Every morning in the bathroom, after I’ve done my meditation and writing, I say, “good morning Google.” and my speaker responds, “good morning, Danno.” I like that she refers to me the way my law school buddies did. I smile at her Artificial Emotional Intelligence (AIEI? EIEIO!). She tells me the time, the weather and the first three appointments in my day. And then she goes into the news. She starts with Reuters. Nearly every day, Reuters and then after that CNN, tell me about Ukraine, bombing, Putin. This week I started turning it off. I am challenged by my sensitivity and tendencies to “go down.” So, why start the day with that sh-t?
Each morning I hear about this very sick man. He doesn’t suffer from his extreme mental illness. He projects his illness onto others. He becomes a childish, ungrown boy who idiotically acts like he’s playing Risk. He’s not. He is MURDERING – it deserves all caps – people, human beings, children, old people, it’s almost too much to take. He multiplies whatever unexamined traumas he has experienced, splattering them like bombs onto generations of people – including his “own” troops – who will now deal with lost moms, dads, grandmas, brothers, sisters, friends…and their own sanity. Wait!
I am going to keep listening to it, because every morning I’m going to let Reuters and CNN and Putin wake me up to . . . everything I love. I am going to take it as inspiration to live and love the most decent life I can. I will deal with my mental illness, my egotism, my poor-me, my hatred and my controlling bully tendencies, because I refuse to let evil erode my longings for love, justice, mercy. I will believe in these things. I will stand for these.
Susan Cain could never have known how timely this marvelous Ted Talk would be. She “leads by two” with Min Kym, an extraordinary violinist.
If you’re thinking, “so many TedTalks, so little time,” take this away: “The place you suffer is the same exact place where you care desperately.” I don’t think leaders can look away from the suffering. If they do, they leave not only the people they hope to lead but the heart of care with which to lead.
You do something noble when you face the realities that Putin will not and you choose to answer with your life,
Leading with your best self.
P.S. Thanks for the heart-warming comments to last week’s column on my hiatus.