I found my way back to September 11, 2001 three times over the past four days. So overwhelmingly so that I needed to capture it because the pattern and draw of the sequence was much too powerful to ignore.
It started on Wednesday. Simply speaking, someone made reference to the last attempted attack on our Capitol (Capitol or White House I believe is still unconfirmed) being on September 11th, with Flight 93. Hoe that attempt was foiled by Americans and how this attempt was both incited and conducted by Americans. I couldn’t shake that memory. Though I tried. It felt a singular recall moment powerful though it was.
On Thursday, at a leadership meeting at Boldr, I was asked to talk about a time when a leader of mine made space for me.
Without hesitation I talked about my boss at the time, who went out of her way to make me feel safe while I worked with all of our close friends to cope with and understand the loss of our best friend in the towers, Neil G. Shastri Foundation.
I haven’t spoken to her in a few years, but I for some reason felt compelled to call Kristine Tanno by name. And to express in great detail how she converted for me as a new boss with my team to a young man, South Asian man, in NYC after the attacks.
What was incredible is that seemingly, out of nowhere, she commented on a post of mine on LinkedIn within 24 hours. Talk about forces in action. And then … today. The family went for a walk to downtown Metuchen and for the first time, on a walk to or from downtown, I had a chance to stop at the memorial in front of the train station. I always thought it was a 9/11 memorial to people from Metuchen; I never realized it was for all NJ residents who we lost that day.
And there his name was. Neil Shastri.#iamgrateful and #iamthankful that he and his name are right there; for me to pass by and acknowledge anytime I come and go from this point forward.
#iamgrateful and #iamthankful that my kids know his name and that when Jaanu asked to hear what happened that day it wasn’t me, but Anaiya who explained the powerful story to him.
#iamgrateful and #iamthankful for the lesson Kristine Tanno taught me about leadership, friendship and space at that time.
#iamgrateful and #iamthankful for the response I’ve seen to what happened at the Capitol from some of my most conservative friends (there are more still I wish to hear from, but it appears after four years we’ve found a line people will not only not cross, but also, start waking back from).
Finally, for some levity, I want to be clear when you look at this picture of my children: the similarity to the “shirtless Bison suit guy” is purely coincidental.