The Parlay Effect: How Female Connection Can Change The World
In The Parlay Effect: How Female Connection Can Change the World, Anne Devereux-Mills shares a candid account of how her struggles through a devastatingly dark time in her life led to the creation of an innovative and dynamic organization in which women from all walks of life can gather to connect with one another in fruitful, energizing, and sometimes even life-altering ways. In hosting the first Parlay House meeting, in which a dozen women gathered in her San Francisco home, Devereux-Mills started what would later result in the cascading positive effect (dubbed the “Parlay Effect”) of women coming together to find strength in one another, share their life experiences and knowledge, and search for a meaningful way to impact the lives of others. Based on her strong-held belief that “we are stronger when we are connected,” she spent the next several months after that first meeting nurturing relationships with these women and others who joined in their monthly meetings. Guest speakers, champagne, snacks, and intellectually and emotionally stimulating conversations were all paramount at those first meetings, and two main rules guided their interactions: Each new member was to be blessed with the nurturance and guidance of a more seasoned member, and the meetings were never to be used for monetary or professional gain. With these boundaries in place, relationships were fostered and expanded. The organization grew exponentially over time and now crosses not only the borders of cities and states but also those of countries. Now thousands gather to empower each other and to spread acts of kindness, generosity, understanding, and encouragement across the globe.
This is beautifully and eloquently written. The author reaches out to women of all types and from all sectors of society through her inclusive writing style, integrating research, and heartfelt quotes from other writers, political and historical figures, and even of those not so well known by the general public. She even incorporates information about and the findings of her own research on how exactly the “Parlay Effect” (“the cumulative effect of positive actions and deeds produced when one event sets off a chain of similar events”) works. Devereux-Mills and a researcher and professor from the University of California, Berkeley conducted a study in which they sought to determine if and how the “Parlay Effect” could go beyond the walls of the Parlay House, eventually touching the lives of those within the population at large. They found that even those who witnessed kind, thoughtful actions by others, often in turn were inclined to initiate their own. In other words, not only were those instigating the acts of kindness or on the recipient end of them positively effected, but onlookers were as well. These findings, as well as the author’s own observations, lend credence to the fact that the “Parlay Effect” can have broader implications for society. Each small act on one’s part to make a difference in the life of another can “ripple outward, leading to positive consequences beyond oneself.” The author not only poignantly makes this case, but she generously lays out an array of specific and helpful guidelines for readers should they ever decide to start their own versions of parlay houses. Drawing on her own nearly life-shattering experiences as well as the intriguing stories of others, she provides insightful recommendations on what women can do to create positive self-images and realistic expectations for themselves in a world where idealism is often sought. Through writing this poignant story, Devereux-Mills is paying forward a great act of generosity to women.
|Page Count||164 pages|
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|Category||Biographies & Memoirs|