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Honouring Parental Wisdom

InTouch - Newsletter - #75

Welcome to the seventy-fifth edition of “In-Touch”. As always, I would love to continue the conversation so please hit reply and let me know what you think.

Story of the Week: "Honouring Parental Wisdom"

The vast conference room at the Sofitel in Athens was now almost empty. Earlier, it had been filled with members of the leadership team of the Mitsis Group (owners of 21 hotels across Greece) who were there for a workshop that I was delivering. As I prepared to leave the venue, I was approached by Mrs. Jenny Mitsis, the vivacious and dynamic first-generation owner of the Group.

“Young man,” she said, “I want to congratulate you on the way you paid tribute to your late father. I have always respected those who respect their parents. Mine, too, taught me a great deal and I pay tribute to them with every chance I get.”

My workshop had indeed opened with a story about my father and ended with more of his wisdom – something I often incorporate into my seminars and workshops – but this was the first time anyone had made a point of commending me for this in person.

As we talked further, my curiosity was piqued when she asked me if I might be interested to hear two pieces of advice that her mother had shared with her many years ago. They had not only helped her build an empire, she told me, but had enabled her to walk through life ‘unscathed’, as she put it. How could I possibly refuse such an opportunity?

“On more than one occasion, my mother told me this,” she began. “Lesson One: ‘Life will hit you hard and only the most persistent succeed. So keep going and never give up.’ And Lesson Two: ‘No matter how well you think you know someone, always leave the last page of their story blank. Expect the unexpected.’”

As she smiled at the memory of her mother’s words, I could not help but be impressed by the fact that, despite her age, Mrs. Jenny Mitsis continues to recall and heed the parental wisdom that she was offered as a young girl. This truly great lady has never forgotten who and what made her become the person she is today.

Acknowledging the timeless advice and wisdom of our parents – and those of older generations – enables us to navigate our complex 21st century more easily and demonstrates the value of listening to those whose past experiences can help us succeed in the future. 

Photo taken at Sofitel Athens Airport Hotel in Greece on the 22nd of November, 2023. Mrs Jenny Mitsis standing on my left hand-side.

Words of Wisdom

“What children hear their parents say by the fireside, they will repeat on the highway.” Spanish Proverb

A Question to Ponder, dear friend.

“What is the greatest lesson your parents or an older family member has taught you?”