Solvitur Ambulando – It is solved by walking

This morning there was a “Mexican standoff” in our house; three sets of heels dug truly and deeply in the mud. I do not really remember what it was about and yet I am sure we all had reasons for feeling the way we did. In all likelihood those reasons probably had very little to do with the issue we were choosing to focus on in the moment. All I remember was it was a typical family upset revolving around the desire to get Cai to school on time and for all of us to be able to start our day. I also know that I was feeling frustration and anger and I was not being my best self.

Thankfully we live within walking distance of Cai’s school and as he and I left the confines of the house and experienced fresh(er) air I was able to look into myself, smile and make an offering.

“Cai do you want to learn some long words in Latin, the language of the Romans?” He likes soldiers at the moment and knows about the Romans, so he smiled at me and decided it might be a good thing.

I asked him to repeat after me, “sol-vi-tur am-bu-lan-do”.

“What does it mean?”

“It is solved by walking”

Again he smiled and our conversation as we marched steadily became the “wonder full” kind you have with a five year old. We talked about how we felt in the midst of our spat, Cai informing me. “I wanted to be a wizard and change everything.” This allowed us to explore how we all have the ability to be magical, how we can choose to be our “best selves” and work hard to change our thoughts and behaviors in the moment and create an outcome that makes us proud. I told him how I had not been my best self, how I had become frustrated, he told me it was a good idea to walk away and “find my magic“. (I tell you 5 year olds are really savvy when it comes to being good humans.) And so the conversation went on; both of us owning our mistakes, both of us apologizing to the other, both of us enjoying the wind in our faces and each others company.

We got to school smiling. “So what have you learned this morning Cai?”

Cai looked at me firmly in the eyes. “Solvitur ambulando and its best when you get outside.”

How do you solve your problems?


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Networking: Opening Lines of Communication

“Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditionis habes”

This morning as I was walking Cai to school, he started a conversation on languages and I was reminded of a story.

Around my 17th birthday I was hitch-hiking through Europe stopping at various climbing venues. For part of the journey I was accompanied by a friend. Somewhere in the middle of France we were picked up by an Italian in a VW Bug, neither Tom or myself spoke Italian and so we were expecting the next few hours to be a rather confusing mix of feeling rude and exasperated. I do not know why but when our benefactor tried conversing one of us responded in Latin. Being the product of English private education we had been brought up on a diet of dead language and had received many homework assignments translating vast passages of the original Cicero, Lucretius, Horace and Vergil. All of these were dished out by fusty old men in capes and mortar boards, sat at heavy oak desks carved with graffiti from the 19th Century (I kid you not).

Now let me make it clear that they are not the same language and yet they are suitably similar that we were able to understand one another. The atmosphere in the car lifted and all three of us became excited by the opportunity to talk; if only in a somewhat confusing melee. The great thing though is that we heard each others’ stories and parted as friends even if somewhat fleetingly.

This brings me to my point. How often do we see barriers to communication? How often do we just not make the effort because it does not seem like it is possible or worthwhile? How often do we let opportunities to connect slide by?

In this job market, networking is the going to be the biggest source of real job leads. How are you going to bridge the gap, make meaningful connections and find the hidden gems out there?

Oh and the approximate meaning of the Latin quote – “If you understand this you are over educated.”

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