying.
I’ve written about Lana Simko before. At age 62 she and her husband were happily retired living in their hometown near their two children and four grandchildren.
And then her husband started receiving phone calls asking him to consider employment on the other side of the world in a culture that is nothing like their own.
She was so certain that would never happen that she would laugh and walk away each time he took a call. And then one day she realized that he was seriously considering this seemingly crazy move.