Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Red, like many parents of a graduating high school senior, can't believe how quickly the years have gone by and knows this summer will fly by and then her little "baby" will be off to college. But while Red was focused more on how her daughter has grown into a young lady and was "compartmentalizing" this portion of Sawyer's life, Black was looking at things differently and focusing on the big picture of her education, recognizing college would just be a step-along-the-way.


While there's no question that graduation is a milestone and worthy of celebration, it's also human nature to think that once you finish your formal education, you're now "done". But Black doesn't think any of us should ever be "done" learning and uses Red being forced to realize that when she was 40+ years old as an example.

On the surface, that might sound like a "negative" example, except Black uses it to point out an essential skill that Red demonstrates that's extremely valuable in the workplace … and in life. In fact, Red didn't realize it even existed (or, at least, had a name), let alone be something she possesses. Adaptability.

The funny thing is since Red's daughter's approaching college with enthusiasm and an open mind, willing to try new things, and welcoming unexpected opportunities, she'll become adaptable without even realizing it. Hopefully, her "learning mindset" will continue after graduation.

And what about those of us who are no longer in school? Well, as Black points out to her sister in "RED & BLACK … Live & Learn," there are many reasons to become a lifelong learner.

Want to read other columns? Here's a list.

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Based on the "hints" in your Ghosting post, it sounds like your recent "romance" wasn't quite a Lady GaGa "bad romance", but, well, a frustrating one.


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Interesting comparison, as years ago Gaga revealed that she is drawn to bad romances, but is not sure if she goes after them or they find her. Regardless, my "relationship" ended in the dating stage and never really became a romance. Either when I dated him almost 30 years ago, or recently. Although, this time, I thought it had potential.


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I was amazed that you were even willing to "rekindle" the relationship as you're not exactly a believer in "recycling" relationships, as I think you once phrased it. In fact, I thought you were pretty adamant about the concept of not repeating your mistakes.
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Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

It started when Black sent Red a LinkedIn post about Louis Armstrong, asking her to "connect the dots" (one of Black's favorite things to do). Red knew that he was one of the most distinctive and talented jazz musicians in American history, but it was a complete surprise to learn that he had such a strong connection to a Jewish couple that immigrated from Lithuania and that he wore a Star of David for most of his life to honor them. That alone made it a "truth is stranger than fiction" story. The fact it's also a touching story about kindness and love makes this, at least for Red, even better than fiction.

Black, who prefers the pragmatic aspects of Armstrong's unusual journey – from being an impoverished black boy to an extraordinary career as a musician, singer, and composer – and sees it as a story of overcoming barriers, realizing your potential, and finding freedom (and she discloses an interesting connection between Armstrong and Independence Day).

Our July column, "RED & BLACK … The Sound Of Freedom," connects all those dots and is about so much more than surprising facts about Louis Armstrong. It's also about the power of music, inspiration, and hope, not to mention a very different way of looking at freedom.

Want to read other columns? Here's a list.

Everyone laughs and wants to hear the story when I mention that I was recently "ghosted" by someone I had dated. What I find interesting is that ghosting has become so prevalent in today's society (and is not restricted to dating) that there is a term to describe the sudden "disappearance" of someone who wants to avoid all future contact with you.

Going back decades, I know there have been first dates that, at the time, I thought went well. But, after getting the "I'll call you" line … I never did. As a teenager, I can remember anxiously waiting for the phone (a landline tethered to the wall – and yes, I am that old) to ring, not wanting to go out and possibly miss the call. And, being very disappointed by the silence. Now, I cannot even remember who they were.

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