Greg Lavine
Mercury Public Affairs
April 2020
2 Min Read

Why We Connect

Roughly a year ago to the day I met someone who made a tremendous impact.  My new colleague was a worldly figure, one who worked at the highest levels of international politics and governance, as well as someone who started her own grassroots organization to help feed the hungry. Her knowledge of the global philanthropic was encyclopedic.  My goal was to listen when we would meet, but that was not how she chose to converse.  I often found myself talking when in my mind I kept thinking ‘there is nothing to learn by hearing myself speak.’  It was a two-way street and at the risk sounding cliché, you felt like the only person in the world to her.  This was not a façade or a tactic.  It was core to how she viewed the world.   A deeply connected place where doing for others was not simply a business tactic or way to feel altruistic. To her this was key to building human capacity.   Each connection makes another connection, allowing for the expansion of the greater good.  She was truly a global super connector of people.

And four months after we met, she was gone. Like so many others my heart sunk when we got the terrible news of her unexpected passing. One of the brightest lights went dim.  My thoughts rushed to her young family and their immeasurable loss.   Tributes poured in from all over the world, reinforcing all that I knew of her in that short time. All that spoke told a unique story of her impact on their life and the world at large. Yet the same constant existed in all the stories; how her ability to be present and stay connected was incalculable.   Her closest friend remarked that some people live the same year over for each year of their adult lives. She did the opposite by living the most out of each year in a life ended too soon.

I find myself reflecting on my friend these days as much as I have since she passed.  Her passing now seems like a cruel prelude to the uncertainty of the current times.  Beyond a doubt, she would be a leading voice in todays battle against this dark pandemic.  But her ability in connecting people to improve matters large and small would be (and remains) her gift. As we move forward in our lives personally and professionally in these strange and isolated times, we must all continue to do our part to connect for the greater good.