Forty Five. / The Call to Teach Edition.
On Becoming Teachers, Re-Bonding With Our Loved Ones, and Literally Getting Away.
Hey, everybody. On Saturday, March 20th, the first day of spring came. It’s a season of rebirth, renewal, and what feels like a fresh start to the coming months. That Saturday also was what would have been Fred Rogers’ 93rd birthday.
Jack Lorts @jlorts"Often when you think you're at the end of something, you're at the beginning of something else." --Fred Rogers (1928-2003) Happy Birthday, Mr. Rogers, wherever you are. We miss you!
Many of you know that Mister Rogers was (and still is, even if he’s passed) one of my biggest role models. A calming, empathetic presence to those big and small, his show “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” objectively built a foundation for viewers, teaching everyone listening and watching important life lessons and mottos to follow. There was no secret agenda, only a genuine desire to make us all better humans, to treat each other, respect each other, and look to each other as equals.
As I said above, in these emotionally troubling times, it is hard these days to be feel optimistic, when so much hatred, anger, and distrust still flows around us. Social media, misinformation, and groups of people unapologetically not taking responsible for their actions (and the consequences that follow) have been chipping away at our collective optimism.
As Mister Rogers always told us, you need to look for and to the helpers. I would take one more step: The world needs more helpers. Be the helpers. Do the hard work. Lead in a way that encourages others to join you, as Justice Ginsberg also told us. Preach respect, accountability, and empathy. Hate, fear, and distrust only come from what we don’t understand.
Let’s go out and teach like him. Thank you, and we miss you, Fred.
What are you currently working on?
My work at Swiftarc has transitioned more to a special projects/new firm initiatives/future of the firm role, and it’s a role I’ve deeply embraced. From our DEI work to building new forays into investing. I’ve enjoyed reading, learning, and experiencing various ways the consumer world can be a stronger force for good across all ecosystems.
I caught up with Chris Cantino and Jamie Schmidt last week and we had an interesting chat about what makes a stronger consumer company these days. We believe in the idea of “Contextual Commerce” and it’s a mindset that holds even stronger as we come out of the worst of the pandemic. Genuine, human-like connections matter.
What are you currently excited about?
Continuing on the original theme from above, we all can become teachers in our own ways. It can feel like a daunting task, especially as many of us don’t know where to start. I would recommend two areas where you can begin:
With Your Family: The pandemic created a crater-size hole in our routines, our daily lives, and most importantly, our collective mental health. Things and people we love were taken away from us and left many of us trying to sift through the emotional rubble, trying to understand what happened while we pick through the pieces. It’s difficult to let go of the past and have memories (or nightmares, even) that block us from being able to grow forward. But as we come out towards a brighter future, our family members (especially older ones like our parents and grandparents) need us more than ever as they’ve taken the hardest tolls.
With Your Inner Circle: I’m going to go more into this below, but in the same way we need to check in with and spend more time with our family, our friends need us.
What’s a story or article that you're currently thinking about?
A friend of mine in the startup world, Julie Schecter, runs a great care package startup called Small Packages. She recently wrote an incredible piece entitled “Hold On” that I cannot stop re-reading especially as I’ve also been looking deeper into how we’ve abandoned our original communities, whether it’s due to the work hustles, new engagements, and other, well, excuses we put in between.
The pandemic ripped open this issue and put it in front for all of us to see. In Julie’s words:
The sooner we view investment in our friendships as crucial to our mental and emotional health, the sooner we begin to act.
I highly recommend you read the piece from start to finish, but I want to bring up one other item in her story: Julie at one point look at Maslow’s Pyramid, which showcases a heirarchy of human needs.
When we look at a diagram of it, what sits in the load-bearing middle?
What’s a product you’re currently obsessed with?
Nitasha and I tried Getaway for the first time last week. As someone who’s been a hardcore camper in the past, I was a bit worried about the “glamping-fancy RV-style” experience that we consistently saw in Getaway’s Instagram with influencers aplenty.
Let me tell you, after a night without Wifi or cell phone service and only a campfire, tea, s’mores, good books to read, and a sky literally painted with the most stars I’ve ever seen, IT. IS. WORTH. IT.
Wild Card: What’s an item you can’t shake your mind off of?
The light at the end of the tunnel is near!! 100 million doses have been administered in the US already!! Places are reopening!! Games are back on!! The energy is coming back!!
But we still have a lot of work to do, especially with extinguishing the rapidly-spreading amounts of hate out there. Let’s keep teaching. Let’s keep leaning on each other. Let’s keep learning.
And, above everything, let’s re-embrace the fact that actions have consequences, and no matter what, let’s own our actions, own the consequences, and hold ourselves accountable.
It’s the hard work we need to keep doing.
~ C O L O P H O N ~
Please send all feedback, both positive and negative, to firstname.lastname@example.org as this project continues to evolve.
Interested in contributing an edition? Email me at email@example.com!
Want more great things to read? Follow my Flipboard Magazine, #Reads_Feeds.
Did this get forwarded to you by a friend? Please consider subscribing below!