August 21, 2009

Life is about stories. This quotation says it all: “Everything is a tale. What we believe, what we know. What we remember, even what we dream. Everything is a story, a narrative, a sequence of events with characters communicating an emotional content. We only accept as true what can be narrated.” (From The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón)

So here are two stories.

Once there was a little girl in Alaska. Actually, she’s still a girl in Alaska.

She started using the word “Fickity” and “Fickities.” She used it a lot. I know, you think it isn’t a word. But she overheard her daddy swearing in frustration. Yes, he used the “F” word. I imagine that most of us have – and perhaps still do!

Anyway, her interpretation was “Fickity.” She says it when she’s frustrated. I haven’t actually heard her say it. Her mom told me the story.

But I say fickity or fickities now. It seems so appropriate. So right. So on target.

I have another little girl story. A story of a little girl in Rhode Island. She’s a feminist. Yes, indeed! She’s 8 now. This is a story when she was about 5, a feminist even then. Her mom told me the story. But I actually know this little girl.

She and her mom were watching the movie “The Princess Bride” on DVD (or maybe video back then!) Have you ever seen the film? It’s delightful and funny.

Anyway, after the film, the little girl says to her mom, “Let’s play Princess Bride. I’ll be the Princess, mommy, and you be the prince.” And then, this little feminist said: “And you don’t have to rescue me. I can rescue myself!”

You see, there were a few scary scenes in the movie where the Princess Bride kinda squeaks and cringes with fear. And the valiant Prince intervenes and saves her.

But not this little feminist. I imagine her yelling loudly, “Fickities! Stand back my Prince, I’ll rescue myself!”

Here’s to these two little girls – young women and feminists both, I suspect. Thank you for your stories.

What stories do you and your organization tell?

By the way, the Rhode Island girl is now 12. And she is still a feminist.


Filed under: Nonprofit Management

About Simone Joyaux

A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, Simone P. Joyaux works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in the graduate program for philanthropy at Saint Mary’s University, MN. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field.

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