I was not planning to write to you this week. Full transparency, I have been in a funk and it has been hard to do much of anything other than take care of my kids and take care of my patients. And from speaking to many of you, I know that you are feeling it too. So I thought I would send you a little note to share with you what is helping me navigate these tumultuous times.
I have had lots of conversations this month at a medical conference with peers, with business partners, speaker’s bureaus and editors, basically conversations with people in which feelings don’t usually come up. And yet I have opted to not mask my feelings and have been fully transparent in each and every one. I have shared my heartbreak and despair not only about the events in the Middle East but also the unfortunate rise of anti-Semitism and intolerance overall in our country and around the world.
Often these people were not as personally affected or invested in the conflict and yet they leaned in with curiosity, concern and an abundance of compassion.
One of the tragedies of this tragedy is our loss of faith in humanity. It is painful to witness the loss of any and all innocent life and when that is not met with compassion, it is even more painful. But every conversion, every interaction has rebuilt my faith in the goodness of people and in our common humanity one conversation at a time.
Challenging times can never be navigated alone. In fact, that was one of the most harmful aspects of the pandemic, we were isolated and siloed. I personally have called on friends, family members, I have reached out to like-minded thought leaders, some whom I have never met personally or barely knew and have called out to past guests I have interviewed on the podcast who have inspired me. I have found comfort and connection in each and every interaction. Again, we cannot go at it alone. So reach out to your community, reach out even to almost strangers, you might be surprised at who is willing to be a shoulder to lean on.
Last night I listened in on a meeting for student government at a UC campus and spoke alongside my daughter against anti-Semitism on College campuses. To hear these young adults raise their voices with courage, grit and determination was beyond inspiring.
There are a lot of people making noise right now, throwing blame, taking sides, denying others the right to grieve and sharing inciting rhetoric that is harmful and potentially dangerous to members of our collective community. Lets not instigate, rather we can advocate without diminishing the perspectives of any other. As a reminder, you do not have to be a member of the affected group to have a voice. Just as we used our collective voices in recent years to organize and advocate for others, let’s do the same now. If for nothing else, our children deserve to learn and thrive in safe, tolerant and equitable spaces.
Sending lots of love out there.