Hispanic Heritage, My Parents, My Heroes

Mami & Papi Salzburg

Mami & Papi Salzburg

In the background of my childhood rebellion and against my strongest inclinations, I became literate in the Spanish language at a time when all I wanted was to be like everyone else. I did not want to be Hispanic. I wanted to be an American, speak only English. My parents would have nothing of that and did everything in their power to make sure that my siblings and I would never forget where we came from. It was a hefty challenge but they prevailed. And for this I am deeply grateful—more grateful than I can ever be about anything in my life.

I did not always appreciate their constant cajoling about the importance of knowing my culture and roots. I fought them and even became a closet Latina for many years. Thanks to their persistence and love, today I am proud of where I came from. Not only has my bilingual upbringing literally brightened my life but it has opened professional doors and made possible the creation of profitable ideas in my business. My Hispanic heritage rocks!

 

 

 

 

 

Shifting the Planet

 

Today we have in our family a PhD, two master’s degrees, four bachelor’s degrees, three artists, a musician and two family-owned businesses.

But educating us kids was not the “be all and end all” for my parents. Although they retired many years ago they continue to reach out and teach the world. INSOPH, the Miami-based school they created about 10 years ago, teaches adolescents and adults about the art of living. The acronym stands for the Institute for Solving the Problems of Humanity. Daily they make a huge difference in the lives of the dozens of students fortunate enough to find out about them and go through their school every year. They are changing lives and shifting the planet.

Hard times, I believe, helped forge a family bond that today is unbreakable. When they recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, I was reminded of how rare it is to see a set of parents that have withstood the test of time and triumphed in a sea of seemingly impossible waves that often appear tsunami-like in size.

Time hasn’t changed my mind about who inspires me most. Dad turns 80 soon and Mom is 75, but you’d think they are both in their early 60s. I learn from them about the power of wholesome nutrition and exercise for the body, mind and spirit. They keep physically active by walking and biking; mentally alive by teaching, reading, playing board games and being surrounded by young people. They take zero medications and are disease-free. They love to laugh, enjoy life to the fullest and make sure to spend lots of quality time with friends and family. They never tire of giving of themselves. It keeps them young and vibrant, which is expressed in the brilliance of their skin, the twinkle of their smile and the warmth of their souls. These are real life-size heroes!

 

 

 

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About the author

Lily Z. Winsaft

As CEO and Founder of Aldebaran Associates, Ms. Winsaft focused her 25 years of corporate and entrepreneurial experience to create a company dedicated to addressing the hiring and training challenges facing corporations and professionals in the 21st Century. The firm provides highly selective recruiting services for fortune 500 companies in the consumer goods, advertising, marketing, legal, accounting, information technology and non-profit sectors. Given her notoriety in the Hispanic community and among international organizations, her firm plays a major role in boosting organizational diversity and in the placement of candidates at companies transacting business in Latin America or selling products and services to the U.S. Hispanic consumer segment.

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