Skip to main content

Some Reflections On The Death Of Dave Goldberg

The sudden news hit me pretty hard. I didn't know him, nor do I know Sheryl Sandberg, but there it was. How frightening:
  • That things can go horribly wrong, abruptly, without any explanation at all.
  • That we don't know if this was, punishment, or fate, or what the problem was.
  • That we can't predict our own fate, or the fate of the people we love.
So instead of having fun yesterday in the park with my family, I felt upset. I knew I was bad company and so stayed back while everybody else went boating on the lake.
But it left me with some time, and the time spent reflecting left me feeling better. The dark cloud of disorganized feelings gave way to an orderly think-through. Here's the result in case it's helpful to you:
1. Nobody really knows why bad things happen. We did not create ourselves. So trying to decipher the slings and arrows of fate is irrational.
2. We can only control our own actions, not the results. We have so much technology at our fingertips that it's easy to assume we should somehow make everything perfect all the time. But we can't.
3. Emotions do not help things. Action does. Feelings seem intense and so very real, don't they? They seem like they alone can move mountains. But the only thing that helps things is behavior, grounded in rational risk-benefit calculation.
4. Realizing that we're weak makes growth possible. People who act like they're bulletproof also never learn anything. As Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson puts it, "There is a crack in everything - that's how the light gets in." (Plus they tend to seem like gigantic jerks.)
5. We are deeply loved, all the time, no matter what. I felt pretty bad about myself, sitting there in the park, basically feeling terrible, crying and alone. But there were all the manifestations of G-d, holding me in their arms: sunlight kissing my cheeks, wind wrapping itself around my shoulders like a cloak.
My husband and daughter emerged from the rowboat. "Are you all right?" he said to me.
"Yeah," I said and I meant it.
I don't know who Dave Goldberg was and I don't know why he died. We will never really know the answer, I think.
But that is not the important thing.
By virtue of our existing, G-d always loves us. Fully and completely.
Just the way we are.
Photo credit: Aftab Uzzaman via Flickr. All opinions are my own and do not represent those of my agency or the federal government as a whole.

Popular posts from this blog

What is the difference between brand equity and brand parity?

Brand equity is a financial calculation. It is the difference between a commodity product or service and a branded one. For example if you sell a plain orange for $.50 but a Sunkist orange for $.75 and the Sunkist orange has brand equity you can calculate it at $.25 per orange.

Brand parity exists when two different brands have a relatively equal value. The reason we call it "parity" is that the basis of their value may be different. For example, one brand may be seen as higher in quality, while the other is perceived as fashionable.

All opinions my own. Originally posted to Quora. Public domain photo by hbieser via Pixabay.

What is the difference between "brand positioning," "brand mantra," and "brand tagline?"

Brand positioning statement: This is a 1–2 sentence description of what makes the brand different from its competitors (or different in its space), and compelling. Typically the positioning combines elements of the conceptual (e.g., “innovative design,” something that would be in your imagination) with the literal and physical (e.g., “the outside of the car is made of the thinnest, strongest metal on earth”). The audience for this statement is internal. It’s intended to get everybody on the same page before going out with any communication products.Brand mantra: This is a very short phrase that is used predominantly by people inside the organization, but also by those outside it, in order to understand the “essence” or the “soul” of the brand and to sell it to employees. An example would be Google’s “Don’t be evil.” You wouldn’t really see it in an ad, but you might see it mentioned or discussed in an article about the company intended to represent it to investors, influencers, etc.Br…

Nitro Cold Brew and the Oncoming Crash of Starbucks

A long time ago (January 7, 2008), the Wall Street Journal ran an article about McDonald's competing against Starbucks.
At the time the issue was that the former planned to pit its own deluxe coffees head to head with the latter.
At the time I wrote that while Starbucks could be confident in its brand-loyal consumers, the company, my personal favorite brand of all time,  "...needs to see this as a major warning signal. As I have said before, it is time to reinvent the brand — now.  "Starbucks should consider killing its own brand and resurrecting it as something even better — the ultimate, uncopyable 'third space' that is suited for the way we live now.  "There is no growth left for Starbucks as it stands anymore — it has saturated the market. It is time to do something daring, different, and better — astounding and delighting the millions (billions?) of dedicated Starbucks fans out there who are rooting for the brand to survive and succeed." Today as …