Elli Stassinopoulos

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What did you learn from Elli?

Agapi Stassinopoulos
Under my mother’s guidance, I grew up having no sense of hierarchy in the world, just a feeling of our fundamental sameness. This is how my mother put it: if a group of people were on a sinking ship, it wouldn’t matter who they were or what they did for a living. You wouldn’t rescue the first-class passengers first and the cabin stewards last; you would reach out to them all. So why should it be any different when the ship isn’t sinking?

Living by her example, surrounded by the warmth of her open mind and generous spirit, helped me develop a sense of myself that would not change whether people had more or less material success or worldly acclaim than I had. It was wonderful to be able to meet people without making these judgments—not evaluating them on the basis of what they had achieved or collected materially in order to decide how I should behave with them. I didn’t need to alter me to fit some perception of what other people expected. It was so liberating to know I could simply, authentically, be myself—and enjoy and be enriched by the authentic gifts of others.
Arianna Huffington
My mother instilled in me that failure was not something to be afraid of, that it was not the opposite of success. It was a steppingstone to success. So I had no fear of failure. Perseverance is everything. I don’t give up. Everybody has failures, but successful people keep on going.

There was always that combination of making me believe I could do anything and that if I failed she wouldn't love me any less. It was absolute, unconditional love. You could try anything, because failure was not a problem.