Enter With A HANDSHAKE & Leave With A HUG

Hug.jpeg

So after almost 6 years at the U.S. Department of State, I am moving forward in my career to a very exciting role at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 


As I look back, I have fond memories of the wonderful high-performance division I was part of and the many amazing achievements we had together, and what our Deputy Assistant Secretary called, the “A Team.”


But one thing today is sticking out in my mind and it’s this image.

“Enter with a handshake and leave with a hug.”

On the first days, when I arrived it was all formality and firm welcome handshakes.


We don’t really know you and you don’t really know us, but we’re embarking on this journey together, and where it takes us no one really knows, BUT we wish you the best of luck–now go out and do great things!


Then on the last days, as I was preparing to leave, the formal handshakes were long gone and instead they were replaced with warm heartfelt hugs (and some special emotional words and cards). 


I was no longer a mystery of a person, with just my reputation, coming in to do G-d knows what. 


Now, I was a human being that had a genuine history with them, formed relationships with many, had faced challenges together, and had touched not only minds, but also it was apparent, hearts. 


I will not forget the special people, nor the many times shared, our accomplishments as an organization, and how we grew. 


I am moving forward not only with their tight hugs to more handshakes anew, but also to once again hopefully grow heart-to-heart with people, as further relationships are formed and we make, please G-d, amazing new progress together–for the mission and for the people. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Confronting The New

Friends Hugs Excited
As the kids are starting a new school year, I thought these welcome messages in chalk on the sidewalk were interesting and hopeful. 



Everyone needs support when they are starting at a new place or doing something they haven’t done before. 



Doing something new means opportunity for a fresh beginning and the chance to learn and grow, but it also presents changes and challenges. 



The messages the kids drew help to confront these head on asking the other students:



– What is exciting to them and playing up the positives of the new experience.



– Encouraging people to make new friends to help make the adjustment. 



– Offer emotional support with “Free Hugs” and camaraderie.



At times, we all end up in new situations and places.



We may be looking for discovery, adventure, or a chance to do something different or perhaps change our fortunes.



At other times, we may just get thrown into something and may not even be certain exactly how we got there. 



But either way, it definitely helps when we reach out to others and realize that while we are individuals, we are not alone as we go through it.  



People need each other…some more, some less…but no man is an island. 😉



(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)