Everything, Everywhere, All at Once

Leonard Steinberg, a New York Compass agent and Chief Ambassador for our company, wrote this blog post this week and I found it so encouraging, I decided to share it with you. Here’s what he had to say: 

Sunday’s Oscar’s reminded us of something: sometimes – especially now – it feels as if everything is happening all at once – everywhere – to challenge us: much higher interest rates, major inventory shortages, high inflation, crypto and bank failures, a raging war in Europe, heightened global geopolitical tensions, bird flu, extreme weather, the never-ending chatter of a looming recession, acute political divisions, soaring debt, painful media bias, profiteers of outrage (and war) winning (for now)……I could go on.

At times all of this can feel a bit overwhelming. It can make you feel a wee bit hopeless. Today would be my Dad’s 110th birthday, and a good time to reflect on some of his words of wisdom: As someone who immigrated to South Africa from Germany at the age of 23, as a trained actor unable to speak fluent English in the 1930’s, who lost both parents in a concentration camp and a brother to suicide on the same day he was notified of their murder, lived through the awful apartheid years, two world wars, more wars, the Great Depression, several recessions, etc, he spoke with the authority of decades of experience, having witnessed multiple personal, global and local challenges. While his grasp of the local language Afrikaans (a mix of Dutch, Flemish and German) was minimal, he would quote a local saying: “Alles Sal Reg Kom”……or translated, “Everything will be alright!”

After the clouds, comes blue skies. Always. The blue skies never last forever, and neither do the clouds. Life marches on. It is in our DNA to survive and evolve, to overcome adversity or at least live through it. My Dad was one of the most negative, pessimistic people I knew and even HE had the ability to acknowledge this reality. We cannot control what happens often, but almost always we can control how we view things and navigate our way through them. Life always marches on. We wake up, eat, work out, work, sleep, run, marry, give birth, divorce, see kids off to college, retire, etc. That never ever stops. And in these moments our relationships with others who are experiencing similar anxieties can make this more manageable. No, burying your head in the sand or ignoring realities is not the answer: neither is drowning in the noise and challenges of the moment. Getting the balance right is the key: awareness of the moment, simply a chapter, with an eye to a better – or at least, different – future, new chapter.

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