When Tragedy Befalls

When Tragedy Befalls

I don’t know Joe Biden but I like him. I should say, I like what I believe I know about him. He exemplifies fierce loyalty and unwavering devotion – to both his family and his country. I appreciate his bold stance of his convictions and his public acknowledgement of his faith.


He has committed his life to being a public servant. He served as a US Senator (Delaware) for 36 years and was the 47th Vice President of the US for 8 years. If you did the quick math, you’ll realize that’s a total of 44 years (longer than I’ve been alive).  At the age of 75, Joe Biden has been a public servant more than half his life. I cannot imagine living my life in the public eye for that long.  Striving to do what is right while being heavily scrutinized is no small feat.


I, like many people I imagine, waited with baited breathe in 2015, hopeful that then Vice President Biden would announce plans to seek the presidency in 2016. I was incredibly saddened when the news finally broke that he would not.  Like most Americans, I had no real understanding of the tremendous struggle he faced in making this decision while doing all he could to fulfill both his professional and personal responsibilities. News headlines highlighted a career ‘marked by tragedy’ which ‘fell short’.  Perhaps our propensity to see challenges as a ‘win-or-lose’ situation and the persuasive ‘winner take all mentality’ contributes to minimizing an incredible career and prevents it from be described as something other than spectacular.


My 2018 goals include reading a book a month.  I recently finished Joe Biden’s recent book – “Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose”.  He strikes a delicate balance of describing the hope of believing his eldest son Beau would beat a cancer diagnosis and the hardship of deciding rather or not to seek the presidential nomination all while pursuing his purpose as a public servant.


It occurs to me that while as one colleague pointed out “Joe, sometimes the man meets the moment”, the converse is also true – sometimes the moment meets the [wo]man.  Former Vice President Biden readily admitted that he did not aspire to be vice-president, understandable as very few people strive to be No. 2.  We often overlook the nobility and virtue it takes to support someone else and help let their light shine.  What I find remarkable is Biden’s ability to make the most of unexpected twists and turns on this ‘path of life’ and to accomplish amazing things with very little attention or recognition.


This month as we celebrate Show-Love-Day (also known as Valentine’s Day), I want to show love to all those that allow my light to shine brighter.  I see you.  I appreciate you.  I love you.  Already this year has produced ‘moments’ I did not expect and had not imagined.  I am grateful and excited about what’s in store for the Collaborative as we continue navigating these moments.  I hope you’ll continue to join us for the ride.

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