What I did this weekend:
The weekend effectively started on Thursday morning with extraction of eight wisdom teeth. Check off another milestone in the journey of parenting twin daughters. It was a great opportunity to reflect on that journey while the two usually high energy kids lay like sleeping lions after a bull's eye hit from a dart gun fired by Marlon Perkin's trusty sidekick Jim Fowler. The house was indeed unusually quiet. My two almost 18 year olds don't seem to have much wisdom. I wondered how wisdom teeth got that name? Wikipedia explains that it is believed to be because they appear at a wiser age than the other teeth. No real surprise there but interestingly, Wikipedia also references an article about the successful harvesting of stem cells from wisdom teeth last year in Japan. I don't think wisdom comes at the same age those teeth appear. Rather it is accumulated along life's path. There is a lot of thought lately about life's path in our house. The two dental patients should know where they will attend college in the next few weeks.
So while the patients recovered, Jamie and I went to hear words of wisdom from someone that is a bit further down life's path: Jane Goodall. It is not often that I get a chance to hear a lecture by someone that I remember reading about in a 3rd grade textbook almost 40 years ago. As is becoming the norm for me, I heard the familiar encouragements about following your passion and questioning the norms, success achieved from outside the establishment, challenges to the traditional roles of women, sustainability. When you start looking for them certain themes are everywhere. As humans, we notice such a small percentage of what is there to see.
Goodall spoke as part of the Vanderhaar Symposium at Christian Brothers University. Congrats to Anthony Siracusa on the Student Peace Award he received prior to Goodall's lecture. This award was given to Anthony for his work at Revolutions Community Bike Shop. Along with that work Anthony has generously shared his passion for biking by mentoring my son as a bicycle mechanic. Anthony departs soon on a year long trek to study biking cultures around the world as a Watson Fellow. Anthony has become a leader of the Memphis biking tribe. Anthony's blog about his trek.
Speaking of tribes, I wrapped up the weekend by learning about another huge tribe. I took my mom (and dad) to see Hats. Hats is the musical about the Red Hat Society. A few years ago my mom told me about a group that she had joined: The Red Hat Society. The RHS is a fun loving social organization for women over fifty. I had never heard of it and didn't give it much thought at the time. Recently I received a direct mailer about the performance and thought my mom would enjoy it. When we arrived for the show most of the audience were elderly women wearing red hats. A Google search reveals that this tribe is 1,500,000 strong. Each member pays a $20 annual membership fee. I marveled at the marketing genius of the musical. This is certainly geared at a specific niche. Come to find out the society commissioned the musical. RHS has numerous other money generating products and ventures but the Google search did not reveal much about the Red Hatters from the traditional business media. I am reminded that I need to always pay attention. You never know where the next inspiration is coming from.
That Google search did reveal that researchers at Penn State University are conducting interviews with Red Hatters as part of a study that is researching the link between play and happiness. 'Play' is one of the 'six fundamentally human attributes that are essential for professional success and personal fulfillment' outlined in Dan Pink's A Whole New Mind. Pay attention.