I always wanted to be a medical professional who helped children. I loved medicine. I loved children. I decided to become a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner and enrolled in a five year BS/Masters program at an East Coast university. The fact that I graduated with a BA in Accounting and worked for more than a decade as a hospitality industry executive is a story for another time.
My sophomore year brought the uniform I dreamed about. Putting on my white nurse’s dress and cap made me feel like a princess. To me, the ugly white nursing shoes were really Cinderella's slippers. As I proudly walked to clinic among the century old academic buildings and Fall colored trees, I was truly happy. My Nirvana like stroll was broken, however, when a couple of male friends walked up and said, “Shit Sharon, look at you. We didn’t know this was your major. Hell girl, you don’t look like a nurse!” and kept walking. I was stunned. I looked at my friend, also in white and just as stunned as I was and said, "What the hell does a nurse look like?" We laughed and kept going.
Of course I was just covering my feelings. I understood what they meant. And so did my friend. The interaction was as hurtful to her as it was to me. Neither of us wanted to think that these guys were judging our career choices based on our appearance. She was smart enough to wear a white uniform; I was a fraud and more suited for tight jeans. The football captain thought the way she looked was appropriate for prescribing pharmaceuticals. I would be better off selling them. They didn't't care who we were on the inside; just what our packaging looked like on the outside. We were both crushed...we had just been bullied.
I’ve often thought about that day, especially when I read or hear about bullying. A bully can come in all sizes and ages. A bully doesn't discriminate between black and white, rich or poor, sick or well. When a child is not invited to a class birthday party because the scarf she wears makes the parents uncomfortable, the birthday boy's mother is the bully. If "special" children are sitting alone at lunch because the "gifted" children are ignoring them, the gifted children are learning to be bullies. And when a young woman is not invited out for drinks with everyone else at the office because an accident has left her less than beautiful, the young executives have grown up to be bullies.
But what if we could teach our young ones to think differently? How would we show them? What could we possibly say that would truly impact their treatment of others as they grew into young men and women? Maybe something like this:
Picture four young children standing in front of four wrapped boxes. The first box was taller than the children and was wrapped by "The Oprah Wrapping Company." Box Number 2 was smaller and had been wrapped by the local department store on a very busy day. The third box was wrapped by Mommy while the baby was crying and the water on the stove was starting to boil over. And finally there is box Number 4, wrapped by their three year old brother Tommy using newspaper and masking tape. Can you imagine the fighting that would go on over these boxes?
But not with this Mom...
Mom had labeled each box, "Beautiful", "Generous", "Kind" and "Loving." She had also written each word on a separate piece of paper, folded and put into a paper bag. Each child picked out a piece of paper and got the present labeled. Mom yelled, "Three, two, one....open!" The look on each child's face was priceless. Because in each box was the exact same present - a beautiful gold star pendant for each child to wear. "You see kids, it's never about the packaging. It's about what's inside. Each one of you is exactly the same to me - a beautiful gold star who lights up world."
How amazing would our world be if everyone learned the lesson of the four boxes? Children would have all their friends at their birthday parties, because discrimination would not exist. Every child would be "special", because children are all "gifted" with the love of the Universe. And beauty would truly be in the eye of the beholder, because the beholder would know that true beauty can only be found from within.
And who knows...the next time the captain of the football team walks up to a nursing student wearing a white uniform and ugly shoes, it will be to put his arm around her, make sure she still likes the beautiful gold star necklace he gave her for her birthday, and tell her he will cook dinner for them tonight...as long as she promises to tutor him for his Organic Chemistry test next week.
Thank you to everyone for gifting me with your trust, your time and your love this past year. I know these gifts are not given lightly and can never be replaced. But you need to know I get so much more from each and every person I meet and work with than I can ever hope to give. I ask that the Universe bring everyone a new year filled with health, happiness, peace and, above all...with love.
Hugs & Love, SGW
Please share this email with friends who would enjoy Sharon's newsletter. Thanks!
Q: I'm trying very hard to hear my mother talk to me. But it's not working. Can you give me any help?
A. The words that pop out at me are "trying very hard." You can't try to hear your mom. It's actually the opposite. When I do a session with someone, I (Sharon) don't do anything! I clear my mind of all thoughts, make sure I'm connected with the Universe and just listen. Mom talks when you are doing simple tasks like doing the dishes or sweeping the floor. Your mind is so focused on that work it forgets to try and listen. All of sudden you will realize that you hear your mom. It's amazing what can happen when we just let go!
Meet the voice on the end of the phone...
Taylor Younani Executive Assistant to SGW
Taylor here! I wanted to take this opportunity to talk for a minute about the spirit of the holiday season. Growing up in a multi ethnic and religious home, celebrating the holidays, whether Christmas or Hanukkah, is always a time where differences take the back seat and love truly has a chance to shine. My parents raised me to see past the artificial differences of the spirit, and understand that at the end of the day we as human beings share a common struggle as well as a common purpose: to live and to love. The holidays are a constant reminder of the positive energy within my home, and I am always sure to take each opportunity available to share my compassion and dedication to upholding that purpose. So during this holiday season, do something good for someone you love or someone you don't even know. Take a risk and strike up a conversation with a stranger. Pay it forward and buy someone their coffee at Starbucks. At the end of the day, what we do in this world determines our future in the next. Live each day with the same spirit and joy that my parents instilled in me and I promise, no matter the obstacle, love will find it's way to you.
Happy holidays and may peace be with you and your loved ones.
"The moment you realize you can't do anything...
Is the moment you realize you can do everything..."