I recently sat in a circle with the Grace Family ministry assistants. These women and men are amazing. They bring such gifting and talent to the ministries and the people they serve. I was doing a Q & A with them about GFC, leadership and growth. I answered one of their questions with this answer, “I am curious. I always want to learn new things. You need to stay curious. Ask questions and keep learning new things.”
I was in fifth grade when my grandfather, Ed Williams, sat down with me to impart some life wisdom. He told me to about the magnificence of the United States Government because it is a democracy and all its citizens have a voice. Then, he gave me advice that has stuck with me for a lifetime. “You need to learn to ask good questions.” Never forgot that lesson; I still do it everyday.
Then he then told me this story. He worked for Boston Gear for over 30 years. He and his wife, Virginia, raised their six kids in Hingham, Massachusetts. When he retired, he enrolled in the Seniors Program at Harvard. He went to his class and was presented with it a syllabus…. filled with blanks. Each student in the class would sign up to be “the teacher” for a week. They could speak on any topic they wanted to share with the class. One chose Chinese Literature, another World War Two Airplanes, How to Make the Perfect Clam Chowder, etc. He told me it was one of the most amazing classes he ever took because every lesson was taught from a total passion and interest in the subject.
Now at 48, I remember that conversation with my brilliant grandfather so clearly. His words have reverberated in my leadership and my personal life ever since then. But one more thought has been added through the years. He went back to school after a full lifetime of leading, living and raising up others. He went back after a lifetime of work, family and love.
He went back and became a Harvard Man…because he was curious.