Religion Magazine

Gems from RVR – #FIGT16NL

By Marilyngardner5 @marilyngard

When I met Ruth Van Reken last year at the Families in Global Transition conference, I texted my husband and said “Just met RVR!! She HUGGED me.” that was before I realized that RVR has a hug or a word of affirmation for every single person she meets.

I have loved RVR from afar ever since I first heard her speak and that was a long time ago.

Ruth ages the way I want to age. She is dignity and fun, fully present with all those she meets. She has done more single handedly for the cause of the CCK (cross-cultural kid) and TCK than anyone else alive.

Ruth began Families in Global Transition around her kitchen table. Since then it has grown to include people from all over the world so that the most recent conference featured 200 people from 6 continents and 36 countries. The number of languages spoken was not countable.

In the second keynote session of the conference, Ruth gave some gems: Pithy, one or two liners that resonate with the global and non-global soul. I’ve gathered some of these here today with hopes that they will help you as much as they did me.

RVR quote

“We start doing something [for the global family] because somebody has to do it!”

“Know what your skills are – and aren’t.”

“Celebrate when others build on your dream and do a better job than you did or can. Don’t be jealous. You have a part. We all have parts.”

“What’s your dream or passion? Find others of like-mindedness, then create and enlarge your network.”

“We come. We want to make a difference. The goal is not self-promotion.”

“We have a world of people who don’t know who they are.”

“All members of the family will have different perspectives. Goal is to respect and try to understand.”

“The TCK is a living organism.” [ain’t that the truth?! comment is mine not Ruth’s]

Ruth lives what she speaks. She is ever ready to help others carry on the task of helping the global family. Whether it be responding to an email, being a part of a conference, or giving perspective she continues to work within her passion and influence those of us who have walked, stumbled, or fallen into this work.

So to RVR – I raise my cup and salute you. You teach and inspire, you affirm and challenge. Thank you for who you are, and what you do! Please keep on doing it.

(And thank you so much for hugging me! I must have really needed it!)


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