Gente que Cuenta

“Kid! Turn”,
by Rubén Azócar

Sandro Botticelli Atril press
Sandro Botticelli,
Las tres gracias, 1482

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      About twenty years ago, on a beautiful summer day, I found myself engaged in one of the things I dislike the most: buying a car. While the salesman was overwhelming us with different options, our children were in “the kids’ zone.” Among several entertainments, there was a video game that was the most popular. Spontaneously, each time the “game over” appeared on the screen, the child would vacate the seat to let the next in line play.

Suddenly, a new child joined the group. When it was his turn to play, after losing, he didn’t leave the seat and continued playing. My daughter, Andrea, was behind him in line. After this happened once, then a second time, and finally a third time, Andrea -who couldn’t have been more than three years old- grabbed him by the collar and said, “Kid, turns,” she displaced him from the seat, proceeded to take her turn, and thus restored the established order.

Remembering the moment, which was downright hilarious, I can’t help but think that Andrea, with her action, was proactive, fair, and resolved a conflict situation. In short, she assumed -probably without knowing it- a leadership position.

This month, we celebrate Women’s History Month. I have been fortunate to have great women throughout my life. My grandmothers -Celia and Ana María- navigated difficult circumstances in their families and in the times, they lived in. I have an extraordinary mother -Dorita- who instilled in me a love for reading and the arts. My American mother -Cathy- taught me the value of patience, calmness, and understanding. My wife -Maray- is a unique being as a life travel companion and as a mother.

Professionally, I have also been fortunate to have great female mentors. Among them, and at the risk of not mentioning many of them: my Anatomy teacher, Dr. Carmen Antonetti, who instilled in me the importance of having a global involvement at the Central University of Venezuela, my Alma Mater. Dr. Marcelle Willock -who was the first woman head of a Department at the Boston University School of Medicine, among other pioneering achievements for a woman of color and Latina- gave me the opportunity to train under her wing and served as my guide for many years. Dr. Joy Hawkins, with whom I have discussed every move of my professional career over the past twenty years.

Therefore, I am a fan of female leadership. When it is of high quality, it is not dissimilar to that of a good mother. It is compassionate and understanding but firm and guiding leadership. I am sure that each reader can recognize a key woman in their life and if they are fortunate enough to still be able to contact them, take a moment to thank them for their influence. It is, after all, Women’s History Month, and because of her or them, we are also history.

Ruben Azocar Atril press
Rubén J. Azócar es caraqueño, médico anestesiólogo e intensivista, fanático del béisbol y vive en Boston -desde donde escribe- desde hace más de un cuarto de siglo.

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