Last week I returned from my 30-year graduate business school reunion. There were close to one hundred of us for the event in Chicago. During the women’s luncheon, the alumni office shared that there is something different about our ’92 class, that we (and class of ’97) stand out in her mind from all the rest based on our connection and commitment to each other. Recurrent themes that came to mind to were love, community, values, and resiliency.
During the 30 year of ski trips (shout out to Ed and Nanci🎿), hikes, dating, weddings, births, bar and bat mitzvahs, divorces, funerals, and just keeping in touch, this group of business school friends has operated as a high functioning community (maybe one of the highest I have had the privilege to be a part of); all are welcomed, loved, and accepted. No one is ever turned away or left out of any events.
And the focus on values continues to be apparent: importance of family, friends, and being humble. Despite the career and financial success of many of my peers, there is always humility, a kind word, and generosity of spirit present. Everyone has made her/his own choices and some of us (myself included) have taken time off from promising careers to focus on family, friends, passions, and health.
And everyone is remembered. At each event, thanks to Dan ❤️, friends who have passed away and are no longer physically with us, are always honored with stories, pictures, and a few minutes of silence.
- To which community (communities) do I belong?
- What talents and skills do I bring to my community?
- How do I support others, during the good and bad times, in my community?
- And, how does my community support me?
- In order to feel more connected, are there any other communities I might like to join?
- May is Mental Health Awareness month. Click here to read WSJ article In Praise of Anxiety. If you or anyone you care for struggle with anxiety, highly recommend this article, lots of useful and interesting research, tips, etc. Themes that resonated: reframing ordinary anxiety is an advantage that takes practice and patience (versus avoidance); anxiety prompts your mind and body into action; we produce higher levels of “the feel-good hormone” dopamine when we’re anxious; and the value of pursuing excellence over perfection, a common theme among clients. Click here to access NAMI and for more information about Mental Health Awareness Month.
- Click here to learn more about the book Bitter-Sweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole by Susan Cain. Bitter-Sweet fundamentally changed how I view emotions, struggle, and joy. Cain also wrote Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking.
- Click here to listen to PBS News Hour ‘I’m just getting started’: Jon Batiste on the next phase of his musical journey (8 minutes). Batiste is irrepressible and speaks to busting silos, importance of community, overcoming shyness, and finding his voice.
- Click here to learn more about Integral Resilience with Julian Gresser MA, JD (45 minutes). Gresser, President/Chairman of Big Heart Technologies, claims resilience is a skill which can be taught and cuts across many disciplines from medicine to city planning. Big thanks to my favorite professor, James Schrager for recommendation!