How do we foster and create human connection during this critical time where “social distancing” is the recommended step to curbing a global health crisis? As we continue to learn more about COVID-19, we take one step closer to avoiding all contact with other people. Like each of you, I woke up every day this week with an increasing knowledge that life, as we know it, was being reordered. The lives that we were all living were being canceled, and we now need to reframe the ways in which we interact. But, our need for human connection in a digital and already siloed world remains strong. I have found comfort in a variety of interactions this week and have an appreciation for what’s possible in a new world order.

“Now, more than ever, we need to embrace an infinite mindset.
The finite mindset of opportunism, selfishness & panic will hurt us all in the long run.

Let us embrace generosity, selflessness & a calm caution as we navigate this together.”
-Simon Sinek

What I’m Appreciating: Acts of Kindness
In the midst of all the craziness, it became necessary to cancel all of my upcoming travel. I called American Airlines every day this week to no avail. Finally, after putting my name on a list and receiving a call back more than two hours later on Friday, I was met with the most pleasant surprise. Not only did the customer service representative successfully refund each of the six legs of my flights, but she was patient, kind, and compassionate. I imagine that she is beleaguered, on the front line of dealing with customer’s frustration, anger and fear. In the midst of all of that, she could not have been more professional and understanding. She allowed me to feel heard, validated and frustrated all at the same time. It is through interactions like these where we can each learn to be kind to one another in all circumstances. Here are some additional thoughts about doing our small part to add to the greater good during challenging times.

Kindness is a gift that everyone can afford to give.

What I’m Learning: Using Technology to Stay Connected
During the past two years, I have used Zoom technology to connect with clients, students, and teachers when geography or time prevents us from meeting face-to-face. This week, I took the opportunity to fully connect even when meeting in person was not an option. The use of video, including the ability to see body language, share a smile, and give and receive kind gesture, was enough to know that we were part of the larger narrative together. What was even more heartwarming was to know that, while business will be booming for Zoom in the immediate future, their leadership is doing their part to keep kids connected to learning. Read more about that here.

What I’m Sharing: What Philanthropy Can Do
We rise by lifting others. Philanthropy, translated as the love of people, can be a powerful vehicle to support the most marginalized people at the most critical times in their lives. The time to get off the sidelines is now. For so many of you who are asking what you can do to help, here are just a few ideas to get started. I am continuing to gather resources and referrals to understand where the need is greatest. Click here if you want to begin a conversation about your philanthropic engagement.

“Philanthropy is not about money.
It’s about using whatever resources you have at your fingertips
and applying them to improving the world.”
-Melinda Gates

Philanthropy as a Form of Connection
I work with people as they actively engage, often with multiple generations of their family, in philanthropic activities. Together, we identify a shared value system for connection and philanthropic work; and determine the pathway forward to wholeheartedly engage in the world in a positive and meaningful way.  Click here to learn more and begin a conversation.