I’m sharing two three heart-warming tidbits to fuel the natural optimism lurking in most of my compatriot’s hearts.
Patriot’s Day is alive and well. It’s a nearly ubiquitous holiday in Boston, anchored by the beloved Marathon and a traditional Red Sox home game. Daily Grommet, itself, is located in the “Cradle of American Liberty,” Lexington, MA. School’s off and my youngest son was in the first parade of the day, gathering with his middle school band at 7AM. Last night he said, “There are as many tourists here as ever. Rancatore’s [the local ice cream shop] was full of people saying, ‘What flavor will I get?'” I take heart in those tourists. I’ve always loved them, but now I feel more grateful than ever that they would spend their vacation time and budget in Lexington.
The main reason tourists come to Lexington on Patriot’s Day is the 5:30 AM annual Re-enactment of the Battle on Lexington Green. (In 1775, it was the first official skirmish between the local Minutemen and the British Redcoats.) The local re-enactors faithfully reproduce every character and action of that fateful morning and hundreds (thousands?) of people gather in the pre-dawn light to watch the impressive, but extremely brief battle. My own seventeen year old son grabbed a few friends to bear witness today. If that surprising image alone–that of typically self-absorbed and sleep-deprived teenagers rousting themselves out of bed for a patriotic, historical re-enactment–is not heartwarming, I don’t know what is.
Susan Boyle, holding her own for every underestimated middle-aged person with a dream. I feel like half of my friends are talking about this. For the other half, I am sharing her stunning recent performance on “Britain’s Got Talent.” Look at the sneering and derisive expressions of the judges and audience. Virtually no one expected what this unpromising 47-year-old who has “never been married, never been kissed” knew she could do, and actually delivered.
(You might get an error message about the video being disabled by request. Just hit the bottom right area where the YouTube logo normally sits, and you’ll get to the video.)
An anonymous donor has been pouring donations into women-led colleges and universities. Here’s the Boston Globe story, in full, and a quote below:
It’s the question on everyone’s lips in philanthropy: Who is the mysterious donor giving away millions of dollars to at least a dozen colleges across the country?
A circle of successful businesswomen? A publicity-shy (or playful) billionaire? Oprah Winfrey?
What is so unusual is that not even the colleges themselves know the answer. But the parlor game is afoot, with only one real clue: So far, all the colleges are led by women.
Wow. In business, it’s so much harder for women to attract institutional investment. I assume the same is true, but perhaps a little less dramatic, in higher education. Why is it hard? Investors, who are almost all male, want to see themselves in an entrepreneur/leader. They often want to live vicariously through that person, and affiliate with their success. The gender difference, for a woman, makes that pretty tough. No matter how great a visionary or leader a woman is, it is hard for a man to see himself as hugely similar to her. He’s not deliberately dissing her, it’s subconscious.
I love that someone out there is actually deliberately funding women leaders. You go girls. Even bigger, please keep going Mr. or Ms. Anonymous Donor!