Energized: By Human Connection

My husband and I are preparing for an extended vacation and made a quick trip to the store to pick up a few things for the trip and a few basics for the remainder of the week we are here.

We were barely in the store when the call to prayer sounded.  (Which means that for the next 30 minutes we are free to wander around the store, but we can’t receive any assistance from the staff or checkout.)

After gathering all that we needed we joined a group of families in a semi-circle around a produce weighing station, which was already surrounded and now three layers deep.

As a western woman, I still struggle to understand the rules of engagement in these settings.  (Whatever you do -don’t look the men in the eye and don’t smile at them.  And although the women may make brief eye contact and are gracious, they don’t always speak the same language.)

So as I looked for a place to focus, a little girl with enormous brown eyes and tiny pigtails spotted my husband and I.  (She reminded me of Boo from Disney’s Monster’s Inc. movie.)

5 Ways To Fire-Proof Your Character

An unexpected leadership lesson from vacation

A few years ago my husband and I vacationed in Paris.   We went for adventure, for love, for history…  It was my first trip “across the pond” and although I was anticipating romance, joy, and the wonder of the old buildings, old streets and art.

I was NOT anticipating a leadership lesson…

Everyone recommended touring the Gardens at The Palace of Versailles. However, before we went, I did no research so I was completely unprepared for what I saw.

The gardens:

  • Are on 800 hectares, which is the equivalent of 1,976 acres of land in the United States.
  • Have over 200,000 trees and over 210,000 flowers.
  • Maze-like hedges are lined with marble statues.
  • Each path leads to one of 50 gorgeous water fountains.
  • In the middle of the gardens lies a cross-shaped Grand Canal for boating and fishing.
  • And situated on these spectacular grounds are the Palace, the Grand Trianon and Marie-Antoinette’s Estate.

Gardens at Versailles

The Gardens at The Palace of Versailles

Leaders STAND for something ~ When do YOU STAND?

Anne Frank Huis IMG_0264

Last week my husband and I vacationed in Amsterdam.  During our visit there we had the opportunity to visit the Anne Frank House.  I’ve seen the movie, read books about this horrible time in history and visited Holocaust Museums, but I’d never actually read her diary.

‘En route to Amsterdam I opened her diary and read details that I’ve missed before…

Jood Star - Worn by Jews duruing WWII

  • “Jews must wear a yellow star.
  • Jews must hand in their bicycles.
  • Jews are banned from trains and are forbidden to drive.
  • Jews are only allowed to do their shopping between three and five o’clock and then only in shops which bear the placard “Jewish shop.”
  • Jews must be indoors by eight o’clock
  • and cannot even sit in their own gardens after that hour.
  • Jews are forbidden to visit theaters, cinemas, and other places of entertainment.
  • Jews may not take part in public sports. 
  • Swimming baths, tennis courts, hockey fields and other sports grounds are all prohibited to them.
  • Jews may not visit Christians.
  • Jews must go to Jewish schools, and many more restrictions of a similar kind.”

As I tried to imagine Anne’s life at age 13, I immediately thought of my 13-year-old niece and my 13-year-old neighbor.  And I felt my throat tighten, my eyes mist and my mind quickly trying to seal off those thoughts.