Collaboration beats competition on life's waterway.
We often meet people who are very competitive. They always want to win at everything. Maybe they want to have the best science fair project or get the highest grade in the class. Some of these people even get angry when they don’t win. When you’re a grownup, you’ll see that there are very few things that you can do alone. For example, at your job you work on a team or in a department that does a project. At home, you live with your spouse and together you work to raise the family well. To have a successful team, a happy family, etc. everyone has to cooperate and work well together. If a grownup is competitive with the others on the team at work, with others in the family, etc., it won’t work. They’ll all lose the race and the boat may even capsize.  So remember: "Collaboration beats competition on life's waterway." Learn to cooperate now when you’re young.  It takes practice.
     -The Godmother
About the boat races: Every year there is Water Festival in Cambodia to celebrate the wet season, to pray that there was enough water to grow good rice, and to mark the time when the Tonle Sap River changes directions.  (Did you know a river can change directions?  During dry season, the Tonle Sap River flows south and drains into the massive Mekong River.  During wet season, the Mekong River gets so big that the Mekong’s waters back up into the smaller Tonle Sap River which then flows the other way—to the north!)  During Water Festival, there is Bon Om Tuck, Cambodian traditional boat races.  These very long (including the longest ever), colorful boats are typically powered by 30 to 40 people.  The people who row them are strong and they are fast; however, the most important thing is that they work well together as a team.  If they don’t, they will be slower and less efficient—their paddles may even collide!
Did you miss a previous Godmother's Advice email? 
  • #001: Khmer boxing & solving problems
  • #002: Factory workers' commute & "making room"
  • #003: Bright balloons & dangerous attractions
  • #004: Bats and others' ways
  • #005: Playing in the mud
  • #006: Tattoos and bad habits
  • #007: Make-believe
  • #008: Dental and other care
A technical note: Gmail sometimes puts emails in your Promotions folder.  To stop that, drag and drop the email to your Inbox and tell Gmail to put subsequent emails from that sender (i.e., me) in your Inbox, not the bottomless pit that is your Promotions folder.  Yahoo also sometimes dumps these in the Junk/Spam mail.  I think if you open the email and click "Not Spam", Yahoo will remember.  Those turkeys!
Background about this email: Several years ago, I was feeling like an inadequate Godmother due to my absence in the US and, consequently, my absence in my Godson's lives. I decided to send what little advice I have as someone who has been in the world for 30 years longer than they. Thus was born my Godmother's emails--a tidbit of advice each week. I decided to share these emails with friends and others because I feel that  folks need some good, helpful or happy things in their Inbox these days. I hope these are; otherwise, unsubscribe below.
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