When you are blessed to have good people in your life it can be difficult to decide who you want to write about or pay tribute to during National Women’s History Month. However, there are always stars in the universe that shine so bright there is no way you can miss their brilliance. One such person in my life is my sister-friend, Dr. Lauren Michelle Walton. Our friendship started over 30 years ago and although I started as her mentor, somewhere over time she became mine. Our friendship and relationship have connected on so many levels that now we are literally family.
I remember when Lauren was a young lady finding herself and about to launch off to college. She would share with me her goals and the things she wanted to do in life. I enjoyed listening to her and how she wanted to conquer so many things, she was happy that she had someone that cared and lent a listening ear. As she continued to grow and mature, I realized that she also cared about me, and what was going on in my life. She witnessed some of the tragedies that I experienced, and she would extend concern and compassion. Over time I realized that I could confide in her and that she was trustworthy. Finding people who you can trust at their word is rare no matter what their age.
Older people can sometimes think they know it all and that there is nothing they can learn from what we would call the “youngins.” Learning can occur on both sides of a coin. There are some things in life you can only learn from time and experience, but there are also some people that are given certain gifts such as discernment, the ability to listen, and guidance. Once again that would describe Lauren. Her concern for others not only made her perfect for her chosen profession (psychiatrist) but also the ability to serve on various boards that help people overcome various issues in their life. One such organization that she has committed her time, energy, and resources to is Forgiving For Living, Inc. Our mission is to serve at-risk girls between the ages of 13-18 to overcome behavioral and mental health issues in addition to low self-esteem due to depression, abuse, and/or abandonment. She has been on the board for over a decade, and she is currently the Vice-Chair. We are grateful for her guidance.
How Lauren has lived her life through uplifting others as she climbs should serve as an example to all of us on how we too can make a difference in the lives of others just by caring. Being a mentor has a lot of benefits because you can touch someone’s life and help them to become their best self. I try to live out my life in this manner every day, so I recognize what it looks like. I think it is always good to remember that in the end, nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care. Lauren, I want you to smell your roses while you are alive and well. Thank you for sowing into my life and helping me to be my best self.
This National Women’s History Month, I salute, Dr. Lauren Michelle Walton for her commitment to her family, friends, and community. #NationalWomensHistoryMonth
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Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is a life strategist, coach, consultant, author, and speaker.