One Thing at a Time.
Of the many losses throughout the pandemic, one that I felt most profoundly was the death of a beloved mentor: Jewel Walker. Jewel lived a good and long life. He was 93 when he left this realm. I had the pleasure of visiting him in 2019 at his home in Newark, DE. Sensing then he may not be long for this world, I asked him before I left, after a beautiful afternoon having lunch with his delightful wife Marj, listening to classical music in his cozy home, and just simply being together, “what’s the one lesson you want me to keep passing on?” With no hesitation whatsoever, he replied, “One thing at a time.”
Jewel Walker was a mime. He studied with Etienne Decroux, and among so many other things he accomplished, he also appeared regularly on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. He spent years perfecting the art of doing one movement at a time.
He was a gifted and generous performer and a disciplined and loving director. Some of the best work I have done on stage was under his guidance. He had a wicked sense of humor, and I found him a great comfort when I felt lost or confused. He was passionate and precise.
My heart lifts when I think of him. Today, I encourage you to practice what he preached. Do one thing at a time. Relish the moment you are in. Appreciate the person you are with. Listen to the rhythms of the music of everyday life. Feel what it is like to be in your body. Look up and out and see what surrounds you. Inhale and exhale. Smell the air around you. Speak one word at a time. Take this moment to absorb what it is to be alive.
Then ask yourself, and tell someone you love your answer…just one person…What is the one lesson you want others to learn from you and pass on? Then do that very thing — one thing at a time.
Catherine Glynn is the CEO and Lead Executive Coach at Voce Veritas, The Founder of A.R.T. (Audacious Raw Theater). She’s in the process of becoming a more disciplined writer. Look for her upcoming book Leadership, Distilled in the Fall of 2021.