Cindy and I shared conversation over coffee January 17, 2018 at the Roosevelt Coffeehouse, a business with a not-for-profit mission for accessibility of clean water and eradication of human trafficking. Check ’em out; it’s a pleasant venue to feel human contact.
Upon meeting, we recognized one another from an encounter in 2017 at the Columbus Foundation, a community conversation to discuss the hundreds of recent “Big Table” gatherings, where up to 5000 central-Ohioans met in small local face-to-face discussions.
Cindy, let’s start with your VALUES: “The one thing I always rely upon is “To thine own self be true.” –Polonius, (‘Hamlet,’ Act 1, scene 3). And her mission that follows directly reflects her core values.
Her PERSONAL MISSION renews annually, that is, since 1988 she has done a goal-setting, including a goal of “helping others help themselves…an ongoing, inspired mission.” Cindy is a career educator, working in the classroom, in administration, and in grants for community outreach to advocate education among the homeless. In recent years she has accomplished this reach-out by volunteering at the Harmony Project.
EARLIEST MEMORY: “Being fitted, around age 4, in a flower girl dress for her older sister’s wedding… a puffery, sleeveless dress with a petticoat and a bow in the back. I was up on the kitchen table being fitted.”
Her FEEL OF CONNECTION: Cindy’s emotive texture of human connectivity is “a warm feeling inside, being enveloped in something safe, not feeling vulnerable. It does help if they’re living, but my husband died several years ago and I can still draw that in.” She went on to indicate that at times this feeling with her late spouse can be conjured at will! Hopeful.
On the SCARCITY/ABUNDANCE scale: “I feel very fortunate…abundant in many things, material things, health.” But on the side of SCARCITY, “loss of intimacy.” Less time with friends, former colleagues, means fewer occasions for human contact. This contributes to less opportunity for intellectual dialogue, challenging conversation with others. She’s discovered that in retirement one could sink into isolation, but she daily plans deliberate steps to offset this threat.
Cindy’s “BOX,” the proverbial thing that many are encouraged to THINK OUTSIDE OF: In her coming of age in a rural community during a different era, she’s found her BOX to be the social mores and gender roles prevalent in that time and place. This has been confining for her, and could be holding her back from growth, but to escape this risk she travels extensively, usually alone, and boldly initiates contact with strangers. She’s been to Cambodia, and a trip to Iceland and Portugal is coming up.
What is the source for your IDEAS, Cindy, your MUSE? “Mine come from solitude.” She retreats to her late husband’s cabin to find inspiration, likewise, in her travels. As a traveler, she can “melt into the people, and be free to think.”
On UNCERTAINTY: “I think uncertainty is scary, always. I want to live in a place that is a community. With any kind of uncertainty I want to connect with other people.”
EFFECTING CHANGE: Cindy practices “the power of one,” as in taking the time and initiative to connect with individuals, to listen, to share mutual support with others.
5-YEARS from now? 2023? She’s hopeful, in part in her inspiration from Oprah’s Golden Globe speech last week.
Much THANKS to you, Cindy.
And THANKS, too, toward all readers of “CAFFEINE COMMUNION.”
Please add your comments in the box below; any review or critique is welcome.
Let me know if I may interview you, in the box below or directly to me at email@example.com or (614) 440-1445.
And don’t miss a single interview, by clicking the “Email Subscription” box up top.