Can you guess which event doesn’t fit in this group:
Give up? The answer is C. Isn’t it obvious? Maybe not so let me explain.
With the exception of my son’s college graduation (an awesome achievement for him and proud moment for his dad by the way), each of these recent or upcoming events celebrate, engage and appreciate women: Smart women. Strong women. Generous women. Hard working women. Talented women. Often under-appreciated women. Women who sometimes juggle more tasks in a day than I might in a week.
I was raised by a strong mother who taught by example the values of kindness, empathy, humility, and steadfast commitment to serving her community. I am married to a phenomenal woman who makes me a better person every day through her constant love, thoughtfulness, and support. I have a beautiful daughter who is wise beyond her years and eager to find her path in life. I have two amazing sisters who give tremendously of their time and talents to their families and their professional endeavors. I work with a team of strong, talented women who amaze me every day with their commitment to our shared work helping our nonprofit sector do great things.
Earlier this week I attended the celebration of the life of an amazing woman, a servant leader, taken from us much too soon. She left an indelible mark on so many people and causes across our nonprofit community. In every encounter she would always offer a kind word about my contributions and those of my team. She was always focused on lifting others up. Listening to her family, friends and colleagues reflect on her life, I heard the echoes of that kindness and her giving spirit and was reminded again of the strong, humble, and kind woman who worked tirelessly for those in our community. Those who desperately needed someone to care for them, and fight for them.
On Tuesday of this week, the Triangle Community Foundation celebrated its annual What Matters community luncheon. This year’s focus was on women, exploring gender inequality specifically as it relates to health, housing, education, and employment – situations we must rectify. It also raised up the overwhelming success and generosity of women philanthropists - a celebration worth recognizing.
I am a better husband, dad, brother, team member and citizen because of the lessons learned from the women in my life. I hope I will never stop seeking to be more mindful of the challenges they face, the sacrifices they make, and the contributions they share. Thanks mom, Melanie, Jenni, Cathy, Emily, Shannon, Leslie, April, Mendi, Katie, Staci, and Beth! And thank you Debra!