“I hope that you will always remember your story, and that you will carry your story with you as proudly as I carry mine.” First Lady Michele Obama told a graduating class of 100 students, giving the commencement address to Santa Fe Indian School.
She personalized the history of the African American experience, and shared her family’s roots in 19th century American chattel slavery. Her remarks seemed geared toward moving beyond a sense of connection between her and the audience, which was already palpable in the hall, to something deeper, something more akin to identification.
I am the great-great-granddaughter of Jim Robinson, who was born in South Carolina, lived as a slave and is likely buried in an unmarked grave on the plantation where he worked.
I am the great-granddaughter of Fraser Robinson, an illiterate houseboy who taught himself to read and became an entrepreneur—selling newspapers and shoes.
She spoke of values, claiming the shared values of respect, perseverance and integrity, three of the ten core values of the Santa Fe Indian School. She remarked on the hopeful, positive trajectory of the school and the accomplishments of its students.
Our story is about who we are. When we talk about our experiences, what we see, feel, do, fear, like with our own words, we create our own life.
Don’t try to be the next so and so. Be the first you. Remember your story, carry your story, and tell your story.
Your story makes you you.
I enjoyed reading Bill Gates’s recent notes published online to mark the anniversary of his 25th friendship anniversary with Warren Buffet.
Bill Gates said this friendship has changed his life for the better in every imaginable way.
He has learned to learn more and laugh more by telling stories and building memories.
Bill met Warren on July 5, 1991 through his parent’s connections. Warren started the conversation by asking questions.
“These were amazingly good questions that nobody had ever asked,” Bill said describing Warren as “modest” and “funny.”
It was a deep friendship from this very first conversation.
Warren nurtures friendship. This is the most important thing Gates has learned from Buffet over the last 25 years. He’s gifted at investing in people. He makes it fun for them to learn from him.
“Everyone should be lucky enough to have a friend who is as thoughtful and kind as Warren. He goes out of his way to make people feel good about themselves and share his joy about life,” Gates noted.
This was originally published at gatesnotes.com
Roosevelt Jean-Francois is a connector. He blogs, speaks, and coaches on leadership, success, business, economy, personal and organizational development.
I was asking myself, in my mind, what am I doing here with Marijo this early Saturday morning. I would have been better staying home reading, or just chilling, or catching up on some more Saturday morning lazy sleep, instead of this unplanned randonnee tour.
Marijo is my backseat driver. She has been the one for almost 30 years. Now, she got helped with SIRI, that virtual lady from google map who supplied for road destinations. But, Marijo is still the one who is in charge of speed, lanes switch, reckless driving, lights etc…
And that’s what she did this Saturday morning on our way to Costco on Davie by I-595, the interstate road which goes from East to West Broward County in South East Florida.
She was on her phone, talking, texting, and updating. She is more in the calling and talking mode. She called “her” people one after another. Her eyes are on the road pointing her finger to the next left lane.
“Take this lane, this is where we need to turn,” she said distancing the phone from herself.
I’m listening to my July audios from life stream.
Since this morning, I have already listened to Orrin Woodward, Dan Hawkins, Thierry & Marie-Maude Laplanche, Frank and Courtney Cox, Chris Brady. Outstanding audio training content on building compensated communities which is what I do.
I got to Costco’s parking lot and tried to find a parking place as close to the entrance as possible.
We got off the car. Marijo picked a cart. She’s still talking on her phone pressing it between her right ear and her shoulder. She gave command of the cart to me. That’s the way. I am the pusher and will follow her while she is picking up the items from the aisles.
Costco is huge. I saw the difference from our local Publix or neighborhood Walmart. Costco is a family affair: mom, dad, and the kids. Granpa and Granma as well. The very small kids enjoy free rides on top of the cart looking at mom pushing, and balancing their little feet, waiving to whoever is paying attention to them.
Marijo knew where the things she needs are: cereals, cooking oil, tissue, etc…
I followed her. When she stopped, I stopped. When she moved forward, I moved forward.
I am observing.
Costco’s first bestselling product is MEMBERSHIP: Executive, Gold, Business. Costco’s second bestselling product is credit card. Your Costco Visa Credit Card will earn you special discounts and reward points. Those are intangibles. Products we can’t physically touch.
For those who read my lips, I see the enticements to the financial matrix to buy things on credit that you will have to pay later with interests and fees, as it is coined by best-selling author Orrin Woodward.
I am pushing the cart and taking my time to read labels on those real physical products that the common of mortals thinks COSTCO sells.
This aisle is about cereals. Kellogg’s has brain raisin, red berries, frosted flakes. They are all special and original.
Next aisle is led by Kirkland brand. Everything here is organic. The one that kept my attention was the “Kirkland Organic Extra Virgin.“
My eyes glanced on that “Organic Extra Virgin” grain (different from extra virgin organ) to see Taste Purity from the Smarter water, a blue plastic water bottle in the water section.
I lost Marijo. While I was studying the labeling on some products, she was on her way searching for other items.
I went on tasting samples of foods, fruits, drinks etc… I tasted everything offered to be tasted. As soon as, I saw a small kiosk offering small cups of things, here I was… In some cases, I had two… “That is good. Can I have another one,” I asked. And the employees mostly replied with one word “sure.”
Marijo managed to find me. She, too, was testing. She brought me a cup of raisin samples, and melons.
She took the cart and told me to reach her at the counter when I’m done.
I visited the book’s section glancing at some titles, and reading back covers of the recent Ronald Reagan’s biography and other history books.
Next, I stayed at the electronics… and the watches. I tried on some watches (Invicta, Bulova etc…) Those big and heavy watches are cool.
Then, I went to the counter to reach Marijo. I din’t see her.
I looked over again and again through those long lines where people and their full carts are waited to pay.
She was sitting across on the bench where mostly men, and some tired grand parents usually sit while their wives are shopping.
When I saw her, she laughed, poking fun at me.
I laughed and told her I enjoyed the experience.
We were ready to go.
We walked our cart back to the car. This is a grand Cherokee jeep. She held the hatchback trunk while I discharged the cart to the car. I moved the things fast throwing them in one over the other.
Marijo told me to be careful. I asked her “why.”
“Because those are things we will eat, we need to handle them with care,” she said.
After emptying the items on the top of the cart, came those heavy ones at the bottom: bags of tissue, and packs of 24 water bottles. The latter is very heavy. “We will not eat this one,” holding the tissue with both hands and throwing it in the trunk.
I did the same thing with the water.
She rolled her eyes letting go the hatchback trunk door dropped on its weight and closed by itself.
Next step: JC Penny. And Bravo. She said.
Ok, I replied.
Part V Saturday morning stories to come… Next…. Stay Tuned…. and click to the right hand button to subscribe.