The Goddess Speaks
Learning the value of a good hug
Life is full of lessons. Lessons in learning to cope. To endure. To succeed. I am convinced that if you give it some thought, you'll realize you've learned a new life lesson every day -- or if you're really lucky, something in your day will serve to reinforce a lesson already learned.
I have a business degree from the University of Hawaii-Manoa in travel industry management, but through the required internship program, I learned that I did not want to work in the industry. I also learned that I didn't like the math-related courses. Still, I found myself working at a bank for 14 years. At First Hawaiian Bank, I learned there was more to banking than just crunching numbers. I learned about working with people from all walks of life. It's at FHB that I learned that every man has a story to tell.
But I learned my most useful life lessons when I was a stay-at-home mom and spent two years volunteering at my son's preschool. Want to broaden your horizons? Drive 3-year-olds on a field trip. You learn where not to step on the playground. You learn about lunches that survive and lunches that don't. You learn that boys do indeed have cooties.
Later, I was fortunate enough to secure my current job here at Punahou School. So here I am pushing 60, still in school and still learning. Surround yourself with 1,800 teenagers, and let me tell you, you learn something new every day.
I learned recently that the greatest gift you can give your child is a hug. You do all that you can to give them things: an iPod for Christmas, a good education, the keys to the family car, the backpack she has to have. But at baccalaureate, I watched parents and children hugging. A child filled with relief that another rite of passage has gone well. A parent filled with pride. I did my share of hugging, too, and with each hug I thought of the life lessons that each child has taught me.
From Amanda I learned that a smile speaks volumes. From "Big E" I learned that one person can do more for school spirit than a busload of cheerleaders. From Krysti I learned that friendships start now. From Kainoa I learned that "no worry, auntie" is a mantra. From Mikey I learned that family is where the love begins. From Noah I learned that being short ain't so bad cause you can tiptoe for that hug.
I look forward to today's life lesson.
Carol Chun bids a fond aloha to the 430 graduating seniors at Punahou School.
The Goddess Speaks is a feature column by and about women. If you have something to say, write "The Goddess Speaks," 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210,
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