As we rush towards the end of the year, I reflect, I ponder…I think back in a process of healthy introspection about the year gone by. I realize that many of my posts over the last few months were downers, stemming from sad times, bu they were a way I could get out from under the cloud and gain traction towards normalcy.
I am surprised how long its taken me to work through the remnants of leaving MasterCard Foundation; the pride and excitement I feel about what I accomplished my team there, the sadness I feel at leaving the continent behind with its adventures, the honor at being welcomed into someone’s home to hear their story, the thrill of meeting heads of state. I will miss that.
I am surprised at my re-entry to Seattle. Not that its been hard. But it wasn’t as easy as I expected it to be. The city has changed and many lives have moved on. It’s been fun reconnecting and meeting new friends.
I am surprised at my new job. Delightfully so in many ways. Howard and Sheri Schultz approach their philanthropic work with a sense of urgency, a desire to make a pragmatic difference in people’s lives. They can meet a handful of individuals, learn their personal stories and immediately envision a way to help millions of people. They easily innovate through the status quo applying not only dollars but creativity, bold thinking and influence to bring other leading companies into the effort. Howard’s belief that public companies have a responsibility to address challenges within the communities they work seems like the only way a company should work. Free college for his employees, healthcare for part time workers, etc. Its inspiring to say the least.
Its this inspiration that will get me through the dark days of the Trump administration. A man so arrogant, so petty, so focused on “us vs them.” Someone who hasn’t read more than the executive summary on “how to be a president” and who will stumble into national catastrophes, one after the other. Sigh. My learning from Howard is his central belief that we will remain strong as a country if we bridge the opportunity divide, reach out to communities that are slipping from the grasp of America and reconnect them firmly into our democracy. For if we are able to weave the diversity, the cultural richness, personal pride and history into the fabric of the country, the tapestry will indeed be a strong one.