Elizabeth became a school teacher who in the evening wrote children’s books. Her most popular title was Adam on the Road (1942).
Then, at the end of World War II, 43 year-old Elizabeth Vining got a call. General Douglas MacArthur had decided not to charge Japan’s Emperor Hirohito with war crimes. Instead, he asked that Elizabeth Vining become the tutor of Crown Prince Akihito, the emperor’s son.
Seeds of independent thinking were planted.
Upon her arrival in Japan, she encountered a lonely 12 year-old boy whose eyes sparkled with “a hidden sense of humor”. As crown prince, Akihito lived separately from his parents. He saw them only once a week, for a one-hour meal together.
The next 4 years were filled with English lessons, games of Hide and Seek, Monopoly and stories of Abraham Lincoln.
The seeds of independent thinking were planted.
Individual effort and reward. Breaking the rules.
Thinking outside the box.
These ideas were profoundly unJapanese.
In 1950, Elizabeth Vining returned quietly to the United States since Akihito’s mastery of English was nearly as good as her own. Akihito’s farewell gift to Mrs. Vining was a poem, written in his best calligraphy, about the birds returning to the Akasaka Palace Gardens after the war.
Soon after the departure of Mrs. Vining, young Akihito met beautiful Michiko on the tennis court. In 1959, he broke 2,600 years of Japanese tradition by marrying Michiko, a commoner.
And a Quaker woman from America was the only foreigner allowed to attend the wedding.
But Akihito wasn’t finished surprising the world. All Japan was stunned when he and Michiko announced they would raise their own children. Another 2,600 year-old tradition shattered by the 125th emperor of Japan.
Akihito’s attitude gave freedom to other Japanese to begin thinking independently as well. Honda, Sony, Toyota, Mitsubishi and their amazing fruits of innovation sprouted from a single seed, planted by a Quaker widow. Vining opened the door in 1946. W. Edwards Deming walked through it in 1950. (He is regarded as having had more impact upon Japanese manufacturing and business than any other individual not of Japanese heritage.)
Elizabeth Vining lived to be 97 years old. And each year on her birthday, with all the precision and dependability we have come to expect from Japan, a limousine from the Japanese Embassy would stop in front of her home as a tuxedoed ambassador delivered a giant bouquet of flowers.
A simple woman quietly did her best,
a young boy had a change of heart,
and a nation opened the doors of its mind.
It would appear that a small boat is able to cross a great sea.
A heart felt thank you for all you do for children from all of us at Yello Dyno. Have a joyous holiday season.
Yours for child safety,
Yello Dyno Founder
P.S. Pass The Eight Red Flags™ on now. Each one of us will help to bring about social change.
Want to learn more? We’re here to help. We offer workshops for communities, parents, educators, law enforcement, government agencies, churches, non-profits and children. We have a new workshop for this school year focused on The Red Flags™, Removing the Blind Spots and being in the present, "NOW". Here is the link to learn more about our workshops for adults: http://www.yellodyno.com/Training_Convention_Conference.html
Contact Us: Need more information? Call Barbara toll free 888-935-5639, extension 104,
or contact us by e-mail. We look forward to helping you select the training, curricula, materials and programs that will meet your safety needs.
P.S.S. Educators, Non-profits, Churches and Law Enforcement: to have a Yello Dyno Curriculum sent to you for a thirty-day review, fill out this online form, or call Barbara at 888-935-5639 ext. 104 or email her at Barbara@YelloDyno.com
Comments? Ideas for future memos? Contact me: Jan@YelloDyno.com.
Never miss an email from YelloDyno.com! To ensure that YelloDyno.com communications are not filtered into your 'junk/bulk' folder, select the 'Add/Save to Address Book' function in your email browser and follow the appropriate instructions.
We value your privacy. You are in control and can discontinue receipt of this email.