Andrea Lawful-Sanders, 50.
Author of "ALawfulTruth, Words of Affirmation: Simple Truths for Every Day Living" + CEO and Principal Partner at ALAWFUL TRUTH, LLC.,
We have family meetings.
I started when my sons were 9 and 5.
What has come out of that is my children call me when they struggle or when they don't have the answers to certain questions.
I know them well because they trust me and they know that if something happens, they don't have to fear that I'll rip them apart. I would say that you're wrong, but what is the lesson you've gotten from this?
I chose to listen to my children.
I was asked why I chose to have millennials on my board.**
We tend to undermine and underestimate millennials. We tend to believe we know more than them. We should really spend more time listening to younger people. They’re telling us that there are still inequities in education, policing and hiring practices.
Every 50 years, there seems to be an uprising. This year marks 50 years since Martin Luther King, Jr., died. He was 39. We made him a deity; you would think he was 50 when he died.
What have we learned from the history?
It’s the young people that are creating the movements.
I tell people that nurturing almost always never comes through money. When my children were babies and I got divorced, I struggled like hell. I didn't have much beyond paying the rent and I didn't have money to take them to museums. There was a point when I didn't have a car. But what I had was love in abundance. I would walk them to the nearest park. I got a library card so we could read. I said to my sons years later, "Did you feel like you were missing something?"
They said, "Are you kidding me? We got to spend so much time with you!"
It’s never the things you buy. It’s the time you spend with your children that they never forget.
In the future as we look to build prosperity, we should also build generational love. Our families lose building generational wealth without building the love.
Our future depends on us going back to the drawing board, really listening to each other and being future ready instead of future shocked. Are we learning how to code? To build robots? To be the producers of things versus consumers of things? Our future depends on collaboration and building legacies for and with our children.
(**Editor's note: Andrea is on the Chair of SE PA CARES, an affiliate of the National CARES Mentoring Movement.)
Andrea's Revolutionary Picks:
The historical figure that l emulate in my daily movements, is Nanny of the Maroons. She was a wise warrior who learned the land. The slave owners and the power structures tried to keep her and her people in bondage. She created a plan and ran circles around the system for years and kept her people safe in a compound that was a fortress. She never publicly spoke of what she was planning to do, she just did it with a fierce gleam in her eyes. I think of her daily, as l go about my business of impacting lives and honing the leaders of tomorrow.