Last week, I took time off from work. For a brief shining moment, I acted like a stay-at-home mom to my beautiful daughters. It was wonderful. (See photo for proof of great time. Also, we have actual seating in our home.) Continue reading “You = VIP: an Experiential Experiment”
How can we feel safe when no one is safe?
The past several weeks have been rough. Without going into detail on what’s happening in my little family, I’d rather focus on what this time period has evoked:
Are we safe?
My daughters and I have openly discussed safety, identifying safe and unsafe scenarios and spaces, not compromising our safety, so that someone will like or accept us, and finally, how we practice self-soothing when we are afraid. Like any parent, my daughters’ safety and empowering them to know how to get/stay safe, are of the utmost importance.
While in the midst of walking through private issues over the past several weeks, epic mass shootings, scores of hate crimes and the disastrous fires in California, also plagued our country.
After the shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, PA, like so many of us, I was shocked. No matter how many times I hear about or experience anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism, homophobia, transphobia, etc, the shock value never, ever lessens.
My daughter and I discussed the Pittsburgh tragedy after a few days had passed. I couldn’t believe how matter of fact she was about it.
I fervently exclaimed,
I absolutely refuse to let this be the new normal!
She responded to me very calmly,
Mom, we’ve been having lockdown drills for as long as I can remember. At first, when I was little, they were really scary, but now, this IS our normal.
My mouth was agape. I felt like I couldn’t breathe…
I had the “aha” moment I have never wanted to have.
I went on to validate what she’d said to me. I told her that her response made me sad and then, she said,
It is sad, but it just is. Mom, we have to live with what is.
A part of me wanted to argue against what she was saying, but I didn’t. The truth is, I was in awe of my daughter’s composure and graceful example of how to live life on life’s terms.
Just this past week, I came home from work and as I prepped dinner, I shared with my daughters that ORT’s Kfar Silver Youth Village had to be evacuated because there weren’t enough (or close enough) shelters, for the kids to be safe.
Kfar Silver Youth Village is located just outside of Ashkelon, Israel. Hundreds of rockets were launched from Gaza and it was a terrifyingly unsafe situation for these kids and all who live there.
At dinner, my daughters were wide-eyed and glued to everything about Kfar Silver. They wanted to learn more about the “really cool” place the Kfar Silver Youth Village is.
My daughters asked so many questions:
How can these kids ever feel safe with rockets being launched nearby? How can they not have enough shelters? Do adults help them feel safe? Who helps the adults feel safe? How can the world be this scary?
And then, the same daughter who told me about needing to “live with what is” said,
WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING!
My (amazing) daughters just finished raising funds for ORT America, for its #GivingTuesday campaign. (Yep, they raised their funds well before #GivingTuesday!)
Next, my eldest daughter has expressed interest in helping the kids at Kfar Silver Youth Village to get safe, feel safe and stay safe.
So, the moral of this story is,
we can live with what is, but we
can must also take action.
We may feel afraid, but in this very moment, in the here and now,
we are safe.
Maybe, they don’t, but they’re just programmed to think they do.
When I first began fundraising professionally, I remember trying to hide how emotional I was in my cases for support. I was embarrassed, even though my kvelling got the job done quite nicely.
More than a decade ago, I became immersed in philanthropy, although, I was born and raised to be philanthropic. Continue reading “The Kvelling Kishke Kampaigner”
Or to compliment the season,
Years ago, I believed I was unintelligent. As a child, I worked very hard to hide my perceived stupidity and the shame that accompanied it. I was convinced that anytime I appeared to be intelligent, it was artificial. Naturally, this internal messaging, along with other self-mutilating messaging, was totally false. Continue reading “A Love Letter to Artificial Progress & Real Regression”
In my professional life, I take comfort AND yield countless benefits, from approaching things as a hungry collaborator who doesn’t know more than you do, no matter what the organizational chart says. I internally (and sometimes externally) overtly identify as a neophyte (with extensive experience in leadership behind me), on a wide variety of subjects. I find this tactic not only propels my openness to learning and growth, but helps me perform with my ego checked at the door long before a project actually begins. (The more egos that can be checked at the door, obviously, produce fun and successful teamwork.) This often creates a level playing field, and an empowered ensemble that implements great work. Continue reading “The Expert Neophyte”