Education is what we do with what has been done to us. I already said that in Cristian Roman’s story, the taxi driver with a kind heart who learned from his mother to help others and now is helping children in need.
This story is also about education. It’s about the financial education that Anamaria received from her parents and now is passing to her daughter and to other parents.
The story begins in Cluj Napoca, where Anamaria was born and raised. Her parents were good people who started from scratch and built their future slowly, through hard and honest work. Anamaria’s father had a second job, as a painter and she helped him sometimes, but she was always paid for her work at a fair price. From her father, Anamaria learned how to appreciate the value of her work, elements of “customer care”, PR, marketing, accounting, quality assurance, negotiation – even though she didn’t know this concepts at the time.
From her mother, Anamaria learned how to administrate the family budget and elements of investments. Her mother was the “financial brain” of the family.
At 18, her parents informed Anamaria that, because she became an adult, she must be independent and gain her own money. As a result, she found a job in a small bank. By day she was working, by night she was studying and in the weekend she was attending the classes of the Economical University.
At 20 she lost her father, so she had to take a second job to be able to complete the last 3 years of University. It was hard for her to work and learn at the same time and watch her friends who have fun and enjoy the parties. At 23, after she finished the University, she found a job in a bigger bank and she climbed the ladder of success, so she moved to Bucharest to work in the bank’s HQ. Life in Bucharest was not easy because she decided to pay for her MBA, so she couldn’t afford to rent an apartment for herself, she could only rent a room in someone else’s apartment.
Looking back, she is proud of what she has accomplished until now. Her parents taught her to administrate her money well, to work hard and to persevere.
Now, she has more than 19 years of experience in banking and she learned some strong lessons about money, such as:
- money without financial education will not bring wealth and financial stability
- happiness and abundance are not connected with a specific amount of money
- there is no connection between the amount of money you have and the skills of a good administrator of money
- what you learn from your family about money you will replicate in your adult life
- many parents, finance their children for long periods of time and when they make mistakes, they “save” them, without knowing that in this way, they will never learn their lesson and they will always repeat their mistakes
- money are a taboo subject in many families
- credit, as a financial instrument, can help you and grow your wealth, or can bring you personal bankruptcy
- people think about investments, but few of them think about safety in case of illness, unemployment etc.
Anamaria is a mother now and she is passes these lessons learned from her parents and from her life experience to her daughter. She looked around to other parents and she realized that very few of them know when to start financial education with their children, what to speak with the children about money and how. In consequence, she started a new project of financial parenting and I am happy to say that I assisted at the birth of this project as a business consultant.
Financial education has to be an important curricula in our education and in our children’s education. Anamaria writes articles on her blog, organises workshops with parents and participates as a speaker in different events for parents.
As I said at the beginning, it’s very important what we learn from our parents regarding money, what emotions they transmitted us about money and what behaviors we formed in administrating money, because we will pass all this to our children.
Anamaria’s lesson for all of us is this : “If you want your children to be wealthy, don’t give them money, give them a healthy financial education.”
Until few years ago, Loredana was struggling to escape from her mother’s legacy who was a kindergarten teacher. When she was little she always saw her mother tired after work and she thought that it must be a very hard job. But, like she heard from an expert in education: it’s useless to run. Many of us will end up in professional areas that are not far from our parent’s.
Her search began with acting, than she was a clerk in Ploiesti Town Hall for few years, to change again towards banking. She took education seriously in each of this 3 areas, so she studied 3 years of Art School, then the University of Public Administration and in the end, Law School.
Still, it was not enough. Every time she ended up bored and she continued her quest. Sounds familiar? Well, that proves that very few people are lucky enough to find their vocation at a young age, most of us function in trial and error mode for years.
In 2015, Loredana was a Branch Manager in an important bank, helping entrepreneurs with loans to level up their businesses. Then she realised that her clients need more than financial advice to be successful in business. There is a saying, I don’t remember where I heard it, but I also use it in business counselling: ” Your business is a mirror of your heart. If your heart is not ok, your business cannot be successful”. So she started to learn how to “heal hearts”, to first make (as she was always doing in her life) some serious training and she become Personal Development Consultant.
Very quickly Loredana learn that all our behaviors and beliefs are formed in childhood and she took a certification in parenting and started to heal also little hearts.
Loredana realised that she cannot run very far from her mother’s legacy. She wanted all her life to be a teacher so now is a well known business coach and personal development consultant and a to parenting specialist.
You can see it in her smile that she is happy with her new path. She has a beautiful family, 2 children, every day is full of new challenges from her clients and her life is full with events where she is planner or protagonist.
The moral: regarding vocation, listen to your instinct. It’s the best vocational adviser.
Born in 1873 in the town of Leskovacs, in today’s Macedonia, Ahmed Ademović grew up to become one of the most honored persons in his Romani community. That was not only because he was an extremely talented trumpeter, but also because he performed this role within the ranks of the newly formed Serbian army.
His role in the battle of Kumanovo, during the first Balkan war in 1912, will remain in history, because of his courage and creativity. After seeing the confusion within the Serbian army due to the unexpected encounter of the Ottoman troops 50 kilometers north than expected, he decided to try to change the odds of the battle by a rather unexpected approach.
Having heard it only a few times, he was able to reproduce the retreat trumpet signal of the Turkish army. Running fearlessly across the battle, he positioned himself behind the enemy lines and sounded the retreat. It caused great havoc within the Ottoman soldiers. After quickly running at his own, he sounded the attack, without any orders. The Serbian troops charged and quickly defeated the already confused enemy army. In this way, the strategic plans of the Turks were decisively thwarted and the Turkish army never again gained momentum and consequently lost the war.
One simple man, coming from a discriminated and recently freed from slavery community, namely the Romani, managed to change the course of history for his own country by one simple act.
Today I called Cristian in order to find out more about him, since I am well aware about his charity projects. We talked about an hour on the phone. During all our talk, I was not able to make him talk about himself or about his personal life. He kept telling me stories about other people than himself and he was able to make me laugh and cry, alternatively, like I was riding an emotional roller-coaster.
Crstian’s brand is quite known in Bucharest. His brand’s name is “Taxiul cu bomboane
” (trad.: the Candy Cab). He seems to be the personification of Santa Claus: a big, white-haired strong man, with a white mustache and a kind heart, who loves all the children of the planet, and especially the ones who need help.
The roots of his kindness, as he told me, were seeded by his own mother during his childhood. His mother was so kindhearted that, even though their cleaning lady was not performing her duties as expected (for example, she was ironing dirty clothes), she kept paying her because she was aware of the woman’s poverty.
Cristian was the owner of a small company that was manufacturing wine barrel staves. When the crisis came, his business started to plunge, thus he decided to close this business and to become a taxi driver. Given the chaotic traffic in Bucharest, his trips were always quite long, and so he invented a mean to keep his clients entertained. He has developed a game for his passengers, with prizes valued in candies. For those lucky enough to pick up Cristian’s taxi cab, the first thing that they would notice would be his big and warm smile. The second thing would be the music, mostly blues, a definite heritage of Cristian’s youth, when he performed as a bass player in a music band. Those who were able to guess the name of the singer would receive a candy as prize. The ones able to make an interesting drawing would receive a second candy. The drawings were sold afterwards to other clients for a small amount of money that was used afterwards to buy candies for orphan children in one of Bucharest’s foster homes.
Nowadays, Cristian is the head of an association named “Taxiul cu Bomboane”. He has mobilized an entire team of volunteers and he organizes various projects for the kids, like reading bed-time stories to the sick children in hospitals or organizing workshops for autistic or Down-syndrome children.
He also told me that he never offers free gifts. Instead, he always asks for a reward, as depicted below. One day, a Roma kid asked him to offer a mobile phone. Cristian agreed, but only with the condition that the child would read three books, that were to be offered to him. The boy read the books and he enthusiastically discussed them with Cristian, and he received his gift, a brand new mobile phone. When the phone broke down, after a while, Cristian promised the boy to repair his phone only with the condition that the boy would read another three books. The next episode happened when the kid wanted internet on his phone, and guess what?… After having read three books, the boy had received his internet.
Later, when the kid grew and earned some of his first pocket money, the first thing to do with it was to buy food for an old woman living on the the streets.
The moral of the story: education is what we do with what has been done to us.
Today’s goal for Cristian is “Bomboland” (trad: Candyland), a 150 square meters space organised as a workshop center for kids with special needs. He plans to bring them in this center in order to teach them to manufacture envelopes, sugar flowers, in an attempt to help them become independent. Despite his ambition and strong motivation, he cannot do it alone, and therefore anyone helping him would be very welcome. Particularly, he needs a van to transport these children from their homes to this specialized center.
Some of us look around and don’t like the sight. Consequently, these people take the matter into their own hands and try to produce the much needed change, slowly but steadily. Cristian is one of them. Are you?
Personal Branding Consultant
Everybody (well, almost) knows that our planet is located in a solar system where we revolve around our Sun together with seven other planets (once there were nine; a few years ago, Pluto was downgraded from planet to minor planet or dwarf planet). All planets move on almost circular orbits, and their orbits are located in almost the same plane. Moreover, all planets move in the same direction, let us say prograde (i.e. inverse to the sense of the clock hands spinning). This is true for an observer that looks at this plane from (let’s say) above it. An observer “below” this plane (i.e. on the other side) would see a retrograde motion of the planets. Basically, the perspective on everything in the Universe strongly depends on the location from which things are observed.
The inner planets are those who have the orbit with a radius smaller than Earth’s orbit radius. Starting from the closest to the Sun, they are Mercury and Venus. Mercury was known to the Sumerians around 3,000 B.C., while the oldest surviving astronomical manuscript mentioning Venus dates back to 1,600 B.C. and was written in Babylon.
Their motion is depicted in the animation below. This is what somebody which has the position fixed with respect to the Sun would see it.
Figure 1. Sun-bound view on the planetary motion.
Our ancestors did not even imagine this. Their perspective was earthbound, so they saw how this motion takes place with respect to the Earth. For them, the motion of the inner planets was intricate and counter-intuitive (see the animation below), nurturing superstitions and generating serious scientific questions which remained unanswered for many centuries.
Figure 2. Earth-bound view of the planetary motion
At the beginning, the Earth was considered to be the centre of the Universe (and unfortunately, there are many scientific illiterates today still to believe it). The first heliocentric model was proposed by Aristarchus of Samos, that came to contradict the geocentric model of Heraclides Ponticus (although some claim the latter is the first to propose a heliocentric model).
The first breakthrough (and also a huge drawback) came with Claudius Ptolemy, who offered a quite accurate planetary model that could predict eclipses and explain the retrograde motion (we’ll come back to this one shortly). His model stated that planets move around Earth as a result of the composition of two motions: (1) the rotation on a small circle, called epicycle and (2) the motion of the centre of the epicycle on anotherr circle, called deferent.
If we take another look at Figure 2, we realise that Ptolemy was right: the man spoke what he saw… from Earth. The epicycle is the orbit of the planet as seen from the Sun, while all planets have the same deferent, the apparent orbit of the Sun around Earth. Too bad that Ptolemy put the later in the centre of the solar system. His error propagated for almost one and a half millennia, until Nicolaus Copernicus formulated (again) the first heliocentric model, sometime around 1510.
Figure 3. Copernican system (photo credit: Wikipedia)
Planetary retrograde motion
This phrasing obviously refers to the apparent motion of a planet with respect to Earth or another celestial body which is not the Sun. As depicted in the animation in Figure 2, at some point (let us take Mercury as example) the planet seems to move backwards with respect to Earth, namely around the point where its distance to the blue planet is minimal. Astronomically, it does not mean anything more than the two planets (Mercury and Earth) come at their closest relative distance (and no, folks, there is no energy emerging when this retrograde motion happens at the same time when our natural satellite, the Moon, is both at perigee and full).
Please stay tuned for the next articles. Meanwhile, I leave you contemplate both Sun-bound and Earth-bound apparent motions in one single synchronised animation.
The animations in this article were made by using Geogebra.
Vladimir Martinusi, Phd