As I sit here and begin to write CNN is on with coverage of the Ukraine war.
The purpose of this post is to share some personal good news, yet it’s hard to be fully excited given the state of the world. Can I suggest we take a collective moment of silence (whenever you read this, just know I am with you in the spirit of your silence) sharing thoughts of peace to those in Ukraine?
With friends I have been describing the feeling in the world today is as if life is a game of checkers and the universe came along and flipped the board, and all the pieces are in midair. How will they land? Will you land on the board, will you be kinged? It is neither good news nor bad, it is a very scary time with huge unknown outcomes that affect everyone. With a war, an America politically in civil war, a pandemic, inflation, racial strife no wonder folks are stressed.
After a 15-year period when life has been tough on me, very out of character with all the years prior when I felt robustly lucky or otherwise blessed with good karma. Now it is clear it was not ALL good before and not ALL bad during this recent period, yet the overwhelming feeling was that the universe had turned off the good tap. With the world’s turmoil, I felt in synch. It is both awesome and odd to be feeling out of synch with the stress of the world. My true hope is I am a leading indicator.
Now for the good news. It started 8 months ago with some weight loss. I am probable the lightest I have been in 20 years. I still have about 8 pounds to still lose, yet I am absolutely thrilled to be where I am.
When I made the decision to move to Richmond permanently, I set up a competition in my mind. Which would win? Reconstituting my business as a successful endeavor here or would I get a job and I would be at peace either way. Truth be told I was rooting for my business succeeding and truthfully thought it was leading until a job offer seem to appear out of nowhere and unexpected. I could not be happier.
I have accepted a role as director of operations for Caring Across Generations at www.caringacross.org which is a program of National Domestic Workers Alliance https://www.domesticworkers.org/. My role is very much like that of a Chief Operating Officer in a for-profit company. It builds on my experience in leadership and organizational development, strategy, financial projections, and operational efficacy. Our organization is entirely remote. Also being a thought partner and mentor.
In discussing these two organizations it is impossible not to take a moment to express my enthusiasm at hitching my wagon to the organization’s co-founder’s train. Ai-Jen Poo is an amazing human being. She came here at two with her parents from Taiwan. Dad is a neuroscientist and a political activist; mom is an MD with a Ph.D. in chemistry working as an oncologist.
Ai-Jen graduated from Columbia and she is a 2014 recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” Award. In 2018 she attended the academy awards a guest of Meryl Streep. Last year 540 non-profits competed for a $40 million fund that included money from Melinda French Gates, we were awarded $10 million. Many in the know feel if the democrats keep the presidency in 2024 Ai-Jen would be short-listed for the secretary of labor.
I hope you are sharing my enthusiasm for being associated with such a rising star. In my opinion, the entire team of over 30 folks at Caring Across in their own way are all amazing.
Our work at Caring Across Generations broadly falls into two categories, public policy, and advocacy around the public perception of caregiving.
If you were cared for as a child if you have or are caring for someone with a disability, a health crisis, an aging relative you are a caregiver. This represents most Americans at some point in their lives, yet as one friend said when I was sharing my new job news, in polite society we don’t talk about caregiving. Our silence is a crisis.
Are you a baby boomer? Who will care for you as you age? With the great resignation (in my opinion Great Realignment) why would anyone work under such horrendous working conditions? We do not value care!
I must admit even after having cared for my aging mom before her death caregiving was not my personal passion. My passion has been reinventing how business does business. Yet here at Dog and Catmandu we frequently discuss how our society values money over life. We see it everywhere. For me philosophically it has been an easy pivot from business caring how it does business to broader humanity caring.
Caring Across is on the phone at least weekly with the White House as we were intimately involved with crafting the now in limbo Build Back Better bill. Have you heard the term caring infrastructure, that is from us. Right now, we have an electronic billboard in Times Square as part of a larger awareness campaign. We have a staff person in LA whose job is to impact how movies and TV highlight caregivers.
As truly excited, I am about my work with Caring Across I will continue on a very limited basis my Coherence Collaborative work. Current and former clients, friends, and unique projects that can all adapt to my new constraints will continue on a limited basis. Given my tendency to be opinionated I will still be occasionally blogging and posting on my business social media.
In my career my interests we equally divided between doing and teaching. I have seamlessly flowed between the two over the years. My more recent history has been focused more on “teaching”. One thing I know for sure my life is about change and I have learned to embrace that with all that comes with it. Now is an opportunity to do.
Importantly Jerry and I here at Dog & Catmandu remain excited to be hosting important conversations. Please reach out we would love to hear from you. I love networking with all of you and it remains a passion for that connection. I still am hosting my New Now (new economy/now for mindfulness & spirituality) monthly salon and discussion group. Please reach out we would love to have you join us.