A Message From The President

December 2012

Silver Linings

My mother-in-law has a way, at the most inopportune time, to ask us to identify the silver lining in the ill-fated situation da jour. The Pollyannaish cliché could really be annoying, particularly when one was caught up in the intensity of the moment. Nanny’s prodding became a family exercise of sorts with each of us trying to best one another with humorous, often outlandish, silver linings. They would start with the bad, and be followed by an outrageous “at least” statement and end with a chipper, singsong “silver linings.”

Though pedestrian, there is wisdom in this exercise. Several years ago, when my oldest son was in the ICU with myocarditis and I was consumed with stress and emotion, my youngest son quipped, “Well at least Mark can’t be drafted now – silver lining.” Caught off-guard, I had to laugh at his creativity and his obvious effort to console me.

Silver linings came to mind recently when I fell from the ladder in my misguided effort to paint the trim on the exterior of my house. The surgery to repair the damage I caused was done on November 1, the day of our last luncheon. There were a number of silver linings in this situation, the most obvious being that I didn’t break my neck falling off the damn ladder! Another is that the painting got magically finished by a nice contractor my husband hired while I watched Lifetime movies. Still another was the great BIG get well card that showed up on my doorstep signed by my Athena sisters (Lee Leavengood’s quip, “Sorry you are a fallen woman” was priceless). Thank you.

Related to one’s ability to find silver linings is one’s ability to be thankful and recognize blessings – like the wisdom of our electorate, who demonstrated great wisdom in their re-election of our own Kathy Castor. With the recent election, the new Congress will have an unprecedented 101 women serving, which is still a far cry from proportional representation. The more disturbing pattern, however, is the selection of all white males for the major House committees in the next Congress. Katherine Young provided persuasive data at our October luncheon demonstrating that diversity on corporate boards leads to better outcomes. Our current Congressional leadership should attend our luncheons!