What do I do in this moment?
What do I say in this moment?
How can I best engage in this moment?
How should I be in this moment?
Who am I in this moment?

We all know what is transpiring in our country and in our world. After spending more than eleven weeks in quarantine enduring the global pandemic, many of us were already dealing with our own version of an altered reality, including some degree of pain. For some of us, it shifted our daily routines; for many others, we have experienced loss of loved ones, of our own health, of steady income, of human connection. Ultimately, when we bore witness to the brutal and unjust killing of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department, following the recent deaths of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, it was too much to handle. And now, with more than a week of civil unrest behind us and no certain end in sight, peaceful protests continue and the voices of racial justice are crying out to be heard.

The world is in need of repair and we can all play a role. Some of us will choose to participate in front line protests and public marches. Others may work to influence public policy or elections through advocacy, or attempt to sway public opinion through social media posts or op-ed writing. We can opt to financially support organizations doing work to uplift afflicted communities. No matter how you decide to respond to this moment, we need to first get still enough to listen and learn.

Get curious. Ask questions. Lean into uncomfortable conversations. It is incumbent on all of us to engage in continuous learning through reading, reflecting, and sharing to deepen our perspectives on the issues, as well as our depth of understanding of how we and those around us are both thinking and feeling. I am finding that the generic “How are you?” to my friends, colleagues, clients and family is no longer an authentic expression of curiosity or connection. Instead, “How are you feeling?” seems to invite a mutual exchange that comes from the heart.

For the past several months, I have been refining my approach to coaching families who want to become more connected with each other in addition to getting more focused and impactful with their philanthropy. The framework that resonates with me is what I now refer to as “energizing family philanthropy”. In order to energize (verb) and be energizing (adjective), you need to be simultaneously and continuously educated, engaged, and empowered. I hope to share more about this approach in a future newsletter, but for now, I believe that this framework is particularly fitting for this moment in our country’s evolution. While we might not be positioned or ready to move into action at this moment, we can begin our unique journey by getting curious, listening closely and educating ourselves.

We’re Listening

What if 2020 isn’t cancelled?
What if 2020 is the year that we’ve been waiting for?

A year so uncomfortable, so painful, so scary, so raw-
that it finally forces us to grow.
A year that screams so loud, finally awakening us from our ignorant slumber.
A year we finally accept the need for change.
Declare change.
A year we finally band together, instead of pushing each other further apart.

2020 isn’t cancelled, but rather the most important year of them all.
-Leslie Dwight

What I’m Watching
What do you want to know about systemic racism, racial injustice, or white privilege? Who do you ask? Emmanuel Acho, former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker and current ESPN analyst breaks it down in the first in a series of ten minute videos. Acho tells white people that it’s time to let down your guard and listen. “You must first educate yourself so you know exactly what you’re standing for and why you’re standing,” Acho says in Uncomfortable Conversations with A Black Man.

What I’m Hearing
Brene Brown interviews Professor Ibram X. Kendi, Author of How to be an Antiracist. Kendi provides an approach to understanding and uprooting racism and inequality in ourselves and in society.

Ezra Klein asks Ta-Nehisi Coates, Author of Between the World and Me, what he sees right now when he looks at our world in this moment. “I see hope. I see progress.”

What I’m Missing
This evening, after six months of our social distancing, I reunited with my oldest son. I am experiencing the tremendous joy of having my family under the same roof again for the first time since Thanksgiving. Out of habit, and even more so out of a genuine expression of love, I find myself migrating towards where he is in the house, and then I remember that he’s been on a plane and we need to wait. Maybe a couple of days, maybe a week, but I cannot wait to hug him. I miss hugs. I miss human interaction, off the screen. While deep relationships are still possible in our virtual reality, according to Tal Ben-Shahar, in his article, The Art of Deep Relationships, we cannot replace the art, the warmth, or the depth of connection that is the hug.

Sending you a virtual hug as you get still, listen, and prepare
for your unique journey to learn, understand, and act.

I work with individuals and families to identify a shared value system for philanthropic work; Through curiosity, asking questions, and active listening,
we 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.

%d bloggers like this: