When I met Ruth Van Reken last year at the Families in Global Transition conference, I texted my husband and said “Just met RVR!! She HUGGED me.” that was before I realized that RVR has a hug or a word of affirmation for every single person she meets.
I have loved RVR from afar ever since I first heard her speak and that was a long time ago.
Ruth ages the way I want to age. She is dignity and fun, fully present with all those she meets. She has done more single handedly for the cause of the CCK (cross-cultural kid) and TCK than anyone else alive.
Ruth began Families in Global Transition around her kitchen table. Since then it has grown to include people from all over the world so that the most recent conference featured 200 people from 6 continents and 36 countries. The number of languages spoken was not countable.
In the second keynote session of the conference, Ruth gave some gems: Pithy, one or two liners that resonate with the global and non-global soul. I’ve gathered some of these here today with hopes that they will help you as much as they did me.
“We start doing something [for the global family] because somebody has to do it!”
“Know what your skills are – and aren’t.”
“Celebrate when others build on your dream and do a better job than you did or can. Don’t be jealous. You have a part. We all have parts.”
“What’s your dream or passion? Find others of like-mindedness, then create and enlarge your network.”
“We come. We want to make a difference. The goal is not self-promotion.”
“We have a world of people who don’t know who they are.”
“All members of the family will have different perspectives. Goal is to respect and try to understand.”
“The TCK is a living organism.” [ain’t that the truth?! comment is mine not Ruth’s]
Ruth lives what she speaks. She is ever ready to help others carry on the task of helping the global family. Whether it be responding to an email, being a part of a conference or giving perspective, she continues to work within her passion and influence those of us who have walked, stumbled, or fallen into this work.
So to RVR – I raise my cup and salute you. You teach and inspire, you affirm and challenge. Thank you for who you are, and what you do! Please keep on doing it.
(And thank you so much for hugging me! I must have really needed it!)
3 thoughts on “Gems from RVR – #FIGT16NL”
I met Ruth before I knew her as RVR, and I had no idea I was speaking with an FIGT celebrity :-) She is an amazing woman with incredible insights and integrity.
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This is so accurate! I met her at a conference I helped organize and she was the main speaker. She was so accessible and so encouraging. Really an impressive person!
You were at FIGHT16? A friend of mine was there!
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You make me cry, Marilyn. Thank you for these kind words. You forgot to mention ALL that I have gained throughout my life by meeting and interacting with so many special people starting with Ruth Useem, Dave Pollock, Norma McCaig, in beginning days to you and so many others who share this vision and passion to help normalize the story of what it is to live in and/or grow up among many cultural worlds. And yet, given the changes in our world, we really have only just begun! So I am thrilled so many were at FIGT sharing the dream and vision and will all take it farther than I could ever do. And I am SO grateful for the board and committee…this year and all the years in the past…who have worked so hard to make all of this happen. “This is not my story but ‘our story”. And for us all, remember what Jill Briscoe told me in 1980: When you don’t know how to do it all, ask that is the one thing you CAN do…Do that and you’ll be surprised in the end with what happens. Surely the story of FIGT as each person, one by one, has done that along the way and there we were…In Amsterdam, having a most wonderful wonderful time in our newest ‘reunion of strangers’!
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