‘When we get past the ego and the pride, we’re good’

Dear President Trump,

As I hunkered in for another day of this freakish (new normal?) Seattle weather I couldn’t figure out which of the following articles to read: the one about the woman who reported harassment only to have the company turn on her; the one about massive die-offs among insect populations; the one about the border negotiations stalling with another shutdown looming; the one about Northam showing his callous ignorance by referring to slavery as a system of indentured servitude (seriously – WTF?); the one about someone’s top 10 Grammy bits, or the one about the young man who killed his friend and faked her suicide for about $5,000. Well, this morning I picked the last two to read. Not at my socially responsible best today, apparently. Maybe I’ll step up later and read the other stuff. Probably. Though not the Northam one – sometimes it feels like I’ve done my civic duty in just reading certain headlines.

I’m not sure why I didn’t tell you about this last week when it happened, but on Wednesday after the UW reopened after the first round of snow a freshman girl fell on the ice and died a little while later at our Level I Trauma Center. What we learned from the UW President is that she hit her head and died as a result. The President let us know that she’d spoken with the girl’s family and critically, that she, the University President, had made the call to hold classes and was taking responsibility for this tragic event. Well into the evening that same day we learned the girl actually died from a pulmonary embolism, which is what caused her to fall; she did not die from striking her head. What’s been really remarkable about our President’s handling of this is that rather than make an announcement to this effect, she is still sending campus updates pertaining to safety, asking us to alert campus officials about dangerous spots on our heavily treed campus, and asking that we look out for one another and support each other through this challenging time.

The other day I read the HP piece about Carmelo Anthony in their “We Built This” series and what he’s quoted as saying reminds me of her leadership: “As long as we get past the ego and the pride and really figure out, OK, this is what it is, this is what it’s supposed to be, this is what it’s not supposed to be, then I think we’re good after that.”

May we have leaders who truly value everyone’s safety.
May we be happy to elect leaders who support the common good.
May we insist on healthy, down to earth leadership.
May even bad leaders, like you, have the sense not to start wars.

Tracy Simpson

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