Strong, Independent, And A Force For Good
I couldn’t speak.
The beauty of her pure and elegant shimmering fell in its blinding whiteness to the floor. She gazed at me, anxious and expectant; eager to be calm, to know that she was glorious.
But how can you utter words when the throat is closed, and lungs won’t open?
Hardly mortal, she stood.
An apparition, she teetered for breath, ready to glide into the future.
She, The Daughter: regal over Her Day.
Me, The Father, performing this ageless ritual, this primordial dance.
After the ceremony of laughter and laughing tears, we Selected Few are faced with the ordeal of The Speech. After 40 or more years of practice... this should be easy, shouldn’t it?
But no conference platform ever held the likelihood of such a memorable message or eternal influence, as was possible here.
What to say to my child?
Well, I’ll share one thought with you from that momentous moment.
Throughout the preceding days, I had heard this beautiful being described as A Strong, Independent Woman. For all sorts of reasons this label, this honorary title, has risen in popularity; in a triumphant expression of modernity and womanhood.
As something worthy of praise?
I don’t buy it!
In my eyes, by themselves, these characters “Strong”... “Independent” don't qualify as descriptors of human greatness. Indeed, much that is not worthy of praise has flowed from those we would use such terms to describe.
No. There is something achingly missing.
Something that takes the first two qualities...
Binds them together...
And ignites them to an explosive, life-affirming, joyous force.
And there is the clue to what I said, as I stood at that podium and gazed at the seated, poised bride. This child. This stunning woman.
“What raises you to greatness,” and here my throat threatened closure again, “Is that you possess and magnify this third character quality.
You are Strong.
You are Independent.
You are a Force for Good.”
And that elicited a surprised smile... starting from her eyes.
This triumvirate also plays out in business:
1) Strength (determination, resilience, grittiness)
2) Independence (not dancing to another’s commercial tune; not following the herd)
These are qualities that I’ve seen evident in many small and medium-sized organisations.
But the third quality is far rarer.
To create and then use your firm - whatever its size - as A Force for Good...
This is the third and igniting power.
This can raise Perfectly Ordinary to Memorable Greatness.
This is worthy of ceremony and celebration!