Life as a Relay

iStock_000000698569SmallI’ve been reading Hard Choices the new Hillary Rodham Clinton memoir, and I am struck by a paragraph in chapter 2… she says and I quote:

“America’s leadership in the world resembles a relay race.  A Secretary, a President, a generation are all handed the baton and asked to run a leg of the race as well as we can, and then we hand off the baton to our successors.”

When I read that, I immediately thought about it’s application to parenting.  We parents are charged with what is arguably the most important job on the planet and I genuinely believe that all parents begin the journey (or race!) wanting to be the best parents we can be.  We strive to impart as much wisdom as we are capable, and instill all the important character traits in our children that we know to be right and true.  Hopefully, somewhere along the way, these character traits were modeled for us… by either a parent, caregiver, teacher, mentor or coach.

This is a vivid reminder that life is a marathon and not a sprint and that it is truly never too late to join the race and become part of a successful “relay”.  One in which we eventually pass the baton to our kids in hopes of someday seeing them as successful, responsible citizens and parents themselves.

As I prepare my summer reading lists for both kids and parents (coming next week), I will certainly be including Hard Choices.  Regardless of your political beliefs or alignments, reading the recently released memoir of the former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State should not be a hard choice at all!

Happy Summer!

Much love,
Renee

Book Reading and Signing on September 20, 2013

StarbucksFlierTopPlease join us from 4:00 – 6:00P as Local Southern California author, entrepreneur and mother, Renee Carter, reads and signs the second book from her inspirational My World Friends Series. Continue reading

The March on Washington – 50 Years Later

iStock_000011596999XSmallThose of you who know me well, know that I rarely watch TV, unless its sports or game shows with my kids. I particularly don’t watch TV in the afternoon on weekdays. But Wednesday, I found myself in the kitchen baking and turned on CNN.

I was very touched by President Obama’s speech commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington… he delivered the speech fifty years to the minute after Martin Luther King delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech, in the same location on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Pretty cool, right?!

He spoke a lot about courage and encouraged Americans of all colors and faiths to “keep on marching”.  There are many things I could say and quote with regard to the speech that inspired me, but what I will say is that in my opinion it was President Obama’s shining moment… the best and most meaningful and inspiring speech that he’s delivered since he’s been in office.

That night, I felt compelled to turn on CNN again, and caught Anderson Cooper’s (AC360) interview of Dr. Maya Angelou. Dr. Angelou is one of the most renowned and influential voices of our time.  Whether you’re Republican or Democrat, no matter the color of your skin, or your faith and beliefs, it would have been very hard not to be moved by the interview. If you missed it, you can view it here……..
http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2013/08/28/web-exclusive-andersons-conversation-with-dr-maya-angelou/

I have loved Maya Angelou since reading her autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”, many years ago for a college course.  I have subsequently read many of her other books. She is an amazing, inspiring, brilliant woman and I relished in every moment of the interview. I woke-up this morning still thinking about it and briefly fantasized that “if Maya Angelou knew of me and my company’s mission, and understood my hopes, she would genuinely admire and respect me”… I was tickled by the thought and it made me smile!

Much of what Dr. Angelou said during the brilliant interview deeply resonated with me… I submit the following:

When asked about the state of equality, Dr. Angelou said:
“The decision is, I am a human being; nothing human can be alien to me.  Until we come to that, we will not have parity, it’s very clear.”

Mr. Cooper then asked, “So you don’t think that has occurred?”
“No. I know it hasn’t and you know it hasn’t and anybody who is listening to you knows that it hasn’t!  People have to develop courage, it is most important of all the virtues.  Without courage you cannot practice any other virtue consistently.  You can be anything erratically, and in front of the microphone, in front of the camera, but to be that thing, in your heart you have to have courage.  We are lacking in courage.  And fear, I’m sorry to say, motivates most of the cruelties in our world.”

Anderson Cooper went on to ask “How does one live with courage?”
Dr. Angelou’s response was “if we never accept any racial pejorative about any other human being, we will develop and gain courage, and each time we do it in small ways, we gain more courage.  No one of us can be free until everybody is free.  Every one of us needs to say to our children “this is your world, stand-up, earn it, make it a better place, this is your world and your time.”

The President’s speech was very compelling.  Dr. Angelou’s interview and statements, as always, rang very true to me.  I’d love to hear what part of Wednesday’s speech and subsequent interviews inspired you and made you smile! What resonated with you and what, if any actions will you take to continue “the march”?

What I know for sure is that “we’re all the same, but we’re all different”, and I personally look forward to celebrating that as a society one day!  Until then, I’ll just keep “marching” down my path… and blogging about it!

Until next week…

Much love,
Renee

Vacation Reads for Adults

Life is a BeachIt’s hard to believe that summer is half over!  There are so many things I love about summer, but one of my favorite guilty summertime pleasures is reading! Continue reading

Summer Reading

iStock_000010234350XSmallNo matter what school you’re kids attend or what grade they’ll be entering in the fall, there is always recommended summer reading.  Some kids love to read and would rather be reading than swimming, Continue reading

There Are No Shortcuts!

iStock_000014715682XSmallRecently, I did a book reading and signing at Nordstrom, South Coast Plaza. What a wonderful opportunity and a very fun afternoon!  Every time I have the occasion to do a reading/signing I try to make it work, as I get so much joy from spending time with the young children who are inevitably present. Continue reading

Home Is Where The Heart Is

Heart the houseIn honor of the brave citizens of Moore, Oklahoma, and its surrounding areas, and in honor of those that lost their lives in the devastating tornado, please pray, send positive thoughts and assist in any way possible. Our hearts go out to all the families impacted.

When we talk about these tragedies, the conversation inevitably leads to “why would you live there” or “why would you rebuild in a place where this happens so Continue reading

Who Are Your “People”?

Kids-ChaklboardThe other day I was talking to a friend about her 3 year old son, Thomas. She was sharing with me how much he loves his “Family Tree” book. 3 or 4 times throughout the day he’ll go pick it up, sit down and “read” out loud to anyone who will listen… usually Elmo, Big Bird and the Cookie Monster :) Continue reading

Kids Say the Cutest Things

LibraryThe word “tolerance” came up the other day at a book signing/reading. When I asked the little girl if she thought she had tolerance her response was, “I definitely don’t have tolerance because I’m lactose intolerant”. Continue reading