Words of wisdom
Aug 19, 2020 | by Becky Oeltjenbruns
I’ve been working remotely for several years now. While it can be difficult to build team culture through a computer screen, it’s not impossible. As more and more folks are learning to collaborate with teammates over Zoom rather than in the office, finding ways to connect is taking on a new importance. Our team hosts a weekly “get to know you” Q&A session. One person proposes a question and we all get to share our responses. It’s a fun way to learn more about each other. The questions can range from the silly to the philosophical. Our recent chit chat focused on favorite quotes – it challenged us to think about the words that have had the most impact in our own lives. In that spirit, allow me to share some words of wisdom from some of my favorite vintage icons. Tell me about the quotes that influence you in the comments…
Eleanor Roosevelt tops my list of “historical figures I wish I could invite to dinner.” She was a force of nature and remains a source of inspiration to the modern woman (and man). This quote is a simple and beautiful reminder of the importance of focus. Eleanor’s advice remains timeless and during these difficult times this particular quote rings true.
Being inundated with news reports and statistics can feel overwhelming. Each new headline can feel like a looming storm cloud, but it doesn’t have to be the messenger of dread. Mr. Rogers taught us to look for the brightness in the darkest of moments and Eleanor is reminding us we can be that ray of hope. So, dear reader, as you ponder challenges big and small keep in mind what’s top of your mind. If the storm clouds are approaching, help is one flicker away.
Audrey Hepburn is another legend I would love to break bread with. Her charm and talent were one-of-a-kind. I adore this particular quote because it addresses something that can often be overlooked in a cynical world. When tough times come, people can be quick to stop encouraging others in their own attempt to get ahead. Part of that is human nature, but Audrey gently reminds us that love is a beautiful gift to give and to receive. During this pandemic, I’ve heard tale of many everyday heroes. These are the folks who tackle the tough problems head-on (a.k.a. Mr. Rogers’ helpers). The ongoing commitment of people such as these inspire me and it’s uplifting to see them bring Audrey’s equation to life.
Bill Cunningham was not just a great photographer, he was a diligent recorder of life. His work showed us that fashion wasn’t an elite luxury. He proved that fashion became art once it left the catwalk. Being able to express an idea or convey a mood is a core human desire. When we choose an outfit, we become storytellers (whether we realize it or not!). While my favorite medium trends toward vintage, the joy of fashion is in the mixing and the matching. This quote from Bill sums up the kind of joie de vivre that I’m treasuring even more these days.
This pandemic may have temporarily robbed us of some of our beloved traditions, but it won’t hold them hostage forever. In the meantime, it’s possible to start new rhythms. For me, I miss standing in front of artwork. But I’ve dusted off my paints and am creating a very exclusive gallery – one that caters to a particular curator (me!). Some of my painting techniques prove more successful than others, but I’m finding joy in the process. Dear reader, what new joyful traditions are you establishing during this time apart?