As a youngster, I remember my dad included two dimes in every greeting card he gave my mom throughout their near half-century together.
And no doubt the symbolism reflected in those two dimes on her birthday —or their anniversary, on Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day every year etc. — in some way played a role in my penchant to study trust-building relationships throughout most of my leadership development career.
Although it has been more than a half-century ago I can still see the anticipation in my mom’s eyes as she cupped her left hand to catch the expected two dimes after opening the envelope and reliving the experience as if it were her first time.
The dimes would cascade into the palm of her hand and her face would always light up in sheer delight.
In gripping those dimes, she also reaffirmed her grasped on her marriage’s long running experience of commitment, trust, integrity and respect that cemented their near 50-year marriage before my dad passed away.
Those dimes rekindled a commitment of caring and sharing, respect and understanding that to my young eyes flared the proverbial fire in their love for each other.
Anyway, this Dimes-Throughout-Time love story began two years before my parents married.
My dad was away on business serving in the United States Navy during World War II. He mailed my mom-to-be a Valentine’s Day card.
His testament of love for her arrived — postage due. You guessed it: 20 cents.
The image of those two thin dimes over the decades seemed to carve a deeper understanding in me of what responsible caring and sharing is all about — and played a role no doubt in my writing the 3-book Leadership Mints Series predicated on treating others with dignity and respect.
More details on the Dimes-Throughout-Time love story can be found in the postscript to LOVING Like a Leader — one of three books in The Leadership Mints Series designed to help leaders refresh their feeling for leading. The postscript –titled BUSINESS: A HUMAN EXPERIENCE–shares the impetus for a book on empathy impacting the bottom line.