Today is the birth date of Margaret Cecilia Hayes Sowers, my mother. I have been thinking of her intermittently all day as I prepare to teach tomorrow's operational risk course.
Growing up, I'm not sure you ever appreciate your mother. From my perspective, I didn't think that I caused a lot of trouble. I mostly liked to read. I think it was my attitude that frustrated her. I thought most anything was possible and do-able. "Crack ahead!" she would say in the direst of voices. I knew that meant "you will reap what you sow" and that she felt I was being reckless. Like most children, I thought I had well-thought out plans, whether it was checking out ten library books a week or earning enough money myself to go to the University of Iowa. She too was a reader, with a vivid imagination and a love of travel, so I suspect most of her dread came from imagining what terrible consequences might obtain from my ambitions.
Today I know that "Crack ahead!" is not the same as "Take risks with confidence," our corporate mantra at ASA Risk Consultants.
But I wonder sometimes if I would still have ended up in the same profession if she had not said that to me so often.
Happy birthday, Mother.